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Thinking About a Career Change: 5 Well-Paid Jobs that you Can Get Without a College Degree

Aug 2, 2016

Thinking about a career change: 5 well-paid jobs that you can get without a college degree


If you are thinking about a career change, you may not have the time, the financial resources or even the interest to pursue a college degree and this can lead some people to think that their best choice is to stick to their current career no matter how unfulfilling it is. Further training will be required in most cases to make a change but you often won’t need to undertake a 3 or 4 year full time degree as there are many well-paid career that don’t require a college degree to get into.

1. Luas Driver

To become a Luas tram driver, you have to take a 7-week training course and your starting salary is €32,311 per annum. Within a year of service, you will be earning more than the average industrial salary of €34,465 per annum and within 9 years you will be earning €42,247 per annum (these figures don’t include your 6.5% annual bonus). You don’t need to have any type of college degree to become a Luas tram driver. There are currently no vacancies until 2017 but that has not stopped hundreds of people from applying for driver jobs this year due to the relatively good salary.

2. Web Developer

Although it could be advantageous to have a college degree, there are many online learning platforms such as Treehouse, Udacity and Coursera where you can learn how to code at an affordable price. You will have to invest a lot of time to learn how to code but many people all over the world have used online platforms to become web developers. The crucial factor to land a job as a web developer is not whether you have a degree but the strength of your portfolio in relation to the open-source projects that you have contributed to and/or the projects that you have built yourself. If you have an analytical mindset, this role might be for you and the average salary is €33,000 per annum although this can rise quite considerably with experience and skills in some of the most demand-skills such as SQL and Ruby.

3. Air Traffic Controller

An air traffic controller earns an average of €51,000 per annum after their paid training which can be taken with the National Air Traffic Services. When you include the shift allowance, the salary comes to nearly €75,000 per annum. The requirements to be an Air Traffic Controller are to pass 5 Leaving Certificate subjects with at least a Grade C in two higher-level subjects. In order to succeed in this role, you will need to have excellent communication skills, numeracy skills, spatial vision and the ability to work under pressure.

4. Off-shore Oil Platform Worker

If you are willing to travel or live outside of Ireland, being an oil platform worker is a financially rewarding job with an average salary of €64,000 per annum. However, the work can be dangerous and difficult and you will have to spend prolonged periods at sea. Companies usually provide their own internal training and there are a lot of industry standard training bodies as well. The current market downturn has led to a number of jobs being lost in the oil industry but those jobs arel ikely to return when the price of oil increases again.

5. Hazardous Waste Manager

Firms such as Enva, Indaver and Veolia get rid of the hazardous by-products that are generated everywhere, from hospitals to factories. Due to the high level of skill and care required when handling and disposing of hazardous by-products, the salaries for these types of jobs are an average of around €40,000 per annum.

Find out what opportunities are right for you

There are many exciting and well-paid career opportunities available for people who don’t have a degree or for those people who want to change careers without getting another degree. However, it can be more difficult to know which of these options are right for you. Choosing a career that is right for your unique mix of personality traits, interests, aptitudes, values and motivations is one of the most important life decisions you will ever make. The average person spends over 90,000 hours of their life working and you don’t to waste those hours doing something that isn’t right for you or in some cases that you actively dislike. Career Fit can help you identify a list of careers that you will enjoy and earn a good salary from and it will advise you about the best ways to go about getting into them.

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