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Best job without a college degree: dental hygienist

May 17, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Dental hygienist positions are among the best options for workers without college degrees, according to a new report.
Dental hygienist positions are among the best options for workers without…

Only half of recent college graduates are working full time. What must the employment market be like for job-seekers with only a high school diploma? For certain occupations, it’s not too bad.

A new report from found that a high school education can result in jobs with hefty entry-level pay. The best position is dental hygienist, according to CareerCast, with salaries that start at $45,000 on average and that can grow 109% at the top level. Through 2020, the number of such jobs is expected to surge nearly 38%.

An online sales manager doesn’t need a bachelor’s degree but can still earn $40,000 from the get-go, potentially raking in 255% more at his or her peak. A Web developer can start at $43,000 and grow his or her salary 179%.

Other top 20 positions include medical secretaries, paralegal assistants, insurance agents, hairstylists, tax collectors and sewage plant operators.

But someone with a college education can end up earning more on average than someone who didn't go beyond high school. With a four-year degree, an American worker will earn $1 million throughout a career with a starting salary of $51,000 and a final one of $130,600.

With no college degree, the average entry-level pay is $28,350. Such workers earn $79,150 on average during their final working years.  


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