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Monday, 18 February 2013

3 Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree You May Have Ignored

Have you bought into the myth "you can't find a decent job if you don't have a college degree?" The truth is - at least according to the Bureau of Labors Statistics - there are lots of good jobs that don't require a college degree.

Mull over these three profitable career paths in education, aviation and insurance you might not have considered. These careers are open to individuals with a high school diploma (or the equivalent) or a postsecondary non degree award and offer fair to above average job growth for the future.

Education - Self-enrichment teachers

Self-enrichment teachers work with students who voluntarily opt into self-improvement courses. The courses are typically in subjects such as fine arts, music or foreign languages, and students usually do not earn any degrees or certifications for the classes.

Self-enrichment teachers can be freelancers who work one-on-one with their students from their home or other environment, but they may also work in classrooms. BLS estimates a job growth rate of 21%, which means employment is growing at a slightly faster than average rate for the job market.

According to BLS, self-enrichment teachers earned a median pay of $36,340 per year in May 2010. No college degree is necessary to become a self-enrichment teacher, but those who pursue this career option should note most employers prefer prospects with one to five years of work experience in a related field. So, if you want to become a self-enrichment teacher, you'll need to work closely with your potential employers to ensure your level of related experience matches their expectations.

Aviation - Commercial Pilots

Have you always wanted to be a pilot but felt your lack of a degree was holding you back? The good news is you can become a commercial pilot if you have a postsecondary award, a Commercial Pilot Certificate, and an instrument rating.

What would you be expected to do as a commercial pilot? Job duties could range from flying aircraft or helicopters on nonscheduled routes to transporting patients in air ambulances to piloting charter flights and tours. These pilots might also transport people for a variety of reasons such as crop dusting, rescue missions, or aerial photography.

BLS is projecting an annual job growth rate for commercial pilots of 11%, which is about average for the job market. The median average salary for commercial pilots in May 2010 was $67,500.

Insurance - Appraiser, Claims Adjuster, Examiner or Investigator

Whenever you make a claim on your insurance policy, you'll end up working with one or maybe all of these people: an appraiser, a claims adjuster, an examiner or an investigator. Insurance companies hire these employees to assess the claims for damaged items and to make recommendations on the best settlement options.

While a high school diploma or equivalent is a generally accepted employment qualification, some companies may prefer prospective employee to have a specific amount of related work experience or a postsecondary award. If becoming an auto damage appraiser or investigator is your passion, work experience in the auto repair industry or as a law enforcement officer could give you a competitive edge.

As with most job opportunities, specific requirements vary from employer to employer and licensing requirements vary from state to state.

The May 2010 mean salary for these jobs was $58,460 with an expected job growth rate of 3%, which is not as robust as it is for a self-enrichment teacher or commercial pilot. However, this industry offers good promotion potential for employees who pursue additional training and education.

Getting the Job

These are just a few of the many jobs that don't require a college degree. However, the lack of a degree should not hold anyone back from gainful employment.

For starters, contact individuals already working in one of these industries and ask them for tips on breaking into the industry. Check with your local community college or vocational school to see if they offer any free courses that might help you in your job search.

Last, but certainly not least, schedule as many job interviews as you can. Getting a job, just like closing a sale, is a numbers game. The more people you talk to and interview with, the closer you move to the job of your dreams.

Source - Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Donna Cosmato is a retired Christian educator turned freelance journalist. Her most recent project was compiling a Guide to the Best Career Paths and College Majors to Pursue.


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