Which Vocational Degrees Pay Off

What you do after high school is an important decision that has the power to define the rest of your life. Do you want to follow the herd and attend a four-year college or get job-ready in less than two years? While going to college for general education and then choosing a career may be a choice for many, it definitely isn’t for everyone.

With the rising cost of attending a university, many students end up with school debt and a degree that may not help them in the career of their choice. So, a better alternative is to attend a technical school to get a profitable vocational degree that helps to fast-track your career and land you in well-paying jobs.

Let’s take for example the report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the summer of 2016. It said there were about 7.8 million unemployed people in the U.S; and in the same month, they reported about 5.8 million construction jobs available.

So, basically, there are less skilled workers compared to skilled jobs available. So, if that brings you to the question which vocational course is right for you, we have created a list of most profitable vocational degrees to choose from.

Licensed Practical Nurse

If you have always dreamt of a medical career, you don’t necessarily need to attend extensive schooling for it. You may choose to become a Licensed practical nurse (LPN) as there are several job opportunities available.

To become an LPN, you will need to attend a state-approved educational program that takes about 1 year to complete. This is a profitable vocational degree that allows you to work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, schools or offer freelance medical care to families.

Several companies also hire LPNs to provide basic medical care and consultation to their employees. According to BLS, the median annual wage for LPNs was $45,030 in May 2017. The projected growth rate is 12 percent (2016 to 2026).


Locksmiths are professionals who provide a plethora of services related to locks and safes. They help customers with installation of locks, choosing a lock, rekeying locks, cutting keys, or repairing locks and devices. While this means you may have to take emergency calls on odd hours, the compensation for these services is high.

To become a locksmith you need a combination of hands-on experience and degree. There are numerous locksmithing schools that offer training programs both online and in-person. This is a lucrative opportunity for those who wish to start their own business.

Highly experienced locksmiths may even work in companies and get promoted to higher levels with more responsibilities. According to the BLS, the median annual pay for locksmiths in America was $37,560 in 2012. The starting salary may be small, but as you gain experience the pay gets higher. It entirely depends upon you to define how much you wish to earn. The projected growth rate for locksmith jobs was 7 percent (2012 to 2020).


Electricity is used for most of the things we do, hence electricians have job opportunities in almost every industry. Electricians are in-demand for installation, construction, maintenance, and repair jobs.

There are basically two types of electricians – inside electricians who work on motors and machines in factories; and residential electricians who work in construction sites and also offer repair services at homes.

It takes less than a year to attain a profitable vocational degree and gain hands-on experience to get ready for the job. The projected growth for electricians is 14%, which is double the national average for all other occupations.

Audio Engineer

Also known as sound engineering technicians, the audio engineers are responsible for recording, mixing, and synchronizing music with sound effects and voices. They use computers and recording equipment to run a wide range of complex software to perform various jobs.

To become an audio engineer, you need a certificate program that usually takes several months to a year to complete. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for audio engineers is $55,810. The projected growth rate of the job is 6 percent (2016-2026).

Makeup Artist (Theatrical and Performance)

Makeup artists are professionals who use prosthetics and cosmetics to enhance the appearances of actors working on stage shows, television, and movies. To become a makeup artist, you need to attend a state-approved cosmetology program that takes nine months to complete.

This is a profitable vocational program that costs less and offers good job opportunities. According to the BLS, the median yearly salary for makeup artists is $59,300. The projected growth rate of the job is 12 percent (2016-2026).


The Paralegal professionals help lawyers prepare for legal proceedings in the court. Their job responsibility involves preparing draft documents, conducting research, and interviewing witnesses.

To become a legal assistant, you need an associate’s degree in paralegal studies which usually takes one year to complete. The median yearly wage for paralegal professionals is $50,410 (2017). In 2016, there were 285,600 people employed as legal assistants.

The projected job growth rate for paralegal professionals is 15 percent (2016-2026).


If you ever felt sceptical about the profit that a vocational job can bring and stopped you considering any of the options available than you seriously have to check the facts more thoroughly and see the real situation with a clearer vision.

You have the important aspects and details you need to know in the list of vocational degrees we have enlisted for you. We hope this list of profitable vocational degrees and courses helps you choose the right career path that leads you to a well-paying and satisfying job.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

Check Also

Three common methods used for Tshirt Printing

Today there are three main types of t shirt printing and each has its own …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.