Statistics consistently show that the more education we have the more employment opportunities are available to us and with a greater earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma is 7.5% whereas those with a Bachelor’s degree is down to 4%. In addition the average weekly earnings for those with only a high school diploma is $651 while those with a Bachelor’s degree earn nearly twice that much. And the earning power continues to increase with higher education.

The more education we have the more choices we have for employment, although today many graduates are experiencing disappointment in their ability to acquire employment of their choice. We are at a time in history when the debt of tuition has to be weighed against the time it will take to earn enough to pay it off. I’m a strong advocate for education and personal growth but for many, college is not possible for a number of reasons.

The Careerbuilder section of this past weekend’s Chicago Tribune listed five of the best jobs without a college degree. The positions include Dental Assistant with an annual salary range of $28,820-$41,980; Elevator Installer with an annual salary range of $62,060 to $91,240; Health Information Technician with a salary range of $27,520 to $45,260; Massage Therapist with a salary range of $24,380-$51,820; and Carpenter with an annual salary range of $31,550 to $55,340.

I was particularly surprised about the elevator installer. It isn’t a position I’ve ever thought of and don’t know the risks or skill level needed for it, but if you’re physically able and up for the challenge, it just might be a career to consider.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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