5 Well Paying Careers that Don’t Require a College Degree
It’s no question that education is both beneficial and important. However, not every student thrives in the classroom. Fortunately, not every well-paying career requires employees to have a four-year degree. If the traditional schooling system is not your forte or the idea of racking up debt is not enticing, here’s our list of five well-paying careers that don’t require a college degree.
Nursing Assistant and Orderly
Annual salary/Hourly wage: $25,710 a year/$12.36 an hour
Nursing assistants and orderlies may perform similar tasks, however nursing assistants receive more education and certification than orderlies. Nursing assistants act primarily as a caregiver to patients. They bathe and feed patients as well as tend to all the needs of a registered nurse. Orderlies fill in the gaps needed at healthcare facilities and perform tasks from helping patients move about the facility to working in the ER to cleaning equipment and stocking supplies. While it is possible to become a nursing assistant without formal education, it is more common to receive certification before being employed.
There are several ways to gain certification, from online courses to a bachelor’s degree. Timing to become certified can range from 4-12 weeks for State-approved programs and a couple of years for a more traditional schooling route. Orderlies are often trained by hospitals or other healthcare facilities. However, most are required to at least obtain BLS certification.
Medical Coding and Billing Specialists
Annual salary/Hourly wage: $37,110 a year/$17.84 an hour
Also known as medical records and health information technicians or simply health information technicians, these individuals are required to organize and manage health information data. This includes coding and categorizing patient information as well as facilitating proper billing of insurance companies and patients.
Becoming a medical coding and billing specialist requires a certain set of skills. However, there are several medical billing and coding classes online for individuals to enroll in. These courses provide students with the skills necessary to be a medical coding and billing specialist within a short amount of time.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Annual salary/Hourly wage: $54,520 a year/$26.21 an hour
An Occupational therapy assistant (which is different than an occupational therapy aid) works under the direction of a physical therapist to carry out a treatment plan that helps patients recover from injuries. They assist patients with building strength and improving muscle function through stretches and other exercises. Occupational therapy assistants can also direct specialized play activities for children who have developmental disabilities to help promote coordination and socialization.
In order to work directly with patients, occupational therapy assistants must receive a formal education and gain a license to practice. This requires graduation from an accredited OT or OTA educational program and passing the licensing examination. Occupational therapy assistants should also gain BLS certification in case any emergencies arise.
Postal Service Workers
Annual salary/Hourly wage: $56,790 a year/$27.30 an hour
Postal service workers collect, sort, and deliver mail. To become a postal service worker only requires a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. This industry offers a low risk environment, with postal service clerks, mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators working indoors while mail carriers work outdoors delivering mail.
It is expected to see available job openings for postal service workers to decline over the next few years. However, due to the minimal education requirements and high compensation, a career in the postal service industry is still worth pursuing.
Annual salary/Hourly wage: $72,330 a year/$34.77 an hour
A dental hygienist works alongside dentists, orthodontists, and other dental professionals cleaning the teeth of patients. In addition to cleaning teeth, they take x-rays of patient’s jaws, assess a patient’s oral health, and educate patients on dental hygiene. To become a dental hygienist you must have an associates degree in dental hygiene or receive equivalent education from an approved trade school program.
Even though the path to become a dental hygienist requires some formal training, the job outlook for this occupation makes this career a great option. The available positions for dental hygienists are expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. The combination of a positive job outlook, high compensation, and low risk environment makes being a dental hygienist a great career.