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7 jobs to ditch the college degree for

Published: Nov. 22, 2010 at 2:54 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2010 at 10:19 PM EST
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By Chris McGill - bio | email

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - A college degree is sometimes seen as being necessary to grab a good paying job nowadays. But according to a recent article there are seven jobs you could actually skip college for. And some come with salaries as high as $60,000 a year.

Topping the list is a private investigator or detective with a median salary of $50,600 per year. Rob Wolf has been a private investigator for more than 10 years. The majority of his day is spent tailing people from home to work and back again. He sits in the back of his van with blackened out windows armed with binoculars , hand-held cameras and monitors. Then he waits to see what happens.

"You're really kind of at the mercy at the person that you're watching", says Wolf.

But Wolf didn't become inspector gadget overnight. Prior to opening his own P. I. Company, Titan Investigations, he worked as an investigator for a different company for 10 years. He had to complete 4,000 hours of investigation over a two-year period just to apply for his license.

Also on the list is a personal trainer. Median salary usually runs around $37,500 per year. 32-year old Ian Arata received his personal training certification which he says can take as little as a week to complete. And may web sites off the test for a fee online.

"They actually teach you little tips and tricks so that you can teach people, versus just doing it yourself."

Arata says he has steady clientele. He can also get in his own workout during the workday and enjoys helping people achieve their goals.

"I'm always in the gym so I know I'm going to get my workout in, you get to help people, you make decent money (and) it allows for flexibility."

The next job on the list is an air traffic controller with a median salary of $60,200 per year. After being in the Air Force for four years, air traffic controller Ralph Rud has been on the job for more than 20 years. He's now certified by the FAA to be the eyes in the sky for thousands of planes and pilots. While the job may not require a college degree, it still takes about three years of training before you're in the tower on your own.

Career coach Dana Glascoe says ditching the tuition and loans for a full-time paying gig is more and more tempting for students. Still, she says, a college degree will never be obsolete and is still essential in a competitive workforce.

"There are a small percentage of people who can be successful without a college degree, nowadays you've go to have that piece of paper, either a four-year degree, associates degree or some sort of certification."

Rounding out the list of seven, a director of security, a freelance photographer, an elevator mechanic and even, a nuclear power reactor operator.

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