Although many of the most high demand jobs require post-secondary education, there are several career options for those wanting to work in a growing field without getting a college degree. While jobs that require only a high school diploma generally pay less, they are a great way to gain experience in your chosen field or earn money as you determine your next career move. These jobs only require on-the-job training and are expected to experience growth in the next decade.
Physical Therapist Aides
Physical therapy aides work under the supervision of physical therapists or physical therapy assistants. Unlike physical therapy assistants, physical therapist aides do not need an associate’s degree or licensing. They clean and set up therapy areas, help patients to and from therapy areas, and do clerical work. The median annual wage for physical therapist aides was $25,120 in 2015. Most work in nursing care facilities or hospitals.
Occupational Therapist Aides
Occupational therapy aides are responsible for preparing and cleaning therapy areas, helping patients move to and from therapy, assisting with insurance forms, and clerical work. Most jobs require on-the-job training and may also require that applicants be certified in first aid. The median annual wage for occupational therapist aides was $27,800 in 2015. Growth of 31% is projected through 2024.
Medical secretaries schedule appointments, maintain files, prepare documents, order supplies and do basic bookkeeping. Responsibilities can vary greatly depending on where one works. Most medical secretaries and administrative assistants work in doctor’s offices or in hospitals. The median annual wage for medical secretaries was $33,040 in 2015. Growth of 21% is projected through 2024.
Opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses prescribed by optometrists and ophthalmologists. Most work in optometrist’s offices or stores that sell eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some states require opticians to be licensed. The median annual pay for opticians was $34,840 in 2015. A growth rate of 24% is projected through 2024.
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Solar photovoltaic installers (also called PV installers) install and repair solar panel systems on roofs or solar farms. Most installers work for electrical or HVAC contractors and most of the work is done outdoors. The median annual pay for PV installers was $37,830 in 2015. Growth of 24% is projected through 2024.
Want more career ideas? Read our list of high demand jobs that only require an associate’s degree.
*Salary and growth data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook