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

by Sep 24, 20210 comments

Who said you couldn’t have a high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree or experience?

Once upon a time, a college degree was required if you wanted to work a stable 9-5 job and get good benefits. In recent years, however, things aren’t as black and white anymore.

Yes, you still need a degree for certain career paths, like if you want to become a doctor or lawyer, but if all you’re looking for is a job that pays well, then there isn’t a need for one.

In some cases, pursuing higher education may even hurt you financially because of loans and debt.

If you want to go to college just because you think it’ll be what nets you a long, fulfilling career and the salary you deserve, then you need to see these ten high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree or experience:

1. Flight Attendant

Ever wanted to get paid to travel? Well, with just a high school diploma, you can be a flight attendant! Typically, you would receive on-the-job training from your employer and need to be certified by the FAA.

If you’d like an exciting travel life, benefits, and an average salary of more than $42,000, you could see new places and meet new people for a living!

2. Programmer

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree in IT or Computer Science to work as a programmer.

While a degree certainly helps, there are dozens of programming resources available on the internet, some being entirely free.

Some of the greatest minds in tech in the past century were altogether self-taught, even dropping out of their degree programs! 

But that isn’t to say that you won’t need any form of education whatsoever. Some sort of certification will always help if you can add it to your resume.

This way, you can prove to recruiters that you’re worth hiring.

Big tech companies like IBM and even Google offer high paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. While they will consider your academic background, not having a degree isn’t a dealbreaker anymore.

You could potentially work for one of the biggest companies in the world while being entirely self-taught. 

As for pay, it’s no secret that a career in tech can be incredibly lucrative. Even entry-level workers have the potential to make six figures.

Positions in this field are in high demand, too, so if you put in the work to learn these marketable skills, you’re likely to find a good job.

3. Retail

But not everyone is cut out for a job in tech. It’s a demanding field and thousands of workers dislike their jobs. If you’re more of a people person, then maybe a job in retail may be good for you.

Now I know how it may sound. There’s this misconception that retail and fast food jobs only pay minimum wage while also giving horrible work conditions.

Big companies like Amazon certainly aren’t doing these kinds of jobs any favors. 

That being said, getting high-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college degree as an “unskilled” worker isn’t entirely out of the question. It’s all about finding the right company to work for.

Costco is one of the best examples of this. Employees who work for this warehouse retailer earn almost double the average industry wage.

Additionally, they’re given benefits such as healthcare, paid time off, and more. It’s no wonder they have such a low turnover rate.

On the fast food side of things, In-N-Out is a great company to work for if you’re on the West Coast.

In some cases, they treat their employees to salaries equal to triple the industry average, making even more than tech workers in Silicon Valley.

They even offer benefits like healthcare, discounts, and retirement plans. Not a bad deal for flipping burgers!

Retail jobs can be very hit-or-miss, but many companies are willing to treat their employees right if they’re able to give them a good return. 

4. Plumber

If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you might want to consider taking up a trade. Plumbers make about $52,000 a year on average.

Note that it’s not just about unclogging toilets or fixing leaky pipes, but you’ll also have to map out plumbing blueprints and other technical work.

You won’t need a degree for this job, but you would have to go to a trade school or take on an apprenticeship to get your certification before you can legally become a plumber.

Depending on your program, it can take two to five years to receive your credentials, but all you need to begin is a high school diploma.

5. Electrician 

Like plumbers, electricians need to go to a trade school or apprenticeship program before becoming certified. They make a bit more at an average of $55,000 a year.

If you think you can install lighting and electrical systems, as well as do repairs, this might be an excellent job for you.

6. Contractor

If you’re not particularly interested in becoming either a plumber or electrician but still want to work in the business of building homes, you could also consider being a contractor.

At an average salary of $44,000 a year, it’s a great gig if you’re a boss lady with an eye for detail.

To get your contractor license, you’ll only really need your high school diploma. You would also have to pass an exam to receive a license to practice in your state.

Additionally, if you want to pursue a career as a contractor, you can also choose to go back to school to further your skills.

7. Postal

If you want a high-paying job that doesn’t require a college degree, a job at the post office might be for you. 

USPS employees, depending on their position, can earn an average salary upwards of $50,000 a year.

Postmasters, the ones in charge of a local post office, can earn anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000 depending on where they’re stationed.

In terms of education, you won’t need anything more than a high school diploma or GED, but you’d need to have some experience first.

Thankfully, entry-level letter carrier jobs also pay quite a bit. At 18 years old, with nothing more than a high school diploma, you could be earning upwards of $48,000 a year. 

Working for the federal government comes with its perks. USPS employees get to enjoy many benefits, such as vacation days, paid leave, and a retirement plan.

That’s on top of being paid well above the minimum wage.

However, postal careers are highly competitive due to these benefits and not having a high barrier for entry, and you would have to make yourself stand out if you’re considering one.

8. Real Estate Agent

If you know how to close a deal, then the life of a real estate agent might be for you. Unlike most other jobs on this list, real estate agents don’t typically earn a salary.

Instead, they receive a commission from every single sale that they close. Usually, this would be around $9000 per sale.

That means to earn as much as a plumber, you would have to sell just about six houses a year! Of course, that’s before taxes and other hidden fees, but you also benefit from choosing your own work hours.

The process of acquiring your real estate license varies depending on your state, but you would typically have to apply and pass an exam.

Once you’re through, it’s just a matter of finding a real estate broker, and you’re set!

9. Freelancer

While not technically a job on its own, a freelancer offers services to clients without being officially employed under a company.

Freelancers aren’t limited to specific jobs like virtual assistants, writers, and graphic designers. In fact, there are freelancers for all kinds of tasks. You can even be a freelance stylist

Many benefits come with being self-employed, such as choosing your own work hours and deciding your own rates.

But finding clients can be tough, especially if you’re just getting your foot in the door. Thankfully, platforms like UpWork and Fiverr are there to help you start your career as a freelancer.

Most clients won’t really care whether or not you have a college degree. All that matters is that you’re able to deliver quality work. If you think that sounds about right for you, then freelancing might just be the path for you.

10. Makeup Artist

You got an eye for detail and beauty, sis? Then maybe a job is perfect for you!

If you have the tools and the know-how, you can get yourself a job as a makeup artist and treat yourself with an average salary of $65,000 a year, one of the highest on this list!

You only need a GED or high school diploma to start, but you also need to have earned a certificate in cosmetology.

In some cases, all the training you’ll be needing will be provided on the job. However, certain jobs will need you to be a licensed makeup artist, which has varying requirements depending on what state you’re in.

As a makeup artist, you’ll be working with clients from all kinds of backgrounds, varying from theater and film to the CEOs and boss ladies of the world.

With this kind of job, you’ll be meeting all kinds of new people, and travel to all kinds of places if you want to keep a larger clientele. Also, this high-paying job doesn’t require a college degree or experience to make very good money.

If you think this might be the job for you, make sure that your makeup kit has all the essentials for you to help make your clients look as pretty as they can be.


And those are ten high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree or experience. That isn’t to say that going to college doesn’t have its benefits.

You can make a lot of connections in university, especially if you can make it into a prestigious Ivy League school. But holding a degree won’t entitle you to a high-paying job; the only things that’ll guarantee you that are smart financial decisions.

But making those decisions can be hard, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing. The ability to select from a variety of high-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college degree or experience provides you ability to build generational wealth.

Thankfully, I do, and I’m willing to share some of that experience with you.

Sign up for my text waitlist and receive weekly personal financial advice from yours truly, as well as freebies and the occasional reminder that you’re doing great! I’d love to send some great things your way.

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