16 Careers That Don't Require a 4 Year Degree

Posted on October 26, 2005

The Career Journal has an article about 16 careers that do not require a college degree. Here are the 16 careers paying more than $25,000 a year that do not require a four-year degree from a Jobs for the Future report.
  • Registered nurse, $48,090
  • Customer-service representative, $26,240
  • Sales representative (in nontechnical wholesale and manufacturing), $42,730
  • Truck driver, heavy and tractor-trailer, $33,210
  • Maintenance and repair worker, general, $29,370
  • Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk, $27,380
  • Executive secretary and administrative assistant, $33,410
  • Secretary (not legal, medical and executive), $25,290
  • Carpenter, $34,190
  • Automotive-service technician and mechanic, $30,590
  • Police and sheriff's patrol officer, $42,270
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse, $31,440
  • Electrician, $41,390
  • All other sales and related workers, $35,170
  • Computer-support specialist, $39,100
  • Plumber, pipefitter and steamfitter, $40,170
  • The good news is that there are careers that do not require a college degree. The bad news is that none of these careers pay more than $45,000 a year according to the report. A PDF file containing the full JFF report can be found here. The Career Journal said not having a four-year degree can have a major impact on one's earning potential.
    These days, that lack of a college degree is likelier to mean a steep hit to earnings. "Increasingly, the days of blue-collar jobs that have lower educational and skill requirements but pay an outstanding wage are disappearing," said Jerry Rubin, vice president of Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit research group that works with foundations and federal and state agencies to create job training programs.