Are you looking for high paying jobs without a degree requirement? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we piece together the very best jobs you can do to earn well into the six figures, all without ever stepping foot in a college. Best yet, it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 60, there’s something here for everyone.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total undergraduate enrollment decreased by 8 percent between 2010 and 2018. We think high tuition fees and student loans are at least partially to blame.
Today, students are looking for high paying jobs that do not require a college degree and avoid student loans. Below is the list of such jobs, which give you the potential to earn even more than a graduate job.
Information Technology Jobs
Freelancing in programming can be lucrative and more often than not, these are not college graduates. However, they do spend considerable hours honing their skills.
SEO can be a high paying job that doesn’t require a degree, says Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace.co.uk. Today, most businesses need to have an online presence. As a result, they need search engine optimization specialists to help them rank on Google or Bing.
You can learn SEO by yourself, for free. There are many blogs online teaching search engine optimization. First, I suggest creating a nice WordPress website. Then, try to rank for keywords. You will learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s the best way to train to become an SEO.
The Nitty Gritty of SEO
Ideally, focus on off-page and on-page/technical SEO, suggests Daniel Miller from Empowered Staffing. You can take classes in basic web design, coding, digital marketing, social media, and SEO. Also, you can even find online boot camps to jump right in quickly. You can specialize and focus on eCommerce SEO or lead generation SEO verticals, creating a massive impact on a business. And many companies are on the hunt for precisely this top SEO talent as freelancers & full-time employees. Strong SEO candidates are highly paid and can either be self-employed individuals or employed.
Learning a language such as Python, says Skyler Reeves from Ardent Growth, can be very useful for SEO.
If you get a job in an entry-level SEO role, no matter the company, in no time, you can grow if you take on responsibility. Then, expect other companies to recruit you heavily. Excitingly, compensation jumps can be on average, $20K every two years. Based on the right career moves, job jumps, or entrepreneurial spirit, anyone can do it.
Have been in digital marketing for 5+ years, I can honestly say you don’t need a degree, says Josh Eberly from 717 Home Buyers. To be sure, all you need is a laptop and a stable internet connection. Most of the jobs available in the market are high paying, or you can start your side hustle!
COVID has only amplified the importance of brands being able to market online. Skilled digital marketers are in high demand currently,
Coder / Web Developer
As a web developer, Becky Beach from MomBeach.com worked with talented individuals who did not go to college and earned six figures. If you teach yourself how to code and are good at it, you can land jobs easily. Companies will not care if you went to college or not. There is a shortage of qualified web developers, so companies are paying top dollar for them.
Beach went to a 4-year college myself received an art degree. She says it’s so embarrassing that she leaves it off her resume! But, with what she learned for free by watching YouTube videos and taking lessons at FreeCodeCamp.org, she is now earning over $100k a year and didn’t have to get student loans.
One high paying job that doesn’t require a college degree is building and designing websites for others online, says Stacy Caprio from Her.CEO. To get this type of job, all you have to do is take a few online or in-person courses. Or, you can learn through experience, Google, and YouTube. Once you have a portfolio of sites you’ve built yourself, you can easily take on freelance work. You can even be hired by a company at a high rate even in the six-figures if you’re good at what you do.
Network and computer systems administrators don’t need a degree. They can expect to earn an annual salary between $83K – $118K, says David Weingot from DMAC Security Guard Services. All you’ll need to get yourself is a postsecondary certificate, but the one prerequisite is expert-level computer skills. To be sure, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of a computer system, which you can develop on your own through self-study.
Microsoft Certified Professional
Microsoft Certified Professional developers in Dynamics 365 are some of the best paid in the market. Indeed, they are making an average starting salary of $90,000. According to a recent Nigel Frank report, Microsoft Dynamics ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), professionals can earn more than $100K in a year after just five years. There is a growing demand for certified developers in this area.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a software group that allows businesses to manage and improve their financial performance. Most of its users prefer it because it allows having all the business processes integrated into one program – available in the Cloud. Its competitive price and highly customizable interface have made it grow in popularity in the last few years.
Recruiters look for professionals who have passed the Microsoft Certification Exams. These high paying jobs don’t require a college degree, says Felipe Torres. And, there are online institutions, such as Instructor Brandon, which offer courses to prepare students for these exams in 80 academic hours.
Having a degree would help make sure that you understand things most employers would like. Still, if you want to be a data scientist, there are certifications that you can get from highly reputable websites that will give you a ton of experience that employers demand.
Once you complete the certification courses (or independent learning), you could easily demonstrate to a future employer that you know what they are looking for based on your experience says Bill Angelos from C&R Family Pets. There should be a mountain of examples you could show any hiring manager that doubted your abilities just because you didn’t have a college degree.
You can obtain a Data Scientist certification at cxl.com. In all fairness, the Data Scientist has a median income of $95k. Interestingly, compared to a college education, the data scientist certificate will likely cost less than a semester would in university.
Freelance Marketing Consultants can earn well over 6 figures, and doesn’t need a degree, says Dominic Kent from UC Influencers. Marketing consultants are responsible for all content and communications that the outside world sees (Think social media, PR, etc).
One high paying job that doesn’t require a college degree is Bookkeeping. You do not need a college degree to perform this job, says Shirley Castille from Smart Cents for Life. However, you might take some classes to learn the ins-and-outs. Bookkeeping will always be in demand, especially for small or medium-sized businesses that need these services.
Also, you can start a Bookkeeping business from home with no expertise or previous experience. Virtual Bookkeepers are high paying jobs if you can learn and apply strategies to acquire clients.
Most (if not all) North American real estate boards require just the completion of a real estate trading and licensing course to become a realtor. The real estate course covers various legal and financial aspects of representing clients in their home purchases and sales. Realtors usually run their own business, and operate under a brokerage. Indeed reports several brokerages that have realtors earning over six figures. As a result, this makes realtors one of the best high-paying no-degree jobs around. But, don’t think that by being a realtor that it’s a license to print money. Realtors also work long hours!
Roofing salespeople usually make $70,000 to $80,000 a year and require no college degree. However, there is on the job training, and in each state, the median salary is different. I have seen experienced roofing salesman easily make $100,000 a year, says Caleb Riutta from Dusk Digital.
High Paying No Degree Blue Collar & Trades Jobs
Blue-collar trades jobs have been around for a long time, much longer than tech jobs. And we think they (at least most) will continue to be around for decades to come. Tradespeople are an increasingly important segment of the workforce. And, they offer opportunities who those who don’t want to go to college.
Elevator & Escalator Repairmen
A couple of high paying jobs that do not require a degree are elevator and escalator installers and repairers. With these high-paying jobs, you usually learn through an apprenticeship accessible to anyone with a High School Diploma or GED, says Janni Nilsson from Resumoo. Then, you follow up by obtaining a state license.
Petroleum Refinery Operators and Gaugers
Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines, says Amol Chopra from DilibeadsJob.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), with the push to renewable energy, the job prospects for refinery operators are waning.
One high paying job that does not require a college degree, says Pamela Washington-Turner, is working for the railroad. Railroad workers ensure that both freight and passenger trains on time, and safely. Indeed, they may drive the trains, coordinate the activities of the trains, or operate rail yard switches and signals. Most railroad workers 6 figure salaries, without even adding a per diem if they travel with a production gang.
House Flipper / Handyman
Luke Smith from We Buy Property in Kentucky, says that despite having an MBA, he doesn’t need a degree to purchase houses and flip them. Smith buys houses, renovates and flips them for a hefty profit. While this job doesn’t require a degree, it will need some handyman skills.
As a house flipper, Smith specializes in finding undervalued properties in Kentucky. Depending on the property and the work that needs to be done, you can either do a lite or extensive renovation. A full renovation will get a higher price when we exit the property, but it requires more work and time.
One can learn handyman skills without enrolling in the university, says Michael Hammelburger from Cost Reduction Consultants. You’ll often hear success stories of college dropouts who have earned a place in these niches.
A welder joins metal parts using a tool that generates intense heat. A welder can also polish and smooth out metal surfaces they weld together. They can either use hand-held equipment, or a computer to cut or join metal parts, fix seams, or fill holes in metal.
To become a welder, you’ll need to go to welding school. Your classmates will range from recent high school grads to retired military veterans, and the course can last 4 – 9 months that include hands-on training. It’s not uncommon for their students to make between $100,000 and $200,000 annually directly following program completion, says Brian Hollands from Missouri Welding Institute. And, students who find work on pipeline projects can make as much as $300,000 per year.
If you enjoy projects and not sitting behind a desk all day, the construction superintendent is a rewarding career! A commercial superintendent typically comes through trades and does not always require a college degree, says Laurie Mendoza from Yourson Contracting. Superintendent jobs for general commercial contractors can easily make six figures.
Due to the 2008 recession, there has been a labor shortage in construction. An entire generation of skilled labor left the industry and never pursued trade school out of fear of the economy back then. Unfortunately, the work has continued to remain in high demand with low supply. As a result, this has created a unique opportunity for motivated individuals to learn a trade, move into supervision on the worksite, and progress their career to become a general superintendent.
Detective / Criminal Investigator
You’d be surprised at how much a detective or criminal investigator makes in a year. Indeed, Ben Walker from Transcription Outsourcing says you won’t need a degree for this high paying job. All you’ll need is a high school diploma. And, because detectives usually begin their career as police officers, they’ll need to go through the police academy, too.
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers work in control towers, route centers, or approach control facilities to direct and provide aircraft clearances for takeoffs and landings. They coordinate air traffic patterns to assure that aircraft are safe distances apart. Also, air traffic controllers have the responsibility of keeping airline passengers, and flight crews safe, therefore they can make changes to flight paths as necessary.
An Air Traffic Controller job requires intensive training, but not a degree. To be sure, this job pays a median of $122k and is one of the best very high end paying jobs that require no degree, says Sadia Habeeb from writtenbysadia.com.
Final Thoughts about High Paying Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree
Thanks for reading this article, I really do appreciate it. If you know someone who might be able to use this article, please feel free to share it. And last, if you know of any other high paying jobs that don’t need a degree, please leave a comment below!