Short Careers That Pay Well – Short on School, Big on Pay

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Short careers that pay wellIf getting a four year traditional degree is not for you, rest assured that there are many short careers that pay well. Let’s face it. College is not for everyone. However, it has been ingrained in our heads that we must have an education to have a successful career. Thankfully, there are many careers that are short on school but big on pay.

Short Careers That Pay Well

With the current economic situation plaguing many in the US, attending school is not always an option. Rather than leaving high school and attending a four year college, students are finding that they need to leave high school and go straight to work. That is why many are looking to short careers that pay well. These careers will have you in and out of school in a short time but will have you earning a salary that can support your family.

What constitutes short careers that pay well? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median average salary of full time workers in all occupations is $40,144. All of these positions pay more that and do not require a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to qualify for positions in the field. So, take a look at our list of short careers that pay well.

Dental Hygienist – $33,470

Now, this will make you smile. This short career has an average salary between $46,020 and $94,850, with a median average salary of $69,280. To top it off, you won’t spend 10 years paying off your student loans. With just an associate’s degree in dental hygiene you could qualify for a position in the career field.

Paralegal – $46,730

If you want a career in law but don’t want to spend years and years in school to get your Juris Doctorate (JD), there are other options for a successful and rewarding career in the field. Paralegals work side by side with attorneys without spending years in school and sitting for the bar. With an associate’s degree or certificate, you can qualify for many positions in the career field.

Police Officer – $54,230

Another criminal justice field that doesn’t involve passing the bar is that of law enforcement. In many municipalities, only a high school diploma is necessary. However, to make yourself more marketable an associate’s degree is often recommended.

The short careers that pay wellRegistered Nurse (RN) – $65,950

If you want to help people and be in the medical field, you don’t need to be a doctor to do it. On average, medical school can set you back $150,000 to $180,000. If the thought of being saddled with that amount of debt for years to come does not thrill you, think of being an RN. You will still get to help people every day and get paid well to do it. It typically takes just 12-18 months to become an RN in many cases.


By looking into some of the short careers that pay well, you can be out in the workforce earning an above average wage while others are still taking their general education courses at a traditional four year university.