Mom might have told you that you needed to go to college to get a good job, but moms are biased. College is not for everyone.
There are plenty of good jobs that don’t require $200,000 four-year college degrees. When looking at these jobs, just remember that salary average can vary, depending on region of the country or seniority, often both. Also, benefits beyond salary—particularly in the area of retirement—can be a huge enticement.
If you are looking for a solid career pant that bypasses the university route, here are some professions you should consider:
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers monitor and direct private and commercial air traffic. They are highly trained and skilled, but the job does not require a college degree. The Federal Aviation Administration, which employs practically all air traffic controllers, requires enrollment in a FAA-approved education program and entrance tests. The road to becoming a fully qualified air traffic controller can take several years, but this is a profession with opportunities. The median salary is more than $100,000 a year.
Many construction jobs are high-paying. Elevator mechanic jobs are lucrative and stable. There is a lot of training involved, however, and new mechanics have to start in an apprenticeship program. Still, with a mean income of more than $60,000 a year, this is one gig that can take you higher.
If you’re willing to fly all over creation, deal with rowdy passengers and keep a smile on your face throughout, you can earn a good living as a flight attendant. Salaries are determined less by region of the county or even particular airline than by how many years you’ve put in. For those with less than six months experience, the median salary is $16,200, according to the Association of Flight Attendants. By year 15, flight attendants at Southwest are pulling in more than $55,000 a year.