Choosing a career is as difficult as it is confusing. Whether they decide to go to college or not, young adults are still under a lot of pressure — expected to be responsible enough to pick a career path that is not only satisfying, but will also pay the bills down the road.
If you’re in this spot, don’t get so focused on finding the perfect career that you miss out on lucrative, lesser-known career options, many of which offer quicker job placement than traditional careers. Just because these careers aren’t going to top the lists of most popular jobs anytime soon, they shouldn’t be overlooked. So if you know anyone struggling to find a career path, whether or not they have a college degree, consider sharing this list of lesser-known career paths with them.
Requirements: Bachelor’s of Science Degree + 1 Year of Perfusion School
Estimated Earnings: $102,000 per year.
If you haven’t heard of this profession yet, don’t beat yourself up. According to Reddit, there are only about 3,500 people in the nation who share this occupation, so it’s not one of the most talked-about jobs out there. But it probably should be, because it can earn you a six-figure salary. Perfusionists work in medical environments where their main task is to run cardiopulmonary bypass machine during heart surgeries. According to one perfusionist, “I am four years out of school and made six figures last year. I probably averaged 30 to 35 hours per week. It can be stressful because you can kill a patient very easily (won’t happen unless you’re careless) but it is very rewarding to know you are saving people’s lives every day.” Clearly, with high risk comes high reward.
Requirements: No Degree Required
Estimated Earnings: $73,000 per year
Just because this one doesn’t require a college degree, doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthy option — especially for those who are currently enrolled in Maritime Academies, as this experience is likely to expedite you into a higher ranking position, which means a potentially higher pay and faster job placement. Merchant Marines have a variety of job duties including navigational watch (a.k.a. driving the boat), overseeing the loading and unloading of cargo, and also acting as a supervisor to any lower-ranking crew members, according to a merchant marine Redditor.
Requirements: No Degree Required
Estimated Earnings: $97,524 per year
First merchant marines, and now towboat operators: clearly there is a need for more workers on the water. The job title pretty much explains itself. However, the downside to picking a career like this is that you end up working two-thirds of the year, and are gone from home most of the time. On the other hand, if you enjoy isolation and being on the water, it’s a worthwhile option to explore. One Redditor explains, “I started out making $30,000 a year as an entry-level employee and depending on your level of motivation, you can be making $120k within five years. All training is paid for by my company, as is all travel (I live 600 miles from where I work). I’m also paid my daily rate during off-the-job training. 401k, health/vision/dental insurance, and a pension after 25 years as well as a yearly bonus.”
Medical Laboratory Sciences
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or laboratory science
Estimated Earnings: $57,528 per year
You may not know this, but right now there is a huge shortage of medical laboratory workers in the U.S., according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Labs all over the country are trying to fill some 7,000 jobs, and there are only about 6,000 qualified professionals to fill those roles. This means that the demand is at an all-time high. One Redditor who works in the field says, “[Medical laboratory sciences] is something that has well paid positions at multiple levels of degrees, although associate and bachelor’s are the most common. Do you like doing science and biological stuff? Do you like being a part of healthcare but hate dealing with sick people directly? Lab services might be for you if you answered yes to both of those questions.”
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you currently work in any of these great career paths? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!