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The 10 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

The 10 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree
Credit: Trueffelpix/Shutterstock

Although earning a college degree might present more job opportunities, it's not the only path that can lead to a successful career.

Nurses, electricians, construction and building inspectors and plumbers top this year's rankings of the best jobs that don't require a college degree from Simply Hired, an online job search engine.

"While U.S. job listings have only grown slightly over the past two months, our data shows significant opportunities continue to exist for Americans who do not hold a college degree,” James Beriker, president and CEO of Simply Hired, said in a statement. "Licensed Practical Nurse tops the list, reflecting the dominant role of health care in job creation at all levels, and jobs such as electrician and plumber remain strong career choices."

Simply Hired based its rankings on a number of factors, including average salary, the number of jobs available, geographic distribution, past and projected growth, and potential career paths.

Just because a job doesn't require a college degree, however, doesn't mean that education beyond high school isn't needed.

"Nearly all of these jobs require some kind of certification or license, indicating that additional training is a smart choice for high school graduates," Beriker said.

This year's 10 best jobs for those who aren't college graduates are:

1. Licensed practical nurse

  • U.S. job listings: 55,992
  • Average salary: $38,776
  • Education required: 1-year certification

2. Electrician

  • U.S. job listings: 42,891
  • Average salary: $44,867
  • Education required: State-based license

3. Construction and building inspectors

  • U.S. job listings: 8,902
  • Average salary: $49,365
  • Education required: Certification required by some states.

4. Plumbers

  • U.S. job listings: 19,958
  • Average salary: $49,574
  • Education required: State-based license

5. Truck drivers

  • U.S. job listings: 42,308
  • Average salary: $47,399
  • Education required: 1-year certification

6. Legal secretaries

  • U.S. job listings: 14,176
  • Average salary: $44,441
  • Education required: None

7. Massage therapist

  • U.S. job listings: 10,742
  • Average salary: $36,557
  • Education required: 500-plus hour training program and state-based license.

8. Automotive mechanic

  • U.S. job listings: 44,450
  • Average salary: $30,646
  • Education required: No formal requirements. Requirements vary by employer.

9. Phlebotomists

  • U.S. job listings: $29,179
  • Average salary: $28,623
  • Education required: Certification required by some states.

10. Emergency dispatchers

  • U.S. job listings: 9,150
  • Average salary: $26,959
  • Education required: 32-hour training program; certification required by some states.
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.

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