High-Tech Jobs That Don't Need a College Degree

4. Electricians
> Number of jobs: 512,290
> Average wages: $52,910
> Pct. growth 2010-2020: 23%

Electricians install and maintain electrical equipment in houses and buildings. Those aspiring to be electricians usually need to have a high-school diploma with at least one year of algebra. They also generally undergo a four-year apprenticeship, which involves both time in the classroom and on-the-job training. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of electrician jobs is expected to grow an additional 23%, higher than the 14% job growth for all professions.

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3. Carpenters
> Number of jobs: 578,910
> Average wages: $44,330
> Pct. growth 2010-2020: 20%

Carpenters both build and repair home and building structures such as door frames and stairwells. Most carpenters learn their craft through a paid apprenticeship lasting three or four years. Apprentices must complete 144 hours of technical training, where they learn carpentry, mathematics and safety, among others skills. In addition, carpenter apprentices are expected to complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of carpenters is expected to grow by 20%, compared to 14% for all professions.

2. Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
> Number of jobs: 589,570
> Average wages: $38,560
> Pct. growth 2010-2020: 17%

Automotive service technicians and mechanics help repair and maintain cars and trucks. Some auto shops have technicians and mechanics that specialize in such fields as brake repairs and front-end mechanics. Many prospective technicians and mechanics come from postsecondary training programs that take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. These types of programs provide both classroom and on-the-job training. Some service technicians also obtain an associate’s degree, which is sometimes sponsored by car manufacturers and dealerships. Students in these programs take courses in basic mathematics, computers and electronics, among other subjects.

1. Registered Nurses
> Number of jobs: 2,724,570
> Average wages: $69,110
> Pct. growth 2010-2020: 26%

The number of registered nurses is expected to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020 due to an increased emphasis on preventative health care and an aging population. To complete their education, nurses can either get a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree or a diploma from an accredited nursing program. Regardless of the educational paths, students take classes in a host of subjects, including physiology, microbiology and chemistry. In Rochester, Minn., home of the Mayo Clinic, the nurse-to-population ratio is the higher than any other metropolitan area in the country.

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