Top Lucrative Jobs Where Education Won’t Send You Into Debt

Posted June 21, 2021 by in Career

Anesthesiologists, surgeons, orthodontists, and psychiatrists are some of the highest-paying jobs in the world, all making over $200,000 per year. All of these jobs require a lot of schooling, which can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, some teachers, counselors, and therapists earn a median salary of about $40,000 per year, and all of these professions require degrees costing thousands of dollars. 

It seems like the costs of attending a four-year public university or private college are not always reciprocated by the salary of the jobs in a particular field. Now, in a lot of cases, receiving a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree allows a person to get a job in their chosen field and pays them really well. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. So are there jobs out there that pay a lot of money, but don’t require you to go into debt for school? Absolutely. Let’s look at a few:

Man sitting at a dining table working on a laptop.

Trade Schools

Trade schools, vocational schools, technical colleges, or career colleges are post-secondary (after high school) educational institutions that provide the skills and knowledge required for a specific job. On the surface, this sounds like a regular college or university, but the classes are more focused on the career, rather than an inclusion of all educational topics.

Benefits of Trade Schools

  • You can start whenever, versus only in the fall or spring at a university.
  • It usually takes no more than two years to complete.
  • The shorter completion time equals lower costs of education.
  • Hands-on training allows for a better understanding of the field.
  • You’re more likely to find a job right after completion.

What kinds of jobs can you get attending a trade school?

There are many different focuses to choose from when attending a trade school. These focuses are referred to as the “skilled trades” and they can include accounting, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, health sciences, veterinary technology, and welding. These fields have some of the highest-paying jobs, all without requiring more than an Associate (two-year) degree.

Health Sciences Trades

Healthcare is an industry that we’re always going to need, meaning that these jobs will never be outsourced, and there will always be positions needing to be filled. The healthcare industry as a whole is expected to see a 15% growth in the next 10 years. You don’t always have to receive a Bachelor’s degree or higher to work in this industry. In fact, here’s a list of some of the highest (average) paying healthcare jobs:

  • Radiation therapist: $85,000 per year
  • Dental hygienist: $76,000 per year
  • Sonographers: $74,000 per year
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): $47,000 per year

Construction Trades

Construction is another industry that is a constant necessity and has more job positions than people to fill them. The job growth rate is also pretty high in this field and is expected to continue rising. This field is also largely dominated by men, so more women entering into this field will add some much-needed diversity. Some of the highest-paying construction-related jobs include:

  • Construction Managers/General Contractors: $84,000 per year
  • Electricians: $56,000 per year
  • Plumbers: $55,000 per year
  • Home Inspectors: $52,000 per year
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) Technicians: $48,000 per year

The highest earners, construction managers or general contractors, are responsible for all aspects of a building project. In order for individuals with these titles to operate in their location, they have to get licensed and keep their license up-to-date as well. They work with architects, designers, and subcontractors (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.) and oversee a construction project from the beginning to the end.