Professions of a New Generation You Can Get Without an Academic Degree

We are often told that the best way to get ahead is with a college education. The reality though is that an academic degree is not always the best choice. The good news is that rewarding job opportunities exist. Below are just a few examples of careers that one can be truly proud of that do not require years of advanced education and study.

Health Industry

Health Industry

1.Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienists responsibilities are all related to keeping a patient’s teeth clean and healthy. They are the ones that educate patients on brushing, flossing, and assisting them in choosing the right products. Most dental hygienists need to be accredited so a 12-month course at a community college should be all the education that is required.

Salary: $72,330
Education: a 12-month course at a community college.

2.Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Sonographers operate the sonogram machines used to determine an unborn baby’s gender and medical condition. These machines are also needed to identify tumors and other medical conditions a patient may have. There are no formal license requirements that must be met but applicants will have to pass a certification exam, which may require at least a fundamental knowledge of how to use the equipment and analyze the results.

Salary: $68,970
Education: fundamental knowledge on the equipment usage.

3.Occupational Therapy Assistant

OTAs are responsible for following through on the occupational therapist’s guidelines laid out to help patients get back to a normal routine and lifestyle after a debilitating medical condition, injury or an accident. This job does require an AA degree, which can be completed in one to two years at a local community college.

Salary: $57,870
Education: an AA degree at a local community college.

Internet Technology

Internet Technology

1.Web Developer

Web Developers design and create websites. While some jobs do require a BA degree to land the job there are plenty of other jobs that require only a specialized certification in their area of expertise. These can be acquired by attending a local trade school. For many companies, employers put more emphasis on an applicant’s portfolio rather than their degrees so creating a mock-up of your design ideas may be all that is needed to get your foot in the door.

Salary: $64,970
Education: specialized certification in the area of expertise.

2.Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialists are responsible for troubleshooting computer and technical problems. They are required to have a solid foundation in both hardware and software issues and how to resolve them but these skills that can be learned on the job. Proof of competency is more important than the degree so as long as you can pass the exam you have a good shot at getting the job.

Salary: $62,250
Education: solid foundation in both hardware and software issues.

3.Content Marketer

While content marketing is more about the writing it is a job that blends those writing skills with modern technology. A good content marketer has knowledge of web design, basic computer technology, and marketing strategies.

Salary: $58,302
Education: knowledge of web design, basic computer technology, and marketing strategies.



1.Electric Power Line Installer

With new construction happening every day the demand for power is at an all time high. Installers work under dangerous conditions so it is considered to be a high risk job however, the skills required can be mastered through an apprenticeship program or some form of on-the-job training, which you should be able to start with only a high-school diploma.

Salary: $66,213
Education: an apprenticeship program or some form of on-the-job training.

2.Wind Turbine Technician

Wind techs are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the massive wind turbines used to generate power. Most of the job requirements are technical and can be learned on the job. However, if you want to get a leg up in this field it may help to complete a 1-2 year AA degree at a local trade school or community college.

Salary: $51,050
Education: a 1-2 year AA degree at a local trade school or community college.

3.Heavy and Tractor Truck Drivers

It is estimated that every year there are at least 1.7 million jobs posted for commercial drivers. To get a CDL license you can take a short course of about seven to eight weeks many of them offered by the company you will work for. The cost for these courses can often be included in the hiring package so you don’t have to come out with cash up front to get the job.

Salary: $40,000
Education: a course of about seven to eight weeks.


a paper with diagrams and graphs and highlighters on the table

1.Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance agents work in many different fields. Their primary role is to sell home, health, auto, life, and business insurance to corporations. In corporate insurance they may also be expected to sell liability and property damage policies. The insurance industry is heavily regulated and an agent must be licensed by their state. However, with a little personal study one could get licensed with just a high-school diploma.

Salary: $48,200
Education: a license that can be gotten with a little personal study.

2.Tax Preparers

Tax Preparers are always in high demand, especially during tax season. They help Americans get their taxes filed, claim refunds, and declare business and personal deductions. Every year there is a huge gap in the number of preparers needed and the number of positions filled.

Salary: $41,000
Education: high school diploma.


Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining financial records for businesses. They record all transactions, update statements, and are on hand to clarify any discrepancies in the records. No extensive education is required but they should have basic math and computer skills as well as an understanding of bookkeeping techniques.

Salary: $40,991
Education: basic math and computer skills.

So, while an advanced degree can be rewarding, it is still possible to have a financially satisfying career without one.

Become a smarter student with Essay Tigers.
Let us help you with your assignments.
Find out more