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slides: Oregon’s 20 Best Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

Saturday, December 06, 2014

 

A lot of jobs that don’t require a four-year college degree pay better than you might think: a firefighter in Oregon has a higher hourly wage than an accountant, while an electrician can make more than a wildlife biologist, according to analysis by the Oregon Employment Department

Jobs that require technical education, apprenticeships, on the job training, or even no training at all make an average of 24 dollars per hour in Oregon. Some positions can average over 35 dollars an hour and 67,000 dollars a year.  

Slideshow Below: Oregon's 20 Best Jobs that Don't Require a College Degree

“The pay and benefits [for trade and apprentices jobs] is equal to or exceeds what many four year degrees are able to make,” Rick Willebrand, the department chair for Portland Community College trades industry said. “And you get the pride of working in what is now, and continues to become, highly technical and highly skilled jobs.”

Within the next eight years, some of these professions will have over 5,000 or even 6,000 new jobs available. Willebrand said PCC trade programs are constantly getting calls from employers looking for workers in these fields. 

One reason for the projected job growth is the nature of the work. Erik Knoder, an economist with the state of Oregon, said most of non-degree jobs are safe from being replaced by new technology, unlike other entry-level jobs.

“A lot of these jobs you have to be on site,” Knoder said. “It’s hard to imagine a computer taking over a firefighter’s job.” 

Willebrand explained the low cost of training is why many people chose trade or apprentice professions. 

For example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union will pay apprentices that work in their training programs, Willebrand said. 

Companies usually pay for books and tuition if their employees are in trade or apprentice programs. Even if a student pays their own way, it is cheaper than student loans for a four year degree, Willebrand said.  

Knoder said many people don’t take the time to look into trade-career alternatives to college, but would be surprised if they did. 

“It can make really make a difference for a person to know what they can make and what some options for training are,” Knoder said. “You don’t want to end up with a job paying 10 dollars an hour when you could end up with 30 dollars instead.”  

 

Related Slideshow: Oregon’s 20 Best Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

There are many high-paying jobs in Oregon that don't require a four year college degree. The Oregon Employment Department looked at the average wages and future openings of these jobs. Check out what people can make without a degree. 

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#20

Executive Secretaries & Admin. Assistants

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 1,823

Average hourly wage: $22.97

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#19

Supervisors & Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 5,744

Average hourly wage: $23.18

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#18

Licensed Practical & Vocational Nurses

Training required: Postsecondary non-degree

Total openings by 2022: 1,197

Average hourly wage: $23.39

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#17

Sheet Metal Workers

Training required: Apprenticeship

Total openings by 2022: 1,046

Average hourly wage: $23.99

Photo Credit: ellencanderson via Compfight cc

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#16

Operating Engineers & Other Construction Equipment Operators

Training required: Moderate term on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 1,323

Average hourly wage: $24.31

Photo credit: Nomadic Lass on Flickr

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#15

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

Training required: Long term on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 2,298

Average hourly wage: $25.58

Photo credit: Kyle May on Flickr

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#14

Supervisors & Managers of Production and Operating Workers

Training required:  None

Total openings by 2022: 1,776

Average hourly wage: $25.68

Photo Credit: ste3ve via Compfight cc

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#13

Supervisors & Managers of Transportation/Material-Moving Vehicle Operators

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 1,138

Average hourly wage: $25.82

Photo Credit: Andrew Kudrin via Compfight cc

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#12

Wholesale & Manufacture Representatives

Training required: Moderate term on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 5,515

Average hourly wage: $25.86

Photo Credit: toolstop via Compfight cc

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#11

Correction Officers & Jailers

Training required: Moderate term on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 1,346

Average hourly wage: $26.27

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#10

Insurance Sales Agents

Training required: Postsecondary non-degree

Total openings by 2022: 1,084

Average hourly wage: $26.71

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#9

Supervisors & Managers of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 1,614

Average hourly wage: $27.78

Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District on Flickr

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#8

Property, Real Estate, & Community Association Managers

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 1,053

Average hourly wage: $26.80

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#7

Postal Service Mail Carriers

Training required: Short term on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 1,136

Average hourly wage: $26.88

Photo Credit: Charles Henry via Compfight cc

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#6

Supervisors & Managers of Non-retail Sales Workers

Training required: None

Total openings by 2022: 987

Average hourly wage: $28.62

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#5

Firefighters

Training required:  Postecondary non-degree

Total openings by 2022: 1,374

Average hourly wage: $30.41

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#4

Police & Sheriff Patrol Officers

Training required: Moderate on-the-job

Total openings by 2022: 1,824

Average hourly wage: $31.38

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#3

Plumbers, Pipers & Steamfitters

Training required: Apprenticeship

Total openings by 2022: 1,066

Average hourly wage: $32.59

Photo Credit: kozumel via Compfight cc

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#2

Carpenters

Training required: Apprenticeship

Total openings by 2022: 2,659

Average hourly wage: $33.21

Photo Credit: freezr via Compfight cc

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#1

Computer Occupations

Training required: Postsecondary non-degree

Total openings by 2022: 1,694

Average hourly wage: $36.19

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

 
 

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