The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Your senior year of high school is both stressful and fun. It signals the arrival of adulthood and forces teens to pick a career path that requires a momentous decision. Do you pick a career that involves college, or do you choose a job that doesn’t require a degree?
While you may feel pressured to apply to universities for the next phase of your life, there are many employment careers, such as police officers and security guards, that don’t require a degree. These jobs are just as important as some that require extensive education. Here’s a look at some great careers you can do without a college degree. Also note, many of these positions require some type of additional training or education.
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1. Security Guard
A career path in the security industry is an excellent job to consider. Security guards get to work in a variety of businesses, universities and medical facilities. They provide security to businesses by monitoring alarms and the property they’re hired to protect. They’re an extra layer of security for facilities around the world and protect businesses from theft, vandalism and other crimes.
There is some additional training required, and you might have to purchase your own equipment such as a durable pair of security guard shoes and a utility belt. Some private companies and agencies may also require you to purchase your security uniforms based on the locations where you work. While there may be some costs upfront, security guard positions are secure jobs with stable paychecks.
The average salary for a security guard is $29, 710 per year and gaming surveillance officers make approximately $34,190 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gaming surveillance officers are security guard positions that require a little more training.
2. Police Officer
Most law enforcement agencies don’t require police officers to have a college degree. Law enforcement officers patrol communities, enforce laws, investigate traffic crashes, stop crimes and much more.
While police officers have powers of arrest, most security guards do not. Being a police officer is a great career choice that presents plenty of opportunities to advance. On the job training is the best education for police officers.
In 2019, the median salary for police officers was $65,170 but many make more than or less than that.
3. Ophthalmic Medical Technician
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Ophthalmic Medical Technicians is $36,940. These technicians assist ophthalmologists by administering eye medications and exams. They also help teach patients to learn how to use contacts as well as clean and care for them. There is some on the job training, and some end up taking college classes, but it’s not a requirement at this time.
The push for university degrees over the past couple of decades has decreased the number of young people working in traditional trades like plumbing. Yet, the need for these trades hasn’t decreased. The median pay for a plumber is $55, 160 per year.
Plumbers work in factories, businesses, homes and other facilities to fix plumbing systems and fixtures. Plumbers often need to work a daylight shift but are usually on call on the weekends and evenings, responding to emergency plumbing issues.
It’s a lucrative position that doesn’t require a college degree. However, you will need on the job training in the form of education and an apprenticeship.
If you like the medical field, a phlebotomist might be the perfect job for you. This position doesn’t require a college degree, but most aspiring phlebotomists must enter a program for training and earn a certification.
Phlebotomists are needed everywhere and primarily work in diagnostic and medical laboratories for blood donors, doctors’ offices and hospitals. They draw blood for blood donations, transfusions, tests and research. Phlebotomists make a median salary of $35, 510 in the United States.
6. Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are in high demand and don’t require a Bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that these jobs have a median salary of $38,660. Dental assistants take x-rays, schedule appointments, provide patient care and maintain records.
Most of these assistants work full-time and training depends on the state you work in. Many states require that you train and pass an ACC exam. It’s a great job for someone who doesn’t want to go to college.
7. Massage Therapist
Massage therapists can make an excellent salary plus tips. The median salary is $41,420 per year, and these positions don’t require a college degree.
Massage therapists complete a training program and usually need to obtain a license depending on where you work. If you choose this career, you’ll use your arms and hands to help people ease tension and relax. It can be a rewarding job and doesn’t keep you tied to a desk.
8. Personal Care Aide
Personal care aides, also known as home health aides, are always in demand. They take care of the elderly and people with disabilities. This career choice can be a stepping stone to other careers in the medical field and doesn’t require a degree. The average salary in the U.S. is $24,020.
Personal care aides help people with daily tasks that they can’t do on their own. The only requirement these aides usually need is a high school diploma.
9. Medical Records Technician
If you’re organized and like working in an office setting, then a medical records technician may be the best job for you. They require certification but no bachelor’s degree. Medical records technicians translate medical treatments, procedures and diagnoses into clinical codes for billing purposes. The average pay is $40,350 per year. If you don’t mind working on a computer all day and love administrative tasks, a medical technician is a great professional career.
These are just several careers out there that don’t require a college degree. There are plenty of positions for those who don’t want to go to a university right after high school or want to delay college. There’s no shame in not wanting to attend college because the world is filled with great jobs you can do without a degree.
Some may require a little extra training and education but they don’t require years of dedication. Maybe you want to work a little before you choose a university to attend or a specific career path. If so, any of these careers would make a great job choice.