Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs Without A Degree Requirement

A degree has it’s perks but it’s not the only option to getting employed.

10 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A Four-Year Degree

The stats speak in favour of getting a four-year college degree if you want to be more employable and earn more money. However, there exists some of the highest paying jobs without a degree being required. And this article shares 10 of such jobs.

When you look around you can see that some of the most influential people alive today are not college graduates. Society has made it such that a lot of people think the only way to have a happy successful life is having a degree, mostly with a huge student loan.

However, this is certainly not the case. While getting a four-year degree might still be an impressive life achievement, it isn’t required to get a high paying job. More and more people are finding ways to make great money without racking up major student debt.

If you’re just starting out in the job market or you’re looking for the career change that doesn’t require a degree, check out these 10 options of high paying jobs that don’t require a degree.


#1. Entrepreneur

Average Annual Salary: $10, 000 to $150,000+.

This is one of the highest paying jobs that technically doesn’t need any qualification at all. All you need to have is some starting capital, a brilliant business idea and boat loads of determination.

The richest men on the planet are currently entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of most economies globally.

From the local stores to digital startups you can start any type of business anywhere. In fact building a business or becoming an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to become a millionaire.

What are the main duties of entrepreneurs?

The main roles of an entrepreneur include making hard decisions about products, services, pricing, shipping and sales. Managing the business’s finances, leading teams and serving as the face of your brand are the other main duties of entrepreneurs.

While this is a more volatile option that provides less stability to start, it can be one of the most lucrative options. Many entrepreneurs hit six figures in their annual salary with some who make millions.

Takeaway: If you have great idea that you believe can solve people’s problems or meet a need in society, start working on it. It could make you financial free and a household name.


#2. YouTube Content Creator

Average Annual Salary: $25,000 to $450,000+

One of the best ways of making money currently is through video creation on YouTube. In fact some famous YouTubers make as much money as some Hollywood celebrities.

A lot of people including models, chefs, reviewers, makeup artists, musicians and many others are now YouTubers. Usually youtubers require a secondary skill besides video making, something to show off on their videos.

However, some vloggers are just pranksters, families going about their average day or people who travel to beautiful places. Whether skillful or charismatic YouTube content creators usually specialize in one particular area like comedy, fashion, music politics or more.

YouTube creators are usually self-employed and they create video content in hopes that they can get as many views as possible. A Youtuber needs to have a strong and engaging social media presence in addition to a great online portfolio.

Many Youtubers have mixed skills as well as the ability to do social media marketing graphic design video editing and videography and manage their own business. Some creators have management teams to handle some of the work.

While Google Adsense revenue accounts for some of what many youtubers making their salary, brand sponsorships, book deals, speaking engagements and branded merchandise make up the difference.

Do have a skill, an interest or an idea? Can you put it in front of a video camera and engaging with an audience? This could be lucrative to make lost of cash or transform your career.

Takeaway: If you’re comfortable appearing on camera and have an interesting idea that people can engage with, getting involved with YouTube video creation could be the change you need. You do not need a four year college degree to do it.


#3. Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers

Average Annual Salary: $89,000 to $100,000

The third on the list of high paying careers include transportation, distribution and storage managers, forming another group of high-paying workers with no required degree. The field requires very little in terms of formal education and all that’s required is a high school diploma or an equivalent.

This could include drivers, movers, logistics managers, route planners shipping warehouse managers and more.

The roles can include negotiating with suppliers and dealers, handling budget and cost analysis, training personnel planning projects and designing routes and implementing safety protocols.

Transport managers specifically focus on the movement of merchandise from place to place. Transport managers oversee the shipping methods, plant shipping schedules and also set shipping routes. Apart from that they’re also responsible for resolving shipping errors as well as handling the concerns of vendors and agents.

Distribution and storage managers work in distribution centers and warehouses. Distribution and storage managers are normally in charge of locating or designing storage rooms. They also direct other employees on assignments which involve the shipment of products in and out of the warehouse, and how to store products safely.

It’s the responsibility of the distribution or storage manager to coordinate shipment of products based on purchases and to prepare documents that relate to their shipment. While these jobs can be demanding and complex they require more practice, experience and capability than they do academic experience.

Takeaway: Have a passion for long haul driving and organizing storage warehouses, being a transportation, storage and distribution manager could open a whole world to you.


#4. Computer Programmers

Average Annual Salary: $70,000 to $150,000

These are people who write and tests computer code responsible for running applications and programs. A computer programmer needs to be knowledgeable in different computer languages including Python, Java, C++, Ruby and many others.

Programmers can work for a design company that works with computer systems, financial institutions, software publishers and others. The best thing about this kind of job is that many tasks can be done remotely since there’s no need for daily commute.

This means that more of the annual salary for the role is kept in the workers pocket. Although some programmers need to have a bachelor’s degree, many companies only require the programmer to prove their skills, demonstrate a portfolio of past success and possibly have certifications in specific languages or technologies.

This is an industry that isn’t going anywhere as the world relies more and more on software applications, online tools and websites. This is also an industry where things change so fast that by the time a programmer finishes school the demands of the industry will have changed and need to be relearned. For those wanting to get into computer programming or coding it’s best to learn quickly and get started.

Takeaway: Love being a whizkid and the digital world and seeing instant results of your work? Love to constantly learn new things to keep your brain active? Consider computer programming.


#5. Realtors

Average Annual Salary: $35,000 to $125,000

Realtors simply need a little formal education in order to obtain licensure within their home state. They are brokers who are involved in the selling and buying of properties and they only need the certificate to prove the validity of their capability.

This certification is much more affordable and short-term to obtain compared to a four-year degree. That’s why it made the list of the highest paying jobs without a degree requirement.

In this career you’re required to help people sell or buy commercial properties or homes like an agent or broker. Realtors can operate on their own as an entrepreneur or work for a company as part of a real estate team.

The main requirements of a realtor are to guide clients and finding the right property, showing properties, helping clients list and sell properties, networking and understanding the region they live in, monitoring the real estate market and handling the legal and financial process of buying and selling properties.

It’s important that realtors operate with licenses because they do handle money, sensitive information and high stakes transactions for their clients.

The license requires 60 to 90 hours of training and experience of not less than one year as a real estate agent. However those who want to be realtors in the future should be aware of the high competition.

There’s a lot of ease when it comes to joining the real estate sector and although the top realtors usually do well and earn a lot of money, there’s massive turnover, with research showing that those people who were realtors 10 years ago are no longer found in the real estate industry and have moved on.

A realtor who works for himself or herself can make more money as he or she is no longer sharing commissions with the company. However this requires the ability to market yourself, grow your clientele and please your clients so your business doesn’t falter.

Takeaway: If you have love for properties and helping people locate their next home, being a realtor could be a lucrative choice.


#6. Air Traffic Controller

Average Annual Salary: $50,000 to $175,000

Although it’s one of the most stressful jobs globally, air traffic control is appealing to most people because of financial reasons. The education requirement of an air traffic controller is an associate’s degree or equivalent vocational merit.

Air traffic controllers essentially coordinate aircraft movements in order to avoid air collisions. This may include:

  1. a proven takeoff or landing for each pilot and providing instruction
  2. monitoring aircraft movement on the ground and in the air
  3. controlling ground traffic near runways or taxi lanes
  4. tracking weather and conditions for pilots
  5. transferring aircraft control to the next port of call and accepting those from incoming flights and so on.

This requires a high degree of attention, a focus on perfection and extreme care toward safety. An air traffic controller should have computer knowledge because they use computers, radar screens and other types of visual reference in order to direct and monitor aircraft movement on the ground and in the skies.

They usually manage more than one aircraft simultaneously and make prompt decisions regarding the safety of the aircraft and passengers. Although a degree is not required, a person needs to have the air traffic control license that can be obtained from the National Air Traffic Services after a three-year training.

Besides that they need to be able to prove that they have the skills, the focus and the attitude to succeed in the industry. For beginnings the starting salary is around $22,000 but growth comes quickly.

Takeaway: If love a challenge and can stay calm under pressure, air traffic control could be the career you’re looking for.


#7. Elevator Installers

Average Salary: $79,000 to $100,000

One of the highest paying jobs without a degree or experience is those who work as elevator mechanics or elevator constructors. These journeymen simply need a high school diploma or an equivalent GED to secure these roles. Rather than academic prowess, employers for this role usually prefer people who are good with troubleshooting and repairs.

According to a research survey, most elevator technicians usually learned through apprentice programs or vocational schools. While academia is secondary to physical capabilities, skills like drawing and mathematics can help the applicants to easily compete for various apprenticeship programs as well as succeeding in the role once hired.

The work of elevator installers is usually manual and can include assembling, installing or repairing a passenger elevator, freight trolley or escalator. The mechanics must test the machinery to ensure success repair, connect and monitor electrical wiring, rebuild or replace motors, troubleshoot malfunctions, reset brakes, manage control panels and maintain a clean record for all repairs.

The current type of elevators have control systems that are computerized hence applicants need to be well versed with electronics and computers. They also need to understand machinery, hydraulics, electrical wiring and more. Most of all this role is more high-paying than many other types of repair jobs because failure to comply and succeed could put people in imminent danger.


#8. Plumbers

Average Annual Salary: $35,000 to $90,000

Some of these jobs that pay well also come with a considerable amount of stress. For example the Air Traffic Controller job pays well and it’s stressful. If you want to find low stress jobs that pay well without a degree, then don’t look too far from plumbing.

Plumbers simply need a high school diploma officially but there are many community colleges and technical schools which provide aspiring plumbers with formal training. They are normally certificate programs whose training usually lasts for twelve months or so.

The main duties of a plumber include maintaining and repairing fixtures such as sinks, showers and bathtubs and commercial, industrial or residential properties. Plumbers will repair or install water pipes, drains, gas lines and water use appliances.

Because the work is so demanding plumbers need to be manually adept and ready to take on uncomfortable physical positions and requirements. Problem solving, mathematical and architectural skills are also a must for a good plumber.

Because plumbers visit people’s homes and interact they must also learn and develop customer service skills. The highest paid plumbers are often those who go into business for themselves.

However, if you want to be a self-employed plumber, know that it requires a whole host of other skills like budgetary, management, leadership, marketing and more.


#9. Radiation Therapists

Average Annual Salary: $80,000 to $100,000

A radiation therapist sometimes known as a radiographer is a technician who performs x-rays on patients and any other diagnostic testing that requires imaging. The required education background of a radiation therapist is an associate’s degree in radiology but an alternate vocational certificate can be obtained.

This program usually takes less than two years to complete and most of them normally take about 18 months while also costing far less than a four-year degree. Radiotherapists usually work under general physicians or specialists.

They are responsible for taking images from patients as requested or directed by the physicians. They also help the physician in evaluating the images. Besides that they’re required to observe how patients react or respond to treatments, document the radiography sessions, implement safety precautions and also check the equipment.

According to research studies this is among the highest paying jobs that has thousands of projected openings in the next couple of years.


#10. Nuclear Reactor Operator

Average Annual Salary: $75,000 to $250,000

Our last on the list of highest paying jobs without a degree being required is a nuclear reactor operator. It’s one of the many jobs with no degree requirement. All you need is a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Very few employers require a degree from most job positions in the power plant technology. Though the jobs are very serious and can be dangerous, no college education is more preparatory for this role compared to the training specific to the job at hand. This is why on-the-job training is much more useful for this industry.

A huge percentage of nuclear operator jobs require a person to have a certificate from a vocational school or any other significant work experience that’s related to nuclear reactors. Apprenticeships are given where a new nuclear plant employee will shadow one who already knows the protocol and learn the ropes.

Though a formal degree isn’t required every employee must obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Regardless of whether you trained formally through education or job training, it’s important to know the basic aspects that relate to nuclear reactors, turbine mechanics, nuclear power generation and management, current flow monitoring, the functions of the generators, equipment usage and measures of safety must all be learned before one is fully employed.

Over all the operators will be required to control the reactors, start or stop each piece of equipment, adjust and monitor the controls, outline any form of emergency procedure and keep very detailed records.

It’s been projected that the nuclear power reactor operators will see an increase in jobs between now and 2025.

Conclusion – Highest Paying Jobs Without A Degree

As you can see you just because you didn’t get to go to college or didn’t complete your four-year degree doesn’t mean that you can’t earn big. However, you must be willing to undergo some other type of formal training or put your skills on the line.

Although this list is certainly to completely exhaustive, it’s clear that there are numerous types of jobs that only require a high school diploma, a certificate, special skills, experience or ingenuity to land these jobs.

Like I said in the beginning going to college has its perks but it isn’t the only option and for people who don’t see college as a fit there are options out there for you. What are some of the other highest paying jobs without a degree that you know of or you know someone who’s earning big? Let’s know in the comments section below.

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