If you don't have a college degree, only took a few college courses or are thinking of skipping the college experience to go right into the workforce, you aren't destined to only have low-income jobs. There are plenty of careers that offer a decent salary and job security without requiring a college diploma. (Although some may require you get a certification.)
To establish a few of them, we took a look at the fastest growing careers on the U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop page that only required a high school diploma or some college experience. To make sure these results had some longevity, we excluded any that weren't expected to grow or have solid demand over the next decade. Based on those results, we took a look at the most recent wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and that's how we came up with these seven great career options.
Wind turbine service technicians
Annual mean wage: $54,360
According to a 2017 report from the American Wind Energy Association, a new wind turbine was installed every 2.5 hours in the United States. So it's no wonder workers who understand these machines are in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for wind turbine service technicians will increase 108% through 2024. It's important to note that some states require workers have an occupational license.
Annual mean wage: $53,990
Commercial divers do exactly what you would imagine: Scuba dive below the surface of the water to perform tasks, such as installing equipment or building underwater structures. Jobs for these workers are expected to increase 37% through 2024, which is much higher than the national average for all jobs (7%). Commercial divers get trained on-the-job, usually for around 12 months.
Hearing aid specialists
Annual mean wage: $53,000
Hearing aid specialists administer hearing tests, help consumers find the aids needed to improve their hearing, as well as fit them with their aid. Jobs for hearing aid specialists are expected to surge by 27% through 2024.
Solar panel installers
Annual mean wage: $42,500
Solar panel installers, also known as solar photovoltaic installers, assemble and install solar panels and accompanying systems. The U.S. Department of Labor believes jobs in this industry will increase by 24% through 2024. As demand increases, pay is expected to increase as well.
Reinforcing iron & rebar workers
Annual mean wage: $53,600
From reviewing blueprints to installing fencing and cutting metal with blow torches, this is a construction job for those who really like to work with their hands. These workers typically learn their job skills through an internship or apprenticeship. There's always a new construction project popping up, so it makes sense that jobs in this field are expected to increase by 23% through 2024.
Brickmasons & blockmasons
Annual mean wage: $53,440
Brickmasons and blockmasons are those who use brick, tile, concrete blocks and other materials to build the foundations of buildings and independent structures. Usually, they develop their craft with an internship or other on-the-job training. This industry is growing at a rapid pace, expected to see an increase of 19% by 2024.
Elevator installers & repairers
Annual mean wage: $76,860
Because elevators come with complex operating systems that aren’t part of traditional construction projects, specialists are required to install and maintain them. Elevator installers and repairers perform the bulk of this work, usually after completing an internship or on-the-job training. This role also tends to include work on passenger elevators, escalators and dumbwaiters.