When most people dream of a high-paying profession
, the thought of years of schooling also comes to mind. The perception is that in order to earn more, you must study more to prepare for your career. However, there are plenty of six-figure jobs available to those with a community college degree as well. While not all of these positions earn the high salary as a starting point, many working in the profession can work their way up to six figures through dedication and hard work. Check out these six-figure jobs you can land with a community college degree.
Air Traffic Controller
While many air traffic controllers
launch their careers with a four-year degree, community college options are appearing for this position as well. Community College of Beaver County
offers a two-year program in air traffic control that prepares students for the job of control tower operator. The school actually boasts a student-staffed control tower to give students on-the-job training while they are earning their degree. According to CB Salary
, the average annual salary for an air traffic controller is $109,850.
Those with a passion for fitness and health may find their calling as a personal trainer. According to KDVR
, personal trainers that are willing to work hard and provide flexibility in scheduling to their clients can easily make a six-figure income. The highest earners typically work with corporate clients or in a premiere facility. While there are many paths to personal trainer certification, one of the most comprehensive is a community college program that prepares students for a wide range of positions in the health and wellness industry. While the average pay for a personal trainer is around $55,000, many in the field earn well over $100,000.
Another option for those who enjoy working with people is the field of massage therapy
. Like personal trainers, massage therapists enjoy a glass ceiling in their profession that allows them to earn as much as they like based on the number of hours they are willing to work and the amount of networking they are prepared to do. Numerous community colleges offer massage training degree and certificate programs to prepare students for work in this field. The average annual salary for a massage therapist is just over $67,000, with experienced therapists earning as much as $141,000 annually.
The healthcare field is one that is always hiring, and radiation therapy
is currently one of the hottest positions in that field. Radiation therapists use a wide range of diagnostic tools to help physicians assess and diagnose many medical conditions. A community college that offers a degree program in radiation therapy may also provide access to the national examination for certification in the field. Average annual salaries for radiation therapists are listed by the New York Daily
at $77,100, with top earners bringing in more than $100,000 per year.
Intensive Care Nurse
The field of nursing is a wide open one that allows for a variety of specializations. Many begin their nursing career with a two-year degree from their local community college
. Local schools may have partnerships with medical facilities in the area to provide hands-on training while students are in school and employment opportunities afterward. The job of an intensive care nurse is a challenging one that often involves working with patients with the most urgent and severe medical conditions. The annual average salary for an intensive care nurse is $71,100, with top earners hitting $107,000.
Executive Pastry Chef
Creative types may enjoy a profession in the culinary arts
– another field community colleges often cater to. An executive pastry chef
spends his days whipping up tantalizing treats for VIPs at resorts, hotels and on cruise ships. Training for culinary positions like this one can often be started at the local community college. Average annual salaries for executive pastry chefs may be as high as $102,000 annually.
Network Systems Analyst
If computers are your forte, the job of a network systems analyst may be the right choice for you. These professionals keep the computers of corporations and small businesses running smoothly. A network systems analyst typically boasts strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail and good communication skills. The average annual salary for an analyst is around $73,000, with some professionals earning as much as $116,000 annually.
You may not walk into your first firehouse as the chief, but this is a position that can be aspired to by any firefighter on the team. Training for a fire fighter position
often begins with a two-year degree. Once the initial position is landed, fire fighters can work their way up through the ranks to a chief position. Top earning fire chiefs make as much as $109,000 per year.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
According to Monster
, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts positions for nuclear power reactor operators
to grow at a faster than average rate for the next few years. This position involves monitoring the plant for potential leaks and providing assistance with the transfer of nuclear fuel. Nuclear power reactor operators may earn an annual salary of as much as $128,000.
If a job that provides protection to people and property sounds appealing to you, a position as a security director might be a good choice. This professional oversees security operations at commercial or private properties. A two-year degree in security
or law enforcement
might be just the ticket to launch this rewarding career. The average security director earns an annual salary of $80,000, with the top 1% earning nearly $110,000 annually, according to Salary.com
A community college is a viable path to a number of lucrative career options today. With numerous degree programs available, this is the perfect time to find out how you can take your career to the next level with a community college degree.