28 Best Jobs That Pay Well Without A Degree

Let’s be real for a second – there’s a stigma in place when it comes to education. People who don’t go to college are often seen as having less earning potential. But that’s flat-out wrong on so many levels because there are jobs that pay well without a degree!

It’s possible to be successful no matter your education level. And we’re here to prove it.

We’ve compiled a great list of good paying jobs without degrees. If you’re a job seeker looking for a way to make money, get paid what you deserve, and achieve job growth, one of these jobs that pay well without a degree might be right for you.

Can I find jobs that pay well without a degree?

Yes, obviously! There are plenty of great jobs with high pay. Just because you didn’t go to college doesn’t mean you are limited in your earning options.

On average, workers 25 years or older without a college degree earn $827 a week. That is lower than the average bachelor’s degree salary, but that’s not set in stone.

There are plenty of occupations without a degree that pay more than that. Let’s take a look at the highest paying jobs without a degree so you can see what fields might be right for you.

Hands-on jobs that pay well without a degree

These jobs are hands-on and are in a variety of exciting fields. If you like to learn on the job, you may choose one of these options.

1. Power plant operator

Median power plan operator salary: $94,790/year (operators, distributors, dispatchers from BLS)

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Power plant operators are one of the best jobs without a degree to have. Basically, you’d be in charge of controlling the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

So as you may have guessed, this is kind of a high-pressure job that may involve machinery. You’ll typically work 8 or 12-hour shifts on a rotation.

You’ll need a lot of on-the-job training to give you the skills and knowledge you need to manage the plant, but the average annual salary is great.

2. Elevator installer and repairer

Median elevator installer and repairer salary: $97,860/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Do you have a knack for fixing things? If so, you might put those skills to good use as an elevator installer or repairer, also on the list as one of the highest paying careers.

You’ll work directly in crawl spaces and machine rooms to make sure an elevator is working right. Just make sure you’re not afraid of heights! It’s also not uncommon to work directly in an elevator shaft.

Don’t worry if you’re not an elevator whiz — you’ll learn all you need to know in an apprenticeship.

3. Police officer or detective

Median police officer or detective salary: $66,020/year

Education required: High school diploma plus police or detective training academy

Being a police officer or detective means you can help protect people. You’ll get to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. Which includes collecting evidence, apprehending suspects, and de-escalating dangerous situations.

Obviously, there are a lot of risks to being a law enforcement officer. The job is stressful and demanding, so it’s not right for everyone especially if you are looking for low stress jobs. While it is one of the jobs that pay well without a degree, you will need to attend police training before you can get your badge.

4. Railroad workers

Median railroad worker salary: $64,150/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Believe it or not, your childhood dream of being a train conductor really can come true. Railroad workers do more than just conduct, though. It’s their responsibility to make sure trains run on time and according to safety regulations.

Where you work depends on your role. A conductor will obviously travel on the train, but a railroad worker might stay in the same yard all day long to operate switches. While you don’t need a degree, you’ll often require a few months of on-the-job training to fully get into the career.

5. Electrician

Median electrician salary: $60,040/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Light up your life as an electrician. It will certainly supercharge your bank account! You’ll be responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing power, communications, lighting, and more in buildings and homes.

Life as an electrician can be very busy. You’ll frequently move around from job to job (not to mention tons of overtime), but the pay makes it worthwhile.

And best of all, you don’t need a college education. You’ll cover all you need to know in an apprenticeship.

6. Plumber, Pipe-fitter, or Steamfitter

Median plumber, pipe-fitter or steamfitter salary: $59,880/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

There’s a reason Mario is always collecting golden coins. He’s making bank at his job, and you can too. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters all work on fixing and maintaining piping fixtures and systems, and these are good paying jobs without degrees.

Work can be in homes or commercial buildings. You may also have a lot of emergency calls to deal with, as plumbing disasters typically can’t wait until morning. It’s another job that provides an apprenticeship to teach you everything about working in the field.

7. Ironworkers

Median ironworkers salary: $57,160/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Are you tough as steel? Maybe being an ironworker is your calling! The job involves installing structural steel and iron when building roads, bridges, and structures.

The career isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll often be high up on platforms performing physically demanding work, but it’s one of the jobs that pay well without a degree. Plus, you only need an apprenticeship to get started.

8. Commercial pilot

Median commercial pilot salary: $99,640

Education required: Commercial certificate

If you want to fly and find the highest paying jobs without a degree, you can become a commercial pilot. It’s a little different than airline pilots. You’ll still need training, but then you can do a multitude of different flights such as transporting skydiver passengers or working as an air ambulance pilot.

It’s a great job for people that love adventure and it’s one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

9. Sheet metal worker

Median sheet metal worker salary: $53,440/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Another type of construction worker is a sheet metal worker. Which involves fabricating and installing products made of thin metal sheets.

Like other labor gigs, it’s a strenuous position. You’ll be bending, climbing, and squatting as you maneuver the metal sheets into place. You’ll learn the trade through an apprenticeship.

Administrative jobs that pay well without a degree

If you prefer a work environment in an office setting, these are the perfect occupations. Here are the best jobs without a degree in the administration field.

10. Claims adjuster

Median claims adjuster salary: $64,710/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent for entry-level positions

As a claims adjuster, you’ll be the one responsible for evaluating insurance claims and either approving or denying them. Because insurance claims can happen in a variety of places and scenarios, you’ll often get to be out of the office. You’ll need to inspect damages in person to make your assessment.

While some positions do require a bachelor’s degree, you can still find some that don’t. You’ll get all the knowledge you need while working on the job.

11. Executive assistant

Median executive assistant salary: $65,980/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent, though some employers may require a degree

As an executive assistant, you’ll basically be a manager’s right-hand person. This means you may need to prepare important reports, conduct research, and handle any information requests.

You want to make sure you’re a people person, as you’ll be answering phones and scheduling meetings. You may even receive visitors.

All you should need for this job is prior work experience, good people skills, and superior computing abilities. It’s one of those great jobs that pay well without a degree, and this position can open the doors to many opportunities. So it’s not uncommon to see executive assistants step into managerial roles.

12. Postmaster

Median Postmaster salary: $82,760/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

If you’re interested in helping a major organization operate and you have a passion for administration, you could work for the U.S. Postal Service. To become a postmaster, you’ll first need to get job experience with the USPS.

A postmaster is also called a mail superintendent, and your tasks include anything related to helping the post office branch run smoothly. You’ll need a strong head for organization and customer service to succeed.

You can likely work your way up from entry level positions at the USPS to eventually take on a managerial position.

13. Property manager

Average property manager salary: $59,230/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

If you like the idea of working in an office setting but also getting out in the community frequently, being a property manager is a job that pays well without a degree. Strong administrative skills and good people skills are helpful.

Property managers handle tasks like listing and showing available apartments, inspecting grounds, meeting with property owners, and more. You may need to start with a more entry-level position to gain some relevant work experience before moving up to property manager.

14. Court reporter

Median court reporter salary: $60,380/year

Education required: Postsecondary non-degree award or certification

Do you often impress others with your typing speed and accuracy? Then becoming a court reporter is one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree.

You need to be able to stay focused under pressure, typing word-for-word transcriptions in legal proceedings. A similar job is a simultaneous captioner, creating transcriptions for meetings, television, press conferences, and more.

The great thing about being a court reporter is that you can take a certificate program at a community college. There’s no lengthy degree program to become qualified, and the median salary is super close to the annual mean wage in the U.S. of $61,900.

Jobs that pay well without a degree that involve sales

Maybe you’re great at pointing out all the positives of a product and you love to earn a commission. These sales jobs could be for you!

15. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representative

Average sales representative salary: $62,890/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

A wholesale and manufacturing sales representative is another of the best jobs without a degree. Why? There’s always money in sales!

Particularly in wholesale and manufacturing. So this might involve closing deals with businesses, organizations, and government agencies.

Keep in mind, that a lot of sales positions do run on commission. So you need to make sure you’re a persuasive person who can sell anything to succeed in this role.

As long as you’re not selling anything too scientific or technical, you shouldn’t need anything more than a high school diploma to get started.

16. Insurance sales agent

Median insurance sales agent salary: $49,840/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

There are all types of insurance out there, and selling these policies to clients can earn you a hefty commission. You’ll meet with your clients, find them the coverage that meets their needs, and answer their questions.

Another people-oriented position, this job does rely on you being friendly and open. There’s also a lot of paperwork involved. Most states don’t require you to have a degree, though you may need training.

You’ll also need to be licensed in your state. If you can get past the hoops, this is another one of the jobs that pay well without a degree.

17. Real estate agent or broker

Median real estate agent or broker salary: $48,770/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

If you love watching “House Hunters,” maybe it’s time you turned your passion into a moneymaker. Being a real estate agent or broker means you will help people buy and sell their homes, and it’s one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

It does take a lot of work, though. Your weekends will be dedicated to house showings, meaning you won’t have a typical 9 to 5 schedule.

Most states don’t require you to have a college degree. However, they will require you to take licensing courses to become certified, as well as pass a licensing exam.

Being a real estate agent is a career path that doesn’t have a limit as you can grow as large as you’d like. Of course, this is all just as long as you’re willing to put in the work, then it can be one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

People-oriented jobs that pay well without a degree

Do you love to help others and prefer to interact with a lot of people throughout your day? Check out these people-oriented, good paying jobs without degrees.

18. Hearing aid specialist

Median hearing aid specialist salary: $59,020/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Another job that helps people, a hearing aid specialist works to select and fit hearing aids for consumers. You’ll get to make a real difference here as you make it easier for people to hear again.

Working as a hearing aid specialist will require one-on-one work with your customers. You may also need some technical knowledge, as you’ll have to assess hearing instrument efficacy.

Other than that, though, a high school diploma is just fine in this career, and it’s one of the most rewarding jobs without a degree.

19. Dental hygienist

Average dental hygienist salary: $77,810/year

Education required: Associate’s degree

This is definitely a hands-on career, and it also requires a lot of time up close and personal with patients. It’s a fast-growing occupation that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree.

To become a dental hygienist, you’ll need to get your associate’s degree in dental hygiene, which can take about three years.

The job of dental hygienists can be a bit gross, but you can start earning a great salary in less time than with other careers. It’s also common to work part-time, and you likely won’t have a lot of weekend shifts. That makes it one of the best jobs without a degree.

20. FedEx driver

Average FedEx driver salary: $52,717/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

FedEx has pretty high-paying jobs for their drivers. So if you enjoy driving and like to have a routine, this career may be a good choice. Drop off boxes and packages to various locations throughout the route.

It’s a good customer service option if you need to make a good income and don’t want to go to school, and also if you prefer to meet many people throughout your day.

21. Flight attendant

Median flight attendant salary: $63,760/year

Education required: High school diploma or equivalent

Are you people-oriented and do you enjoy traveling to various locations? You might like being a flight attendant, one of the best jobs without a degree.

While you will need to undergo some training and deal with a lot of customers during the day, there are some perks to this career.

Airlines usually include traveling standby for free for flight attendants, and you’ll have the chance to meet people from around the world. So if you are determined to travel and don’t mind long hours, this could be a great job for you.

Highest paying jobs without a degree for creatives

If you often work on different projects and have a great imagination, you will probably like a creative job. Here are some of the best ones.

22. Writer/author

Median writer/author salary: $69,510/year

Education required: High school diploma is useful (but not really required).

Becoming a writer or author typically means working on your own schedule from whatever location you choose, although you may have writing deadlines.

If you’ve got a way with words or did well in language and literature classes, you may be able to make a career of this, or work doing this short-term while between jobs.

There are many different specialties for writers and some fields like blogging, white papers, and sales have high pay. And for those that prefer to start their own blogs, earning potential is unlimited. You can even do this job part-time and still make a decent amount of money.

23. Social media manager

Average social media manager salary: $72,860/year

Education required: Experience with social media

You don’t need school for this job, just experience. So if you enjoy social media and would like to manage and plan other people’s accounts, this is a great gig. If you’re creative and great at marketing you should excel in this role.

You don’t need a four-year degree to make this work, but it helps if you know how to do several things, like if you have photographer or video editing skills, or are good at writing.

24. Sound engineering technician

Average sound engineering technician salary: $60,670/year

Education required: Varies from high school diploma to bachelor’s degree and beyond

You may have amazing skills with setting the perfect mood for video, TV, podcasts, and more. If so, working as a sound engineering technician is among the good paying jobs without degrees.

All of the media people consume on a daily basis requires appropriate sound: music, voices, and other sound effects. Sound engineering techs work in film, television, radio, performing arts, and other industries.

You may think of sound engineering as merely working in a studio to come up with the perfect sounds for a recording. But there’s more; you might also be charged with setting up and operating microphones for an event like a political debate, for example.

25. Makeup artist

Median makeup artist salary: $75,730/year (performance and theater)

Education required: Typically a cosmetology license

Are you creative and fashionable? Have you been perfecting makeup looks for years? A professional makeup artist career might be a small step and a decent paycheck.

You may need to get a cosmetology or esthetician license, and obviously, you’ll need to practice a lot to be a professional. But once you get some certifications and experience this can be very exciting work, and one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

Computer jobs that pay well without a degree

Are you interested in computers and great with all things tech-related? These good paying jobs without degrees may be just what you need!

26. Cyber security analyst

Average cyber security analyst salary: $128,870/year

Education required: Bachelor’s degree is often required but not always

A cyber security analyst is one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree, ideal for people who love computers and are great with technology.

A cyber security analyst protects from digital attacks and malware. You may not need a degree to get started, either, and there’s an excellent average salary.

*Note: According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, many employers do require a bachelor’s degree for cybersecurity positions. However, as Coursera explains, some people can secure a position by getting a cybersecurity certification or working an entry-level IT position first.

27. Web developer

Median web developer salary: $78,300/year

Education required: Ranges from high school diploma to bachelor’s degree

Web developers build and improve websites, which is a pretty useful skill these days. In addition, if you have web design or graphic design skills, that’s even better. Other key skills to help you earn more are HTML, javascript, and CSS.

You could easily work as a freelancer full-time and make some great money creating websites for businesses and companies. Use those tech skills to snag one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

28. Mystery shopper

Average mystery shopper salary: $14.57 per hour

Education required: None

As a mystery shopper, you can shop at a variety of different stores and dine at various restaurants. Your job is to review your experience and provide feedback to the company so they can create business improvements.

As you search for mystery shopper jobs be sure to select companies that are members of the MSPA Americas; a trade organization made up of legitimate mystery shopping companies. Be aware that the average pay for mystery shoppers isn’t that high, especially since minimum wage has increased in quite a few states.

Some popular places to find mystery shopper jobs include BestMark and A Closer Look.

Expert tip

Although college degrees are still important in many fields, there are quite a few job opportunities that don’t require a degree. You can start making more money sooner by taking one of these jobs that pay well without a degree.

Some employers are looking more closely at your experience, which in some cases you can gain via free or inexpensive online classes or on-the-job training. Others may require an associate’s degree, which usually only takes two years.

Don’t give in to the myth that you can’t earn a good income without a degree! Get creative and look for the opportunities best suited to you, and earn more

How to apply for and get jobs that pay well without a degree

It’s good to know that there are high-paying jobs in a lot of different fields that don’t require a college education. But how do you get one of those jobs? See the tips below.

Have the right mindset

First, have a healthy mindset. If you’re looking for a job to replace your current one, be patient in your search. On the other hand, if you need a new job immediately, know that it’s alright to take a job that pays the bills while you search for the job of your dreams.

Also, be open to further your education through courses and certifications. Even if you don’t want to get a degree, the job you want may require or recommend that you know some new information. Get ready to learn!

Where to find jobs that pay well without a degree

Where should you look for new jobs? Start off with job boards like Indeed and see what’s available. If you feel that you’ve exhausted those options, try great networking tips through LinkedIn, or talking to acquaintances and friends about opportunities.

Remember to update your resume and try to make new friends and connections that could open doors for you with a new job. But always be genuine and helpful!

Are you a working mom looking for flexibility? We’ve got you covered too!

Interview tips to get jobs that pay well without a degree

Go to the interview prepared. Pick out a professional outfit you feel confident in. Practice answering questions, and be sure to have your resume as updated and impressive as possible.

Making a good first impression isn’t all that matters. Remember to take time after the interview to make notes, and it doesn’t hurt to send a thank you email, either.

Have a plan for your income

Hopefully, finding a career in a new field that you enjoy will also come with a salary increase. (Especially if you choose one of the high-paying jobs we’ve mentioned in our list.) And you should be prepared with a financial plan for your increased income.

Be sure you have a budget and don’t spend all the extra you earn. Instead, find ways to save and invest the money you don’t need for expenses, so you can make the most of this financial opportunity.

How can I make $100,000 a year without a college degree?

While a number of the jobs listed here are under $100,000, there are opportunities to earn $100,000 a year without a degree. One of the best ways is to start your own business where there’s ample room to grow, though this takes time.

What is the highest paying career without a degree?

One of the highest paying jobs without a degree is air traffic controller, which pays a median salary of $129,750. Electricians, mechanics and technicians (healthcare, automative) are also highly paid job roles that you can explore.

What jobs make 6 figures without a degree?

Examples of jobs that make 6 figures without a degree include becoming a commercial pilot or entrepreneur. Electricians, mechanics and medical technicians can also earn 6 figures.

In tech-related fields, for example, some companies may hire people with no degree who have hands-on experience with specific software. Keep in mind that while there are careers where you can earn 6 figures without a degree, that doesn’t mean zero training is required.

There are great jobs that pay well without a degree!

A college education isn’t essential as long as you’re in the right field. The highest paying jobs without a degree may be at your fingertips. Plus, without student loans dragging you down, you’ll be able to start earning big right away.

That will make it so much easier to create a solid financial plan for the life you want. All you’ll need to worry about when you get hired is writing the perfect self-assessment for your annual review!

All the jobs mentioned here are the highest paying jobs without a degree. Still, keep in mind that building wealth has less to do with earning six figures and more to do with how you manage and plan what you earn!

For more advice about handling your money, check out our free courses.

The post 28 Best Jobs That Pay Well Without A Degree appeared first on Clever Girl Finance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *