Degrees are an expensive and lengthy qualification. Today, with the Internet and online resources, it is easier than ever to learn in-demand and job-specific skills needed for employment. For example, coding bootcamps and online tutorials can help you find jobs that pay $70k a year without a college degree.
Are you looking to earn a lucrative annual salary but don’t have a degree? Don’t worry, there are plenty of jobs that pay $70k a year without a degree. In this guide, we examine the best jobs that don’t require a degree, how to earn $70k without a degree, and how hard it is to find jobs that pay $70k.
How Common Are $70k Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree?
Finding jobs that pay 70k a year without a degree can be hard work. You will need to prove to potential employees that you have the same skillset and advanced knowledge that degree holders have. This may require apprenticeships, certifications, work experience, a training program, or online self-learning.
A professional resume and strong interview skills will go a long way when you are seeking employment without an advanced degree. Even if a job states formal education credentials as a requirement, you can still apply. Make sure you thoroughly research company practices and apply soft skills you learned from your previous job experience to the role you are applying for.
For example, if you have experience in law enforcement, you will have gained good communication and people skills. These skills can be easily adapted and applied to other jobs such as real estate agents or power plant operators where you are working with people on a daily basis, regardless of your level of education.
How to Earn $70K Without a Degree: 3 Alternative Paths to Your Dream Job
Getting a job that pays $70k per year without a degree usually requires you to seek out alternative training or education. Additional educational requirements may include a high school diploma or earning a GED or an associate degree. Further formal training may include apprenticeships, on-site training, or coding bootcamps. Read on as we further examine these alternative paths.
Certifications are credentials earned by individuals to verify their competence and ability to perform within a certain field. They are awarded by accredited educational institutions and professional societies. Certifications are typically presented as a document that you can print out and display. Certifications can be earned online or in person.
Certifications show that you are professionally trained and are ready to take on entry-level roles. Certification may be formally required depending on the career path you choose. For example, physical therapists require a certification to gain employment.
Apprenticeships are jobs where you learn, gain experience, and get paid. Apprenticeships allow you to acquire on-the-job training while earning a living. They are most common in the trade industry, where the work is mostly hands-on. By the end of an apprenticeship, you will be fully qualified to become a professional in your chosen career.
Elevator installers, electronics repairers, electrical power-line installers, and carpenters are examples of jobs that typically require apprenticeships. Apprenticeships salary is usually half of what a qualified worker earns and, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, electric power-line installers are the highest paid jobs that require apprenticeships.
Bootcamps are short and intensive training programs that teach students job-ready and in-demand skills. Coding bootcamps teach students professional programming skills that an employer would be on the lookout for. Examples of jobs you can get as a coding bootcamp graduate include web developers, data scientists, and front end developers. The salary of a data scientist, front end developer, and web developer is an average of $70K or more a year.
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $70K a Year: At a Glance
|Job||Average Salary||Top 10%||Minimum Job Requirements|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologists||$79,500||$109,070+||Certifications, licensure, associate degree.|
|First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting||$78,870||$129,470+||High school diploma or equivalent, associate degree, technical training, previous experience in the field.|
|Transportation Inspectors||$78,400||$164,140+||Certifications, high school diploma, on-the- job training.|
|Postmasters||$78,060||$96,350+||At least 18 years of age, high school diploma, relevant work experience.|
|Web developers||$77,200||$146,430+||High school diploma, software development and computer programming skills, web development bootcamps, programming language skills.|
|Dental Hygienists||$77,090||$104,420+||Associate degree, oral communication skills, attention to detail, knowledge of dental conditions.|
|Agricultural Managers||$76,810||$130,760+||High school diploma, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, knowledge of key equipment and key equipment practices.|
|Logisticians||$76,270||$122,580+||Associate degree, data analysis skills, industry knowledge, interpersonal skills, certifications.|
|Funeral Service Managers||$74,200||$156,940+||Associate degree, experience as a funeral service manager, management skills, communication skills.|
|Locomotive Engineers||$71,870||$97,430+||High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training, mechanical skills.|
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $70K a Year: A Closer Look
In the following section, we expand on the table above. Read on to find out about job descriptions and how to get the jobs that don’t require a degree and pay $70k a year.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
- Average Salary: $79,500
- 90th Percentile Salary: $109,070
- Projected Job Growth: 8%
Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs, administer them to patients going for a scan, and provide support to physicians. However, while this is a very well-paid job and an excellent career path, getting a nuclear medicine technologist job without a degree isn’t easy.
While most employees will require a four-year degree to apply, alternate requirements do exist. For example, you can get an associate degree from an accredited school in place of a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, you can get certifications from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).
First-Line Supervisors of FireFighting
- Average Salary: $78,870
- 90th Percentile Salary: $129,470
- Projected Job Growth: 0.9%
First-line supervisors of firefighting supervise and directly coordinate the activities of workers involved in firefighting, fire control, and fire prevention. Getting a job as a first-line supervisor of firefighting without a degree requires you to at least have previous experience in this role and a high school diploma or equivalent. Successful candidates receive on-the-job training.
- Average Salary: $78,400
- 90th Percentile Salary: $164,140
- Projected Job Growth: 3.6%
Transportation inspectors observe the performance of employees on their assigned duties, such as their treatment of passengers and their adherence to company rules and regulations. They also record the loading and unloading time of passengers.
You will need to be, at a minimum, a high school graduate with a high school diploma to get a job as a transportation inspector. Working in the aviation field, you must undergo and complete air transportation training or get a certification. The US Department of Transportation offers certifications for transit programs.
- Average Salary: $78,060
- 90th Percentile Salary: $96,350
- Projected Job Growth: 0.3%
Postmasters are in charge of US post offices. Postmasters supervise employees, create work schedules, establish letter carrier routes, and enforce organizational rules and regulations. Acquiring a postmaster job with no degree would require you to be at least 18 years of age, have previous experience, and have a high school diploma.
- Average Salary: $77,200
- 90th Percentile Salary: $146,430
- Projected Job Growth: 13%
Web developers are in charge of coding, designing, and creating websites according to their client’s specifications and needs. Web developers must ensure that websites function correctly. Web developers do not formally require a degree.
Web developers must have at least a high school diploma and computer programming skills. Coding bootcamps are the best and most efficient way to train as a web developer.
- Average Salary: $77,090
- 90th Percentile Salary: $104,420
- Projected Job Growth: 11%
Dental hygienists have varying job responsibilities and roles. These include screening patients during checkups, reviewing a patient’s dental health history, applying fluoride treatments, or performing dental care.
You can find entry-level dental hygienist roles with an associate degree. However, if you wish to advance to the role of a dentist you need to enroll in Dental School, acquire an advanced degree, and pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
- Average Salary: $76,810
- 90th Percentile Salary: $130,760
- Projected Job Growth: 13.5%
Agricultural managers oversee all farm activities and facilities that produce crops. They are responsible for the planning and supervision of farm activities. They plant, fertilize, and take part in the harvesting of crops.
The best way to become an agriculture manager is through an apprentice program. The job requires hands-on skills that must be taught in the field by a senior professional. A minimum education level of high school diploma or equivalent and knowledge of key equipment and its practices is also required.
- Average Salary: $76,270
- 90th Percentile Salary: $122,580
- Projected Job Growth: 30%
Logisticians oversee various activities like purchasing, transportation, warehousing, and inventory. They are in charge of the direction of goods, people, and supplies. Getting a job as a logistician with no degree requires acquiring an associate degree or a certification. You will also need strong data analysis skills and industry knowledge.
Funeral Service Managers
- Average Salary: $74,200
- 90th Percentile Salary: $156,940
- Projected Job Growth: 3.9%
Funeral service managers are in charge of overseeing funeral homes. They manage staff, plan, and advice on funeral-related offerings. Getting a job as a funeral service manager without a degree would require obtaining a two-year associate degree where you will learn the necessary management and communication skills needed for an entry-level role.
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- Average Salary: $71,870
- 90th Percentile Salary: $97,430
- Projected Job Growth: 8.2%
Locomotive engineers drive long-distance, commuter, and passenger trains between stations. Getting a job as a locomotive engineer without a degree would require you to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent as well as two to three months of on-the-job training.
How to Earn $70K Without a Degree
While earning $70k without a degree is not easy, there is a wide array of options available to you. Furthermore, there are plenty of ways for you to acquire the skills needed to apply for these jobs, from coding bootcamps to certifications and apprenticeships.
Annual wages might vary between applicants with or without degrees. You must be willing to not only work hard but also work your way up from the bottom. That way, you can eventually turn that 70k salary into six figures.
Jobs That Pay $70K a Year Without a Degree FAQ
The best way to make $70k a year without a degree is by acquiring additional training or education, such as an associate degree, certification, bootcamp, or apprenticeship. Additionally, you must have a professional resume and strong interview skills and be able to show your potential employee that you are just as capable as someone with a degree.
Yes, some jobs pay more than $70k a year without a degree. Some examples include nuclear power reactor operators who earn a median salary of $104,040 per year, air traffic controllers who earn a median salary of $130,420 per year, and ship engineers who earn a median salary of $96,310 per year.
If you work a full-time, 40-hour week, a wage of $70k per year would earn you $34.31 per hour.
$70k per year is a good salary that is slightly above the US median salary in 2020. The United States Census Bureau puts this figure at $67,521. This is the first time median salary has decreased in the US since 2011.
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