Top Jobs to Improve Income Prospects without a College Degree
A highly effective step on the path of improving your credit score is to ramp up your income-earning capabilities. Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to provide more comfortably for you and your family, having a bigger income can mean better borrowing terms and higher credit scores.
Why better income prospects lead to better borrowing options
If you earn more money in a stable career with good job progression prospects, you can save more, pay down any outstanding loans faster and become a more appealing candidate to creditors. This is because, in general, those earning higher salaries receive the more preferential loan terms and rates.
Why not having a college degree is no obstacle
The cost of an average 4-year college degree covering tuition and living expenses often exceeds $100,000 and is off-limits to many for whom the price tag is unaffordable or for whom extra debt on top of bad credit is impossibility. Although it used to be the case that the top income brackets were comprised only of college graduates, this is no longer the case. In fact, right now there are a number of jobs within the high-tech field that offer excellent career progression even without a college degree.
According to a new report by the Brookings Institution, STEM jobs have been redefined to require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math – technical knowledge that can come from on-the-job training and cumulative career experience instead of college. Consequently, according to Brookings’ criteria, 50% of all high-skill positions are held by employees that do not have a bachelor’s degree, representing the American middle class much better.
The top 8 STEM jobs that do not require a college degree
1. Registered Nurses
Number of Jobs: 2,724,570
Average Wages: $69,110
2. Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
Number of Jobs: 589,570
Average Wages: $38,560
Number of Jobs: 578,910
Average Wages: $44,330
Number of jobs: 512,290
Average wages: $52,910
5. Computer Systems Analysts
Number of jobs: 487,740
Average wages: $82,320
Number of jobs: 368,510
Average wages: $40,520
7. Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters
Number of jobs: 349,320
Average wages: $51,830
8. Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers
Number of jobs: 316,290
Average wages: $37,920
The Lowdown on STEM Jobs
If you have substantial skill in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math and do not have a bachelor’s degree, you could potentially get a STEM job paying on average around $53,000. This is 10% higher than other roles that require candidates to have the same level of education.
It makes sense to look within the STEM field to improve your job prospects without a college education – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the above 8 most popular STEM jobs pay more than the average American annual average wage of $45,230.
At number 5 on the list, a computer systems analyst is a role that also doesn’t need a bachelor’s degree, although the average wage is $82,320. The possibilities are real – 100,000 people held this role without a college degree in 2011 alone.
Vocational and On-The-Job Training Favored Over College Education
So what is required for a STEM job if a 4 year college degree isn’t a prerequisite? Most of these positions have vocational training requirements that applicants can embark upon with only a high school diploma.
• Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters must complete four or five year apprenticeship program, which includes studying math, physics and chemistry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• Registered nurses, easily the fastest growing STEM job that does not require a bachelor’s degree, are required to complete courses in anatomy, chemistry and microbiology.
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