Wednesday, 5 April 2017

On average, college students graduated with nearly $30,000 in student loans in 2013.

Meanwhile, starting salaries for the class of 2014 averaged just over $45,000, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

With college costs expected to continue to soar, you may be interested in exploring alternatives. We combed the Bureau of Labor Statistics and identified 10 growing careers that do not require four-year bachelor's degrees. The median national income for each career exceeds the average starting salary for a bachelor's degree graduate, according to the BLS.

Dental hygienist

Median annual salary: $70,210

Education requirements: At least an associate's degree in dental hygiene from an accredited program plus state certification.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 22 percent

Registered nurse

Median annual salary: $65,470

Education requirements: Nurses can begin their careers with an associates degree or a certified nursing program. Advancing in the field requires additional education that varies by state.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 19 percent

Web developer

Median annual salary: $62,500

Education requirements: Many are self-trained in programming languages, but these programs are also taught at community colleges and technical schools.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 20 percent

Retail buyer

Median annual salary: $60,550

Education requirements: Many jobs require a high school degree to start

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 4 percent

Respiratory therapist

Hiring outlook between 2012 and 2022: $55,870

Education requirements: Graduation at a qualified program and certified by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 19 percent

Aircraft mechanic

Median annual salary: $55,230

Education requirements: Graduation from an accredited Aviation Maintenance Technician School. Some employers offer on-the-job training to learn the skills necessary to pass the Federal Aviation Administration exam.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 2 percent

Communications equipment mechanic

Median annual salary: $54,530

Education requirements: Telecom technicians typically need some education in electronics, telecommunications, or computer technology, plus on-the-job training. Some positions require certification.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 4 percent

Electrician

Median annual salary: $49,840

Education requirements: Typically these careers begin with a certificate vocational program plus an apprenticeship that can last up to five years.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 20 percent

Computer service technician

Median annual salary: $48,900

Education requirements: Depending on the position, a high school diploma or associate's degree plus relevant training.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 17 percent

Paralegal assistant

Median annual salary: $46,990

Education requirements: There is no universal education requirement for this career path, though employers often look for candidates with an associates degree or certification. These can be acquired while working as a paralegal intern.

Projected job growth (2012-2022): 17 percent

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