CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - What do a private investigator, a personal trainer and an air traffic controller have in common?
None of them have a college degree, yet all of them are making a making a good living without one...
"I went to college for a very short time and it wasn't for me," said personal trainer Ian Arata. "It's more application versus reading it in a book."
A recent article names 7 jobs to skip college for, and topping the list is a private investigator or detective with a median salary of $50,600.
"There's a lot of common sense to it," said Rob Wolf, who has been an investigator for more than 10 years.
The majority of his day is spent tailing people from home to work and back again.
He sits in the back of his van with blacked out windows armed with binoculars, handheld cameras and monitors, then he waits to see what happens.
But Wolf didn't become an inspector overnight. Prior to opening his own P.I. company, he worked as an investigator for a different company for 10 years, and had to complete 4,000 hours of investigation over two year period just to apply for his license.
"Then you got to Columbus and actually take the test and you have to get better than 76 percent and they'll issue you a license," he said.
Also on the list - a personal trainer with a median salary of $37,500 a year.
"It's definitely worked out well," said Arata.
Arata, 32, received his personal training certification which he says can take as little as a week to complete and many websites offer the test for a fee online.
"And they actually teach you little tips and tricks so that you can teach people, versus just doing it yourself," he said.
The husband and father of one and another on the way has steady clientele and he can get in his own workout at work during the day. He enjoys helps people achieve their goals.
"I'm always in the gym so I know I'm going to get my workout in, you get to help people, you make decent money, it allows for flexibility," he said.
The next job on the list - an air traffic controller with a median salary listed as $60,200 a year
"I enjoyed earning a paycheck while my friend were in college and I got a good job when I got out of the military," said Ralph Rud, and air traffic controller at CVG.
After being in the Air Force for four years, Rud has been on job for more than 20 years at CVG, certified by the FAA to be the eyes in the sky for thousands of planes and pilots.
"Everyone likes watch airplanes and we've got the best seat in the house," he said.
While the job may not require a college degree, it still takes about three years of training before you're in the tower on your own.
"When they successfully complete their training in the control tower, then they'll be sent back to Oklahoma City to go through a radar lab training session for 7 weeks," said Rud.
Other professions rounding out the list of seven - a director of security, a freelance photographer, a nuclear power reactor operator and an elevator mechanic.
Cincinnati career coach Dana Glasgo says ditching the tuition and loans for a full time paying gig is more and more tempting for students. Still, she says a college degree will never be obsolete and is still essential in a competitive workforce.
"There are a small percentage of people who can be successful without a college degree, nowadays you've got to have that piece of paper, either a four year degree, associates degree or some sort of certification," said Glasgo.