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Jobs That Don’t Require a Four-Year College Degree

In today’s economy, it can seem like an impossible feat to land a decent paying job without a four-year college degree. Although everyone seems to be expounding the benefits of advanced education, cost and life obligations are prohibitive factors for many would-be college graduates. If you don’t have a four-year college degree, you may be left wondering how on earth you can get your foot in the door of a career poised for growth. If that sounds at all familiar, take a peek at this list of three well-paid positions you can snag without a bachelor's degree.

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists can command a hefty salary – to the tune of over $70,000 a year – even with limited experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the yearly median wage for all dental hygienists hovers around $35.61 per hour.

To become a hygienist, you'll need to attend a two-year dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. While many brick-and-mortar schools offer these programs of study, online options exist as well. If you already have a full-time job or have a family to care for, web-based degree programs are likely a better fit for your hectic schedule and existing obligations.

After you complete your degree program, you’ll need to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a clinical exam to receive your dental hygienist license. Continuing education requirements are determined on a state-by-state basis.

Real Estate Agent

Becoming a real estate agent is another fantastic option that does not require extensive post-secondary education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all real estate agents hovers around $46,000, but that number can climb to six figures with substantial experience.

Training programs to become a real estate agent are available in both a live classroom format and an online study program. According to Lead Agent, keep in mind that your training course must meet your state’s minimum required hours, so make sure you research state-by-state requirements before selecting a program.

When you’re ready to sit for your licensing exam, you’ll need to sign up via your state’s real estate commission's website. After you pass the exam, you'll need to activate your license with your state’s real estate commission.

Health Information Technician

Health information careers are growing by leaps and bounds, so this is a great career choice if you’re looking to get your foot in the door of the medical field. The average salary for health information techs hovers right around $39,000 per year. However, if you specialize in a particular area such as medical coding, your pay will likely increase.

To become a health information technician, you must complete a two-year program of study, either at an institution or via distance learning. Keep in mind that the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. After completing your education, you’ll need to sit for your licensure exam. After passing, you’ll be required to complete continuing education credits to maintain your license.

If you don’t have a four-year degree, don’t worry! There are plenty of well-paid jobs on the market that are poised for tremendous growth. Finding an occupation without a bachelor’s degree may seem like a challenge, but with a little research and perseverance, you’ll earn a great career you can be proud of.

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