A worrying trend has been cementing itself into the fabric of our society. The general population is increasingly experiencing a growing anxiety regarding the rising costs of education and the ever-present student-owned debt. When considered in the context of a shrinking financial market and diminished job availability, the urgency of the issue becomes readily apparent. As a result, the perceived value of university-level education and a university degree have taken a substantial plunge.
The latest statistics, from the USA, place the average tuition cost of an academic year in an in-state public university at around $ 10,000 and over $25,000 for out-of-state students. Once you factor in room and board, books and supplies, costs of transportation, and various other fees, the total cost of an academic year at a public university can reach upwards of $40,000 for an on-campus out-of-state student.
Now, if we consider that only about 30% of the student population can complete his or her degree in 4 years, we can quickly ascertain that the average cost of an undergraduate degree is higher than $100,000! In addition, we find that graduates habitually experience years of “lost” income due to the repayment of interest-inflated student loans. Also exacerbating the issue further is the fact that graduating with a university degree no longer offers the graduate any assurance of ever landing a high-paying job or having a bright future.
With so many people becoming aware that the rising costs of earning an undergraduate’s degree are not always worth the investment or effort, we have to ask ourselves if there are viable alternatives. Fortunately, the answer to that question is yes. There are varied and diverse job alternatives to a college education. Many of them even offer salaries that compete with the most sought-after and exclusive college degrees.
If you are one of the millions of people debating whether college is the right direction to take, then read on and search for a position afterward from these 20 high paying jobs that require little or no certification or degree:
POSTAL SERVICE WORKERS: A typical day for a postal service worker will involve selling postal products and collecting, sorting, and delivering mail across the city. On average a postal service employee will earn around $57,000 a year.
MASONS: Masons will use bricks, concrete, and natural stone to build and repair walls, fences, and various other masonry structures. It is hard work, but it is projected to grow faster than average and can earn you, on average, around $43,000 per year.
FOOD SERVICE MANAGERS: Food Service managers exert direct control over restaurant staff to ensure that customers leave satisfied. Not everyone has what it takes to assume the responsibility for the operation of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food; however, the right attitude, a high school diploma, and a few years in the food service industry can be enough to net you $52,000 a year.
LINE INSTALLERS: Also known as Line Workers, these men are entrusted to install and repair electrical power and telecommunication cables or “lines.” The job is hazardous, and workers often deal with high-voltage electricity at substantial heights, but they are well compensated and on average earn around $64,000 a year. A high school diploma is typically all that is required to begin training.
IRONWORKERS: These men are responsible for installing the structural iron and steel frames that give shape and support buildings, bridges, and roads. Employment opportunities for ironworkers are expected to grow faster than the national average for all occupations, and they typically earn around $51,000 a year while only requiring a high school diploma.
YARDMASTERS: Yardmasters are in charge of coordinating railroad yard crews. Typical railroad traffic operations such as enacting switching orders and ensuring adherence to a schedule are the bread and butter of this job. Yardmasters earn, on average, $63,000 per year.
REAL ESTATE BROKERS: If you like helping people, have a knack for selling, and would like to be your own boss; real estate broker might be the perfect job for you. As a licensed real estate broker you will help clients buy, sell, or rent real estate properties. Pass a licensing test and earn, on average, $56,000 per year.
CHEMICAL PLANT SYSTEMS OPERATOR: As the name implies these guys control and operate entire systems of machines in the chemical processing industry. Surprisingly only a high school diploma is required to begin training, and you can earn up to $90,000 per year.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT OPERATOR: This is a typical government sector job that comes with government sector perks. Water treatment plant operators are responsible for managing systems of machines to treat and transfer wastewater. A high school diploma and a license will be required to work. Expect to earn, on average, $46,000 per year.
DETECTIVE: If you can handle stress well and love to problem solve, a detective might just be the job for you. As a detective, you will gather facts and collect evidence to solve crimes and apprehend suspects. Extensive on-the-job training is to be expected. On average, a detective will earn around $60,000 a year.
DENTAL HYGIENIST: Dental hygienists get close and personal with patient’s mouths in order to clean teeth and examine them for signs of oral diseases. An associate’s degree is typically needed to become a dental hygienist and expected income lies around $74,000 a year.
ELECTRICIANS: Enjoy one of the most versatile fields of work and nearly limitless job opportunities when you become an electrician. As an electrician, you will be installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical power systems in residential and industrial settings. Earn upwards of $54,000 a year after only a short apprenticeship.
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT OPERATORS: If you don’t mind getting dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty and working occasional night shifts, a job as a construction equipment operator might suit you. As an operator, you will drive and control heavy machinery used in various construction projects. Average salary lies around $46,000 a year.
BOILER OPERATORS: You will control engines, boilers, and other equipment in industrial facilities related to the manufacturing and government sectors. Boiler operators typically work shifts and earn $59,000 per year.
BAILIFFS: Bailiffs have substantial responsibility in overseeing citizens who have been arrested and await trial. Bailiffs also maintain order and enforce the law inside courtrooms. Expect to earn $43,000 a year.
CLAIM ADJUSTER: These guys evaluate the veracity of various insurance claims and then decide whether the claim must be paid. Expect to earn at least $64,000 a year.
POWER PLANT OPERATORS: As a power plant operator you will control the flow of electricity from generator plants to the substations that later distribute it to homes and businesses. The average salary is around $80,000 per year.Advertisement
MEDICAL SONOGRAPHER: With just an Associate’s degree you can earn upwards of $65,000 a year by doing diagnostic imaging. You will operate specialized machinery that creates images to help physicians diagnose various medical conditions.
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN: Pharmacy technicians are assigned to assist pharmacists to distribute prescriptions to patients and health professionals. The average salary is $31,000 per year.
TRAVEL AGENT: If you are a talented salesman consider becoming a travel agent. With little technical training you can begin selling transportation and lodging to customers planning trips. Expect to earn around $36,000 a year as a travel agent.