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MyCAA: Highest Paying Careers Without a 4-Year Degree

high paying careers for military spouses

Hit the Ground Running on High Paying Careers with MyCAA

Not all careers require four-year degrees from expensive colleges. Military spouses who want to hit the ground running in a lucrative career field should take advantage of the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship (MyCAA) program.

MyCAA offers up to $4,000 of tuition assistance to military spouses. An expansion of the program announced at the beginning of 2020 approves the application of the scholarship to academic training in any field or career. This tuition assistance can be put toward the pursuit of:

  • Licenses
  • Certifications
  • Associate Degrees

MyCAA Eligibility Requirements

Eligible spouses must meet the below requirements:

  • Successfully completed high school, and be eligible to apply for tuition assistance.
  • Spouse’s service member must be on active duty in the Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Army
  • If spouse’s sponsor is in the National Guard or Reserves, they are only eligible while their spouse is activated on Title 10 orders.
  • Spouse’s service member must be in one of the following pay grades at the time of enrollment in the program:

E-1 to E-5

W-1 to W-2

O-1 to O-2

For further details on the MyCAA program, read College Recon’s article MyCAA: Everything You Need to Know.

We’ve put together some information on a number of the highest paying, portable, entry-level career positions which can be acquired with only one of the above academic accomplishments.

Radiation Therapist

Starting Salary: $56,000

Median Salary: $80,000


  • Associates Degree in Radiation Therapy
  • State License
  • Pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification exam

Find related associate’s degrees or certifications in the CollegeRecon search tool here.

Radiation Therapist Job Overview

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients via treatments of carefully calculated doses of radiation. Strong interpersonal skills and an empathetic personality are important traits when working with ill patients.

Real Estate Agent

Starting Salary: $32,000

Median Salary: $57,000


  • State License

Although a degree is not required, an associates degree or certification in finance or business might make you a more attractive applicant to real estate firms.

Find related associate’s degrees or certifications in the CollegeRecon search tool here.

Real Estate Agent Job Overview

This career is highly suited to a military spouse, in that in you typically set your own hours, it is highly portable, and a strong work ethic intrinsic to military life is a necessity in a commission-based career. A commission-based salary means that you get out of it what you put in, which means you could just as easily either maintain this career on a part-time basis, or grind to the top of your field.


Starting Salary: $30,000

Median Salary: $60,000


  • High School Diploma

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Become a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Obtain an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science

Firefighter Job Overview

Firefighters respond to fires, but that’s far from all that they do. They also dispatch to vehicle accidents, and other incidents where there is risk to life or property, for instance in the case of a bomb threat or a flood. Day-to-day tasks also include activities such as preventative building inspections and community involvement and education.

Funeral Director (or Mortician)

Starting Salary: $30,000

Median Salary: $58,000


  • Be 21 years of age
  • Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service or Mortuary Science
  • Pass State/ National Board Exam
  • An internship lasting 1-3 years

Funeral Director Job Overview

Funeral directors help plan and carry out funeral services, wakes, and memorial services. Most funeral directors are also practicing embalmers, which involves the preparation and preservation of the body before burial. Considering the intensely personal and emotional nature of this career, empathy, tact, and excellent customer service skills are paramount.

Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician

Starting Salary: $30,000

Median Salary: $45,000


  • High School Diploma or GED
  • EKG training certification

Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician Job Overview

Electrocardiograph Technicians perform testing on patients to determine their cardiovascular health. They administer diagnostic testing and monitor blood pressure, collecting data for doctors to analyze and translate into a diagnosis.

To find schools with programs in the above fields, visit the MyCAA website to use their search tool.




About the author

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Marissa Fuller is a freelance writer and editor with a degree in Creative Writing and Classical Civilizations from the University of Arizona. She can be found translating Shakespeare into Ancient Greek in the English countryside, where she is currently stationed with her Airman and their faithful hound.