$50K To $75K A Year, No 4-Year Degree Required

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Want a good job? Better get a four-year degree -- at least. That's been the standard advice for decades. But that's not necessarily true. As WCPO-TV reports, the right two-year associate's degree, or even one-year certificate, can get you into a career that pays from $50,000 to $75,000 a year.

For example, a number of healthcare jobs that pay well require some technical training but not the amount a doctor needs. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians made a median wage of $60,350 and required only an associate's degree. Nuclear medicine technologists saw median income of $70,180. Radiation therapists made $77,560, while radiologic and MRI technologists brought home $55,910. You can even become a registered nurse at $65,470 with only a two-year degree, although a full bachelor's is common. Respiratory therapists make $55,870.

You might not even need a two-year degree. Boilermakers, with a median pay of $56,560, needed only a high school degree or equivalent. The same is true for electricians ($49,840); elevator installers and repairers ($76,650); and plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters ($49,140), although you clearly will need specialized training that a community college or technical school could offer.

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians must go through FAA-approved training to work on aircraft and make $55,230. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers have a median income of $51,220. Line installers and repairers get $58,210, while telecom technicians are paid $54,530.

Web developers only need an associate's degree and were paid $62,500 in 2012. And while computer programmers have typically had a bachelor's degree, and a median income of $74,280, there are programming boot camps that can get teach you what you need in a matter of weeks, as AOL Jobs has reported.

Not only can you get into jobs that actually have some demand, but you can largely pass by the average school loan debt of $25,550 for public colleges, $32,300 for private non-profit, and $39,950 for private for-profit, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.
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