Top 15 best jobs that don’t require a college degree

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Top 15 best jobs that don’t require a college degree
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For most people, the dividing line between earning a good income and earning a great income is a college degree. It gives you more earning potential over time, and college graduates are also less likely to be unemployed than those who only earned a high school diploma.

However, there are still plenty of great job opportunities for people who never completed college!

After analyzing 183 jobs across 12 different industries and categories, U.S. News recently released its Best Jobs rankings — revealing the best jobs that offer high pay, great work-life balance and low unemployment.

While some of these jobs may require special training or certification, these are the best opportunities that do not require a college degree. 

Top 15 best jobs that don’t require a college degree

15. Home health aide

  • Average annual salary: $22,400
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 38%
  • Typical education needed: Most have a high school diploma, but it is not required; special on-the-job training & certification are required.

14. Computer support specialist

  • Average annual salary: $67,260
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 12% 
  • Typical education needed: Some employers may require a postsecondary degree or certification, while others assess candidates based on competency and customer service skills.

13. Clinical laboratory technician

  • Average annual salary: $41,420
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 18%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

12. Hearing aid specialist

  • Average annual salary: $52,850
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 27%
  • Typical education needed: Academic degree in hearing instrument fitting and dispensing; Or, you can get on-the-job training along with a self-led distance learning course offered through the International Hearing Society.

11. Radiation therapist

  • Average annual salary: $84,460
  • Expected job openings:
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree or 12-month certification program.

10. Optician

  • Average annual salary: $36,820
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 24%
  • Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent

Read more: 20 highest-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree

9. Cardiovascular technologist

  • Average annual salary: $56,100
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 22%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

8. Occupational therapy aide

  • Average annual salary: $31,090
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 31%
  • Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent

7. Massage therapist

  • Average annual salary: $43,170
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 22%
  • Typical education needed: Postsecondary nondegree award

6. Physical therapist assistant

  • Average annual salary: $55,250
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 41%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

5. Respiratory therapist

  • Average annual salary: $59,640
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 12%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

4. Dental hygienist

  • Average annual salary: $72,720
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 19%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

3. Web developer

  • Average annual salary: $70,660
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 27%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

2. Diagnostic medical sonographer

  • Average annual salary: $70,880
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 26%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

1. Occupational therapy assistant

  • Average annual salary: $58,340
  • Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 43%
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

See the full list here.

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Alex Thomas Sadler About the author:
Alex is the former Managing Editor of Clark.com.
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