Most people believe that in order to be successful you need to go to school, graduate, attend a good college, get your degree and start building your career from there. While it is possible that a college degree gives you some form of job security, it does not guarantee success. Contrary to popular belief, you can have a rich career and get high-paying jobs without a college degree or some kind of incredible talent.
A lot of professions do not require a college degree as they provide their own training programs, allowing their potential employees to solely focus on everything they need to know for that job specifically. On top of that, many employers today are more inclined to hire people with lots of work experience rather than a four-year degree and no experience.
It is important to remember that a college degree is not the only pathway to success, there are many different alternate paths you can take and still be highly successful. Here is a list of five well-paying jobs that you can get without needing a college degree:
No one said you have to follow the traditional path to become successful and make money, having a 9 to 5 office job is not something you have to do if it’s not for you. You can become an entrepreneur. All you really need is an original idea, the means to produce/execute it, and the spirit, patience, and work ethic to see it take off, and in today’s generation (GenZ), there is no shortage of creative and motivated people.
There is a generalized margin that estimates if a new business survives the first five years of operations it can look forward to a 95-percent success rate, potentially earning hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars every month. There isn’t a rigid estimation of an entrepreneur’s salary as it can vary hugely. Some small business owners can live reasonably comfortably from their profits, but at the same time, some of the wealthiest individuals today are entrepreneurs.
Air Traffic Controller
It might be surprising to hear that air traffic controllers do not need a college degree as it is a very technical, and important job. While you do not need a college degree, air traffic controllers go through extensive training, so if you thought going to college was too much work, you will make up for it during the screening process.
In addition to a lot of training, air traffic controllers also have to go through a thorough and extensive psychological assessment due to the high pressures around this job. This job has very high stakes and is not for the faint of heart, as it requires you to be alert and communicate with pilots to coordinate landings, departures, and altitude changes during the flight.
The overall aim of an air traffic controller’s job is to keep everyone safe and avoid aviation crashes. Because it is such an important job, expect a relatively high salary, on average $150,000 per year.
Real Estate Agent
Even though you can get a college degree in real estate, you don’t necessarily need one. All you really need is to pass the real estate exam and acquire a license, which you can apply for with a high school diploma. Real estate is primarily about people, the things employers look for in real estate is people skills and a good worth ethic.
You need to be friendly, charismatic, approachable, and overall pleasant as you are working with all kinds of people; single people, couples, families, the elderly, etc. In addition, you also have to be very flexible because clients could call you anytime to discuss details, ask questions, or arrange viewings and you need to remain friendly and polite as well as knowledgeable enough to answer questions or advise them in any way they need.
Just as entrepreneurs have a wide range in salary, so do real estate agents. They can make anywhere from $30,000 to $180,000 per year, a lot of that depends on the firm you work for, the area you are in, and the kind of houses you are selling.
Being a firefighter is a highly admired job, as well as many little children’s dream jobs. Firefighters are viewed as heroes, running into burning buildings to save people they don’t know. Even though it is such a high stakes profession, you do not need a college degree to become a firefighter.
To become a certified firefighter, you must apply for, and successfully complete, a training course through a fire academy, which can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, depending on the schedule set by each academy. All firefighter candidates must pass written and physical exams, and on top of that, most departments require firefighters to be certified EMTs. Additional training is always required for specialized teams and assignments, such as water rescue or hazmat operations.
On average, rookie firefighters make around $55,000 annually, which is not bad, but if you can work your way up to an executive position, for example, you could be looking at making 6 figures annually.
It is not unpopular to believe that plumbers are at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to the professional world. Most people will know that you do not need a college degree to become a plumber; instead, you go to a trade school to get a license. While it doesn’t seem all that fancy to be a plumber, it is a very important job that a lot of us take for granted.
We rely heavily on plumbers. Imagine if your pipes caught a leak, or if your shower or toilet was faulty? You would not be able to continue living your life comfortably. You would immediately call a plumber so you can take a shower and flush our toilet again. But simple home repairs are the only things that plumbers do, imagine any building anywhere, they all most likely have pipelines, and plumbers are the only ones who can maintain them.
Also, becoming a plumber is no easy task. You have to go through traffic school and then begin an apprenticeship to get your license. As an apprentice, you receive a minimum of 246 hours of technical education, which includes mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry, as well as up to 2,000 hours of paid, practical training working with an experienced plumber. The average plumber will make anywhere between $45,000 to $70,000 per year.
See? You do not necessarily need to go to college and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a four year degree to still become a successful adult. People generally put a lot of pressure and emphasis on “needing” a college degree however, now you can see that there are plenty of alternative options. This was just an example of five careers that do not require a college degree, but there are plenty of others out there where you can make just as much as the ones mentioned here. There are many ways to live your life and you might find yourself happier, healthier, and more successful when you deviate from the traditional path.