Finding a good-paying job that doesn’t require a four-year degree might sound like the stuff of dreams. But it’s possible, if you know where to look.
CNN Money reports that becoming a dental hygienist puts you on the fast track to securing a comfortable middle-class living, especially if you’re a low-income student or an immigrant.
Dental hygienists earn a median salary of $73,000 in the U.S. Some even earn into six figures in big cities, making it one of the highest-paid careers in America that doesn’t require at least a four-year degree. Dental hygienists must complete a two-year associate degree.
It’s also a low-stress, fast-growing profession that provides a good work-life balance.
“It’s a booming field for the next 20 years,” Kevin Artis, class president of the dental hygiene program at Hostos Community College in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City, tells CNN Money.
Other dream jobs that pay well
If the thought of cleaning someone’s teeth is the furthest thing from your dream job, don’t despair. There are plenty of other good-paying jobs out there.
For example, check out “The Top 20 Entry-Level Positions for the Class of 2017,” which includes a ranking of top jobs based on several factors, including starting salary, job openings and income growth potential.
You might need a college degree for many of these jobs, however. The list includes the following jobs, among others:
- Certified nursing assistant
- Systems engineer
- Web applications developer
Regardless of where you want to work, it’s possible to secure a job that pays near or well over six figures — even if it’s from the comfort of your own home.
“Sure, work-from-home jobs are available in lower pay grades, but it is clear that flexibility is not constrained by experience level or a high salary,” says Jessica Howington, FlexJobs content team lead, in an MTN report on well-paying work-from-home jobs.
Some of the jobs mentioned in the list of telecommuting jobs that pay big bucks are senior medical writer, senior software engineer and research biologist. Read more about those jobs and others in “10 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay 6 Figures.”
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