Highest Paying Occupations That Do Not Require A Degree

Learn what occupations are good choices in today's economy when you don't hold a degree.

Unfortunately for those who have them, a college degree does not guarantee a well-paying job, or in fact, any job at all. The job market fluctuates, and what was in demand ten years ago may not be in demand today. Where people choose to live may also determine their employment opportunities. How can you compete in the workplace if you do not have a degree? After all, there are many people with advanced degrees who are working in coffee shops, or otherwise underemployed.

Having a concrete, marketable skill seems to be the key to occupational success. If you have or can obtain some training in a specific area, and choose the right occupation, you can make more money than many degree holders. There are many occupations that pay $700 a week and more that do not require a degree. Some examples are tool and die makers, electrical power installers, telephone line installers and repairers, construction supervisors, firefighters and computer programmers. Some of these occupations, such as that of firefighter or telephone line installers, offer on the job training. Others, such as computer programming, you can teach yourself. You can also take continuing education courses through your local community college. Of course, with supervisory positions, you will need to spend some time working at a lower wage and thoroughly learning your trade. Depending on where you live, and how far you advance in your field, you can make upwards of $1000 per week in these positions.

Other jobs that an average at least $500 per week are mechanics, carpenters, electricians, mail carriers, managers in the hotel or restaurant industry, equipment operators, plumbers, police officer and real estate agents. Sales representatives for wholesalers, vehicles and financial services also do quite well financially.

If you are looking at a career change, you will probably need to get training in the area that you are interested in. Before you invest money in classes or time completing an apprenticeship, find out if the job you are interested in is projected to grow over the next several years. Another thing you want to look at is the projected growth for the industry that you are interested in. Jobs that are currently experiencing an increase in demand are truck drivers, computer programmers, mechanics, police officers and jobs in the health care industry. It is best to talk to a local community college counselor about these things, rather than individuals at some of the independent schools that operate for a profit. People often sell education like any other product, and you may not get the complete profile of what the job market in your area will look like in the future.

An advantage to getting a job that requires a concrete skill is that you are most likely getting more than a job. You may receive health and life insurance, 401K benefits, sick leave and vacation time. A good health insurance policy alone can easily cost more than $600 every month if you buy it for yourself, so you should factor this into your wages. Basically, if you are making $2400 a month, and you have benefits, you can add another $700 or so onto the figure that shows up on your check.

One mistake that many women make is not taking a closer look at some of these fields, which can be male-dominated. It is just as easy for a woman to learn computer programming or how to install a telephone line as it is for a man. If you are woman, you may be breaking a stereotype, but it is one worth going up against if you want to attain a higher wage.

If you want to make even more money, go to work for yourself. Regardless of what your field of expertise may be, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, and work your connections until you have plenty of business. As long as the market continues to support your quality product or service, you should do well for yourself if you have the initiative. There are many mechanics, plumbers and electricians who make very good money, as you may have noticed when your car has broken down or your house has needed repairs.

Do not be discouraged if you do not have a degree. Get the training that you need to get a better paying job. By choosing a job that requires a specific skill, you are guaranteed to have your services in demand. Years of advanced formal schooling are not for everyone, and if you do not want to get a degree, you will save a lot of time and money by taking a few courses to learn the skill that will land you a bigger paycheck.

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