7 Great Paying Jobs That Do Not Require a Traditional College Degree

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  • People who go to college typically earn more than people who do not have a degree. However, there are many great paying jobs you can get without a traditional college degree. Below are seven examples of great-paying jobs that you can get without earning a traditional college degree:

    The median salary for a dental assistant is around $35,000. However, many dental assistants are making over $50,000 per year.

    Massage Therapist

    Massage therapists are professionals who help improve circulation, relieve stress and rehabilitate injuries by manipulating soft tissue. Most states require that massage therapists complete at least 500 hours of training. Massage therapy programs are found at postsecondary institutions. Full-time students can typically complete a program in less than one year.

    The median salary for a massage therapist is around $36,000. The highest-paid massage therapists make over $70,000 per year.

    Real Estate Agent

    You do need a license to become a real estate agent, but no degree is necessary. They help people sell, buy and rent properties. Real estate agents can make anywhere from $30,000 to over $180,000 per year.


    Plumbers learn their skills by completing an apprenticeship, which typically lasts four or five years. They are responsible for repairing and installing pipes and other plumbing structures. Because plumbers are in high demand, they are also well-paid. Plumbers can make anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 per year.

    Fire Chief

    Firefighters who stay in the field for a long time can potentially become a fire chief. No college degree is required to be a fire chief. A fire chief is someone who provides leadership and administrative direction for the fire department. Fire chiefs can make anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000 per year

    Dental Assistant

    Dental assistants have numerous job duties. They may assist in dental examinations by taking x-rays and sterilizing instruments. They may also answer phone calls and schedule appointments. Dental assistants are required to have a diploma or certificate from an accredited program. They also need to pass a state examination. Dental assisting programs can be found at community or technical colleges. Students are required to complete classroom and clinical training at dental assistant schools in Utah and across the United States.

    Police Officer 

    Police officers help protect property and lives. All police officers are required to complete police academy, which typically takes about six months to complete. Police officers can make anywhere from $33,000 to over $94,000 per year.

    Personal Trainers

    Personal trainers are professionals who help customize exercise programs in order to help people reach their fitness goals. They can work with individuals or groups. Personal trainers are required to be certified. In order to get a certification, they must complete an accredited program and pass a test. Personal trainers can earn anywhere from $31,000 to over $70,000 per year.

    While college can help people achieve their career goals and earn a lucrative income, it is not for everyone. Fortunately, it is possible to have a great career without a degree. Personal trainers, police officers, massage therapists, dental assistants, plumbers, real estate agents and fire chiefs are just a few of the many career options people have if they do not want to pursue a college degree.

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