Finding high-paying jobs without a degree can be an uphill battle, especially if you don’t have the right resources for a job search. Moreover, your skills must match the job market demands, which can be challenging to identify.
This article will walk you through the skills you need, provide you with essential job-hunting resources, and give you some ideas about the different types of jobs you can apply for. Keep your chin up and rest assured that you can pursue a worthwhile career with no degree.
What Skills Do You Need to Land a High-Paying Job Without a Degree?
Teamwork and Collaboration
Most employers will assess your ability to work in a team before hiring you. Collaboration is key to any organization’s success. Whether working as a UX/UI designer or as a sales rep, you need to collaborate with your colleagues to overcome challenges and meet company goals.
This refers to the ability to find a solution for an issue quickly. The first step is identifying the issue, then consulting with more experienced professionals for advice, and using your newly acquired knowledge to come up with a solution.
For example, if you are marketing a product but are making little headway, you would start by identifying at what point customers are leaving the sales funnel. Once you know this information, you can work with your colleagues to figure out the best way to educate visitors so that they complete a purchase.
Having time management skills helps you accomplish your goals on time and deliver a great customer experience. When a product or service is delivered in a timely fashion, clients are happy and satisfied. As a result, you’ll have more returning customers and get more referrals, which contributes to company goals.
Effective communication skills will help you convey the right message to your clients or executive committee, whether you are working as a customer service rep or an analyst. Communication is essential when it comes to selling a product, working as part of a team, and even making decisions.
Organizational skills encompass a wide range of abilities that are crucial for accomplishing company goals, including planning and prioritizing tasks. Employees with good organizational skills can maximize their output with limited resources, thus saving the company money and time.
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The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
What Education Do You Need to Get a High-Paying Job?
A high school diploma is enough to get a high-paying job in professions like sales or mobile app development. However, some fields demand on-the-job training or some sort of vocational training such as attending trade school.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
Earning a college degree demands time and a lot of money, so not everyone can afford it. Moreover, if you do not have a scholarship or financial support from an employer, you may have to drop out before completing your degree program.
Some options like taking out a loan may seem like a great idea, but you need a payment plan in place to give back the money you borrowed within a specific timeframe. For instance, Direct Loans usually must be repaid within six to 12 months of graduation.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a High-Paying Job?
A coding bootcamp will help you secure an entry-level high-paying job in some fields, particularly tech and IT. The pay will be decent in the beginning and will increase as you gain more experience. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to acquire an academic degree to hit an annual wage of $100,000.
According to Indeed, you can earn an average base salary of $120,425 per year as a mobile developer. You may also venture into software engineering to enjoy an annual wage of more than $116,000.
If you’re wondering if coding bootcamps are worth it, consider their benefits. A coding bootcamp can be completed in a short amount of time, which means that you can quickly join the workforce and start earning money. Moreover, these programs focus on the practical skills demanded by companies, so you’ll be ready for work in your chosen field after graduation.
How to Get a High-Paying Job with a GED
Step 1: Study on Your Own
If you decide you won’t attend college but want to pursue high-paying jobs, you must train yourself. You can turn to different resources to accomplish this, such as online tutorials. Some of the skills you can gain through online learning include instructional design and professional photography.
Step 2: Network
Building solid relationships with established professionals in your desired field will help you kickstart your career. You can use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field who can help you solve specific problems and even offer career advice. They may also agree to act as referees when you apply for jobs.
Step 3: Pursue Vocational Training
If you are a hands-on type of person who prefers practical experience, a trade or vocational school is the ideal place for you. Trade skills improve your resume and help you stand out from the other candidates. In addition, you get to show the hiring manager you have the right skills to perform the specified duties.
Step 4: Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program
Apprenticeship programs give you hands-on training, improving your chances of getting a high-paying job. An apprenticeship combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. There are apprenticeships for a wide range of professions, including electronics technician, gas plant operator, HVAC technician, pipefitter, and construction laborer.
Step 5: Do Training on the Job
Continuous professional development is necessary to build a career, especially if you do not have a degree. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to achieve this without sufficient funds. However, on-the-job training allows you to learn at no extra cost, and you get to enhance your skills while working.
Best High-Paying Jobs Without a College Degree
|Nuclear power reactor operator||$64,672||-14%|
|Power plant operator||$74,231||-14%*|
|Broadcast, sound, and video technician||$45,900||21%|
|Real estate agent||$95,002||4%|
* Figure taken from the BLS page for power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers
Best High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree: A Closer Look
Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Operators of nuclear power reactors are responsible for the daily function of nuclear reactors. They operate mechanical equipment and record data. They also monitor and adjust controls and perform emergency procedures when necessary.
To qualify for this position, you need a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. You must also attend technical training and acquire a certification that shows you can manage the responsibilities that come with this job. This profession is becoming less common due to the falling consumption of nuclear power, but it offers great pay.
This occupation entails shipping and storing goods in the fastest and safest way possible. Distribution managers must make good use of the limited resources to enhance efficiency and achieve company goals. Their primary role is to coordinate the transportation, storage, and distribution of goods according to regulations.
The median annual wage for distribution managers is above $71,000, which is high compared to the national average. To become a distribution manager, you should have a high school diploma or equivalent and five years or more of working experience.
This job does not require a four-year college degree, but it pays well above others that demand a university education. As an electronics repairer, you will supervise power stations and fix any issues that may be impairing their efficiency. Other duties include maintaining electrical equipment in in-service relays and substations.
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To become an electronics repairer, you will need to undergo on-the-job training to learn the ins and outs of the trade. You will also need some sort of postsecondary education, such as vocational training.
Power Plant Operator
Power plant operators control and maintain machinery that generates electric power. To secure this position, you need a high school diploma or equivalent certification and must do on-the-job training. The job outlook of this occupation is low due to the fact that some of the tasks traditionally associated with these professionals are being automated.
Elevator installers are in high demand due to the rising need for elevator installation and maintenance. These professionals receive excellent pay even without a four-year college degree. Elevator technicians must undergo training constantly to keep up with new technologies and trends.
To have access to this job, you need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most elevator technicians also do an apprenticeship to acquire the skills the job demands. In some states, these professionals must apply for a special license before they can start working.
Claims adjusters evaluate insurance claims and assess damages to a property to determine how much the insurer should pay the insured. In addition, these professionals make sure all payments are made according to the company’s practices.
You need a high school diploma or equivalent to pursue this career, although some car insurance companies may require a post-secondary degree. You also need excellent investigative skills, which is why many companies hire former police officers and detectives.
Broadcast Sound Technician
Sound technicians set and operate the sound equipment for TV, recording studios, films, and radio. Due to the increased demand for audio equipment in education and many other fields, this occupation has a projected growth rate of 21 percent.
Most career opportunities in this industry require a post-secondary, non-degree education, while some demand an associate degree. To stand out from the other candidates, you should pursue an internship to acquire some valuable hands-on experience.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers can earn six figures without a degree. Many programmers decide to skip college and instead choose to learn the trade on their own or attend a coding bootcamp. As a software developer, you will design, code, document, and test frameworks, apps, and other software.
Real Estate Agent
Real estate brokers guide clients during the process of buying, selling, or renting property. Their job is to help the client understand key aspects of how the property market works, including pricing and contracts. They also present clients with a list of available properties and inform them about their price margins.
Gaming managers coordinate and control the operations of casinos and ensure that all the gaming activities are running smoothly. Some of their duties include explaining house rules to players, contacting security staff when necessary, and ensuring the correct payouts are made.
Companies That Offer Entry-Level High-Paying Jobs
- Apple: Apple is a tech giant that offers incredible perks and benefits to its employees. If you work for this renowned firm, you will enjoy high pay, multiple insurance covers, and perks like nap pods, free lunch, and gym facilities.
- Google: Google is another company that will provide you with a great working environment. As a software developer, you will learn many new skills and advance your career. You will also get to enjoy benefits such as comprehensive health insurance coverage and plenty of paid time off.
- Platinum Supplemental Insurance: This is a great company to kickstart a successful career in the insurance industry. Platinum Supplemental Insurance offers job openings for insurance sales agents, insurance appraisers, and customer service representatives, among many others.
- Power Home Remodeling: This home improvement contractor is considered one of the best workplaces in the US. It invests heavily in its employees, offering unlimited learning opportunities and regular salary raises.
- Microsoft: Microsoft has great employees and management teams, making it easy for you to build a successful career in the tech world. This company allows you to learn new skills and impact the tech industry with innovative ideas. Whether you are looking for an internship or entry-level role, Microsoft is a great place to kickstart a tech career.
Where to Find High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
This established site provides detailed information on the different career opportunities available, whether you are looking for entry or senior-level jobs. You can compare the salaries offered by different companies and apply for job openings around the world. Moreover, it gives you the option to sign up for job alerts to be notified of exciting job opportunities.
With thousands of job openings across a wide range of industries, Indeed is another popular site that facilitates the process of searching for jobs. The site shows salary comparisons and gives you details on the benefits and perks offered by each company. Moreover, job applicants receive detailed instructions on how to complete the application process.
ZipRecruiter is a search engine designed to make the job hunt efficient and productive. You get to view different career opportunities across the globe, both remote and in-person. ZipRecruiter also allows you to compare companies based on the salaries, benefits, and perks they offer.
Consider a High-Paying Degree Later in Your Career
In this article, we’ve presented you with some great career opportunities that can be pursued without a degree. All the jobs in this article require a high school education plus some form of vocational training, whether that is attending a trade school or enrolling in a coding bootcamp.
However, rising to the senior or executive levels in any career usually requires more education. This means that even if you manage to land a high-paying job without a degree, you may want to look into pursuing a bachelor’s or a master’s degree later in your career to climb up the corporate ladder and increase your salary.
High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
Can I get a high-paying job without a degree?
Yes, you can get a high-paying job without a college degree. Some well-paid jobs that don’t require an academic degree include commercial pilot and charter pilot. Other professions with high salaries that don’t require a degree include precision workers, machine operators, streetcar operators, air tour pilots, pump system operators, and electrical power-line installers.
What is the highest-paying job without a degree?
Some of the highest-paying jobs without formal qualifications include entrepreneurs, sales managers, air traffic controllers, supervisors of police, distribution managers, correctional officers, freight inspectors, admissions officers, law enforcement officers, and logistics managers.
Which entry-level tech jobs don’t require a college degree?
Entry-level positions in tech such as web designer, social media manager, web developer, and data analyst don’t require a college education.
What high-paying unskilled jobs can I apply for?
Some unskilled jobs you can apply for are sales representative, construction worker, flight attendant, and administrative assistant.
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.