Advisors, relatives and teachers have drilled the message into us since career day in junior high: If you want a good career, you have to go to college. But not everyone can, and not everyone wants to.
There's a lot of pressure to go to college, and the common understanding in today's society is that you'll end up making much less money if you forgo years on a university campus.
Despite the mantra, there are actually many career options that boast a pretty hefty salary — and require no college degree whatsoever!
Check out these 7 jobs with at least $70,000 salaries:
1. Criminal investigators and detectives
Median annual salary: $78,120
Although images of educated brainiacs like Sherlock Holmes come to mind when we hear "detective," you actually don't even need an associate's degree to work in the investigative, mystery-solving field. It probably won't be exactly like on TV, but these workers get to do some pretty exciting (and sometimes intense) work within the crime field.
2. In-N-Out managers
Median annual salary: $120,000
This one is pretty specific, but out of all the fast food companies, In-N-Out pays its employees more by far. While the average fast food manager is paid $48,000 a year, the classic Californian burger restaurant boasts a triple figure salary, plus full benefits for its managers.
Why the huge pay difference? Heads of the company say they're trying to stay true to the founders' focus of great care for both customers and employees.
3. Distribution, transportation and storage managers
These people are responsible for planning, direction and logistics for the company they work for, whether in distribution, transportation or storage (Think Michael Scott at everyone's favorite paper distribution company, Dunder Mifflin).
4. Real estate brokers
Median annual salary: $76,200
It's a competitive field, and the position does require a license; but the median salary is still high, and brokers can make up to $180,000 a year. No fancy diploma required — just dedication, perseverance and a flexible schedule.
5. Nuclear power reactor operators
Median annual salary: $91,170
Despite its sciency, technical-sounding name, the only academic requirement for this job is a high school diploma. Of course, some experience in the field and certification is required, and then you're on to manning the control room at a commercial nuclear power plant facility. Reactor operators' main duty is to manipulate the controls of nuclear reactors.
These are the workers who oversee your friendly mailperson who delivers your letters and Amazon goodies. Of course, this is one of those jobs where you'd most likely have to work your way up; but it's still a pretty amazing salary for a job that only requires a high school diploma!
Median annual salary: $123,400
This is another position that requires licensing, of course (and a whole lot of schedule flexibility). But six digits and skipping the college track? Sign me up!