Top 5 STEM Careers—No Bachelor’s Degree Required

Are you interested in a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career, but don’t think you’re a good fit for a four-year university? No need to worry—neither the cost nor the time commitment of a bachelor’s degree is necessary to obtain a lucrative career in STEM. Here are some of the top STEM jobs to look into if you want to kick-start your career—without a bachelor’s degree.

Geological and Petroleum Technician

The U.S. is currently the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer, and as a result, jobs in this field are in high demand.1 With the natural gas industry booming, jobs as a geological and petroleum technician are experiencing massive growth. These technicians work with scientists and engineers on projects to obtain natural resources like oil and gas. Usually, only an associate’s degree or postsecondary training in science-related technology is necessary to work in this field, with thorough  on-the-job training offered upon hiring. Not only does this career pay an average of $51k a year, but employment is expected to grow seven percent from 2018 to 2028—much faster than average2.

Environmental Engineering Technician

As the world continues to grapple with environmental issues, more careers are opening up for those who want to help solve them—and many of these careers don’t require a university education. These technicians work with environmental engineers on projects that prevent or mitigate pollution. Generally, this position requires only an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a similar discipline, and pays an average of $51k a year.3 Because of growing concern over environmental problems, employment is projected to grow nine percent between 2018 and 2028.

Air Traffic Controller

The global aviation industry is critical to many aspects of the modern world and air traffic controllers play vital roles in this field. As a result, air traffic controllers remain in high demand. Despite the high pay (median salary is around $122k a year), higher education from a university is not necessary.4 Air traffic controllers typically only complete an associate’s degree from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program, as well as taking courses and examinations from the Federal Aviation Administration. They also go through long-term on-the-job training to ensure they have what it takes for such a demanding and important job. Due to high pay and relatively few job openings, competition for these jobs is high.

Radiologic and MRI Technologist

Although medicine is often associated exclusively with MD’s, a variety of essential positions do not require a university education. Radiologic technologists perform the crucial role of using diagnostic imaging to examine patients. Similarly, MRI technologists create diagnostic images using magnetic resonance imaging scanners. For those interested in high-paying positions helping doctors treat patients, these jobs are ideal. With  an average salary of $61k a year for radiologic technologists and $73k a year for MRI technologists, these careers are great choices for those looking to work in STEM.5 As the population of the United States ages, demand for these jobs will only increase over the next decade and beyond. Currently, demand for radiologic and MRI technologists is already predicted to grow nine percent between 2018 and 2028.5 To qualify for these positions, one should acquire an associate’s degree and usually a state license.

Web Developer

In the age of the internet, demand for websites that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and cutting-edge are higher than ever; and web developers are the ones who make them function. Although the field varies, the usual entry-level education for web developers is an associate’s degree in web design or something similar. The median annual income of a web developer is $74k a year.6 To make it as a web developer, one needs to have skills in coding and graphic design. However, there are a multitude of ways to gain these qualifications, such as coding bootcamps. When it comes to creating websites and apps, many companies value technical skill over extensive education credentials. For those who are both creative and diligent, this field holds immense opportunity. These jobs are projected to increase 13 percent between 2018 and 2028.6 With e-commerce booming, there’s no end in sight for the need for web developers.  

Looking for new STEM employment opportunities? AllSTEM Connections specializes in connecting high-quality STEM talent with top companies around the world. Visit our website for additional information or call us at 833.937.7836.

Citations

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2019/05/15/3-things-to-know-about-the-u-s-oil-and-natural-gas-industry/#59885b51fa67
  2. https://www.bls.gov/OOH/life-physical-and-social-science/geological-and-petroleum-technicians.htm
  3. https://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineering-technicians.htm#tab-2
  4. https://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/air-traffic-controllers.htm
  5. https://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm
  6. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm

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