Most students and parents assume that earning a four-year degree must follow right after high school. However, there are lots of other options for preparing for a career. You can directly enter the work force, join the military, or even take a gap year. Another great option is to get a two-year degree. Most of these can be earned from a community college, so you save time and money and can still have a great job. Here are six career paths that only require a two-year degree:
Most people would be completely creeped out by this job. But, if you have a passion for helping people during their toughest time, consider becoming a mortician (AKA a Funeral Director). This job is great for empathetic people who can communicate well and execute plans effectively. As a mortician, you will be interviewing family/friends and planning the funeral.
2. Radiation Therapist
For those who are interested in healthcare, this could be a great job for you. The money isn’t too shabby, either; the median pay for a radiation therapist is $80,160 per year. There are many different colleges where you can earn this degree.
3. Nuclear Technician
This is a great job for those who have a bit of a nerdy science side in them. Nuclear technicians typically work at nuclear power plants or in research laboratories. This job pays well and is a respected profession. A con to the job is the potential exposure to radiation, but facilities make sure that their employees are as safe as possible. Another con is that the location of a nuclear technician’s job may be limited, since most power plants are located in remote areas. But if you’re into science and might be looking for a move, this could be the job for you!
4. Dental Hygienist
Growing up, did you always want to be a dentist, but didn’t want to go through dental school? Consider the alternative of becoming a dental hygienist. People will always need dental care, so there will always be job security. Dental hygienists go through board licensure and receive more involved training than dental assistants.
5. MRI Technologist
An MRI Technologist is the person that monitors the MRI machine as a patient has an MRI done. This job pays very well; the median annual salary is $72,305. MRIs are common in the healthcare industry, and you will most likely work in a hospital if you choose to pursue this career. (Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your McDreamy, too!)
6. Air Traffic Controller
Although this job only requires a two-year degree, there are many other prerequisites job candidates must meet. Many psychology and sensory exams must be completed, including vision tests, depth perception tests, and color recognition tests. This job is known for being high-stress and comes with high pay. Many air traffic controllers make over six figures a year.
Whichever route you end up taking, just remember, you deserve to be happy and enjoy your career. If not, go back to school for another degree. You’re never “too old” to go back to school, and it’s never too late to start something new!