- Don’t Have A College Degree? You’re In Luck.
- Highest Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree:
- Web Developer
- Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
- IT Support Specialist (for Google and others)
- Small Business Owner
- Police Officer
- Computer Programmer
- Commercial Pilot
- Graphic Designer
- Elevator Installer and Repairer
- Power Distributor and Dispatcher
Just because you didn’t go to or finish college and have no degree or experience – doesn’t mean you cannot land a high paid job with great benefits.
Did you know there are jobs that don’t require a college degree paying $50k-$100k+ a year ($962-$1,923+ a week)? And in some cases, require no prior experience?
Percentage of jobs that don’t require a college degree: 72.5%
All salaries and data have been verified and cross-checked with bls.gov (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Don’t Have A College Degree? You’re In Luck.
Employers are looking for skills rather than diplomas, more and more these days.
A study conducted by ZipRecruiter found that only 21% of the 250,000 job ads they analyzed and posted to their site mentioned the need for a college degree from applicants.
As of March 2020, 35% of all college graduates are working at a paid job that doesn’t require a college degree. (though despite this high number, it has historically hovered around 31%-35% since 1990).
But just because these jobs don’t require a degree, doesn’t mean they will not want some form of experience (self-taught or prior experience in that field/position) for some of these higher-paying jobs.
Most employers will give you on-site job training or may require you to complete some form of education or job training elsewhere first.
Note: Did you know that 72.5% of all jobs don’t require a college degree?
Highest Paying Jobs That Require No Degree:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for a full-time worker age 25 and older without a college degree makes $38,948 a year ($749 a week).
So, this list will focus on high paid jobs you can get without a college degree that pays more than the national average of $749 a week.
#1. Web Developer
To land a job as a web developer you can self-teach yourself or learn the web development skills through coding boot camps like the Lambda School and others. According to their website, they promise you “pay nothing until you get a job paying at least $50k” which may be worth looking into.
What it pays: $73,760 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Note: You can also freelance as a web developer.
#2. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Though these jobs pay over $100k a year and require no more than a high school diploma with no prior experience necessary and provide on-site job training – there’s a catch, there’s not many of them. There are only 5,050 of these jobs and are exclusive to only certain states (mainly on the east coast).
Nuclear power reactor operators usually start work as equipment operators or auxiliary operators, then work their way up.
What it pays: $100,530 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
#3. IT Support Specialist (for Google and others)
Work at Google with no prior experience or college degree. Google has launched Google Career Certificates to assist more people to land high-paying tech jobs without a college degree. It’s a 6-month online program that’ll teach you all the skills you’ll need to be a qualified IT support specialist.
What it pays: $54,760 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
#4. Small Business Owner
Anyone can get started as an entrepreneur or small business owner, with or without a degree. According to a CNBC/Survey Monkey survey, 44% of small business owners have a college degree.
The income estimates below are averaged out, but the maximum salary someone can earn through owning a business or entrepreneurship, unlike mostly all jobs, has no cap limit.
What it pays: $31k – $156k, but the average is $70k
[ Related Article: How To Decide What Type of Business To Start ]
Note: Unlike most jobs, there is no cap limit on how much you can earn from owning a business.
#5. Police Officer
You need to attend a training academy, which is about six months of training, before becoming an officer.
And you can work your way up to becoming a detective/criminal investigator after four to five years of being in law enforcement. Which pays about $83,170 (2019) according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
What it pays: $63,150 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
#6. Computer Programmer
A computer programmer, or put simply a coder, typically requires a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science to get a job as one.
But big tech companies like Google, Apple, Tesla, and IBM took a position of not requiring a college degree for some of their job positions. So you can land a high paid job as a computer programmer without a college degree much like how a web developer would – self-learning, building projects, and networking.
What it pays: $86,550 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Note: You can also freelance as a computer programmer.
#7. Commercial Pilot
Becoming a commercial pilot, not to be mistaken with an airline pilot, can be accomplished by getting a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
One of the most common paths to becoming a commercial pilot is completing flight training with independent FAA-certified flight instructors or at schools that offer flight training.
After thousands of hours of light experience as a commercial pilot, you can get a job with a regional or major airline as an airline pilot which pays $121,430 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
What it pays: $86,080 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
#8. Graphic Designer
Employers typically seek candidates with a Bachelor’s degree, but a creative portfolio and some experience (self-taught or otherwise) will also land you a job in this job position.
What it pays: $52,110 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Note: You can also freelance as a graphic designer.
#9. Elevator Installer and Repairer
The only things you’ll need to do to get qualified and land a job as an elevator installer and repairer is to complete a 4-year apprenticeship program and get licensed by the state you’re in (required by most states).
What it pays: $84,990 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
#10. Power Distributor and Dispatcher
To become a power plant operator/dispatcher, you must undergo long-term on-the-job training and typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
What it pays: $90,700 (2019), according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.