Many people feel that a college degree today has about the same value that a high school diploma did 20 years ago. But let’s face it, college is not for everyone. And a college degree doesn’t guarantee a high paying job after graduation. When you add a pile of student debt on top of a young college grad, it makes the situation much worse. Many families wonder if pursuing a college degree is NOT the best route for one or more of their children. The average cost for in-state, public school, tuition and fees today is about $9,139. Private school is about 3 times that. With room and board, you’re looking at around $$16,000 – 20,000 per year for the average public school. This can mean that many kids come out of school with a load of student loans to pay off. Student loan interest rates are not that great either. This is why for some, college is not their first choice. Here are a few careers that offer some great alternatives.
#1. Real Estate Broker
Becoming a real estate agent requires that you obtain a license; however, a high school diploma is sufficient for applicants. It is not uncommon for estate brokers to work long hours, weekends, and odd hours of the day and sometimes go for a long time without earning any income.
The salary bracket of real estate agents is between $30,144 and $180,434. There was a surge in the number of real estate agents during the estate and house flipping boom, this made competition stiffer in that profession. You can however still get a job as an estate agent with the right attitude and dedication.
#2. Air Traffic Controller
The salary of air traffic controllers is as high as $158,966 on the average. An air traffic controller’s job is not an easy one because it requires laser focus to ensure the safety of thousands of air passengers each day.
#3. Small Business Owner
Being a business owner has a number of advantages like, working flexible hours, writing off some of your expenses (tax deductions for small business owners), your own dress code and more.
Even though it’s great to be a business owner, it takes the right plan, plus hard work and dedication for the new business to start generating a profit. With a combination of time invested in the business, a good product or service plus effort and energy, you can be rewarded with a very good income for your venture. There is no specific range of salary for small business owners but you can bet that many are in the six figures.
#4. Fire Chief
The career of a fire chief even though fulfilling can often associated with a lot of risks and less time to spend with their loved ones. The range of salary is $42,096 to as high as $119,250.
#5. Construction Manager
You stand a chance of rising to the post of a construction manager when you stay with a firm for a long period of time. Managers can be called upon at any time of the day in the case of an emergency or delay in work delivery.
It is common for a construction company first to promote one of their own to construction manager because of the fact that the person would have a rich base of the core policies and values of the company. Construction manager’s salary can be between $41,562 and $130,845, with an average salary of $92,700.
The job of a plumber is a very lucrative one and yet it doesn’t require a college degree. They get training from apprenticeships and technical schools. Plumbers get paid very well as their job is always in high demand.
A typical example, recently my mum paid $120 to a plumber for job that did not take more than 5 minutes, fixing a problem with the kitchen sink. Their salary can be as much as $103,731 and even more based on level of training and specialization.
#7. Network/IT Manager
There is a need for computers and related equipment to be functioning optimally and so many organizations pay a premium salary to top and experienced IT professionals. Anyone that wishes to become an IT pro must have a hunger to constantly learn because of the dynamic nature of technology.
The job and pay of IT and network managers are guaranteed, they have good benefits and retirement accounts. IT manager’s salary is between $53,477 and $125,101.
#8. Hotel Executive Chef
Making over $100,000 yearly is achievable by well-known executive chefs. It is not uncommon for them to spend long hours away from their loved ones while working on their job, this can be very stressful. But for a person that enjoys cooking, it can be quite worthwhile for them.
#9. Radiation Therapist
For radiation therapists a four year degree is not necessary but they have to complete a two-year associate degree or possess a certificate in radiation therapy. Radiation therapists make use of radiation for treating cancer patients; they are paid based on their area of specialization. Radiation therapist’s salaries are as much as $116,000 per annum.
#10. Court Reporter
If you have the ability to transcribe up to 150-200 words a minute and also possess a flawless ability to record details can get you a well-paying job in a court room.
To qualify for a court room reporter job; you will have to take transcription classes and pass background check tests. Based on their area of location, a court room reporter can earn as high as $29,995 to $104,000.
Becoming an airline pilot could be what you need if you are looking for an exhilarating and fun filled job. Pilots can either choose to fly commercial flights or cargo and corporate flights. Pilot school can be as expensive as a college degree, depending on where you attend. On the average a pilot earns around $110,000, however, a lot of pilots with a lot experience do earn even double that amount. The amount of salary earned is determined by factors such as: experience, ratings, type of license (sport pilot license vs commercial or airline transport).
A great way to get training for these and many other careers is through a local community college. The average annual tuition and fees for a community college is around $2800. This means they could get a two year associate degree for about $5,400. Getting certified in many of these careers may take less than two years. All community colleges offer a wide variety of technical training such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, auto mechanics, IT/Network, etc. Or, if your child or grandchild thinks they want to pursue a bachelors degree, but they’re just not sure which one, attending a community college for the first two years will save them (and you) a lot of money.