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The Best Careers With the Least Training

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Several careers offer a good salary for just a couple of years of training. Some of them have even shorter periods of training, and some include on-the-job training. Many such careers are in the health-care field, but other careers and industries are considered among the best requiring the least training.

X-Ray Technician

X-ray technicians specialize in taking images of the body for medical reasons. They can complete their training in two years or less, although earning a bachelor’s degree can boost a tech’s earnings. An X-ray technician can earn in the range of $33,500 to $51,300 a year, according to PayScale and as of 2011. Technicians who provide radiation therapy to cancer patients can earn nearly $73,000 per year. Other health-care fields to consider are dental assisting and dental hygiene, ultrasound technician, massage therapy and respiratory therapist, which can bring in $52,200 a year with an associate’s degree.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers often get long-term, on-the-job training to help them learn their jobs. They can make a median salary of almost $112,000, according to U.S. News and World Report in 2011.

Hair Stylist

Cosmetology programs often take less than two years to complete, relatively short training compared with other careers. Hair stylists can stay current with the latest fashion trends and get paid for it. The median salary for a hair stylist is about $35,800, as of 2010.

Nuclear Power Plant Operator

Three years of power plant experience -- at least one in a nuclear power plant -- are necessary to work as a nuclear power plant operator. No degrees are required. The median pay for this job is over $73,000 per year, as of 2010.

Transportation Inspector

Emissions technicians, aircraft inspectors and cargo inspectors are all considered transportation inspectors. Their median salary is over $55,000, as of 2010. Aircraft inspectors often start out working as aircraft mechanics, for which they attend vocational school for a year or two. They then learn about the inspection career on the job.