20 Good Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
high school diploma jobs

With all the debate surrounding the value of a college degree these days, many young workers and their parents may be glad to hear there are many well paying jobs that don't require higher education.

CareerCast.com recently identified 20 good jobs that need only a high-school diploma, although they do require some additional training. The job-portal didn't rely just on salary to compile its list. It used five sets of criteria to assess the quality of the careers, assigning points to each measure. Those with the lowest overall score achieved the highest rankings and vice versa.

The criteria included such things as how physically demanding a job was (jobs that require frequent and heavy lifting scored less desirably than those with little or none), as well as emotional factors, such as competitiveness, potential hazards and the amount of contact with the public, and stress.

CareerCast also looked at potential for income and employment growth (for the decade ending 2020) and how much mid-level workers earned in their respective fields.

At first blush, some jobs that made CareerCast's list may not appear to be great choices, with starting wages at around $16,000 a year -- only slightly more than minimum wage.

But CareerCast says each of the jobs fares well overall, at least according to its criteria. "If salary is lagging, the other aspects of the job make up for it," says CareerCast.com Publisher Tony Lee.

And it bears mentioning that when compared to jobs in Careercast's overall Jobs Rated rankings, which includes positions that require a college degree, these jobs don't rank as well.

That's one reason career experts aren't so quick to dismiss the value of a college education despite the rapid rise in tuition and other costs in recent years. Though a college degree doesn't guarantee employment, college graduates overall have lower rates of unemployment than those with less education.

Further, statistics routinely show that having a college degree substantially increases earning power -- an average $1 million during a lifetime.

Still, Lee says, "If you want to earn a lot of money without a college degree, take a look at the amount of training you'll need, then focus on a job that can still provide a satisfying, comfortable career."

Check out CareerCast.com's list of 20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree:


1. Dental Hygenist

Average Starting Salary: $45,000
Income Growth: 109 percent
Employment Growth: 37.7 percent

2. Online Sales Manager

Average Starting Salary: $40,000
Income Growth: 255 percent
Employment Growth: 25 percent

3. Web Developer

Average Starting Salary: $43,000
Income Growth: 179 percent
Employment Growth: 21.7 percent

4. Medical Secretary

Average Starting Salary: $21,000
Income Growth: 114 percent
Employment Growth: 41.3 percent

5. Paralegal Assistant

Average Starting Salary: $29,000
Income Growth: 159 percent
Employment Growth: 18.3 percent

6. Stenographer/Court Reporter

Average Starting Salary: $26,000
Income Growth: 250 percent
Employment Growth: 14.1 percent

7. Heating/Refrigeration Mechanic

Average Starting Salary: $26,000
Income Growth: 158 percent
Employment Growth: 33.7 percent

8. Surveyor

Average Starting Salary: $31,000
Income Growth: 190 percent
Employment Growth: 25.4 percent

9. Executive Assistant

Average Starting Salary: $29,000
Income Growth: 131 percent
Employment Growth: 12.6 percent

10. Insurance Agent

Average Starting Salary: $26,000
Income Growth: 342 percent
Employment Growth: 21.9 percent

11. Industrial Machine Repairer

Average Starting Salary: $30,000
Income Growth: 127 percent
Employment Growth: 21.6 percent

12. Cosmetologist

Average Starting Salary: $16,000
Income Growth: 163 percent
Employment Growth: 15.7 percent

13. Hair Stylist

Average Starting Salary: $16,000
Income Growth: 163 percent
Employment Growth: 15.7 percent

14. Tax Examiner/Collector

Average Starting Salary: $30,000
Income Growth: 207 percent
Employment Growth: 7.3 percent

15. Sales Representative (Wholesale)

Average Starting Salary: $27,000
Income Growth: 304 percent
Employment Growth: 15.6 percent
16. Construction Machinery Operator

Average Starting Salary: $26,000
Income Growth: 173 percent
Employment Growth: 23.5 percent

17. Electrical Technician

Average Starting Salary: $34,000
Income Growth: 138 percent
Employment Growth: 1.9 percent

18. Architectural Drafter

Average Starting Salary: $30,000
Income Growth: 140 percent
Employment Growth: 3.2 percent

19. Teacher's Aide

Average Starting Salary: $17,000
Income Growth: 112 percent
Employment Growth: 14.8 percent

20. Sewage Plant Operator

Average Starting Salary: $25,000
Income Growth: 156 percent
Employment Growth: 11.6 percent


Why College Costs Too Much



Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now


More From AOL Jobs

Read Full Story

People are Reading