Many people assume that a four-year degree is the only path to rewarding jobs.
A bachelor's degree isn't the only route
It's certainly true that having a bachelor's degree broadens job seekers' opportunities and qualifies them for more jobs. But there are many good job opportunities that don't require a four-year degree.
In his recently released book 300 Best Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree, Fourth Edition, occupational expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., identifies and ranks 300 of the best jobs that can be obtained without a bachelor's degree. To select the jobs featured in his book, Shatkin used occupational information from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Education and additional sources. He ranked 420 major jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree, according to a combination of their earnings, growth and annual openings. Then, he selected the top 300 jobs to feature in his book.
Shatkin's book features several "best jobs" lists that identify which jobs that don't require a four-year degree pay the most, have the most annual openings, are growing the fastest and more. Below are the top 15 jobs on Shatkin's list of "300 best jobs that don't require a four-year degree."
In his book, Shatkin writes, "Remember that jobs near the top of the list are not necessarily 'good' jobs — nor are jobs toward the end of the list 'bad' ones for you to consider. Their position in the list is simply a result of their total scores based on pay, growth and number of openings. This means, for example, that some jobs with low pay and modest growth but a high number of openings appear higher on the list, while some jobs with higher pay and modest growth but a low number of openings appear toward the end of the list. A 'right' job for you could be anywhere on the list."
Average Annual Earnings: $65,950
Percent Growth: 26 percent
Average Annual Openings: 120,740
Average Annual Earnings: $69,280
Percent Growth: 37.7 percent
Average Annual Openings: 10,490
Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers
Average Annual Earnings: $59,150
Percent Growth: 23.5 percent
Average Annual Openings: 25,970
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
Average Annual Earnings: $55,120
Percent Growth: 27.7 percent
Average Annual Openings: 9,510
Average Annual Earnings: $49,320
Percent Growth: 23.2 percent
Average Annual Openings: 28,920