Vocational Careers to Consider

You may think that any kind of professional career with good pay and opportunities for advancement requires a four-year college course.

Many careers that rely on physical or technical skill, however, require vocational training. Vocational training focuses on the actual work that will be done rather than academics.

Vocational careers often require only a two-year associates’ course or certification, depending on the individual job and the field or industry.

Some vocational careers require only on-the-job training. Several of these jobs have similar pay and as many opportunities for advancement as those that require expensive degrees.

Here are a few possible vocational careers that you might consider.


The highest-paid vocational careers are generally those in the medical field. The very highest pay is usually found to be for dental hygienists. This work involves performing tests and treatments on the patients.

Aside from this, there are excellent opportunities and a high demand for many other careers in the medical field.

There are various specialized areas, such as radiation, which requires its own technicians and therapists. You could become a licensed nurse, either practical or vocational.

You could also start out as a medical assistant and gradually gain enough experience and skills to advance in the field.


Accounting and auditing work, including bookkeeping, can be very high-paid. This can depend on the field in which you are working. Some of the top-paying industries include real estate, construction and the auto industry.


Training in a technical college allows you to specialize in a field. Every industry requires management, maintenance, operation and repair of various technologies and equipment.

You could work on the equipment in a nuclear facility, for example, which can be very highly paid. There are also many areas in the medical field which require technicians.


With the fast growth of computer-use, jobs working with computers are part of a rapidly expanding industry. Depending on the job, working with computers could require no formal training or qualifications at all.

Jobs might include hardware maintenance and management, or software testing and development. You could get involved with web development and design, working with databases, or even customer support and assistance.


As online shopping increases in popularity, there is a huge demand for truckers and delivery drivers. Most of these jobs only require a high-school diploma and a commercial driving license, and the pay can be very high.

Even a job as a commercial airline pilot can be achieved with vocational training at a ight school with an FAA certification.


The employment opportunities in construction are varied, and most are available through vocational training.

Jobs can include physical laborer, plumber, electrician, tiler or roofer, for example. You could also train as a carpenter, a mason or an iron worker. Equipment operators and technicians are always needed, as are building and site inspectors.


There are vocational training courses available to become a legal assistant or a paralegal. This involves administration and organization, scheduling and providing office assistance.

Research for various cases is also sometimes required. With experience, you can specialize in an area of law, from real estate to malpractice suits.

Specialization can help to improve your future career prospects.

Food Industry

The food industry is always open for new jobs. While entry-level jobs are not usually very well-paid, there is great opportunity for advancement through on-the-job training.

You could work your way up to the level of chef, and even specialize your skills. You could also become involved with administrative side of the industry and train as a manager.


Training courses in hair and cosmetology are generally quite short. The pay for these jobs is not necessarily very high, especially at the start of a person’s career.

However, if you qualify for a license, you can practice from home or by personal appointment, making this a good option for self-employment.

Art and Design

Most careers involving art and design can begin with only vocational training. These jobs can be found across many industries.

The highest-paid are likely in fashion design. However, web design and graphic design are both sought-after positions, and part of a widening field full of opportunities.

Putting in the Time

Some vocational jobs will require several years of work before you can begin to climb the ladder. However, experience is highly valued by future employers, and you have the added benefit of earning as you learn everything about your chosen career and industry.

This notion, combined with shorter and less expensive training, means that many people can find vocational work as their most financially viable options when starting new careers.