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5 Well-Paying Jobs Where You Don't Need a College Degree

While having a college degree is still better for you in the long-term, that doesn’t mean you absolutely have to have one in order to start working at a well-paying job. One of the advantages of skipping the college degree and getting straight into work is you don’t have to deal with tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, leaving you free to start earning profit right away. And with graduates carrying an average debt load of $26,000 to $29,000, why worry about owing back a starter year’s salary when you can keep that money in your pocket instead?

Dental Hygienist

Instead of having to go through dental school, write a two-part exam, and then spend hundreds of thousands in setting up your equipment, dive right in to the industry and starting pulling in a paycheck right away. The job growth in this sector is incredible, but not nearly as good as your potential income growth. Baby boomers are retiring en masse, which means they’ll need your services more than ever.


  • Income average: $68,000 a year
  • Employment growth: 37.0%
  • Income growth: 109%

    Web Developer

    Whether you work as a freelancer, for a small business, or under the government’s umbrella, you’ll be programming web pages. While colleges do teach this sort of thing, it’s easily the kind of information you can be learning on your own. In fact, going this route is exactly what really smart people have done: they figure instead of spending money, they’ll just learn what’s already out there for free.


  • Income average: $76,000 a year
  • Employment growth: 21.7%
  • Income growth: 179%

    Paralegal Assistant

    In the legal world, lawyers are like the doctors, paralegals are nurse practitioners, and paralegal assistants are like registered practical nurses. You’re still involved in jurisprudence and make a big impact every day, but you don’t have to worry about the stress and finances of law school. Working as a paralegal assistant means you’ll be helping your paralegal prepare for trials and cases, but won’t have to handle all the heavy stuff.


  • Income average: $47,000 a year
  • Employment growth: 18.30%
  • Income growth: 159%


    Working outside in the beautiful weather, mapping out what a city looks like and who lives there, and establishing maps and boundaries — this job is essentially the paper version of Google Maps. You may not get to drive around in a recognizable vehicle like Google’s, but with the income and perks you’ll be making, you can buy yourself a cooler one.


  • Income average: $55,000 a year
  • Employment growth: 25.40%
  • Income growth: 190%

    Insurance Agent

    Jut as with being a dental hygienist, your job will put you in line with a huge baby boomer population retiring and needing your services. You’ll be in charge of making sure people have security and peace of mind, and there’s no shortage of fields you can work in: auto, home, healthcare, and more. You may need to get certifications and/or licenses (depending on what your state calls for), but you can skip past the college line and head directly to “Go” to pick up a paycheck.


  • Income average: $47,000 a year
  • Employment growth: 21.90%
  • Income growth: 342%


    Friday, August 7, 2015 11:49 PM
    The information given about a dental hygienist is inaccurate. My daughter has been a dental hygienist for 9 or 10 years. She had to go to college for two years. I was amazed how hard it was to become a hygienist. She had to know more about the body than a nursing student did. One would think she would have only had to know about the mouth and teeth. Eventually one would probably work up to $68,000 after several years. The info was not accurate. You cannot just jump into it unless some states don't require a college degree. It would scare me to have a hygienist that did not go to college.

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