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5 High-Paying Careers That Don't Require a 4-Year College Degree

Nurses with high-paying jobs

Why do students graduating from high school go to college? The answer seems simple: to get a better-paying job. And they are correct. For the most part. But a four-year college program is not for everyone, especially low-income students who just can't afford it. The good news is that there are other options for poor students to get a high-paying job without a four-year degree.

Other options that lead to high-paying jobs

This does not mean that students can jump into a high-paying job right out of high school. What is does mean is that if they are willing to work hard and train, they can land a job that pays well. A recent evaluation of other career options by career-guidance website CareerCast revealed plenty of programs available for students that pay up to $70,000+ a year. Here are 10 to consider, along with estimated salary potential.
  • Commercial pilot/ $73,280 - a commercial pilot does not transport passengers but can learn to fly aircraft for charter flights, rescue operations, firefighting, and aerial photography through a licensing and certification program.
  • Farming/ $69,300 - a farmer or rancher basically learns on-the-job, but there are government programs that offer future farmers training opportunities that can lead to land and farm management.
  • Nurse/ $65,470 - the highest salary is paid to registered nurses and requires a bachelor's degree, but there are other nursing fields that require an associate’s degree in nursing, or certification from an accredited nursing program.
  • Web developer/ $62,500 - technology is a hot field, and a web developer who knows HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other coding techniques, and has graphic design skills, can make good money as a web developer with an associate's degree.
  • Retail buyer/ $60,550 - a retail buyer can work into this career, starting out of high school, by achieving certification levels. This includes a Certified Purchasing Professional and Certified Professional Purchasing Manager credential, which can be earned while on-the-job.

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