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Cleveland Fed Study Examines Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

About 30 percent of jobs in the Cleveland metro area don’t require a bachelor’s degree and pay above the median wage, according to research from the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Philadelphia released last week.

The Cleveland-Elyria metro area, along with some other Midwest cities like Toledo, have a higher share of these so-called “opportunity occupations” than the national average of about 22 percent.

“In the Midwest, the cost of living tends to be lower, so that’s one thing that drives that,” said Lisa Nelson, a manager of community development research at the Cleveland Fed. “And also, not in all metros but in many of the Midwest metros, there’s a larger share of manufacturing jobs and skilled trades that tend to pay higher wages.”

Healthcare is a big part of the story, too. At the top of the list in the Cleveland area are registered nurses, where the annual median wage is $67,400.

But according to an analysis of national job ad data in the study, about a third of RN jobs do require a bachelor’s degree.

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