Top 10 Best-Paying Jobs for Bachelors Degree Holders
Whether you’re in college or just thinking about your options, you probably know a bachelor’s degree is a must-have for many high-paying jobs. But many careers that require a four-year degree pay handsomely, and some of them don’t even require you to have an advanced degree.
In the following article we’ll be digging into the 10 best-paying jobs as far as we’re concerned. Before we begin, however, it’s important to really consider what a “good salary” is.
A good salary will vary depending on a few different factors. Here are some of the most important:
- Your expenses
- Any future purchases that you plan to make (think car, house, or other big-ticket items)
- Whether you plan to start a family
- Whether you have a spouse or roommate sharing in the bills
- When you plan to retire and how much you anticipate needing
You don’t need an advanced degree or a C-Suite job to reach and exceed your financial goals. You just need to do a little homework to determine what it is you want. From there, consider the following 10 professions.
1. Nurse Anesthesia Assistant
The median annual salary for Nurse Anesthetists was $157,090 in 2017. The highest 10 percent earned more than $206,520, and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $108,480. You don’t need any particular degree. It is not necessary to have an associate degree or a degree in science to become a Nurse Anesthesia Assistant.
For aspiring nurse anesthetists, there are a few things to consider when looking for a school. Find out if the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Anesthesia (JRC-EAPA).
2. Forensic Science Technician
The average wage for a forensic science technician is $44,000 per year. The highest pay for forensic science technicians is in the District of Columbia, where they earn $63,000 per year on average. The lowest pay is in Wyoming, where they earn $30,000 per year on average. A four-year bachelor’s degree in one of the natural science fields, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, is required to become a forensic science technician.
A bachelor’s degree in criminology or criminal justice may also be substituted for a degree in one of the natural sciences. A good place to start looking for a good school is the U.S. News. These schools have the best programs in the country. They’re ranked based on the quality of education, the quality of instructors, and the facilities. Another thing to consider is the pass rates on the certification exam.
3. Data Entry Clerk
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry clerks make an average of $32,640 per year, or $15.17 per hour. If you want to become a Data Entry Clerk you should study for a Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology or a Certificate IV in Business or a Certificate IV in Information, Digital Media and Technology.
These courses will provide you with the skills you need to use a computer and basic office software. Data entry clerk programs are offered by vocational schools and community colleges.
4. Radiology Technician
The median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $52,070 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,360.
The requirements to become a radiology technician vary by state, but you typically only need a high school diploma or GED to qualify for this position. You may also need to complete a training program and pass an exam to receive your license, but this varies by state.
The best schools for radiology technician programs are the ones that are accredited by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). This is the only accreditation organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
5. Medical Assistant
The median annual wage for medical assistants was $32,680 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,510.
In order to become a medical assistant, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or a GED. You’ll also need to take a training course that lasts about two months and is offered by many community colleges. There are many medical assistant programs that can be completed in just a few months.
Unfortunately, there are no rankings or ratings for medical assistant programs. You can research the program you’re interested in and talk to current students and alumni to get a sense of the quality of the program. You can also check the accreditation of the program.
6. Paralegal/Legal Assistant
The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $49,410 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that half of paralegals and legal assistants earned more than $49,410, while the other half earned less.
You don’t need a degree to become a paralegal or legal assistant. However, most employers will prefer to hire someone who has a degree in a related field like business, law, or criminal justice.
The best schools for a legal assistant degree in my opinion are the University of Phoenix, Ashford University, Liberty University, and Kaplan University. These schools are accredited by the National Association of Legal Assistants, which is basically the gold standard for accreditation.
7. Real Estate Agent/Broker/Manager
The average salary for a real estate broker in the United States is $52,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To put that into perspective, that’s about $25 per hour.
That’s pretty good for a job that doesn’t require any kind of advanced education. There’s no degree required in most states to become a real estate agent. In most cases you’ll only need to complete a real estate license application, which can often be completed online. You’ll then need to pass a state exam and pay a licensing fee.
To find the best real estate management programs, you can search for schools that have been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which is a national accreditor of for-profit colleges.
8. Massage Therapist/LMT
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for a Massage Therapist in the U.S. is $39,000. The median income for a Massage Therapist in California is $50,000.
The most common degree for a massage therapist is an Associate’s Degree in Massage Therapy. The majority of Massage Therapists, however, do not have formal education beyond this level and are instead self-taught. To become a Massage Therapist, you will have to pass a state-specific exam and obtain a license.
The best school for massage therapy is the one that fits your needs and is the most affordable. There are several factors you should consider when deciding which school to attend. You should look at the faculty, the curriculum, the facilities, the practicum hours, the campus environment, and the location.
9. Accountant or Bookkeeper
Accountants and bookkeepers earn a median salary of $65,430 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10 percent earn less than $37,820, and the top 10 percent earn more than $110,550. Salaries vary by employer, location, and years of experience.
To become an accountant or bookkeeper you generally need to have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in accounting. Most programs include both classroom learning and on-the-job training. There are also over 1,000 colleges and universities that offer accounting degrees that are accredited by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
There are many schools that offer a bookkeeping or accounting certificate or degree. Some of the best schools are Appalachian State University, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and the University of Phoenix.
10. Retail Management
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for retail sales managers was $56,170 in May 2011. Fifty percent of retail sales managers earned less than $43,490 and 50% earned more than $66,690. The highest-paid 10% earned an annual salary of $94,690 or more.
The most common degree for retail managers is a Bachelor’s degree in business or marketing. However, many Retail Managers also have a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in business or marketing.
In the US, there are two schools that consistently rank number one in the country: the University of Florida and Ohio State University. The University of Florida’s program is known as the nation’s top-ranked and is part of the larger Colleges of Business, which has been ranked number one in the nation by US News and World Report.
These Best-Paying Jobs for Undergraduates Will Ensure You Get More Out of Your Degree Plan
We hope this look at the best-paying jobs that you can take advantage of with a bachelor’s degree or less will give you some hope that the job market is not as tough as you might be thinking it is. Which of these jobs most appeals to you? And were there any we should have included? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Universal Translation Services]