Inflation occurs when the cost of everything we consume rises, making the purchasing power of our money fall. In recent years, college tuition has been outpacing the rate of inflation.
Because of this, and due to the fact that college students are graduating with an average of $26,600 in debt, prospective students are rethinking the traditional model of going to college before entering the workforce. There are jobs available that pay well and for which demand is growing, making job security and the prospect for higher salaries very good for workers without a college degree.
Dental hygienists earn an average of $68,000 annually and the profession has a projected growth rate of 38%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ongoing research linking oral health and general health will increase demand for preventive dental services. Dental hygienists only require an associate's degree, which typically takes two years to earn.
Online Advertising Manager
Facebook has more than 1 billion users while Twitter has a little over 500 million. The potential online audience that companies can reach continues to grow as the number of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets increase. An online advertising manager is in charge of how a company connects, interacts with and monetizes the online community. Average income for this profession is $87,000. The job does not require a four-year degree, but experience in a related field such as search engine optimization or email marketing is required.
No degree is required for this job, but you are going to need a lot of training and experience. The median salary is $67,500 with a projected job growth rate of 21%. Pilots make an average of $13,000 more than the average college-educated worker. The best chance of landing one of these jobs is to live near a major hub such as Miami, Atlanta, Dallas or Phoenix. While a college degree is not required, having one is a method to prove you can handle the complex educational requirements involved in becoming certified.
Brick and Block Masons
The median salary for this job is $46,930, which is low compared to others on the list, but for those who would rather work with their hands, this job is one of the best in the construction field. As the population grows, so too does the need for more schools, hospitals and apartment buildings, thus making this area of construction a good choice for employment. Experts project a 41% job growth rate through 2020. Like most jobs that pay better than others in their industry, workers have to pay their dues. A three- to four-year apprenticeship is often required before workers can reach the average salary.
If you are into fitness, the median salary for personal trainers is $51,000 per year. Job growth projections for personal trainers are 24% through 2020 and certification is possible in as little as six months, depending on your area of specialty. Of course, where you live will impact your paycheck. Working with celebrities in Hollywood will earn you more than working at a small gym in the midwest. As people age, they look for ways to stay healthy. Many trainers cater to young clients but for those willing to broaden their client base, the possibilities of an impressive paycheck are much better.
The Bottom Line
College is expensive and the days of graduating on Saturday and starting your new career on Monday are gone. College no longer guarantees a great job, but keep in mind that these jobs are exceptions rather than rules. Statistics still show that those who have a college degree will earn more on average than those who do not.