Can’t Afford College? You Can Still Enjoy a Career with a Solid Financial Future

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While data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed 33.4 percent of the country’s adult population held a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016, the number of high school graduates immediately enrolling in college has actually decreased in recent years.

Though studies have shown that a college degree can yield higher wages and more employment opportunities, many Americans are forgoing higher education due to the increasing price in tuition and fees. In fact, research by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that even families earning over $100,000 a year cannot afford nearly 60 percent of U.S. colleges.

Screenshot from CareerBuilder website

Fortunately, looking for work with a high school diploma does not mean your choices are limited to positions without solid futures. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, some of the hottest in-demand jobs for 2018 don’t even require a college degree.

In-Demand Jobs that Don’t Require a College Degree

Heavy truck drivers and tractor-trailer truck drivers were first on the list of hot jobs that was compiled based on data from Emsi, CareerBuilder’s labor market analysis arm. This occupation averages 1,662,847 unique monthly job postings and only 107,845 average monthly hires—indicating a great deal of unmet demand. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers enjoy median earnings of $19.26 an hour.

First-line supervisors of retail sales workers were next, with 276,477 average monthly unique job postings and only 85,445 average monthly hires. Workers in this occupation earn median hourly wages of $17.10.

Food service managers are also in demand. Emsi’s data showed employers post an average of 60,718 unique jobs for this occupation each month and only hire an average of 20,007. Food service managers earn median hourly wages of $19.82.

Insurance sales agents are the forth most in-demand position with 57,103 average monthly unique job postings and 17,183 average monthly hires. Workers in this occupation enjoy median earnings of $23.17 an hour.

Fifth in CareerBuilder’s list are computer user support specialists. With 58,568 average monthly unique job postings and only 34,283 average monthly hires, there are plenty of job opportunities for professionals who want to enter this profession. Computer user support specialists enjoy median hourly wages of $23.81.

People who enjoy promoting the well-being of others may want to consider a career as a social and human service assistant. According to Emsi’s data, employers post an average of 38,869 unique opportunities for this profession each month. Average monthly hires are only 19,967. Social and human service assistants earn median hourly wages of $15.33.

Real estate sales agents will also find many job opportunities in 2018. Employers post an average of 18,169 unique opportunities for real estate sales agents each month, with an average of 9,238 monthly hires. This occupation enjoys median hourly earnings of $17.92.

Pharmacy technicians are eighth in CareerBuilder’s list, with 26,808 average monthly unique job postings and 20,726 average monthly hires. Demand is likely to continue to outpace supply of these professionals as pharmacies and healthcare organizations add more workers to address the growing needs of our aging population. Pharmacy technicians earn median hourly wages of $14.87.

With the growing need for healthcare services in the U.S., it’s not surprising that medical assistants were included in CareerBuilder’s list. Emsi’s data shows employers post an average of 28,641 unique opportunities for medical assistants each month. Average monthly hires are only 26,239. Median hourly earnings for a medical assistant are $15.18.

Finally, tax preparer is tenth on CareerBuilder’s list of 2018 hot jobs that do not require a college degree. Employers post an average of 6,695 unique opportunities for tax preparers each month. Average monthly hires are only 6,108. Tax preparers enjoy median hourly earnings of $19.60.

“It’s not just a list of jobs, it’s a list of careers—careers that offer good pay and have low unemployment,” said Ladan Nikravan Hayes, a CareerBuilder career advisor who recently spoke with RewardExpert. “Not every great job requires a costly, time-consuming degree. What we’re showing here is that good careers exist for workers who have never completed college.”

CareerBuilder Can Help You Find One

Founded in 1995, CareerBuilder’s mission is to empower employment. Over the years, the end-to-end human capital solutions company has helped hundreds of thousands of employers find candidates and millions of professionals find jobs.

Jobseekers who visit www.careerbuilder.com can add their resume to the job board’s database—where it will be searchable by employers—as well as browse more than 4 million aggregated job postings. Additionally, CareerBuilder provides resources such as average salaries, top-paying locations, and day-to-day responsibilities for hundreds of occupations.

For jobseekers without a degree, Nikravan Hayes recommends highlighting training as well as mastering important soft skills such as active listening and delegation.

“Maybe you lack a formal degree, but it’s likely you’ve participated in ongoing training throughout your career,” she added. “Think about job-related training, certifications, conferences, in-service training, seminars, online learning and even self-directed study. You can emphasize these types of continuing education by creating a ‘professional development’ section in your resume.”