Surprising number of good jobs available for US high school and 'middle skills' grads
Source: Shutterstock

It’s commonly perceived that in order to land a good or well-paying job, you must obtain a college degree.

A new study done by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, however, suggests that there are plenty of jobs available for those who don’t hold a Bachelor’s degree.

The Georgetown researchers defined a “good job” as one paying at least $35,000 a year for US workers between the ages of 25 and 44 years. For those between 45 and 64, a good job was said to pay at least $45,000 a year.

The study revealed that those with a high school education or with ‘middle skills’ (workers with more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year bachelor’s degree, such as those who have earned an associate degree or professional certificate), actually have good chances of landing a well-paying job.

To give you a sense of what these good jobs are, Kiplinger did some research, focusing on fields that are collecting generous paychecks now and are projected to expand greatly over the next decade.

These are the top 10 well-paying jobs that don’t necessarily require a Bachelor’s degree. For the full list, click here.

1. Services Sales Rep (Median Annual Salary: $51,437)

2. Computer User Support Specialist (Median Annual Salary: $50,258)

3. Electrical Power-Line Installer and Repairer (Median Annual Salary: $69,040)

4. Health Technologist (Median Annual Salary: $42,308)

5. Oil, Gas and Mining Service Unit Operator (Median Annual Salary: $48,358)

6. Transportation, Storage and Distribution Manager (Median Annual Salary: $91,782)

7. Plumber (Median Annual Salary: $49,347)

8. Medical Secretary (Median Annual Salary: $34,586)

9. Self-Enrichment Education Teacher (Median Annual Salary: $38,149)

10. Flight Attendant (Median Annual Salary: $50,500)

The report noted that in the past, when the economy was more manufacturing-based, about two-thirds of entry-level jobs required a high school diploma or less.

Flight attendant jobs usually don’t require a college degree, but you will need to go through training and certification. Source: Shutterstock

In today’s world, where a more skilled workforce is required to keep up with a more technology and machines-based economy, two-thirds of jobs require at least some education or training in addition to high school.

The researchers estimated that in 1991, 15 million good jobs existed for those with a high school diploma, 12 million good middle-skills jobs were available, while 18 million existed for people with a bachelor’s degree.

In 2016, the numbers dipped to 13 million good jobs for those with a high school diploma. However, these 13 million jobs accounted for approximately 20 percent of all good jobs.

The middle-skills group grew to 16 million, while unsurprisingly, the number of good jobs for bachelor’s degree holders doubled to 36 million good jobs.

Anthony Carnevale, Director of the Center on Education and the Workforce, and a lead researcher on the project, said, ““While it’s no surprise that the BA economy has doubled the number of good jobs it provides, it really struck us that the high school economy still provides 13 million good jobs. We also found it surprising that even though blue-collar jobs declined, middle-skills jobs have grown considerably.”

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