No degree and thinking of changing careers? Learn about these jobs that only require professional licenses and start earning at least $60k/year!
In this episode, we talk about:
• Jobs that only require a professional license, their requirements, and how you can become one!
• What's the day-to-day like for these professional license jobs.
• The pros and cons of each job to help you see which one fits you the best.
Ryan and Hannah also talk about why Reddit AMAs are a goldmine for information when you're looking for certain professions.
Enjoy the episode!
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Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama.
On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.
Hannah: Welcome back everybody. We are always happy to have you on the podcast with us listening. If you wanna get, our newsletter every week, which of course you do, please run on over to degreefree.co/newsletter and sign up to get a newsletter that Ryan and I send out once a week with jobs, resources, and all kinds of cool stuff in there that you do not wanna miss.
Ryan: Awesome. Let's get into today's. Today, we are gonna be talking about four professional license jobs that pay over $60,000 a year,
Hannah: $60,000 a year. The reason that we picked $60,000 is because that is more than your median college graduate makes. So all of these jobs would pay more than your average, than your median bachelor's degree holder would make.
And you do not have to have a college degree for any of them. And they're kind of interesting.
Ryan: Yeah, that's the best part about this episode is that these are professional licenses and you don't need a degree to do any of these jobs, as I'm sure that some of these listeners right now probably have one of these jobs and they don't have a degree.
Hannah: And some of these are they're kind of cool and I didn't realize that they were jobs that you could hold without a degree. And, yeah, they're pretty cool.
They're pretty cool. So I'm excited to get into 'em.
Ryan: So this episode, we're gonna be talking about some of the things that we found online, and they're gonna be show notes at degreefree.co/podcast for anybody that wants to go in and look at these resources that we're talking about here.
Just so that we have that taken care of at the beginning,
Hannah: I did some context research for each of these jobs there and as we said, there's four of 'em. And so for each one, there's gonna be a Reddit thread where somebody who has one of these jobs kind of goes into detail, answering questions, about the job it's called an AMA, which is asking me anything.
And so I feel like it's really helpful context just to get other people's opinions who hold these jobs about what they work environments like .I actually recommend going to Reddit for AMAs for most professions that you're looking into, because it's a really good way. You gotta take everything with a grain of salt, cause it's the internet, but just getting what other people ask, what other people think to ask about a certain profession.
And then also just getting someone's viewpoint on certain aspects of it is really helpful as you're trying to figure out what you wanna do.
Ryan: Sure let's get into it. The first job is gonna be Mortgage Loan officer
Hannah: Median income, $63,000 a year. Interestingly, this one, the range was pretty high, so it's actually people that were entry level.
I believe. The lowest was like 42 K and it went up to, it went up to well into the six figures for these, because it depends on how much you process and you know a little bit more about this, about the loan process, but, basically all you need for this job, clean criminal history, no serious debts, and you cannot have a previously revoked mortgage loan officer license.
Makes sense, right?
Ryan: Yeah, definitely.
Hannah: Yeah. So in the Reddit thread, what a lot of people said was that it's really, it's hard at the beginning. I think that you could probably say that for most jobs, right. It's difficult at the beginning. And then depending on the size of the company you work for, you may kind of go through a bit of churn at the beginning where they're trying to get more hours out of you.
So the schedule can be kind of tough as you start, but then as you start closing more of these loans, Your schedule gets lighter, right? Because basically the more you sell, , the more anonymity you have.
Hannah: It does sound like some companies too. You're gonna be responsible for your own lead generation.
So depending on what sort of company you're working for, you may have to create your own type of digital marketing systems to find people that want loans in order to give them those loans. So it does sound. Like there is a heavy sales component and by heavy sales, I mean, you're actually hunting down your own leads.
If the company doesn't give them to you and sometimes even if the company does give them to you, you're gonna have to do a lot of footwork in order to weed, through them and find people that want loans. So, can be hard but, the median income's pretty good and a lot of people said that as the longer they were in it, the more specific their skillset got, the better they liked it.
So again, pretty typical of most jobs, but interesting, definitely worth looking into.
Ryan: Yeah. Awesome. And so the second one is gonna be Insurance Claim Adjuster.
Hannah: So this one, median income, 64k a year. So the requirements do differ by state 34 states require a license. Now you can get this license. Each state has Different licensing bodies.
So depending on which state you're gonna go through a different process in order to get your insurance claims, adjusting license. It is something that you have to have a license for though. So underneath this to there's insurance claims adjusters and investigators. And so, the investigators are people that would typically go after something happens and they look into it and make sure that it's legit.
Whereas the insurance claims adjuster is more there to finalize what the investigator has found. They both play parts in making sure that a claim is successfully filed and sorted and resolved. Whereas the investigator is a little more hands on. I did talk at link with somebody once who was an insurance claims investigator.
And he said it was pretty interesting work, because his job is to look for fraud. So he's kind of like a detective, but for insurance, which is, you know, I mean, there's an element of creativity and investigative work to that. So it was kind of cool. Actually. He said he really liked his job.
There are courses that will teach you everything you need to know. It's a lot of it is ethics, process, policies, laws. So for somebody with a little bit of an analytical mind, it sounds like it might be a good fit but it seems like once, you know the rules, basically your job is just to make sure the rules are followed and then apply the rules to each individual claim situation that you come across.
So, there's a Reddit thread. It's gonna be in the show notes, but basically it's people talking about what it's like to be an adjuster. A lot of people say that, they do get satisfaction out of resolving a claim. Especially if it's somebody who placed a legitimate claim and it really, and they helped them get it resolved faster.
And so that was kind of cool, cuz they did say they had a pretty good job satisfaction rating for liking their work.
Ryan: See, that's interesting because for me, I always think of Insurance Claims Adjusters as like the people that don't give you your money. I'm thinking of the Rainmaker. I think it is, there are lawyers it's like, and not dam, whatever the movie is.
I'll put it in the show notes for everybody, but yeah. And there, and their case is against a big insurance company. And so I think about adjusters as like the people that deny your claim right. As the people that tell you, no, because on the other side of the coin. Yeah. There are a lot of people that is their job, right?
It's their job to adjust the claim.
Hannah: No, definitely true because their job is to figure that out on behalf of the insurance company but it was interesting to see that quite a few of them self-report that they feel like they're on the side of the person making the claim, which I guess is reassuring.
Hannah: One thing that a lot of people did say is that again, it's similar. I think this might just be a, this might just be a company thing, but it's very similar to the mortgage loan officers at the beginning. Larger companies will overwork you, if you let them. So that was a big thing that a lot of people said to watch out for.
But I think that might just be entry level work in. I think that might just be entry level corporate work in general but, watch out for larger companies that will overwork you, but a valuable background would be anything to do with communications analysis. Probably paralegals would do well, I would think in this type of job because of their background.
Ryan: Yeah. And so, the next one, the third one is gonna be Court Reporter.
Hannah: I'll say speaking of paralegals, median income, 60k a year. Very cool job.
Very cool job.
So court reporters, according to the BLS data kind of also fall under stenographers and it seems like there definitely is some crossover between doing stenographer work and being a court reporter in general, you do have to type at, or above the median average of 41 words per minute.
You do have to speak English fluently and you must have good English, grammar and spelling. These are the minimum requirements for being a court reporter? I would imagine that you probably can't have a criminal record too. I didn't see that listed, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that just because of the environment you would be working in.
Ryan: So what's a stenographer?
Hannah: So that's somebody that types shorthand to keep notes of what's going on at a court.
Ryan: And what's the difference between a stenographer and a court reporter?
Hannah: It looks like the court reporter might just do a little bit more work with the lawyers. Whereas sternographer works more with the court.
That was what the difference seemed to be to me. If you are a court reporter, write in and let us know
Ryan: Yep, contact at degreefree.co let us know.
Hannah: Yeah. Cause I did some reading on it, but I was having trouble discerning the difference. And it seems like it might be that a stenographer is maybe more the origin of the field.
And now it's kind of evolved into a court reporter. So that's kind of what I took away from that.
Ryan: So this is not the person that does the court illustrations in federal court or whatever.
Hannah: No, that's a totally different job, which is also super cool. But no, that would be a courtroom sketch artist.
That actually is a formal job that you can have. It does not pay as well as court reporters though. So again, link in the show notes is gonna be a view of a court reporter. So, there was a court reporter on Reddit who did an AMA and answered a bunch of questions about what it was like to actually work in a courtroom.
Something that is kind of an upside to this, that Ryan and I have talked about before but you sometimes think about when you're getting a job, the people who you work around because your connections and your network of people, if you're working in a courtroom are gonna be very interesting. You're gonna be meeting and working with judges, lawyers, paralegals.
Law like law enforcement professionals and so , that's kind of an interesting arena to be in and it's a different circle of people than most of us would come in contact with. I don't hobnob with many lawyers or judges. I mean, I just don't have occasion to do that. So you just never know what opportunities may arise from that too.
Just being in that circle of people. You know that you'll be working around.
Ryan: Yeah. That's a good point. I mean, that's something that you and I talk about a lot and that's what we just call it is being in the room.
Hannah: Literally being in courtroom.
Ryan: Literally being in the room we say, and we mean that about a lot of things, whether it's physically being in the room, or sometimes it's just like mentally being in the room as well, or being virtually in the room. However, that makes sense to anybody. It can make sense in many ways, but yeah, this is a good way of just being physically in the room where you're rubbing shoulders or elbows or whatever the saying is with people that are, I don't know, I wanna say above you, but
Hannah: well, let's say well connected.
That's how I would view it though.
Hannah: Like judges and lawyers have like, well, that's definitely far above me, , but yeah, definitely, more well connected. I'm sure.
Ryan: And then the last one, the fourth one is gonna be coroner.
Hannah: Yeah. This one surprised me, median income, 61k.. So requirements vary widely by state.
It seems to me that what happens here is this. This depends on need and availability because some states require you to be a physician in order to be a coroner, but not, not all of them do. There is a map, so it's gonna be linked in the show notes. There's a map. It'll tell you the state by state requirements, but licensure can be obtained through work, study, examination.
Or a combination of all of them. So you can get specific death training, which again, for somebody who's forensically minded, science minded, interested in criminology, forensics and stuff like that. This is a really interesting, this would be a really cool job. The coroner, so there's also Reddit AMA with a coroner.
It's gonna be linked in the show notes, but their view was that they really liked the action. They really liked the fact that they're on call. So at any point they could be doing whatever and then they get a call and then they're in the middle of trying to figure out and resolve a complex situation.
And they really liked they really liked it. So interesting. I don't know what the life satisfaction is for being a coroner, but this person said they really got a lot of satisfaction out of bringing resolution to loss and figuring things out.
Ryan: They're on call?
Ryan: the person's dead.
Hannah: I know, but I guess when someone's dead and they find them, right, like as, as you well know, right.
You get a call and you never know when you're gonna find someone who's passed away and then now you need somebody to come and resolve.
Ryan: Maybe like, so are they going to the scene? And then they
Ryan: are they like a medical examiner?
Hannah: Yeah. Sometimes. So if you're a county coroner you sometimes get called to the scene or sometimes you might get called to the mortgage, just depends.
Ryan: Oh, okay. Okay. So I'm thinking,
Hannah: but if it's a small county, right? Yeah. So sometimes people fill more shoes in a bigger city, not so much, but in a smaller place. Yeah.
Ryan: Right. Okay. That makes sense. Cause I was thinking, yeah, my, all my experience is all from a big city. So there's-
Hannah: Go to the morgue. Right?
Ryan: Many other
Hannah: the corner at the, is that the morgue?
Ryan: Yeah. So my experience is in a big city, so there are many more positions, I guess. Yeah. So when it was a DOA or a death on arrival, if it was an obvious DOA, like you hook him up and there's nothing, he's flat lining. And I mean, and he's like, Sorry, guys, this is
Hannah: you check her,
Ryan: gonna get a little graphic, sorry, but there's obvious rigor and maybe some other types of deformities that I'm not gonna go into now, then the paramedic can just call the medical examiner and they'll pronounce it over the phone.
Hannah: Oh, oh, they do it over the phone?
Ryan: Yeah. So I guess that's what you're saying. So I guess that, so I don't know.
Now I'm wondering if a medical examiner and the coroner are the same thing.
If anybody knows, I'm too lazy to look it up right now, or at least I act not even too lazy. I don't have the ability. We don't bring our phones in here. So I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna look it up right now. Medical examiners, coroners, if you guys know the difference, can you please email us, contact the degreefree.co and let us know.
Hannah: And does it differ by, if you live in a big city versus a small place, I think that might be the difference is size. If it's a bigger place, it has more people, as you said. So there might be a medical examiner and a coroner versus a county where it's just the one guy.
Hannah: Or gal
Ryan: Pretty sure the medical examiner that was a physician.
Hannah: That makes sense. Hawaii's one of the states where you have to be a physician in order to be one.
Yeah. But some states you do not have to be.
Ryan: That pronounced it.
Hannah: Yeah . And you just call, they're not physically there.
Hannah: Hmm. Interesting.
Ryan: You take all vitals while there are no vitals, but you take all the pertinent information
Hannah: and they just sign,
Ryan: You call it in.
Hannah: And they do paperwork Monday through Friday,
Ryan: Well, no, actually. So I guess this is what I'm saying about the on call portion of it. Where is if medical examiner, the coroner are the same thing. Which I'm starting to believe that they are, then? Okay. That makes sense. Because they did have to, regardless of whether or not we got a call at 6:00 AM or three in the morning,
Hannah: they have to answer the phone.
So they at least answered the phone.
Ryan: But our medical examiners never came out into the field.
Hannah: Yeah, it must just depend on where they are. Must just depend. Very interesting. Yeah, if you're a medical examiner or a coroner, let us know. We're very interested in how your job works.
Ryan: Absolutely. And, yeah, that's pretty much the episode wanted to do a quick one kind of talk about these four professional license jobs that you can get without a college degree.
Pretty interesting work.
Hannah: Yeah. If any of these, if any of these caught your attention, there's links to the state by state requirements and the show notes, as well as the AMAs to get some context, if you're just looking into these jobs, we thought they were cool.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely.
Hannah: All right. If you want more like this degree, free news resources, job ideas, and other stuff you're gonna wanna get our weekly newsletter and that you can get by running over to degreefree.co/newsletter and signing up, cuz you don't wanna.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And if you guys wanna support the podcast, the best way you can do that is by leaving us an honest review, wherever you get your podcast.
Well, I mean, five stars is best six stars, if you can.
Yeah, definitely preferable.
Ryan: Right? Exactly.
Yeah. Until next time. All right.
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