For workers who don't continue formal education after high school, finding a steady, well-paying job can be tricky. It seems all signs for a successful future point to earning a four-year college degree in today's labor market, but there are plenty of high-paying opportunities out there that will allow you to forgo academia in favor of technical or on-the-job training.
You just need to know where to look and how to prepare for them.
To help job seekers better focus their efforts, CNBC Make It combed through data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the occupations that pay workers more than $75,000 a year and do not require a bachelor's degree. Of course, that doesn't mean studying won't be necessary. Many of these roles demand extensive on-the-job training, certifications, lengthy internships or an associate's degree.
The efforts will be well-worth it, though. Nailing one of these top-dollar jobs can drastically increase the odds you'll be out earning those with a similar education and, maybe even out earning those with a four-year degree. After all, the average annual salary of someone with a high school diploma is $35,256; those with an associate's degree rake in $41,496 a year, according to the BLS. But with one of these roles, you'll be well above that and can even brag to your bachelor degree friends, who are probably earning around $59,000, about your job and the fact that you didn't have to take on $37,000 in student loans, the typical amount a student graduates with these days, to get it.
If you want to earn into the high five-figures without college, consider one of these 15 occupations: