20 Best High Paying Jobs Without A Degree

“You won’t get anywhere if you don’t be responsible and study!”

Isn’t that what most of us have heard from our elderly? It’s time to prove everyone that a four year degree is not at all required to be successful and happy in life.

Afterall, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and so many more famous And successful personalities have made it big without a college degree, so why can’t you!

Alternative Educational Pathways

Now, while you may not require a bachelor’s degree, you still require education!

Some of the occupations we’ll discuss require an associate degree, while others require specific certificates or apprenticeships.

But here’s the main line: You can make a solid living and do important work without going to college for four years.


Certifications cover a wider array of subjects than academic degrees.

Most certificates are targeted for specific career goals, some are organization-endorsed qualifications, many contain academic credits, some may lead to licensure, and most may be completed in less than one or two years.

Postsecondary Non-Degree Awards

These awards are done after completing postsecondary education or training, which can take anywhere from two weeks to two years. High paying jobs without a degree

Technical Education

Career and technical training is expected to provide vocational training that can be used to a wide range of sectors.

This could result in a diploma or certification in a particular field of study.

Technical and vocational schools, as well as two- to four-year colleges and universities, offer these programmes.


Apprenticeship combine elements of paid work and education to provide industry-recognized credentials.


As a government, obligatory certification, licensure differs from state to state. For clinical practice or fields of counselling, professional electrical work, and other professions, licensing is required.

Licensed practitioners are undergone the necessary exams and are obligated by professional ethics in their specialties.

Though receiving a certificate is not a necessary part of the license process, it might lead to licensure by providing academic hours or credits required for state tests.

High Paying Jobs Without A Degree

Below are some high paying jobs without a degree with a decent job growth that you could totally opt for.

1. Air Traffic Controller

air traffic control tower
Photo by Beckett P on Unsplash

The first one in the list of high paying jobs without a degree is an air traffic controller. Aviation traffic controllers are in charge of controlling air traffic from the ground, which is a thrilling and high-stakes job.

They are housed in those airport-style towers with lots of windows. To keep up with travel schedules, air traffic controllers frequently work nights and weekends.

It’s a difficult profession with a satisfying outcome: ensuring that people safely take off, travel, and land!

Education: An associate’s degree

Median Salary: $130,420

2. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

Photo by Charlize Birdsinger on Unsplash

All duties connected to the planning and coordination of distribution, transportation, or storage are included in this highest-paying job without a degree.

Managers in charge of transportation, storage, and distribution are in charge of directing these activities in compliance with government regulations and company policies. High paying jobs without a degree

Planning and executing warehouse safety, overseeing shipping, receiving, storing, and testing products, and integrating logistics with corporate operations are just a few of the responsibilities.

You can step up to this great spot and greater compensation with just a high school diploma and five years of experience getting things where they need to go.

Education: High school diploma or any equivalent education

Median Income: $94,730

3. Police Officers and Detective Supervisors

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First-line supervisors in this field lead detectives and police officers directly and have experience organizing criminal investigations. Training and management of employees to perform lawful police activities are among some of the responsibilities.

With only a high school graduation and a bit of on-the-job training, you’ll be well compensated for advancing through the ranks of the police department, with a median salary close to six figures. High paying jobs without a degree

Education: A high school diploma

Median Annual Wage: $91,090

4. Elevator Installer and Repairers

This is one of those seemingly insignificant duties in the list of high paying jobs without a degree, that most people overlook!

Elevator installation and repairers, it turns out, make decent money using their hands. It’s no wonder that they spend much of their time working in confined places near heavy gear.

They’re frequently obliged to be available for repairs 24 hours a day. If you’re frightened of heights, however, this is probably not the job for you. High paying jobs without a degree

Education: A high school diploma or equivalent and apprenticeship

Median Salary: $88,540

5. Computer Programmers

comp programmer
Photo by Danial Igdery on Unsplash

Some computer programmers have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in computer science, while others have years of expertise.

There are also certificates available to demonstrate your proficiency in various programming languages. In order to secure a job, some people who choose this path also attend a boot camp.

Computer programmers are in charge of designing, programming, and testing software. This code is responsible for the proper operation of apps and computer programmes.

For this career, you’ll often need to be fluent in a range of programming languages. One of the best aspects of this career is that many programmers may work from home, giving them a great deal of flexibility.

Education: Any from- bachelor’s degree, associate degree, boot camp, certificates from a course

Median Income: $86,550

6. Commercial Pilots

commercial pilot
Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

While airline pilots are required to have a college education and a bachelor’s degree, commercial pilots can do the same job with only a high school diploma. They operate and fly aircraft that are not linked with airlines, such as helicopters and airplanes.

Preparing and inspecting aircraft conditions, creating flight plans, interacting with air traffic controllers, and piloting planes are among their responsibilities.

Commercial pilots, unlike airline pilots, are more likely to fly unscheduled trips like charter flights and aerial excursions.

Commercial pilots typically complete their training at flight training schools or with independent flying instructors who are FAA-certified. High paying jobs without a degree

Education: High school diploma or equivalent and a commercial pilot’s license

Median Income: $82,240

7. Fire-fighting Supervisors

fire fighting supervisor
Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash

The supervisory position in this field is in charge of supervising and coordinating the activities of firemen and those involved in fire prevention and control.

Firefighting supervisors are in charge of transmitting fire details to all members of their crew, administering medical services, analyzing fires, and strategically allocating firefighters to rescue and extinguish fires.

Education: A postsecondary nondegree award and on-the-job training

Median Income: $77,800

8. Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist Education

makeup artist
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Working as a makeup artist in the theatre and entertainment industry pays well.

A postsecondary certificate, combined with experience and on-the-job training, can boost a job candidate’s competitiveness.

This occupation has a better long-term prognosis than the national average, making it a good entry-level option on our list of high-paying jobs without a degree.

Education: Postsecondary nondegree award

Median Income: $75,730

9. Non-Retail Sales Workers

Individuals in this position supervise non-retail salespeople and may also be responsible for budgeting and accounting.

Non-retail sales supervisors oversee their employees and provide advice on meeting sales targets and resolving service or product issues. High paying jobs without a degree

The annual salary for this post can easily reach up to 5 figures.

Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Median Income: $74,760

10. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

electric powerline repairers
Photo by Anton Dmitriev on Unsplash

The electricity grid needs to be maintained and installed, and entry-level positions demand a high school diploma.

Their job is to install and maintain power lines and towers, as well as street and traffic lights. Inspecting electricity lines, finding power grid faults, and climbing poles to thread power lines are all common responsibilities.

Installers and repairers of electrical lines work in hazardous situations above ground and with high-voltage energy. And this is also a very physically demanding job. The significant predicted employment growth and salary may offset this danger.

Education: High school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training

Median Income: $72,520

11. Farm Labor Contractors

farmer labourer
Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels

Do you want to make $60,000 per year without a high school diploma?

You can learn to recruit and hire temporary or seasonal farm laborers with some short-term on-the-job training. Some farm labor contractors require a high school certificate, but working as an apprentice or employee for less than five years is also acceptable.

During their contracted work, this profession entails monitoring agricultural laborers, paying their compensation, and providing resources for food, water, shelter, transportation, and sanitation.

Education: No formal education is required

Median Income: $61,910

12. Executive Assistants

Executive assistants provide support to corporate and nonprofit executives.

They keep the organization operating by managing the executive’s schedule, communicating on their behalf, and performing a variety of office responsibilities. They provide behind-the-scenes support to the organization’s most prominent men and women. High paying jobs without a degree

An executive assistant median salary can easily reach upto 5 figures.

Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Median Income: $63,110

13. Court Reporters

court reporter
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Next in the list of high-paying jobs without a degree come court reporters.

You’ll need a certificate from a community college or technical school to qualify for an entry-level court reporter career.

Certifications will help you pass typing tests and get a license, which is required in many states. You’ll work in court after earning your qualifications, generating word-for-word transcripts of events, hearings, and depositions.

Court reporting is critical to legal proceedings, and you may feel good about performing something that helps society while also being highly compensated.

Education: Postsecondary nondegree award and on-the-job training

Median Income: $60,130

14. Wind Turbine Technicians

Professional wind turbine technicians are conversant with a variety of systems, including hydraulics, electronics, and mechanics, and know-how to check, repair, and maintain wind turbines.

Most wind turbine technicians, also known as wind techs, are required to attend a vocational school and acquire wind energy sector accreditation.

This isn’t a profession for those who are afraid of heights. Wind turbine technicians have one of the high-paying jobs without a degree required, with a wildly high job outlook and a fair compensation level.

Education: Postsecondary non-degree award and on-the-job training

Median Income: $56,230

15. Plumber

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Plumbers work with pipes and pipelines to assemble, install, and repair them. If you’re good at your job, it’s a position with a lot of job security. High paying jobs without a degree

Buildings, factories, and homes are constantly being built, which necessitates the installation of pipes — and someone’s septic system will always back up or a basement will flood.

Pipes in older buildings frequently need to be renovated to fulfill energy efficiency requirements. Plumbing jobs aren’t going away anytime soon.

If you want to be a plumber, you’ll probably need to go to a technical school and earn a license. High paying jobs without a degree

It’s also worth noting that you can be called in to help with a plumbing emergency, which means you’ll be working some weekends and evenings.

Likewise, carpenters also work on the same lines when it comes to wages. The job of a carpenter is another one of the high-paying jobs without a degree. The carpenter’s median salary would be around $49,520 and would only require a high school diploma or an apprenticeship.

Education: A working license but no formal schooling is required

Plumber Median Salary: $53,910

16. Hearing Aid Specialists

A hearing aid specialist coordinates with audiologists to fit, diagnose, and maintain patients’ hearing aids.

They also perform screenings and testing to make sure the hearing aids are in good working order. This job entails a combination of technical and interpersonal tasks.

The best part is that you get to offer someone the gift of hearing, which is incredible!

Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Median Income: $52,630

17. Real Estate Agents

real estate agent
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Another one of the high-paying jobs without a degree is of estate agents.

Real estate agents or brokers assist clients in the purchase and sale of homes. Real estate is different because it is commission-based, so you eat what you kill.

You can work long hours and put in a lot of effort to expand your company, or you can work on a more flexible and part-time basis.

You must enjoy sales and working with people to be a successful real estate agent. Being a real estate agent also doesn’t require any formal training.

Education: A high school diploma and licensing requirements which vary by state

Median Income: $51,220

18. Surgical Technologists

high paying jobs without a degree
Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

Surgical technologists assist doctors in the operating room during critical procedures. They clean the incision areas and organize the tools. High paying jobs without a degree

Although it may appear easy, these individuals serve as the surgeon’s right hand during surgeries.

You may be suturing wounds, suctioning incisions, and, of course, handing over any medical equipment requested by the doctor.

Education: A postsecondary non-degree award or an associate degree

Surgical Technologist Median Salary: $47,300

19. Broadcast & Sound Engineering Technicians

Photo by James Kovin on Unsplash

Sound engineers install and maintain electrical sound equipment for television, radio, movies, recording studios, and other applications.

This career’s rise is fuelled by a multitude of factors, including the usage of audio equipment by businesses and schools. The degree requirement of some jobs in this profession requires an associate degree, although the majority merely need a postsecondary non-degree award.

Internships and on-the-job training can be valuable to aspiring broadcast technicians and engineers, so look for programs that provide hands-on experience.

Education: Postsecondary non-degree award

Median Salary: $45,510

20. Bookkeeper

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Although no prior experience is required to work as a bookkeeper, postsecondary education in software, mathematics, or computer science can help a better-suited candidate compete in a competitive market.

In a variety of sectors, bookkeepers create financial records, arrange paperwork, and verify financial accuracy.

Some job seekers with only a high school diploma may be hired if they have the necessary abilities.

Education: Postsecondary nondegree award or education

Annual Salary: $41,230


These were some of the high-paying jobs without a degree with extensive job growth that you can consider.

Like Steve Jobs never finished his college degree at Reed College and despite his lack of a college diploma, jobs amassed a net worth of $10.2 billion at the time of his death.

Not only Steve Jobs but Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, but who needs a Harvard degree when your computer programming projects pay you $20,000 at the age of 17?

List of Successful Personalities Without a College Degree

  • Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
  • Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest businessman
  • Tom Cruise, American actor
  • Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
  • Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple

and so many more…

So you see? You need to be no Einstein to earn hefty amounts of money!

Thus, in today’s day and age, following the rat race and seeking what everyone else is pursuing is no longer necessary.

You can take a different career path by pursuing your passion and working in one of these industries.

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