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These Are The 20 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

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"...spend four years establishing [yourself] in the workforce, rather than four more years in the classroom."

In recent weeks, it seems like college has been a topic of discussion a lot on The Blaze. There have been articles on the necessity of earning a college degree, the cost of attending so-called institutions of “higher learning,” and the ideological tilt of America’s “top 100” universities, to mention just a few.

But let’s talk about the issue of not going to college. Let’s say you want to strike out on your own and forgo the college experience. What kind of work can you get without a degree and more importantly, what pays well?

The job-hunting website CareerCast.com has put together a new report, 20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree, that addresses these questions.

“Although these jobs may require some training, they all offer a good salary, as well as income and employment growth potential,” writes Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com.

“Even with a college degree, finding a good job in today’s economy is hard and can be very time consuming. Although those with degrees often earn more money, you can still earn a very good living without one,” he adds.

To be clear, no one is saying that a college degree is completely useless. Indeed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average starting salary for someone with a four-year college degree is about $51,000 whereas it’s about $28,350 for someone with just a high school diploma.

However, getting to that $51K salary starting point is an expensive investment (or “gamble” depending on whichever term you prefer). On average, the cost of tuition, room, and board at public institutions is approximately $12,800 and $32,200 at private institutions, CareerCast.com reports.

“That means that even a modest education -- a Bachelor’s degree from a public university or college -- will cost over $50,000, and you may incur student loans that need to be paid back after graduation,” the report adds.

Yikes. That’s an expensive risk.

"Earning a college degree simply isn't for everyone. There are many satisfying careers available for high school graduates that allows them to spend four years establishing themselves in the workforce, rather than four more years in the classroom," Lee wrote The Blaze in an email.

Here are CareerCast.com’s 20 Best Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree:

20. SEWAGE PLANT OPERATOR Average Starting Salary: $25,000

Income Growth: 156 percent

Employment Growth: 11.60 percent

19. TEACHER’S AIDE Average Starting Salary: $17,000

Income Growth: 112 percent

Employment Growth: 14.80 percent

18. ARCHITECTURAL DRAFTER Average Starting Salary: $30,000

Income Growth: 140 percent

Employment Growth: 3.20

17. ELECTRICAL TECHNICIAN Average Starting Salary: $34,000

Income Growth: 138 percent

Employment Growth: 1.90 percent

16. CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY OPERATOR Average Starting Salary: $26,000

Income Growth: 173 percent

Employment Growth: 23.50 percent

15. SALES REPRESENTATIVE (WHOLESALE) Average Starting Salary: $27,000

Income Growth: 304 percent

Employment Growth: 15.60 percent

14. TAX EXAMINER/COLLECTOR Average Starting Salary: $30,000

Income Growth: 207 percent

Employment Growth: 7.30 percent

13. HAIR STYLIST Average Starting Salary: $16,000

Income Growth: 163 percent

Employment Growth: 15.70 percent

12. COSMETOLOGIST Average Starting Salary: $16,000

Income Growth: 163 percent

Employment Growth: 15.70 percent

11. INDUSTRIAL MACHINE REPAIRER Average Starting Salary: $30,000

Income Growth: 127 percent

Employment Growth: 21.60 percent

10. INSURANCE AGENT Average Starting Salary: $26,000

Income Growth: 342 percent

Employment Growth: 21.90 percent

9. EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Average Starting Salary: $29,000

Income Growth: 131 percent

Employment Growth: 12.60 percent

8. SURVEYOR Average Starting Salary: $31,000

Income Growth: 190 percent

Employment Growth: 25.40 percent

7. HEATING/REFRIGERATION MECHANIC Average Starting Salary: $26,000

Income Growth: 158 percent

Employment Growth: 33.70 percent

6. STENOGRAPHER/COURT REPORTER Average Starting Salary: $26,000

Income Growth: 250 percent

Employment Growth: 14.10 percent

See the top 5 best paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree here.

[Note from the report’s author: “Income Growth” pertains to the percentage of increase from beginning earnings to top level; “Employment Growth” refers to the projected increase in number of jobs through 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.]

All photos via CareerCast.com.

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