By Charyn Pfeuffer
Hey, ladies! Did you know you could skip earning a college degree and still snag a well-paid job? There are a wide variety of careers out there where a college education may be helpful, but is not essential.
According to a May 2010 Forbes article, "Best-Paying Jobs For Women," women make up more than half of the workforce and are more likely that ever to be primary or co-breadwinners in their families. It's not surprising that they are demanding top dollar for their time.
If you'd like to take home more than $65,000 per year -- without a degree -- here are five fields where women dominate and may more easily find work. All educational data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you aspire to be the next Project Runway contestant, consider a job as a fashion designer. Creativity reigns supreme in this field, where designers study trends, sketch designs, select fabrics and see production of clothing, footwear and accessories through until it reaches the consumer.
Typical earnings: $68,000
Girl power: 88% of fashion designers are women.
Educational background: An associate's or a bachelor's degree in fashion design may give applicants an advantage, although experience in textiles, sewing, tailoring and computer-aided design (CAD) all come in handy.
Rest assured, not all dental hygienists are treated like Jennifer Aniston's sidekick in Horrible Bosses. In fact, these professionals play an important role in keeping your pearly whites in tip top condition. From removing deposits to providing preventative care, these practitioners help patients maintain good oral hygiene.
Typical earnings: $67,700
Girl power: 97% of dental hygienists are women
Educational background: If you have a high school diploma and college entrance test scores, it's generally enough to gain entry to a dental hygiene program. Although a degree is not a must, dental hygienists must be licensed by the state in which they practice.
When it comes to matters of the heart, cardiovascular technologists and technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac conditions. Cardiovascular technologists may specialize in areas of practice that require invasive procedures, such as assisting with open-heart surgeries or inserting pacemakers.
Typical earnings: $66,000
Girl power: 74% of vascular technologists are women
Educational background: Some cardiovascular technologists may need an associate's degree for entry-level employment, but many simply receive on-the-job training. Others may complete a two-year junior or community college program resulting in an associate's degree.
If you want to work directly with patients, you may want to consider a career as a registered nurse. These hard-working professionals wear a variety of "hats," assisting physicians with everything from performing diagnostic tests to providing emotional support. When placed in an emergency room setting, these nurses size up a patient's immediate needs and care for patients with life-threatening conditions.
Typical earnings: $67,720
Girl power: 92% of registered nurses are women
Educational background: Registered nurses can enter this field via several educational programs, including an associate's degree followed by the successful completion of a national licensing examination.
When your pregnant friends post pics of their to-be-born baby on Facebook, those images were captured by an ultrasound technologist. These medical professionals operate specialized equipment and guide patients into position for best visual results for physician review.
Typical earnings: $65,100
Girl power: 90% of ultrasound technologists are women
Educational background: Some people in this industry may pursue formal education via either a two-year or four-year programs, but employers may accept training in an accredited practice or a vocational certificate.
Source: All salary data is provided online salary database by PayScale.com. Salaries listed are for full-time, female employees with 9-12 years of experience. Percentage of female workers is provided by PayScale.com, as well.
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