In today's economy, a bachelor's degree is no longer a guarantee of a good job with a livable salary. There are plenty of jobs and careers that pay well but don't require a bachelor's degree to start. Some of these jobs include dental hygienist, electrician, and medical assistant. All of these careers offer salaries above the national median and don't require a four-year degree. This is especially of interest if you homeschool a student who doesn't want to complete a bachelor-degree program when they graduate. Some even take college or vocational classes before they graduate in the hopes of being career-ready when they "graduate".
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary in 2020 was $56,310. All of these jobs paid more than this average, and not one of them require a 4-year degree.
While some of the jobs below may require a AA at most, none of these careers require a BA for employment in the field. For example, jobs in the field of aviation might require an AA from a school like the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative. For pilot positions, some airlines require a college degree, but there are career opportunities without such requirements.
Here are just a few of the jobs that beat the national average.
Airline pilot $163,480
Independent Contractor Marketing Managers$150,400 -$154,470
Air Traffic Controllers (may require an AA, Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) or Air Transportation Workers 110,830- $127,440
Computer Programmers - $95,640
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels, Water Transportation Workers (may require a AA) $73,530 - $89,740
Power Plant Operators - $81,890
Dental Hygienists - $78,050
Commerical driver - $71,850
Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters -$59,890
Locomotive Engineers- $70,660
So if your student is interested in finding a job right after they graduate, I suggest checking out the local options for education in your area. Students can begin meeting the requirements for all of these jobs before they graduate. This might mean that they are taking vocational classes, applying for internships, or taking advantage of dual enrollment.
Can you think of another avenue of employment that doesn't require a 4-year-degree to provide a living wage?