Clark Howard

New study reveals the top 10 jobs without a 4-year degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree will give you an advantage in this competitive job market, but there are plenty of opportunities for those with less education to earn a decent wage.

In many cases, only a high school diploma or associate degree is needed to get your foot in the door.

Read more: Career expert reveals 9 secrets to resume success

CareerCast’s best jobs without a 4-year degree

The jobs site CareerCast just released a list of the top 10 jobs for people who don't have a bachelor's degree and almost half are in the thriving health care industry.

“The Economic Policy Institute estimates that workers with a four-year college degree make about 56% more than those who don’t, based on 2015 salary figures,” says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. “However, we have identified some great jobs that pay a high wage which don’t require four years of college.”

Local community colleges and technical schools typically offer programs to help you get started in these fields.

Take a look at the full list below, which was compiled using Bureau of Labor Statistics data on annual median salary, hiring outlook and recommended education.

Broadcast Technician

  • Median salary: $42,550
  • Growth outlook: 7%
  • Minimum education: Associate

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  • Median salary: $64,280
  • Growth outlook: 24%
  • Minimum education: Associate


  • Median salary: $52,720
  • Growth outlook: 14%
  • Minimum education: H.S. Diploma/Equivalent

 Executive Assistant

  • Median salary: $55,860
  • Growth outlook: 3%
  • Minimum education: H.S. Diploma/Equivalent

Industrial Machine Repairer

  • Median salary: $49,100
  • Growth outlook: 16%
  • Minimum education: H.S. Diploma/Equivalent

Medical Records Technician

  • Median salary: $38,040
  • Growth outlook: 15%
  • Minimum education: Non-Degree Certification


  • Median salary: $49,500
  • Growth outlook: 8%
  • Minimum education: Associate


  • Median salary: $51,540
  • Growth outlook: 12%
  • Minimum education: H.S. Diploma/Equivalent

 Respiratory Therapist

  • Median salary: $58,670
  • Growth outlook: 12%
  • Minimum education: Associate

Web Developer

  • Median salary: $66,130
  • Growth outlook: 27%
  • Minimum education: Associate

If you need to go back to school to take your career to the next level, see if your current employer will pay for it!

Amazon offers a program called Career Choice that will pre-pay 95% of tuition and fees to help hourly employees earn certificates and associate degrees in high-demand occupations.

Read more: 9 ways to pay for college without student loans

Google could help you find the perfect job