50 Jobs That Pay The Most And You Don't Need A College Degree For
Most people are taught that going to college and earning a degree are the only way to make a good living and get a high-paying job. This list here will prove that you do not need a degree to succeed in life and that there are many options in life no matter what knowledge you hold. Many of the world's most successful people didn't even finish college, or just never even went.
In this generation, there are plenty of careers to choose from that pay just as much as someone who holds a college degree. If college isn't on your mind, then here are some great paying jobs that you don't need a college degree for.
Becoming an aircraft mechanic is one of the jobs that doesn't require a degree to make great money. You must be at least eighteen years of age and complete certification programs that are usually 18-24 months. During that time you need to pass a certification test and gain experience before you can apply.
The aviation industry is a rapidly growing career space and is guaranteed to give you adequate knowledge to maintain and keep airplanes in the skies. On average, aircraft mechanics can make $85,000 a year, and depending on how much experience you have, you can make even more.
Gaming managers oversee the operations of casino floors and keep an eye on employees and customers. They also regulate rules and deal with customer complaints while also maintaining excellent customer service.
The average median salary of gaming managers is around $74,000 and can even go up to $100,000 depending on which casino you work for. You will need around five to seven years of hands-on experience within casino roles. In this career, communication and leadership skills are a must and will be what most of the job requires.
Construction and Building Inspector
The job tasks of construction and building inspectors consist of making sure buildings or structures meet local code requirements. They also inspect components like HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. To qualify for the job it will take about four to six years, and includes taking classes and passing assessments.
A minimum of 6,000 hours of being on the job is also a requirement and they provide on-the-job training with pay. The average salary for this job is around $58,000 to $80,000 and can even go upwards of $100,000 depending on the location and experience you have.
If you are skilled in the profession of skateboarding then this career is a perfect goal to strive for. Many skaters learn through years of practice and even some training if they are serious about it. Sponsorships can help boost your fame and provide you with the means to start making money.
As a professional skateboarder, you will need to prove yourself by entering competitions and even making sponsorship videos to reach out to companies. In this career, there is a lot of competition so dedication is a must and many years of practice can benefit you in the long run. Depending on how far you progress as a skateboarder, you can make around $40,000 and up. If you have the success of becoming one of the top competing skateboarders, wages of over $100,000 are totally achievable.
Signal And Track Switch Repairer
Working in the industry of railroad signal and track switch repair is necessary for keeping trains on schedule and the railroads running smoothly. These jobs have workers keep tracks in excellent condition and make sure signals don't malfunction. Installing and repairing tracks and routine inspections are also big tasks the job will require.
On-the-job training may be a requirement along with experience within the industry. On average this job can make you up to $80,000 annually and comes with great benefits and even a pension of $3,000 a month on average.
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic control has the responsibility of making sure that air traffic in and around the airspace is organized and operating safely. The job requires that you have at least three years of progressively responsible work experience and the passing of the Air Traffic Controller Specialists Skills Assessment.
After passing the assessment you could be admitted into training courses for the FAA Academy. Once passing the academy, trainees are required to advance through the ranks starting out with basic aircraft communications and working their way to becoming an aircraft control operator. Salaries for this job range from $50,000 to over $100,000 with the necessary experience and qualifications.
Computer programmers write, change, and test code that allows computers to function and operate properly. This career can be achieved without a degree these days, as long as you can back your experience and demonstrate that you know what you are doing. There are many training programs that have classes for coding and gaining experience in the industry can help to achieve this position.
You will have to work your way up the ladder in this career without a degree but gaining experience with smaller companies can help you move your way up if you are persistent with your work. Once you land a good position you can make an average of $86,000 annually, providing you with a great career.
The tasks of an elevator mechanic range from repairing and fixing to installing and maintaining elevators, escalators, and moving sidewalks. Requirements to become an elevator mechanic are going through a five-year apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with some classes and is a paid program.
This is considered a bit of a risky job and you will be mostly working alone going from place to place. Once you are through your training you can be on the way to making an average salary of $85,000 with hard work and experience.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Operators of nuclear power reactors are required to monitor the functions of reactors and make adjustments to the system when needed. They also respond to disturbances within the reactor and try to determine a solution to the problem that may be occurring.
This job requires extensive on-the-job training as well as some classes to get you on the way to rising through the ranks. It may take two to four years to gain experience, and certificates along the way will help you land an even better salary. On average, a nuclear power reactor operator can make $70,000 to $140,000 a year depending on experience and certifications.
Obtaining a commercial pilot's license is a great way to make good money without needing a degree. These pilots take part in unscheduled flights such as charter flights and aerial tours. To obtain this position you need a pilot's license as well as a commercial pilot's license.
Another requirement is at least 1500 hours in flight time to gain experience for this job. Once you jump through those hoops you can be on your way to making $85,000 to over $100,000 a year. Various tasks such as loading luggage, maintaining aircraft, and scheduling flights are also part of the job.
Becoming an electrician is a good trade to learn to make great money. It requires 720 hours of instruction from a trade school or apprenticeship program. Another four years of on-the-job experience are required in order to gain an electrician license.
The best part of it all is that you get paid while you're learning and gaining experience. As an electrician, you will learn to install, repair, and maintain electrical systems in buildings. It is a physically demanding job but it pays very well with an average salary of $50,000 to $85,000 depending on which field you take.
If sales are your kind of thing, a sales representative is a great way to make a good living. Selling is a top priority along with having a great personality and being able to discuss the product you are selling.
Not much is needed to become a sales representative, just a high school diploma and a competitive attitude. Sales experience is necessary to make more money in the long run as you will work your way up. The average salary of a sales representative is around $78,000 per year and can vary depending on experience and location.
Refinery operators make a good living monitoring and controlling special equipment that turns raw materials into products. They turn crude oils into petroleum products that are used for fuels, heating, and many other everyday uses.
To be a refinery operator you will need a high school diploma and a minimum of one year of on-the-job training. On-the-job training mostly consists of system monitoring, machine operation, and maintenance of machinery. An average of $60,000 a year can be possible in a refinery operator job, with more being attainable depending on the company and experience.
Lots of people have thought about quitting their job and becoming YouTube content creators. This career is very open to freedom of choice as you can create the type of content that you are passionate about. The road to making a lot of money in this career could be a long one though, with many ups and downs that are sure to follow.
No previous experience is required but is definitely necessary to be as big as famous YouTube stars. Content creation can be a dream job if you focus on doing what you love while making great money. This career can be used to fund many other opportunities and can get your name out there. Although the chances of success may be smaller than in other careers, if you are dedicated to making the best content possible you can make an average salary of $60,000 a year and up. Some of the biggest YouTube stars make millions of dollars, which can be achievable with hard work and dedication.
If you are highly skilled in a sport then becoming a professional athlete is achievable without any degree. Many sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and plenty of others pay their athletes a good wage. Dedication and practice are very important to becoming an athlete because there is a lot of competition within this field.
The average salary of a professional athlete is around $77,000 and can climb upwards into the millions if you are a star player and can bring what teams want to the table. Although it is less common to make millions, if you are persistent and dedicated to being the best player then it can be achievable.
Power Line Installers
Installing power lines will always be a necessary job in any area and is a great way to make a living. In this field, you will be installing, repairing, and maintaining power lines to make sure everything runs smoothly. This job will require a lot of focus and attention, making sure you are diligent with everything you do.
Many risks are associated with this job which is why they are paid well with an average of $60,000 a year and even making upwards of $100,000 depending on your location. On-the-job training or vocational school may be required depending on what each company requires.
If public transportation fascinates you, then becoming a subway operator may be the perfect fit for you. The job consists of transporting people to and from each station in a safe and efficient way. In addition, they also do basic maintenance and report any malfunctions that may occur.
A high school diploma is required and also some on-the-job experience can help you secure this position. Working in entry-level positions and familiarizing yourself with the operations of subways will help you in becoming a subway operator. Once the position is obtained, you can make upwards of $70,000 a year.
A claims adjuster works for the insurance industry reviewing claims and judging if companies or customers should get paid out or not. Occasionally they will make a trip out to sites to inspect damages and determine how much a company or customer will get paid out.
Social skills and an insurance adjuster license are required to work in this field. Once obtained, you will work your way up the ladder gaining experience on the job and eventually increasing your salary. Experienced claims adjusters can make upwards of $64,000 with some even making $80,000 a year.
If you are good with your hands then becoming a plumber could be a great job with a high-paying salary that doesn't require a degree. Most plumbers will start with an apprenticeship or vocational school to get their licenses. This is a physically demanding job that will make you work hard but the payout, in the end, is worth it.
The average salary of a plumber is around $50,000 and can even rise to $90,000 depending on experience and location. The best part about being a plumber is that the experience you gain can be put towards starting your own business. Once you learn all the ropes and have many years of experience, you can charge for your work based on what you think is right.
Becoming a commercial fisherman can be obtained through training while on the job. Some jobs are mostly seasonal but if you can land a year-round position you can make a hefty wage. Experience gained in the fishing industry can be used all around and is a great benefit to have.
Pay rates sometimes vary within these positions but a good salary can be obtained at around $60,000 a year. This all depends on the company and location of course but once you know the industry you can decide where you wanna go from there. There are many positions to look at and many routes this career can take you.
The locomotive industry offers great-paying jobs, especially for train engineers. This job requires you to be the age of 21 and also have on-the-job experience. The role is often achieved after spending time as a train conductor and learning the responsibilities of a train engineer.
Certifications also may be required to achieve this position, but once achieved your duties will be operating trains, monitoring equipment, and making sure everything is on schedule. Train engineers can make a salary of around $96,000 a year depending on experience. This job may require time and patience while you work your way up but you will be making decent money on your way to becoming a train engineer.
Becoming a firefighter will require hard work and persistence in this competitive field. You must be a minimum of 18 years old and be able to pass the fire exam. This job also requires many physical and physiological exams in order to be ready for work. An EMT license is also great to have because many fire departments look for that.
This is a very high-stress job and requires full focus and great physical abilities. If you are a people person and love helping out your community, then that is a major plus in this job, as you will be focused on serving the community. These intense conditions will pay you handsomely with salaries of around $80,000 a year. Once you become a firefighter, you can work your way up to many positions making an even greater salary.
The job of an insurance agent is to provide options for individuals or businesses looking for coverage. They educate customers on different insurance options and provide them with the best options within their coverage. This requires attention to detail and great organizational skills.
A license is required to become an insurance agent and experience within the field is a plus but is not required. You will need to pass an exam before obtaining your license as well as getting fingerprinted. Once you achieve this, you can make upwards of $70,000 a year with room to go up from there.
Real Estate Agent
Being a real estate agent doesn't require a degree but it does require a license. You can obtain this license through vocational programs or even self-study, once the test is completed. Great customer service is required to become a real estate agent since you will be conversing with customers by giving them the best knowledge on properties and pricing.
Experience in sales is a plus but is not required just as long as you study hard and work toward being the best you can be. In some cases, real estate agents can make upwards of $90,000 a year depending on location. There is plenty of room for growth in this industry with the possibilities being nearly endless.
A great career that can be self-taught is web development, while some people obtain a degree for this job, you can obtain knowledge through boot camps and research. Having a background in coding and even experience is a huge plus. Web developers are responsible for creating, maintaining, and working on technical aspects of websites.
Going into this job with a great portfolio can help you land a spot and is a great way to show that you have experience in coding and web design. A web developer position can land you a job making around $70,000 on average. Of course, like any other job, there's room to make more with experience and knowledge of the industry.
HVAC workers install and maintain ventilation, heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning units. To be qualified for this job you will need to join educational programs and complete on-the-job training. A minimum of four years of journeyman work and attaining certain licenses will have you on your way to making good money.
This job requires problem-solving, time management, and technical skills to be a suitable employee. On average an HVAC technician can make anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 a year.
Pile Driver Operator
A pile driver is a good career to make money without needing a degree. Mostly, they will require licensing and training on the job or at a vocational school. As a pile driver, you will be operating heavy machinery to install supports for buildings or walls.
Great attention to detail is a good trait to have for this job as you will need it to make sure everything is installed correctly. This job also requires you to look over blueprints and inspect machinery to make sure there are no problems. Achieving a position will ensure you are making great money with yearly wages being around $75,000 to $90,000.
Becoming a flight attendant can be an excellent way to travel the world while making a great wage. You will need quality communication and social skills, as you will be attending to people for most of your job. These jobs are great because they will train you after being hired without requiring prior experience, although that may be a plus.
In this job, you will be providing passengers with comfort, safety, and security, making sure everyone has what they need to get through the flight. Flight attendants can make a yearly wage of around $80,000 and it also comes with many travel perks and benefits.
Fire inspectors make great money and are good for people who have skills in communication and are very detail-oriented. You will need to acquire certifications for fire prevention that can be obtained from fire academy courses.
As a fire inspector, you are required to conduct fire inspections and follow the code of conduct to prevent fires within public spaces. They make sure all fire prevention is up to code and also inspect the causes of fires by collecting evidence and running tests. A yearly wage of $60,000 to $70,000 is achievable in this field.
Longshoremen are workers that load and unload cargo from ships during docking. Even though you do not need a degree for this job it will not be an easy process to obtain a position. You will need to obtain credentials to work in a dock within the USA and also join a longshoreman union.
Once achieved it will be a long process to find actual openings, requiring you to go to union hiring halls and wait in queues for casual shifts. You will need to go there every day as there may be positions open to gain experience and achieve an "identified casual" status. You can then apply for more permanent positions but it still is not guaranteed that you will make it. This job requires persistence and hard work, but if you make it, you can have a nice wage of around $60,000 to $80,000.
Another high-paying job without a degree is a crane operator. They require a license to get started along with a physical examination card and training through programs. After training, you will also need around two to five years of experience through on-the-job training or apprenticeships.
Crane operation is a high-stress job because you will be controlling heavy machinery attaching hoists to loads and safely removing them. Depending on which type of crane operator you want to become, expect a yearly wage of around $50,000 to $100,000 once experienced.
Becoming an actor or actress is not easy to achieve, but still, you do not need a degree to become successful in this career. You will need formal training and knowledge of the arts and a persistent and determined attitude. You can start this career by taking classes and even performing in theaters.
This career can vary depending on which avenue you take as there are many forms of acting. On average you can make a wage of around $60,000 a year being an actor or actress. If you are successful, you can get big roles in movies and other large forms of media to achieve a high-paying salary. Still, it is not easy to become the next world-famous actor but hard work and persistence can be key to success in this career.
Becoming a professional motorcycle racer is a long journey but can profit you with a great wage while also having a job that you love. You will need to earn a racing license through schools that will teach you the ins and outs of racing. During class, you will take part in mock races and pass written exams in order to insure that you are fit for racing.
It's a slow start at first but once you can prove yourself to be a good racer and gain experience, you will climb your way up to the top. After eight years of professional racing your chances of making even greater pay go up a lot. If you can become a successful racer, wages from $60,000 to $200,000 are possible depending on your sponsor status and overall popularity as a racer.
Pro Racecar Driver
Like professional motorcycle racing, becoming a pro racecar driver requires licensing to operate high-speed vehicles along with training and sponsorship. Many classes can be taken to gain experience and prove yourself. Most drivers have been practicing since they were young, entering professional go-kart races and building a name for themselves.
Experience is a must to become a professional in this career as well as make a name for yourself. Depending on which type of racing you do and how successful your races are, wages can be around $44,000 to over $190,000.
Sound Engineering Technician
Sound engineering is a great career for people who are detail-oriented and have an ear for sound. As a sound engineer, you will operate and assemble sound equipment to record, mix, and edit sounds or music. To achieve a position you will need to complete a vocational program for sound engineering.
During this program, you will learn all you need to operate sound equipment and gain the necessary experience to acquire a job. This career provides many avenues to go down with some providing you with a salary of around $40,000 to $80,000 a year.
Landing an executive assistant job can take some time to reach without a degree but it's well worth the climb up the corporate ladder. Four or more years of experience in an administrative position, as well as good communication and great time management skills can land you a position.
As an executive assistant, you will be assisting the company leader with tasks such as scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, meeting clients, and plenty more. It's a great job to have and an important position that can earn you on average $65,000 to $100,000 a year.
Brickmasons have the important job of building and repairing walls or structures made out of brick. You can start with an apprenticeship and by attending vocational programs that are provided with pay. It will usually take around two years to complete and requires you to show up to classes a couple of times a month.
This trade is one of the toughest and can be hard on the body, so you will need to be in good shape if you are thinking about this as a career. Hard work pays off in this career and can earn you an average wage of $50,000 to $80,000 a year.
Makeup Artists - Theatrical and Performance
Professional makeup artists are essential in the performing arts industry and there are many different routes you can take. You will need to acquire a certificate in cosmetology which can take up to two years to get. Makeup artists enhance the beauty of clients' faces before movie sets or even shows.
Experience and style are most of what you will need if you wanna make a name for yourself in this industry. For those who are looking for a creative career to express themselves, this could be the perfect one. An average yearly wage of around $30,000 to $90,000 can be possible, with more being achievable if you are extremely creative and can get your name out there.
A boilermaker can make great money and is a good blue-collar career that doesn't require a degree. You can apply for apprenticeship programs that will give you on-the-job training. In these training programs, you will learn how to weld, fabricate, and work with metals.
These workers install, assemble, and repair boilers and other large vessels. This work is physically demanding and can require you to travel to various locations. It's a great trade to learn and can land you an average wage of around $60,000 to $90,000 a year.
Head chefs are responsible for running the kitchen and making sure dishes go out to customers on time. It is a role that requires great leadership and social skills. To become a head chef you will need to start out in an apprenticeship program, or even take culinary classes to gain experience.
Gaining experience by working in the kitchen as a chef and rising through the ranks is a good way to achieve this position. As a head chef, you will prepare food for the day, make sure everyone has a responsibility, and control the way chefs operate in the kitchen. This position requires many hours dedicated to working hard. This hard work comes with a great wage of $50,000 to $100,000 on average and the ability to make more if you are able to become a celebrity chef.
If you like to operate machinery and are good with math, then becoming a machinist is a good career to take on. You can get on-the-job training courses or even take classes through a trade school to learn all you need.
Machinists operate and maintain milling machines that cut and shape materials such as metals. Blueprints must be reviewed to get the exact measurements and shape you will need to obtain. On average a machinist job can land you a salary of around $48,000 and up. Long hours usually go into being a machinist, which will require dedication and lots of focus.
Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians are necessary to install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. This job is great for people who like to work with their hands and are very technical. Training can be obtained by either vocational schools or on-the-job training programs.
You will be climbing tall turbine towers so having a fear of heights is not suitable for this position. All that danger of working with electricity and dealing with heights comes with a steady pay of around $50,000 to $70,000 a year.
Product managers use both planning and marketing to progress the life cycle of any project. They gather requirements from customers and plan with engineering to oversee the product, position, and pricing strategies within the company. It is a very detail-oriented job and requires impeccable leadership skills.
You will need the correct product management certifications as well as plenty of years of experience within the industry. Working your way up and learning the ins and outs of this job will give you the experience necessary to acquire this job. Hard work in this field can land you a salary of around $60,000 to $200,000 depending on how big the company is and how much experience you have.
Information Security Analyst
In this particular career, having a college degree can be a plus but it is not necessarily required. Lots of workers enter the occupation with years of experience and industry training, as well as certifications.
This job requires workers to monitor, secure, and find solutions to breaches within networks. They use firewalls and data encryption programs to protect information that may be sensitive. If you want to work your way up to make great money, coding will be a necessary skill to obtain a higher position. Information security analysts can make a great wage of around $80,000 to $140,000 depending on experience and skill.
A dangerous job that doesn't require a degree is underwater welding. If you have no fear of the depths then this job will suit you as it comes with great pay. Certifications will be required to enter this field as well as training programs. Being in good shape is also a requirement as you will need to pass diving physicals.
This high-stress job will have you welding in aquatic spaces such as oil rigs and pipelines. As physically demanding as this job is, you can expect to take home anywhere around $50,000 to $100,000 depending on location, company, and dangers of the job.
Network Systems Administrator
This position will require some years of experience and on-the-job training. As a network systems administrator, you will be responsible for operating, installing, and supporting companies' computer systems.
You will need detail-oriented skills such as organization to manage and document configurations and hardware incompatibility. These positions hold a lot of responsibility because you will be looking over a wide variety of technical issues and solutions. This career can land you great pay with annual salaries coming in around $80,000 a year.
Power Distributors and Dispatchers
Power distributors and dispatchers hold the responsibility of controlling the flow of power to and from substations. Repairing and preventing further damage from power outages is essential in this job.
Extensive on-the-job training is required to obtain a position as well as some class-based learning. Depending on which branch you want to choose in this career will require specific licensing. This job requires a lot of attention to detail and long hours but can benefit you with great wages of around $90,000 a year.
Professional Sports Referee
If you are a sports fan but not interested in becoming a professional athlete, then a referee position could be what you are looking for. You can get started by registering and becoming certified to referee games. You enter at a beginner's level by refereeing youth leveled sports and after about ten years of experience you can referee at a professional level.
As a referee, you will be making sure each player follows the rules of each game as well as call out violations when needed. Learning all the technicalities of the sport you are looking to referee is required to achieve a professional position. Wages can range depending on which sport you choose, but anywhere from $60,000 to over $200,000 is achievable.
If you love wine tasting then becoming a master sommelier could be the perfect job for you. To become a sommelier at a master level you will need to successfully pass four courses along with exams. After the third level of the exams, it will take around three years to become a master sommelier.
Master sommeliers work in wineries, restaurants, and businesses that specialize in wines. In this job, you will recommend customers to the best quality wines based on taste and smell. Knowing your wine palette is necessary for this career as you will be choosing a wine that best suits a customer's taste. Generally, high-end restaurants and wineries will be the main place for a wine sommelier. An average wage of around $70,000 to $80,000 is possible when a level three certification is passed.
Video Game Designer
While many video game designers strive to achieve a degree to join the industry, it is not a requirement. Experience is the overall guiding quality needed to join this career. Many designers start out designing their own indie games and gain experience from game testing and internships.
There are also classes you can take that teach you all the steps to learn how to build video games. In video game design there are many departments to choose from such as 3D design and texturing, all the way to sound design and animation. This is a great career for people who enjoy video games and have a passion for developing something creative. On average you can expect an annual wage of around $70,000 to $80,000 a year.