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Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

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A college education is often thought to be the key to financial success. After all, a typical full-time worker with a bachelor's degree earns about two-thirds more than a worker with just a high school diploma. No wonder many young people feel compelled to dig themselves deep into student-loan debt for a shot at a brighter future. Among the 68% of 2015 college grads who borrowed money to pay for school, the average amount owed was $30,100, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

But making an expensive investment in your education isn't the only way to get ahead professionally. Indeed, says Josh Wright of labor market research firm Economic Modeling Specialists International, "we're seeing a lot of job opportunities come up for folks across the educational spectrum."

SEE ALSO: 10 Best Jobs for Your Future


After analyzing data for 785 occupations, we pinpointed 11 mostly well-paying jobs in expanding fields that don't require a college degree. All of these professions call for some additional training, certification or work experience to get started—and in truth, having a college degree could boost your competitive advantage and earnings potential—but none requires a bachelor's to ensure career success.

Unless otherwise noted, all employment data was provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), a labor market research firm owned by CareerBuilder. EMSI collects data from more than 90 federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of jobs listed for each occupation is for 2016. Projected ten-year job growth figures represent the percentage change in the total number of jobs in an occupation between 2016 and 2026. Annual earnings were calculated by multiplying median hourly earnings by 2,080, the standard number of hours worked in a year by a full-time employee. Jobs are listed in order of median annual pay, starting with the highest.


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