Here are 9 technical jobs that don't require a 4-year degree - and are about to see a surge of demand

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  • The country will experience a 3.4 million shortage of technical workers without four-year degrees, according to a new September 2019 report from the National Science Board.
  • These jobs include web developers, maintenance workers, civil engineers, and medical information technicians.
  • But four-year degree holders still out earn the rest of the workforce.
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Some of the country's most in-demand jobs don't require a college degree.

The country will experience a shortage of 3.4 million technical workers, or those in science, technology, engineering, and math, by 2022. A new report from the National Science Board there will be 1.3% more job openings for technical careers than people qualified to perform them.

The news comes as trade schools have started to tout the high-paying technical careers you can get with just a two-year associate's degree. As the cost of college continues to rise, and student loan debt tops 1.5 trillion, skipping a four-year degree can save families hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Read more: Blue-collar jobs like plumbing pay $90,000 without a college degree, and it's driving more workers to trade school

"It is in the nation's interest that all Americans, including the two in three U.S. adults who do not have a bachelor's degree, have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our scientific and technological progress," the report states.

The majority of technical, non four-year degree workers are in installation and maintenance (27%). Healthcare has 21% of these workers, construction 18%, and production 16%. The rest are in math, architecture, and other fields

Still, there are caveats to skipping a four-year degree for a technical job. Though some jobs that only require an associate's degree pay six-figures, four-year degree holders still out earn the rest of the population. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics finds on average, workers who hold at least a bachelor's degree earned more than the $932 median weekly earnings for all workers in 2018.

Here are 9 high-demand technical jobs in STEM you can get without a four-year degree, described by NSB:

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General maintenance and repair workers earn $38,300 per year.

General maintenance and repair workers earn $38,300 per year.

Job description: General maintenance and repair workers fix machines and mechanical equipment. They can also repair flooring, plumbing, and electrics.

Degree requirement: High school

Medical records and health information technicians earn $40,350 per year.

Medical records and health information technicians earn $40,350 per year.

Job description: Health information technicians organize medical data both online and on paper. They must use classification systems to code and categorize patient information onto different databases.

Degree requirement: Postsecondary nondegree award

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians earn $67,010 per year.

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians earn $67,010 per year.

Job description: Aerospace engineering and operations technicians operate aircraft and spacecraft equipment. They run computer simulations, perform quality assurance, and operate advanced technology.

Degree requirement: Associate's degree

Civil engineering technicians make $52,580 per year.

Civil engineering technicians make $52,580 per year.

Job description: Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

Degree requirement: Associate's degree

Web developers earn $69,430 per year.

Web developers earn $69,430 per year.

Job description: Web developers create and design websites.

Degree requirement: Associate's degree

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians earn $36,690 per year.

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians earn $36,690 per year.

Job description: Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians make devices such as dentures, eyeglasses, and prosthetics.

Degree requirement: High school

Environmental engineering technicians earn $50,560 per year.

Environmental engineering technicians earn $50,560 per year.

Job description: Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Degree requirement: Associate's degree

Medical assistants earn $33,610 per year.

Medical assistants earn $33,610 per year.

Job description: Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

Degree requirement: Postsecondary nondegree award

Boilermakers earn $62,150 per year.

Boilermakers earn $62,150 per year.

Job description: Boilermakers assemble, install, maintain, and repair boilers or other vessels that hold liquids and gases.

Degree requirement: High school

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