With the U.S. unemployment rate remaining above 7 percent and without any signs that it will be improving in the near future, any kind of decent paying job is hard to obtain especially if you don't have a college degree. Wait...what?
Is that really true, or is that just a well-rehearsed axiom spewed by colleges and universities (especially those online "for profit" schools) to inflict panic and desperation upon unemployed or underemployed people?
Actually, it is not true. There are plenty of jobs that provide the potential to provide hard-working, non-degreed individuals with a $50,000+ annual salary. These positions might not offer that much in the beginning. But you've got a choice: a job that starts out paying less than you'd like; or a four-year program that comes with a $30,000 price tag and may or may not land you stable, middle to upper income employment. Which is the lesser evil?
Here are a few adequately compensated positions jobs that typically require a high school diploma or certification from a technical school an education that takes less than a year to earn before you join the workforce.
1. Roofing Contractor
Like plumbers and electricians, skilled roofing contractors will always be in demand no matter how digitalized and automated our society becomes in the future. Learning how to lay and repair roofs does not require a four-year or even a two-year degree. As a trade, roofing can only be learned through hands-on experience, by working either for a roofing company or for an independent roofing contractor.
Most people who own a roofing company worked as a roofer for at least five years before deciding to go into business for themselves taking out a small business loan, building a solid reputation and hiring dependable employees. This requires some management skills, but no college degree!
2. Pest Control Technician
Just like with a roofing contractor, people will always call pest control specialists when there's a problem with a fix outside of their skill set. People want to live with other people, not roaches or rodents, and would rather pay a pest control company to eliminate destructive infestations from their home than do the dirty job themselves. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage of a pest control technician is between $35,000 and $40,000. However, owning a pest control company or becoming a supervisor in such a company can garner you that magical $50,000+ salary that many degreed people may never attain.
3. Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning--HVAC Technician
Another aspect of living that none of us like to be without is cozy heat and refreshing air conditioning. Again, you don't need a four-year degree to repair furnaces, A/C units and ventilation systems. On-the-job training coupled with HVAC certification from a vocational school and a knack for repairing machines can have you earning well over $50,000 a year before you are 30 years old as an experienced HVAC technician.
If you keep your eyes open, you'll see that entrepreneurial opportunities exist everywhere. Follow your instincts but don't neglect to evaluate the choices available to you. Examine all risks that may be associated with each possible career path. Determine what makes one choice better than another, and look at the financial implications that may result from going in a particular direction.
Your life is yours don't take anyone else's advice without a grain of salt!