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The Five Best-Paid Vocational Careers 
 
by Diana Bocco October 13, 2005

No college degree? Don't despair. Here's a look at the top earners among vocational occupations you can join today, even if you have no experience.

When it comes to choosing a career, not everybody heads for college. Contrary to popular belief, there are many vocational occupations that can generate top salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the following are the top earners among vocational careers, in order of revenue.

1- Real Estate Broker and Sales Agents

Job Duties

Besides arranging the buying, selling, and renting of properties, real estate brokers also manage the advertising, meet with clients, offer virtual or real-life tours, and arrange all pertinent paperwork. Sales agents usually work as independent contractors for a licensed real estate broker and share any earned commission with them. Some brokers also sell homeowners insurance. Most of them (60%) are self-employed.

Income

The median average salary for a real estate brokers (commission included) is $50,330. In peak cities and exclusive locales, earnings can reach $145,600. Commissions on sales constitute the largest part of the earnings.

Training

To become a real estate broker, a minimum of a high school diploma is required. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require a license, which can be obtained after 60 and 90 hours of classroom instruction and formal training followed by an examination. Licenses must be renewed every two years, usually through a written test. Many large firms organize their own training programs, catered to the needs of a specific community. The National Association of Realtors offers a series of courses, covering legal issues, mortgage financing, accounting, business practices, etc.

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