College tuition is rising, financial aid is diminishing and the economy is stuttering. If you're not absolutely sure what you want to study, it may be difficult to justify the expense of a college education. Add to that the fact that your postgraduate salary may not be enough to cover your living expenses and student loans, and the issue of attending college becomes even more confusing. There are options, though. In spite of the economy, there are well-paying positions available to those who don't hold a college degree.
Air Traffic Controller
The primary duty of an air traffic controller is to keep aircraft at a safe distance from each other in order to prevent collisions, to expedite the flow of air traffic and to provide information for pilots when they need it. Air traffic controllers go through their own rigorous training program after being selected, and make around £66,300 per year.
Computer Technical Support Specialist
A computer technical support specialist makes about £44,200 a year to help people use their computers. Many answer questions over the phone or by e-mail. It is a position that requires patience as the support specialist takes people through step-by-step procedures to diagnose and repair problems.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Responsible for directly controlling a nuclear reactor from a control panel, a nuclear power reactor operator holds a position of great responsibility. He may need to shut down a critical reactor, respond to a casualty, or recognise a potential problem before it occurs. Reactor operators are required to be licensed or qualified by an appropriate governing body and will earn around £48,100 a year.
Real Estate Broker
A real estate broker makes around £38,350 annually by acting as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of property. This can be a round-the-clock job as real estate brokers are normally on call for their clients, but it also one that can be begun without a college diploma.
A subway operator drives a train as it moves through a city, whether that be underground or on elevated tracks. The primary training needed for a subway operator, who makes around £34,450 a year, is an employer training program.
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
For around £38,350 a year, sales representatives will stay abreast of new products and be aware of the needs of their customers. They attend trade shows, conferences and conventions to meet other sales representatives and learn about new product developments. The primary goal of a sales representative is to meet the needs of her customers while making a profit for her company.
A ship engineer will supervise and coordinate the activities of the crew on a ship as they operate and maintain engines, work with electrical and refrigeration equipment, and man the boilers. He will make around £35,750 per year.
Pilots can be trained through a flight training program or in the military. Although they need not have a college degree, they are required to earn a Commercial Pilot License and can expect an average salary of £35,015.