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Deciding on a career is more challenging than ever. Not only do you have to consider whether or not the cost of a college education is worth it, you have to know what careers will be safe from automation. We have tracked down high paying jobs in industries with a high demand.
A Degree Don’t Come for Free
The average cost of a four-year college degree ranges from $39,880-$138,960. That is a lot of money, and it costs even more if you have to take out student loans to afford it because you’re probably going to pay a lot of interest on those loans.
Is it worth it? In the past, the answer was almost always a hard “Yes.” Because college was the ticket to the middle class for millions of people. But things are different now and that “Yes” is less hard. The cost of college has skyrocketed to obscene levels. Some 70% of graduates leave college with student loan debt.
Furthermore, many more people elect to attend college which has the effect of “watering down” the value of having a degree. Once upon a time, it didn’t matter so much what your degree was in, so long as you had one because so many people didn’t.
If your passion was 18th Century French literature, you could study that and probably still get a well-paying job because you were competing with people who didn’t have a degree.
That isn’t the case now. If you’re going to spend the time and money it takes to earn a college degree; it better be in something practical that will land you a job that pays well enough to make sure you aren’t saddled with student debt well into your 40’s.
In Even Worse News
And now we have to factor in something else when we are deciding about college; automation. Within 12 years, automation is estimated to eliminate 400-800 million jobs worldwide. As a result, if your job is one of them, it won’t matter how many degrees you have or where they are from.
This all sounds terrifying, and it is. But we are here to help you make the right decisions so you can land high paying jobs in industries with a high demand that will be insulated from the impact of automation. Every job on this list is among the 100 least likely to be affected by automation.
Whether you decide to peruse a college degree or not, these jobs fit the bill.
High Paying Jobs Requiring a Degree
Getting a college degree is still worthwhile. Those who have a degree will make on average, $1 million over the course of their working lives than those who have only a high school diploma. But of course, some degrees are worth more than others. These fields will lead to high paying jobs.
If you want to make good money and have job security, get a job in a healthcare field. We all know that doctors make the big bucks so this is no surprise. But you don’t have to become a doctor to find high paying, secure jobs in the medical field.
What They Do: Occupational therapists treat injured and disabled patients through everyday activities to help them regain or develop the skills they will need for day to day living and working.
Median Income: $89,910
What They Do: Chiropractors manipulate the spine to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure so the body can heal itself without resorting to drugs or surgery.
Median Income: $64,440
What They Do: Audiologists help prevent, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance disorders.
Median Income: $65,800
What They Do: Registered dieticians provide advice on diet and nutrition to individuals and organizations like hospitals and nursing homes.
Median Income: $58,920
Mental Health Care
As there is an increased push for better and more access to mental health, it’s a field ripe for growth.
“The healthcare industry is one of the biggest and busiest in the world these days.
When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its most recent ranking of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the United States, the list was filled with many different health care-related jobs. This bodes very well for all entrepreneurs who have opened or plan to create their own practice or those who wish to run one.
If your area of expertise or interest is in mental health in particular, then you should certainly consider investing time and/or money into operating your own clinic to take advantage of the booming status of this particular field.”
What They Do: School psychologists support students ability to learn and teacher’s ability to teach in a school setting.
Median Income: $73,270
What They Do: Psychologists work with people to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral problems.
Median Income: $66,280
Social and Community Service Manager
What They Do: Social and community service managers plan and oversee social service and community outreach programs.
Median Income: $63,530
Marriage and Family
What They Do: Marriage and family therapists diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral problems between couples and families.
Median Income: $49,170
The arts are often thought of as low paying careers, which is why we use the term “starving artist.” But there are some relatively high paying careers in the arts, and because robots don’t have souls, these jobs aren’t going anywhere.
Art is an expression of human creativity, imagination, and improvisation-something that computers will never have.Tweet This
What They Do: Art directors create the look of things like magazines and newspapers, product packaging, and movies and television shows.
Median Income: $89,760
What They Do: Curators choose the art that is displayed in a museum. They also describe the works on labels and in catalogs.
Median Income: $68,559
What They Do: Music directors can do a wide variety of things including conduct orchestras, lead music departments at schools and universities, or work at a radio station choosing what music is broadcast.
Median Income: $54,400
What They Do: Interior designers outfit private and commercial spaces with furniture, art, and lighting.
Median Income: $48,840
Because robots can’t tame a classroom full of unruly students, if you want to work in education, you will always have a job.
What They Do: Education administrators hire and supervise teachers and other staff, create budgets, and make decisions that affect curriculum.
Median Income: $81,500
career and Technical Education teacher
What They Do: career and technical education teachers instruct vocational subjects like auto repair, HVAC, and plumbing.
Median Income: $58,170
Special Education teacher
What They Do: Special education teachers work with students who have mental, physical, and behavioral disabilities.
Median Income: $53,165
What They Do: Guidance counselors help students decide their educational and career paths.
Median Income: $46,500
Engineering is often at the top of lists of high-income jobs.
What They Do: A materials engineer works with metals, ceramics, and plastics to create everything from computer chips to biomedical devices.
Median Income: $84,600
What They Do: Civil engineers design and build infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water treatment plants.
Median Income: $83,540
What They Do: Electronic engineers analyze the requirements and costs of electrical systems.
Median Income: $70,813
What They Do: Environmental engineers develop solutions to problems like waste disposal, water, and air pollution.
Median Income: $62,716
Even though robots work side by side with scientists, there is a very distinct division of labor. Robots do the tedious stuff, but it’s the humans who do the thinking.
Computer and Research Scientist
What They Do: Computer and research scientists research computer and information science to develop solutions for problems relating to computer software and hardware.
Median Income: $110,620
What They Do: Materials scientists study and analyze the chemical makeup and structures of man-made and natural materials like metals, glass, rubber, and alloys.
Median Income: $99,430
What They Do: Medical scientist research diseases and ways to prevent and treat them.
Median Income: $82,240
What They Do: Biological scientists study living things and their relationship to the environment.
Median Salary: $75,150
Trade Labor High Paying Jobs
College isn’t for everyone and not having a degree doesn’t mean you can’t land high paying jobs in industries with a high demand.
Electrical Power-Line Installer and Repairer
What They Do: Electrical power-line installers and repairers install, maintain, and repair power lines.
Median Income: $61,430
What They Do: Electricians install wiring systems into buildings and maintain, repair, and upgrade existing systems.
Median Income: $51,880
Wind Turbine Technician
What They Do: Wind turbine technicians provide inspections of and repairs to wind turbines.
Median Income: $51,050
What They Do: Carpenters build, maintain, and repair buildings. The job can encompass many things from building an entire house to installing kitchen cabinets.
Median Income: $44,778
It’s a lot to ask of an eighteen-year-old, to make a decision that will impact their entire life; “Quick! What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some of us are well over eighteen and still haven’t quite figured it out.
But the world is changing fast, therefore, answering the question is more important than it has ever been. We not only have to decide what we want to do but whether or not the answer is even realistic because a career that exists today may not exist in twenty years or even in ten.
The correct answer to the age-old question can no longer be answered merely by what we want to do. The answer has to encompass so much more now. Choosing to attend or not attend college and what field you enter, either way, is a high stakes proposition. It’s especially important now to choose well.