Personal Finance

9 hot jobs that don't require a college degree

A Kmart pharmacist with a customer.
Source: Kmart

For people who decide not to pursue a college degree, it might seem challenging to find a job that both is appealing and pays a living wage.

Yet employers are struggling to fill many decent-paying positions that don't require a degree. A new CareerBuilder report shows the hottest in-demand jobs for 2018 that often can be landed without two or four years of college.

"Some of these jobs pay [enough] that allow you to not just have a job, but have a career … and take care of you and your family," said Michael Erwin, senior career advisor with CareerBuilder.

Erwin recommends that job hunters expand their search beyond one company or occupation, and research as many positions as possible.

"If you invest in a four-year degree, you kind of know what your career path is going to be," he said. "If you don't have that investment, you have more options. Cast the net wider when you're looking for a job. You don't know what's available unless you look."

The list below includes occupations where the number of job postings each month outpace the number of people hired.

1. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Average monthly unique job postings: 1.7 million

Median hourly earnings: $19.26 (yearly: $40,000)

Charged with transporting goods from one place to another — sometimes over long distances — workers in these positions often must have at least a high school diploma and attend a professional truck-driving school. They also must get a commercial driver's licence.

2. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Average monthly unique job postings: 276,000

Median hourly earnings: $17.10 (yearly: $35,600)

If you like being in charge and have at least a high school diploma, this job could be for you. This position involves directly supervising and coordinating activities of retail sales workers. Duties include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, accounting and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.

3. Food service managers

Average monthly unique job postings: 60,700

Median hourly earnings: $19.82 (yearly: $41,200)

The daily operations of restaurants are the responsibility of food service managers. They direct staff to ensure customers are satisfied and manage the business to ensure its profitability. Most applicants have a high school diploma and several years of experience in the industry.

4. Insurance sales agents

Frederic Cirou | Getty Images

Average monthly unique job postings: 57,100

Median hourly earnings: $23.17 (yearly: $48,200)

Most employers only require insurance agents to have a high school diploma, although many workers do come into the job with a bachelor's degree. Much of the training is done on the job, although agents must be licensed in the states where they work.

5. Computer user support specialists

About 64 percent of Americans have experienced a data breach, according to Pew Research Center.
Jetta Productions/Blend Images | Getty Images

Average monthly unique job postings: 58,600

Median hourly earnings: $23.81 (yearly: $49,500)

In this position, you provide help and advice to computer users and organizations. These specialists either support computer networks or provide technical assistance directly to computer users. Some of these positions require computer knowledge but not necessarily a college degree.

6. Social and human service assistants

Tom M. Johnson | Getty Images

Average monthly unique job postings: 38,900

Median hourly earnings: $15.33 (yearly: $31,900)

These workers provide client services — including support for families — in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation and social work. The minimum education is typically a high school diploma, and much of the learning is done on the job.

7. Real estate sales agents

Prospective home buyers tour a house for sale with their realtor in Machinaw, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Average monthly unique job postings: 18,200

Median hourly earnings: $17.92 (yearly: $37,300)

Agents help clients buy, sell and rent properties.Typically, the minimum required education is a high school diploma. Every state requires you to get licensed, which involves completing a number of courses and passing a licensing test.

8. Pharmacy technicians

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Average monthly unique job postings: 26,800

Median hourly earnings: $14.87 (yearly: $30,900)

This position involves helping pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. The job typically requires you to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the company and the state it's located in, you might also have to pass an exam or complete a formal education or training program.

9. Medical assistants

Average monthly unique job postings: 28,600

Median hourly earnings: $15.18 (yearly: $31,600)

These workers complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. While most medical assistants earn a certificate, others enter the job with a high school diploma and then learn the tricks of the trade through on-the-job training.

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