4 Different Types of Career Paths and How to Navigate Them

With the US economy's lukewarm performance and college graduates leaving school with a record level of debt, it is no wonder that many young people are looking for career paths that do not require years of expensive schooling. That's why this article will outline four different career paths and the educational requirements that one would be required to meet for entry-level positions.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer uses medical imaging technology known as ultrasound to create images of a person's tissues, organs and blood flow. One type of medical sonography that most people are familiar with is the ultrasound technology that allows pregnant mothers to see images of their unborn child. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the demand for diagnostic medical monographers is expected to outpace that of many other occupations. The average salary for diagnostic medical monographers is $68,390 a year. Entry into this field involves earning a certificate, an associate or bachelor's degree, and passing an examination.

HVAC Technician

These technicians install, repair and maintain air conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems. The HVAC abbreviation stands for heating, venting and air conditioning. Many HVAC technicians specialize in either installation or repair and maintenance of refrigeration, air conditioning and heating systems. The average salary for HVAC technicians is $43,880 a year. Aspiring HVAC technicians can receive training either through the classroom or through an apprenticeship program. Many HVAC technicians and electricians who got trained in a classroom benefited greatly from module-based learning. Some schools, like HVAC Technical Institute, have module-based training for aspiring technicians. This allows future HVAC techs to build upon skills they receive as they progress through their particular program.

Web Developer

Web developers create, craft and refine computer code that makes the websites they work on perform at an optimal level. They also must make sure that the end results work just as well in a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox as it would in Google Chrome. They do this by writing code, programming user interfaces and using a wide variety of programming tools to get a website to perform specific functions. The average salary of a web developer is $72,797. Although many web developers have a bachelor's degree, other successful developers are self-taught.


Paralegals help lawyers by taking on responsibilities like administrative tasks, research and drafting documents. Most paralegals have completed a certificate program, although some have gone on to earn an associate's degree in legal studies or paralegal studies. The average salary is $48,810.

None of these occupational paths require extensive time in a classroom. As a matter of fact, many of the educational requirements of these careers can be completed in months, not years. They also don't require you to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, so you can start your career with little or no debt.

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