Jobs that pay $30K a year without a degree are easy to come by. Today, employers often favor previous experience, job-ready skills, and in-demand knowledge over formal education requirements, especially when it comes to entry-level jobs. Coding bootcamps, certification, and networking will help you find the best jobs that don’t require a degree.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employees who graduated with a high school diploma but did not seek additional education earn an average of $40,612 per year if they work full-time. This guide will show you how to earn $30K without a degree, and the best jobs that don’t require a degree.
How Common Are $30K Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree?
Luckily, $30K jobs that don’t require a degree are widespread and accessible to everyone. Most often, jobs with an annual salary of $30K are entry-level jobs and formal education requirements are usually a high school diploma or a GED.
The tech industry has exceeded the arbitrary and frustrating advanced degree requirements for many high-paying tech jobs. This means that, no matter what your level of education is, you have the opportunity to join the tech field at the entry-level and advance up to 6 figure jobs without a degree.
How to Earn $30K Without a Degree: 3 Alternative Paths to Your Dream Job
There are various ways to earn an annual salary of $30K. First of all, you should consider your interests and seek a career in an industry that appeals to you. Then, you can pursue specialized training to earn certificates and certifications, develop transferable skills, and begin networking.
Attend a Coding Bootcamp
A coding bootcamp is a short-term, intensive training program that provides hands-on job training and in-demand tech skills. Most bootcamps provide extensive career services such as career coaching. As a bootcamp graduate, you will have no problem earning a median salary of at least $30K.
Jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree might require certification or specialized training. Certifications ensure you have the required skills and education for a particular job. For example, child care workers must obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification.
Build a Professional Network
According to a LinkedIn global survey, nearly 80% of professionals believe professional networking is critical to their career success. Networking with other professionals at events such as job fairs will help you meet new people and can help you to get a job with a starting salary of $30K.
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $30K a Year: At a Glance
|Job||Average Salary||Top 10%||Minimum Job Requirements|
|Computer Support Specialists||$39,107||$53,000+||Proven knowledge in PC build, repair, configuration, and support, customer service skills|
|Call Center Representatives||$34,014||$50,000+||Strong written and verbal interpersonal communication skills, rapport-building skills|
|Phlebotomists||$33,803||$43,000+||Certification in phlebotomy, a phlebotomy license in the state of practice, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification|
|Small Engine Mechanics||$33,502||$44,000+||Work experience in small equipment operation, repair, and maintenance|
|Technical Support Specialists||$33,203||$40,500+||Computer proficiency, previous help desk experience, and excellent customer service skills|
|Construction Workers||$33,012||$42,000+||Work experience in a similar field, on-the-job training|
|Electronics Repair Technicians||$32,947||$41,500+||Completed coursework in engineering or electronics, strong problem-solving and analytical skills|
|Graphic Designers||$32,660||$45,000+||Knowledge of design software, knowledge of design techniques|
|Nursing Assistants||$31,905||$38,500+||Current CNA certification, experience working in a direct patient care facility|
|Pharmacy Technicians||$31,748||$39,500+||A pharmacy technician certification, basic math skills|
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $30K a Year: A Closer Look
There are various jobs with a $30K annual salary that don’t have formal education requirements. To land one of these jobs, you typically need to have proven knowledge of the selected field and transferable skills like communication and time management. Below is our selection of the best jobs that don’t require a degree with an annual salary of $30K.
Computer Support Specialists
- Average Salary: $39,107
- 90th Percentile Salary: $53,000
- Projected Job Growth: 9%*
Computer support specialists install software, maintain computer systems and related equipment, and provide technical support and troubleshooting assistance for the computers and networks they are responsible for.
Call Center Representatives
- Average Salary: $34,014
- 90th Percentile Salary: $50,000
- Projected Job Growth: 0%
Call center representatives operate phone services at a call center. They are in charge of making outbound calls to customers, collecting survey data, and answering customer queries and complaints.
- Average Salary: $33,803
- 90th Percentile Salary: $43,000
- Projected Job Growth: 22%
Phlebotomists take blood from patients and accurately label samples with the patient’s details and the doctor’s lab test instructions. Blood taken by phlebotomists is used to test for various medical disorders, including excessive cholesterol and diabetes. This in-demand job has an extremely high job outlook until 2030, with a rate of growth of 22%.
Small Engine Mechanics
- Average Salary: $33,502
- 90th Percentile Salary: $44,000
- Projected Job Growth: 9%
Small engine mechanics check, maintain, and repair small engines. Job duties involve manual labor such as replacing broken parts and adjusting engine components. Small engine mechanics can work in a variety of different stores such as a motor vehicle dealership. They occasionally undertake onsite repairs.
Technical Support Specialists
- Average Salary: $33,203
- 90th Percentile Salary: $40,500
- Projected Job Growth: 9%*
Entry-level technical support specialists provide technical help to customer inquiries and concerns. Their job duties require them to install, modify, and make minor repairs to computer systems. This job has flexible hours and is often used as a pathway into higher-paying tech roles.
*This rate of growth statistic is grouped under Computer Support Specialists on BLS
- Average Salary: $33,012
- 90th Percentile Salary: $42,000
- Projected Job Growth: 7%
Construction workers, or construction laborers, are in charge of various activities on construction sites such as clearing debris, erecting scaffolding, and assisting with heavy equipment operations. Because of the manual labor required, construction workers must be in good physical condition. With additional training in this role, there is plenty of opportunity for career advancement.
Electronics Repair Technicians
- Average Salary: $32,947
- 90th Percentile Salary: $41,500
- Projected Job Growth: 2%
Electronic repair technicians test and repair various electronic systems. They run tests or fault diagnostics on equipment to find and fix a problem. Electronics repair technicians will have ample opportunities to specialize in a particular job such as a wind turbine technician, telecommunications, or digital electronics.
- Average Salary: $32,660
- 90th Percentile Salary: $45,000
- Projected Job Growth: 3%
Entry-level graphic designers develop visual text and imagery concepts that inspire, inform, or attract people. These designs can be hand-drawn or designed using computer software such as Photoshop. They can create the overall layout and production design for commercials, brochures, publications, various websites, and corporate reports.
- Average Salary: $31,905
- 90th Percentile Salary: $38,500
- Projected Job Growth: 8%
Nursing assistants offer healthcare and support to patients in a medical facility on a daily basis. They feed patients according to their dietary requirements, take vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, and groom patients by brushing their hair, teeth, and shaving them.
- Average Salary: $31,748
- 90th Percentile Salary: $38,500
- Projected Job Growth: 4%
Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in preparing and distributing medications to patients in hospitals, drug and grocery stores, and other medical settings. Many pharmacies employ pharmacy technicians to help maintain accurate patient data, prepare and package pharmaceuticals, and place product orders.
How to Earn $30K Without a Degree
You need in-demand skills, certifications, and on-the-job training or formal training programs to earn $30K without a degree. Educational requirements for these entry-level jobs are typically a high school diploma or a GED. However, even without a high school diploma, it is still possible to earn $30K a year.
Professional connections will also help you land a $30K job. Therefore, networking is an ideal way to prepare yourself for a job without a formal postsecondary education. The tech industry is an ideal pathway for those without a degree who want to eventually earn a 6-figure salary. The best way to break into the tech industry is by enrolling in a coding bootcamp.
Jobs That Pay $30K a Year Without a Degree FAQ
Yes, while you can easily find jobs that pay $30K without a degree, acquiring an associate degree, a 4-year degree, or a more advanced degree will increase your annual salary. However, the cost of advanced degrees is high and can leave graduates in considerable debt for many years.
Air-traffic controllers is a high-paying job that doesn’t require a degree. They earn an average annual salary of $93,053. Other high-paying jobs without a formal postsecondary education include software engineers, gaming managers, real estate agents, elevator installers, power plant operators, distribution managers, nuclear power plant operators, and claims adjusters.
Yes, most IT companies do not require employees to have a college degree. Technical skills and job experience are typically valued higher than formal education. Today, tech giants like Google, Apple, and IBM no longer require prospective employees to have a 4-year degree.
The best way to start your career path without a degree is to examine your interests and figure out what job you want to do. Then, acquire transferable skills, enroll in specialized training, obtain a certificate or certification, and begin networking. Volunteering and taking on internships can help you gain additional training and experience to land your first job.
"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
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.