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Conventional wisdom says that the higher your degree, the higher your salary. A study by the College Board shows that the median salary of a worker holding a bachelor's degree is more than $20,000 higher than the salary of a high school graduate.
While four-year college grads earn 66 percent more than the average high school grad, those with two-year degrees could be catching up. According to a report by the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program, a nonprofit dedicated to state education and job training research, associate's degree and certificate grads in certain fields landed higher starting salaries than the state's four-year public college grads.
According to the College Board, the median education debt for two-year degree holders was $7,130 in 2008 -- the most recent year for which statistics are available. This compares to an average of $24,000 in student loan debt for those who completed bachelor's degrees in 2009, according to the Project on Student Debt.
With more years in the work force and far less student debt to deal with, two-year grads can come out with a higher lifetime worth than their four-year counterparts. Check out these 11 jobs that provide four-year degree pay and benefits without requiring a bachelor's degree.
"As the market is bouncing back, we're seeing more of our grads get hired in the trades areas," says Wendy Cullen, vice president of employer development for Corinthian Colleges, a network of 122 community college and technical schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. "In the trades we offer, electrical technicians have the highest increase in earnings over a 15-year period. There are a lot of opportunities for them right now."
Aside from earning a decent wage -- the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median electrician salary is $46,426 per year -- future electricians can frequently opt...