Jobs that can help Repay your Student Loans
By: Barbara M., Published: Jan 9, 2020 | Related: Easy Loan Application, Pell Grants
If you're one of the millions of ex (or current) students crumbling under the massive weight of increasing student loan costs, take heart: there are now several options to repay the average debt of $37,000 that each graduate will incur. And you don't even have to sell one of your limbs on the black market to do so.
Not that having a college degree isn't worth the cost. A study by the Economic Policy Institute showed that the average college graduate earned 56% more than someone with just a high school diploma since 2015. If that's not enough, workers with only a high school diploma to their name have seen their wages slashed by an average of 3% across the board over the last decade.
Still, many people are hesitant to pursue higher education due to these rising costs, but that doesn't mean all hope should be lost. Most degrees that you can receive at a 2 or 4-year institution can lead you to a job that will help offset those loans in a variety of ways. Below are a few examples:
By Working for the Government
Even politicians recognize the crippling burden that student loans can put on the average student and are taking steps to help. By working for a government agency and utilizing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a person can forego the last several years off of their student loan term as long as they've made 120 qualifying payments at an eligible employer. Even though many government entities do not pay as much as their for-profit counterparts, the cost of loan forgiveness can make up for the disparity.
If one decides to pursue a degree as an accountant, for example, the starting salary for an entry-level position could be around $60,000; not too bad for someone just out of college. That same position at a government agency could cost slightly less at around $55,000, but with the student loan forgiveness program, that $5,000 could be made up in a couple of year's time.
As with any government program, however, it's important to keep an eye on the ever-changing qualifications and stipulations that are required as they can change at any time. While it's a great program for those who are able to take advantage of the program, nothing is forever, so make sure you stay abreast of any changes.
Work Towards a Need
Financial compensation is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to job satisfaction in today's world. Instead of looking for a job with the most immediate career advancement, why not seek to serve others by working in a high-need area, such as a low-income or rural areas? Employers in those locations often have a hard time attracting talent by virtue of their surroundings, so various incentives are usually offered to help, such as full or partial student loan forgiveness.
Best of all, these occupations don't necessarily require you to work for the government in order to comply; in many cases, simply having a high-need occupation, such as nursing or social work, is enough. The Health Resources and Services Administration's NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program is one such example, operating under the health department at the U.S. government while your employer could be a private facility.
As with anything government related, funding can dry up with little to no notice, so it's important to stay alert to any changing conditions. Furthermore, what technically classifies as "high-need," especially as it pertains to your subgenre of degree, could change as well. It's always best to stay vigilant.
Work It Off the Old-Fashioned Way
The way most people choose to pay off student loans is by simply having a job that pays them a large amount coming right out of school. While most entry-level jobs start the worker off anywhere between $40k-70k, some jobs begin at the low-mid six-figures and go up from there depending on specialty. In this case, your student loans could be paid off in no time.
Want to know what the highest-paying position that only requires a bachelor's degree is? According to U.S. news, that would be an IT manager, which starts at $135,000. If that's not your speed, try becoming a petroleum engineer, as those workers start off in around $125,000.
Of course, having a high-paying job isn't the only measure of success and/or happiness, so before you start down a career path in those fields, make sure that it's what you really want to do. No amount of compensation will be able to make you love a job that you're truly miserable at.