Jobs That Require Shorter College Degrees (or none, like a career at KwikFit!)

If you are feeling stagnant in your career or are looking to earn more money, you may be considering a return to school for some more training. However, spending 2 or 4 years in school might not be a feasible option for you. For one thing, that’s a long time to go without working full time. Would you be able to support yourself? You could get loans, but do you really want to go into that much debt at this point in your life? Here are some career options where you have the opportunity to earn a great wage with little to no extra training or education required.

Automotive Technician

If you enjoy working with cars, there are a variety of options. Working somewhere like a Kwikfit or Jiffy Lube typically doesn’t require any formal education and will provide on-the-job training to the right candidates. Even some hobby-level car experience can be helpful in getting hired, and the most important thing is to be personable and friendly as you will be interacting with customers a lot. Keep in mind the jobs that require no formal education are entry-level, so the pay will be on the lower end.

If you want to improve your salary and hiring opportunities you may want to look into enrolling in an automotive technician program. The program typically runs for a year or less, and then you can choose to specialize in specific types of vehicles (electric, hybrid, etc) if you like. Please note that heavy duty mechanics who work on big rigs and other large vehicles are in high demand and receive excellent salaries, but it is a longer training program and typically an apprenticeship to get your trade certificate.

Web Developer

There are lots of short programs out there that can introduce you to the fundamentals of web development. You could even learn entirely online for free in your spare time if you were motivated to do so. For the very basics of HTML you can use the W3 Schools program, they also offer the basics of SQL, PHP, Javascript, Python, and more. You can also check out websites like Codecademy and edX for more free tutorials. There are paid websites like Skillshare and Udemy where you can learn how to code as well, but there are so many great free resources out there I honestly don’t feel that it’s necessary.

If you’re the type of person who needs the structure and schedule of a regular class as motivation to complete a course there are a variety of short in-person programs as well. You could do a full certification program in under a year, or you could do part-time studies while working which is what I did. I took classes in the evenings and on weekends so that I didn’t need to give up my income while I was training. It also allowed me to pick and choose the courses I wanted (I specialized in PHP development) so that I didn’t have to spend money on classes I wasn’t interested in. With web development most companies and clients aren’t looking for a certificate or a degree, they are just looking for a skillset.

Dental Hygienist

This is one of the highest paying jobs you can get with only a short amount of education. Typically to get hired at a dentists office you will need to have an associates degree, which is an 11-12 month program. However after only one year of education your earning potential will be around $74,000 a year. And the job is very secure, as long as people have teeth they are going to need them to be cleaned!

careers in dental hygeine

The main barrier to this job is if you would be comfortable with working in people’s mouths all day. It’s like a less intense version of nursing where you will be required to deal with a variety of people who will range widely in how well they have been taking care of themselves. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind that type of thing it’s great money.

Medical Sonographer

Another option in the healthcare field that’s a little less up close and personal is becoming a medical sonographer. This field is actually growing right now because as the imaging technology is improving doctors are able to use sonography for diagnosing a variety of possible conditions. It’s not just for being able to look at a fetus anymore, although that’s still something you might possibly be doing.

Now your earning potential as a medial sonographer is a bit less than as a dental hygienist (approximately $64,000 a year) and it takes a 2 year program. On the other hand, a lot of people find this type of work more palatable than other healthcare jobs such as nursing or phlebotomy.

There are many options!

This is hardly an exhaustive list, I just wanted to highlight a few options that people often don’t consider when looking at a career change. Remember the most important thing is to pick something that you will enjoy doing. Money is nice, but job satisfaction is invaluable.