These good-paying jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree

Personal Finance


For many Americans, well-paying jobs that don’t require at least four years of college can seem scarce.

The median annual income for workers with an associate’s degree, which generally takes two years to complete, is $42,590, according to 2016 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People with a high school diploma bring in $35,990 annually; non-diploma workers have even lower earnings at $26,210.

All of those salaries are below the median weekly pay for the nation’s 113.4 million full-time workers: As of June 30 of this year, that was $859, which translates into $44,668 annually.

By comparison, a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years to complete, comes with a median annual salary of $60,110. Advanced degrees often bring even more.

And while Census Bureau data released earlier this year shows that 33.4 percent of Americans age 25 or older have earned a bachelor’s (or more advanced) degree — the highest rate it’s ever been — it nevertheless means the best-paying jobs are generally out of reach for 66.6 percent of workers.

A new report from jobs site CareerCast shows positions that come with decent pay and a good growth outlook without requiring a bachelor’s degree.

“We wanted to showcase some of the opportunities out there that for the many Americans without a [four-year] college degree,” said Kyle Kensing, online editor at Careercast.



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