10 Awesome Careers You Don’t Need a College Degree for

College isn’t for everyone and we understand that. Some people want to join the work force right after earning their high school diploma or their GED. Some people simply can’t afford going to college. There are plenty of jobs you can get without earning a college degree. All of the careers listed below are careers you don’t need a college degree for. All of the careers below have projected job growth from 2014-2024.

Water Transportation Worker:

A water transportation worker will help operate and maintain ships that transport cargo and people. These workers may be working on big cargo ships that sail across the ocean, or on cruise ships and help maintain the ship. Being on a ship means that you will be spending chunks of time away from home and you must be prepared to face the elements when out on the sea. There is no college degree required except that you have a high school diploma or a GED, but there are certain certifications that most companies require, like the Transportation Worker Identification Credential or a Merchant Marine Credential.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $55,000 per year
# of jobs in 2014 78,500
Job outlook 2014-2024 9 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 7,200

 

Flight Attendant:

A flight attendant is a person on a commercial airline that helps guests prepare for takeoff, provides services, such as food or drink, and is capable of helping out in case of an emergency. Flight attendants work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Airlines have flights every day of the year. There is no college degree required except that you have a high school diploma or a GED, but there are certain certifications they receive through their airline.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $44,860 per year
# of jobs in 2014 97,900
Job outlook 2014-2024 2 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 2,200


Firefighter:

A firefighter does what the title says, they put out fires! They also respond to emergencies where people, property or the environment is at risk. Being a firefighter has its risks but can be a very rewarding career by helping protect the community. Firefighters typically work 24 hour shifts and remain on call while at the fire station. All that is needed is a high school diploma or a GED. Most firefighter go to a fire academy to receive all their certifications and to become qualified for the job.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $46,870 per year
# of jobs in 2014 327,300
Job outlook 2014-2024 5 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 17,400

 

Corrections Officer:

Corrections officers are responsible for watching over people in jail or people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. Security must be provided for 24 hours at a jail so corrections officers can expect to work at all different times of the day. Depending on your state, all you need is a high school diploma or a GED, and you can enter a training academy and then you will be assigned for “on-the-job” training.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $40,580 per year
# of jobs in 2014 474,800
Job outlook 2014-2024 4 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 17,900

 

Plumber, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters:

Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters install or repair pipes. These pipes carry liquids or gases to and from homes, businesses, and factories. You may work in factories, homes or businesses, it just depends on where you are needed. You are often called on for emergencies so you will be “on call” a lot. Some plumbers, pipefitter and steamfitters learn through apprenticeships, while others attend a vocational school after high school.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $50,620 per year
# of jobs in 2014 425,000
Job outlook 2014-2024 12 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 49,100

Electrician

Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power. This includes communications, lighting, and control systems. This is a big job field because every business, home or factory has electricity! Electricians work in all environments, indoors and outdoors. Most electricians learn through an apprenticeship but others may learn through attending a vocational school after high school. Most states require you to be licensed.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $51,880 per year
# of jobs in 2014 628,800
Job outlook 2014-2024 14 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 85,900


Boilermaker
:

Let’s start off with what a boiler is: A boiler is a closed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated. A boilermaker is anyone who assembles, installs, or repairs boilers. A lot of boilermakers must travel to a worksite and be away from home for periods at a time. Most boilermakers learn through an apprenticeship, but are also able to go to a vocational school and learn welding skills and then enter a boilermaker training program.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $60,120 per year
# of jobs in 2014 17,400
Job outlook 2014-2024 9 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 1,500


Elevator Installer and Repairer:

This is such a niche job that not many people think about this. The job description is in the title. You will be installing elevators and other lifts, while also maintain these things. The cool thing about this job is with all the new construction, this job is expecting great job growth. Nearly all elevator installers learn through an apprenticeship and there are currently 35 states that require you to be licensed.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $80,870 per year
# of jobs in 2014 20,700
Job outlook 2014-2024 13 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 2,700


Ironworkers
:

An ironworker is anyone who works with iron, either installing it or reinforcing it. They will usually be working on bridges, building and roads. This job is physically demanding and involves working at great heights sometimes.  Most ironworkers learn through an apprenticeship. A certification in welding, rigging, or signaling may be helpful for candidates who are looking to enter the field.

Statistics:

2015 median pay $49,970 per year
# of jobs in 2014 80,100
Job outlook 2014-2024 9 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 7,100


Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers:

If you are a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver you have to like driving. This job involves transporting goods from one location to another and driving all over the country. This is a huge lifestyle choice as you may be away from home and family for weeks at a time. A high school diploma or GED is required as well as a commercial driving license (CDL).

Statistics:

2015 median pay $40,260 per year
# of jobs in 2014 1,797,700
Job outlook 2014-2024 5 % growth
# of new jobs from 2014-2024 98,800

These are only a couple of options if you are interested in joining the work force right after high school. As you can see, these jobs have pretty good median salaries. One thing to keep in mind is that the figure given for pay is the median number. It is not the highest you may be able to earn, nor the lowest. Another key thing to look at is the # of jobs and expected job growth. All of the occupations on this list are expecting job growth these next 10 years.

*Stats from Bureau of Labor Statistics

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