Many people in our culture are preaching this message. We often take it for granted since it’s said, written, and inferred so often. Without even thinking about it, we assume that a four-year degree is essential to be financially, emotionally, and socially successful. A two-year associate’s degree is required at the very least.
However, there are numerous flaws with this approach. To begin with, it implies that “success” is linked to earnings, indicating that the more money you earn, the happier you will be. Of course, anyone can tell you that money does not equal pleasure; after your basic financial necessities are covered, earning a lot of money offers relatively little in terms of satisfaction.
Furthermore, the remark implies that the only way to earn a substantial wage is to first invest in a college education. This is, once again, untrue. Even if you don’t have a college diploma, there are plenty of high-paying jobs out there for you. The majority of them necessitate a high school diploma. Some jobs demand certificates, licenses, or on-the-job training; therefore, a broad education may be necessary. But a bachelor’s degree? Not totally, at least.
Let’s take a look at the top 8 highest-paying jobs that don’t require a degree of any kind, not even an associate’s or bachelor’s. These jobs are just as varied, gratifying, and financially rewarding as many degree-required jobs, and they may all be obtained without the time, effort, or expense of a full degree as well as many of them can be done as remote work!
Transportation and Distribution Manager
- Minimum educational requirements: a high school diploma
- $94,730 is the median income.
- 6% increase in job creation
You’ll plan, direct, and organize a wide range of tasks linked to the transportation, distribution, and storage of numerous commodities and goods in this position. Essentially, you’ll be in charge of ensuring that everything gets where it needs to go. This career has a high median wage and job growth that is comparable to the national average. You only need a high school diploma to work in this management position. However, you must have at least five years of industry experience but no on-the-job training.
2. Operators of Power Plants
- High school graduation is required for entry-level employment.
- $85,950 is the median income.
- -16% increase in job creation
These skilled individuals design and direct the operations of a power plant, ensuring that it not only generates but also delivers power to the right places and people. Although the career has a high median compensation, the obvious disadvantage is the job loss. Between 2019 and 2029, demand for this profession is predicted to decline by 16 percent, with fewer employment available. A high school graduate, on the other hand, can enter one of these highest-paying positions without a degree if they receive long-term, on-the-job training.
3. Entry-level commercial pilot
- High school diploma and commercial pilot’s license are required.
- $86,080 is the median income.
- 9 percent increase in job creation
A college degree is required to pilot a plane for an airline. If you desire to work as a commercial pilot, though, you may make a good living with just a high school diploma and a commercial pilot’s certificate, which takes around six to eight weeks to obtain. Commercial pilots have a bright future ahead of them, as the field is anticipated to grow by 9% by 2029, resulting in over 45,000 jobs. Demand for commercial pilots will increase from a variety of sources, including the requirement for ambulance missions.
4. Elevator Technician
- Entry-level Apprenticeship and a high school diploma
- $84,990 is the median income.
- 7% increase in job creation
Given the considerable and underappreciated hazards associated with elevators (they do, after all, carry people hundreds of feet into the air! ), there is a high need for top-notch elevator installers and repairers. These specialists are well paid even without a college background, and there will be considerable development attributable to an expansion in multi-use buildings. To become one, you must have a strong grasp of arithmetic and mechanics. The majority of apprentices will labor for at least four years. Even after you’ve been recruited as a full-fledged technician, you’ll need to keep learning and growing.
5. Supervisors of Firefighting
- Education: A non-degree award from a postsecondary institution.
- $77,800 is the median income.
- 5% increase in job creation
Even though firefighters are heroes, they require someone to oversee and guide their coordinated efforts. As a first-line supervisor, you direct firefighting and fire prevention efforts, improving your community’s overall safety. This is an intriguing option for anyone with the necessary expertise and training, as it offers an above-average salary and regular employment growth. You’ll need some experience, although it’s usually not more than five years. To be hired in this field, you’ll also need some on-the-job training.
6. Web Developer
- Education: can be learned online
- The average annual wage in the United States is $77,078.
Primary responsibilities: To create a functional and appealing website, web developers produce code and script. Individual webpages are created and integrated with a navigation system so that users can access various website services. Web developers might work on a website’s aesthetic, performance capabilities, or both.
To become a developer, you don’t need a degree, but you will need to know how to write and use web services. You can begin sharpening these skills by taking free coding courses and establishing sample projects that allow you to experiment with various website designs. Proof of employment is provided via real check stubs and/or W-2 forms. Many of the best IT jobs don’t require a college diploma.
7. Claims Adjusters
- This profession necessitates the completion of a high school graduation.
- $66,540 is the median income.
- -6 percent job growth
These experts are in charge of looking at insurance claims. Insurance fraud might bankrupt many insurance firms if it goes unchecked, so they hire investigators to look into claims and interview everyone involved in the insurance scenario. Former police officers and detectives are frequently employed in this profession since companies like to hire persons with investigative experience. A post-secondary degree may be required if you work in the automotive claims industry. Although having a degree may give you an advantage, claims adjusters with investigation experience are in high demand.
8. Performance and Theatrical
- Makeup artist education consists of a non-degree award from a postsecondary institution.
- $75,730 is the median income.
- 7% increase in job creation
If you’ve always wanted to work in theater or entertainment but don’t think acting or directing is for you, a job as a makeup artist can be a good fit. This profession pays well (in fact, it pays better than actors on average), but you’ll need experience and training to apply makeup to actors that is specific to the situation, venue, or part. This career has a lot of room for advancement, and you only need a non-degree to get started. You won’t need any prior experience or training, making this the ideal entry-level option on our list of the best paid jobs without a degree.