5 Best Career Paths Without a College Degree

Due to the price of obtaining a college degree increasing dramatically, there are many people that are skipping college altogether and going straight into the job market. In the United States alone, more than one-third of adults never attended college. If you didn’t attend college or are a high-schooler that’s thinking about going to the job route before heading to college, here are the five best career paths you can take without a college degree.

1. Executive Assistant

Job Description: An executive assistant tends to help higher-ups in a company keep pace with their hectic schedules throughout the days and months. From making the schedule to taking calls and organizing, executive assistants can end up working around the clock if they’re working for some of the most important people in the world.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for an executive assistant is over $65,000, with the 10th percentile making around $50,000. The top 10 percent of executive assistants are making over $83,000 per year, with those working for top executives earning six figures.

Future Potential: Due to virtual assisting, some executive assistants are being outsourced, so now is the time to pursue this career before the market starts to shrink, according to experts.

2. Police Officer

Job Description: Police officers are expected to uphold the law on a city, county, state, or national level. As first responders, police officers are called upon in the case of an emergency situation. There is a varying level of intensity with this job, as much of it is keeping public safety in order and doing community outreach, while some emergencies can escalate quickly. 

Salary Expectations: The salary of a police officer is a steady one, with a median income of over $61,000. Most police officers are making around this amount, with the bottom 10 percent still making over $50,000 per year while the top 10 percent is making over $72,000.

Future Potential: Police officer jobs are always consistent, and expected to remain at the same level.

3. Electrician

Job Description: Electricians handle a lot of different aspects of the field, doing everything from installing wiring to making repairs in buildings as small as a shed and as large as a skyscraper. Electricians don’t need a college degree, but most go through an apprenticeship to get into the trade as proper training is paramount.

Salary Expectations: An electrician’s salary can vary greatly depending on their experience and range of skills, as well as their contacts/references. Electricians on the lower end are making around $40,000 while the higher end can easily make over $70,000. The median salary for an electrician is over $53,000.

Future Potential: The need for electricians grows every year at a steady rate as the world becomes more dependent on electricity.

4. Plumber

Job Description: Plumbers are a lot like electricians in the fact that they need to have a lot of general knowledge on one broad topic. Plumbers install and repair pipes that carry water within a structure, while also taking care of valves, drainage systems, and much more. At the end of the day, plumbing is a lot more than fixing a toilet.

Salary Expectations: Plumbers are among the highest-paid workers on the list, with the bottom 10 percent still making around $45,000 per year. The median is over $60,000 and the top 10 percent are making over $76,000 per year, showing that’s it’s a stable job.

Future Potential: The need for plumbers isn’t skyrocketing, but is expected to remain steady for years to come.

5. Real Estate Agent

Job Description: A real estate agent acts as the liaison between a home seller and a home buyer, usually packing a busy schedule where they conduct home viewings and take people through the entire process of a sale. Agents have to be great in sales and communication, so the hours can often be brutal and are guaranteed to include weekends.

Salary Expectations: Out of all of the jobs on the list, the salary range for real estate agents is by far the most varied. The median income of $44,000 is barely above the bottom 10 percent of $42,000, while the upper 10 percent are making $70,000 and more. The top real estate agents are making six-figures, with many also making millions.

Future Potential: Due to the ebbs and flows of the real estate market, job growth and shrinkage can happen at any given time for real estate agents.

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