Career Paths that Don't Require a College Degree

Career Paths that Don't Require a College Degree


Today's job market can be challenging to navigate but achieving a successful career doesn’t always have to involve a college degree. Many industries offer livable wages, interesting work and promising career paths without pursuing higher education.

For some students, avoiding the high cost of a four-year college or university makes more sense. Instead of spending their days in classes, these students opt to become apprentices, acquiring training in various trades.

On-the-job skills training and career stability are why individuals join industries like sheet metal. Whether starting as an apprentice or switching careers, the sheet metal industry is a great way to secure your future—plus, you can quickly walk right into the workforce with great pay and benefits.

Connie Rivera is a testament to the benefits of joining the industry as an apprentice. After a career in retail, she was frustrated with the low pay and lack of opportunity, so she weighed her options and looked into a sheet metal apprenticeship. Today, Rivera is a foreman at Western Allied Mechanical in Union City, California. She is passionate about training young people entering the field and attracting more women to the industry.

Julie Gue, a foreman with Duct Fabricators in Cleveland, agrees. She also started as an apprentice and worked her way up the ladder to a management position. Like others, Gue says the skills, salary and stability were selling points.

"I enjoy traveling, and this career has afforded me the ability to see the world and own my own house as a single woman," Gue says. "I have a pension and good health insurance and can support myself."

Learn more about what the sheet metal industry can offer you at