With the cost of education getting more expensive each year, student loan debt is also rising. Thus, many people are beginning to look for careers that do not require a four-year degree. The good news is that there are many good-paying tech jobs without a degree requirement.
Many high-paying occupations don’t require a four-year degree. Instead of focusing on a university degree, many employers seek candidates with specialized skills, experience, and previous knowledge. Continue reading to learn how to acquire a good-paying job without a degree.
What Skills Do You Need to Land a Good-Paying Job Without a Degree?
If you’re on the hunt for jobs without degree requirements, be prepared to learn new skills and adapt to different environments. Good jobs that don’t require a degree need candidates who learn quickly and think on their feet. Show that you can handle anything thrown at you and that you’ve got the right skills or the ability to learn the right skills.
A Few Technical Skills
Aside from adaptability and the capacity to learn new things, try to get a little technical education. It can be anything, such as programming, sales, writing, or even brewing coffee. If you already have a few skills up your sleeve, getting a job without a degree should be considerably easier.
Networking is an excellent approach to learning about job openings relevant to you. It ensures that better-suited positions are constantly available to you. Even if you already have a job, make sure to develop a solid network of people to whom you can call out at any time.
Finding a good job is not easy in a competitive job market. Work hard on yourself and develop your skills, expertise, and experience. Apply to jobs that you qualify so there is a good chance your resume will stand out due to your diligence in training yourself.
Think about it, why should an employer hire you and not other applicants? Know your skills, strengths, and value, even if you do not have a degree. Be self-assured that you can bring something valuable to the table and that you’re highly qualified for the job you are applying for.
What Education Do You Need to Get a Good-Paying Job?
To get a good-paying job without a degree, you need at least a high school diploma or an equivalent, such as GED. Finding a good-paying job without a high school education or equivalent may be more challenging. However, you may find that certain high-paying positions do not require any formal education, but rather a great deal of experience.
Specific professions require you to possess more than a high school diploma or GED, such as postsecondary nondegree awards or some trade school vocational training. Certain companies may also require specific certifications or apprenticeships.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
Even those who love to be in college may find it challenging. So what do you think will happen to those who did not want it in the first place? They may feel excited when they first start a course but eventually drop it.
On top of the academic difficulty is the financial burden of attending college and pursuing a four-year degree, especially now that tuition costs have been continuously rising. Students struggle as they hope that loans will cover the entire college course and that they will be able to acquire a job to pay for it. Worst of all, students can encounter many obstacles along the way and may not be able to graduate.
Not having a college degree is not a dead end. You may attend a vocational course or go to trade schools and acquire practical skills to help you get an equivalent training and certificate. GED diploma programs can also play an essential role if you want to progress further in your career and get a good-paying job.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Good-Paying Job?
Yes, absolutely. Coding bootcamps can be an excellent option and are often called a “fast track” to the most competitive jobs in tech. The tuition costs are lower, class hours are shorter, and a practical curriculum is offered. These alternative education establishments get praises for making access to technical schools easier, and in extension, providing a more straightforward path to a tech career.
It is a known fact that coding bootcamps are worth it. Graduates find jobs soon after graduation and even a few weeks before completing their courses. According to Glassdoor, with a coding bootcamp certificate, you can be a web developer with a salary average of $70,863.
How to Get a Good-Paying Job with a GED
Set Achievable Career Goals
Start with the end in mind: getting a good-paying job with a GED. Then, create your roadmap to get to that dream destination. Set short-term goals and make a plan on how you will achieve them. In this case, you may want to find out first what job opportunities are available to you with a GED.
Find Career Opportunities That Don’t Require a College Degree
You have already planned how you can reach your goals, so now it is time to find jobs that don’t need a college degree. Choose professions that fit your interests and passions to pursue and excel in your chosen career field. If you love to help people, you can be a social worker, as it does not require a degree but a GED and enough training.
Learn and Apply New Skills
Now get ready to equip yourself with the necessary skills. First, of course, get your GED or attend vocational schools and participate in on-the-job training or apprenticeships. Join volunteering tasks that may enhance your skills. For example, if you’re interested in a career in patient care, you may volunteer in community healthcare and get the experience you need.
Join Organizations Related to Your Career Interests
Organizations such as NGOs will provide you with experience and connections. These organizations will expose you to different environments that will help you enhance your skills. The actual work experience you will gain will also help you advance your career.
Look and Apply for Jobs
You are now ready for job applications with the confidence you have built and all the training and exposure. Make a list and review available good-paying jobs that require a GED using different resources. Prepare a good resume, sharpen your interview skills and be confident knowing that you have all the training you need to be efficient with the job you are aiming for.
Good-Paying Jobs Without a College Degree
|Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers||$89,090 per year||-14%|
|Transportation Inspectors||$81,320 per year||5%|
|Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers||$88,540 per year||6%|
|Commercial Airline Pilot||$93,300 per year||13%|
|Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance||$106,920 per year||37%|
|Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers||$96,390 per year||8%|
|Nuclear Power Reactor Operators||$104,040 per year||-14%|
|Subway and Streetcar Operators||$69,440 per year||10%|
|First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers||$78,870 per year||8%|
|Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers||$68,090 per year||-1%|
Good-Paying Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree: A Closer Look
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
They normally work full-time and oversee the systems and electrical components that generate and distribute electricity. In addition to substantial on-the-job training, these occupations often require a high school diploma or equivalent. Companies employing for these positions require background checks and drug and alcohol screens, and power plant operators must also have a license.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics listed these roles as receiving an average annual wage of $89,090 in May 2020. Despite the industry’s predicted job losses, roughly 3,500 jobs for power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers are available every year. This job is perfect for people looking for a good-paying job without a degree requirement that lets them do hands-on work and handle machinery.
The transportation inspector examines equipment or goods, ensuring their safe transport, including the safety of the people involved. Specific examples of this occupation can be a rail transportation inspector, freight inspector, rail inspector, and other vehicle transportation inspector roles.
Transportation inspectors need a high school diploma or equivalent and are not required to have work experience. The number of jobs for transportation inspectors will be continuously growing from 2020 to 2030. It is a good-paying job with no degree requirement. The training is not intense either, and it’s not a stressful profession.
Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers
Elevators, escalators, and moving walkways are installed, maintained, and repaired by these professionals. Installers and repairers of elevators and escalators typically work full-time, and repairers may be on call 24 hours a day. A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required for an elevator or escalator installer or repairer.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a job growth rate of six percent from 2020 to 2030 for these positions. With an annual wage of $88,540 in May 2020, it is a good-paying job with no degree requirement for those who can deal with demanding, hands-on work.
Commercial Airline Pilot
They fly planes and helicopters and may have unpredictable timetables. To be a commercial airline pilot, you need a commercial pilot license. However, some businesses prefer or need their pilots to have a bachelor’s degree too. To become a commercial airline pilot, you usually just need to finish flight training with independent FAA-certified flight instructors or attend an institution that offers flight training.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Commercial pilots’ employment has a job outlook of 11 percent from 2020 to 2030 which is higher compared to other occupations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also noted that commercial airline pilots had an annual wage of $93,300 in May 2020, making it a fascinating good-paying job without a degree.
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance
A makeup artist does makeup to enhance, beautify, or alter a person’s look. Makeup artists of theatrical performances help performers reflect the period, setting, and situation. Makeup artists can be high school graduates, although many enroll in vocational training programs to prepare for the profession.
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
They oversee transportation, storage, and distribution activities, ensuring that they are carried out according to organizational rules and appropriate government laws and regulations. This job does not require a college education but only a high school diploma or equivalent and five years of work experience in a related occupation.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the median annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers was $96,390 in May 2020. The job outlook is also projected to grow by eight percent from 2020 to 2030.
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
Controlling nuclear reactors, moving control rods, starting and stopping machinery, monitoring and adjusting controls, and recording data in logs are all part of this job. When necessary, nuclear power reactor operators carry out emergency operations and may respond to abnormalities, ascertain the cause, and make recommendations to fix any issues that may arise.
Candidates typically need a high school diploma or equivalent combined with extensive on-the-job training and a license. Despite its declining employment, there are still plenty of job openings for this role each year. It is a good-paying job with no degree requirement, and it paid an average annual wage of $104,040 in May 2020.
Subway and Streetcar Operators
Subway and streetcar operators convey passengers through subway or elevated suburban trains without using a separate locomotive or electric-powered streetcar. In the event of an emergency, they are well-versed in the relevant protocols. The job paid an average annual wage of $69,440 in May 2020 and only requires a high school diploma or GED, and on-the-job training.
First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers
Being in a supervisory position, they have to direct the concerted efforts of first-line fire prevention workers and increase the overall safety of communities nationwide. You must have a high school diploma or equivalent and training in emergency medical services to qualify for the role.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job had an annual wage of $78,870 in May 2020. This profession is best suited for those with good physical and mental health who wish to join the firefighting industry.
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
They oversee the operation of farms that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers work primarily outside but may also spend time in an office, and their work is frequently physically challenging. The requirements for this role are a high school diploma and work experience in a related occupation.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers was $68,090 in May 2020. A good-paying job with no degree requirement for those with experience and desire to work further in agriculture.
Where to Find Good-Paying Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree
NoDegree is an online career resource solution for those job seekers of good-paying jobs without degrees. It also offers career choice tips and financial advice so you can navigate the hurdles and issues you face throughout life. Thousands of jobs without degree requirements are listed on this site.
Glassdoor is a well-known website for job-searching and salary-reviewing. It also has a great job search filter system that lets you search for jobs with keywords and locations. Although it has a comprehensive list of jobs, you can easily find work without degree requirements through search filters.
Like Glassdoor, Monster is a well-known career website and has thousands of job listings in various industries. It also has career tips and a lot of different job categories. Through its categorized system, you’ll be able to find a good-paying job with that suits you in no time.
Consider a Good Degree Later in Your Career
You may be doubting the value of a bachelor’s degree if you are not seeking a position requiring one. However, just because you don’t currently desire to pursue a four-year degree doesn’t mean you shouldn’t later. Earning a four-year college degree gives you a sense of fulfillment and empowerment, and boosts your confidence.
The Internet has enabled colleges to accommodate a wide variety of schedules, needs, preferences, and goals. It has made a college education accessible to everyone. If you decide to pursue college later, you might want to consider studying online to enjoy the flexibility it offers.
Good-Paying Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
Yes, you can get a job without a degree. You can also get a job without experience, although it is more difficult than securing a job without a degree. However, there are plenty of entry-level minimum wage jobs that gladly accept applicants without a college education or experience.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, makeup artists, nuclear power reactor operators, and commercial pilots are some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree. These jobs all have an annual median salary of over $90,000.
Yes, there are jobs available that do not require a high school diploma or a GED. These positions are open in several industries and frequently depend on work experience or on-the-job training rather than formal schooling. However, if you aren’t a high school graduate, you might be able to work as an entry-level employee and gain the necessary skills while working.
It depends on the specific job title you’re applying for. Some entry-level positions don’t require any specific number of years of work experience, while others can require as much as 10 to 15 years. Ultimately, it depends on the company, position, location, job descriptions, and organizational policies.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.