What are the best jobs without a degree but pay well?
Despite what your parents might try to tell you, college isn’t the ONLY way to go.
While getting that expensive piece of paper can be a good idea, and definitely makes things easier when looking for jobs, folks have many reasons for choosing not to go to college or not finishing college.
Massive student loan payments are one reason why some young adults are choosing to skip college or go for a 2 year degree instead of a 4 year degree.
My biggest regret about college is not that I didn’t finish, but that I felt pressured to go without knowing what I wanted to really “do”.
I racked up a staggering amount of student loan debt and left a few credits shy of a patchwork degree whose only real benefit would be symbolic. I started and stopped 3 different majors and had courses in each. It left me feeling like a stuck failure who was not going to have any chance of making a good living.
While I definitely had more struggles than my degree-holding counterparts, I would say I’ve done pretty well on my own without that expensive piece of paper.
If you’ve chosen not to attend college at all, or haven’t finished your degree for any number of reasons, there are still many options. We’re gonna talk about the best jobs that don’t require a degree.
Of course not going to college often means you have to work a little harder and smarter than your degree-holding counterparts, but you can still make a great living without a degree!
These lists are some of the best jobs without a degree, and some of these might come as a bit of a surprise, I know they did for me!
What are the highest paying jobs without a degree?
That answer really depends on what you want to do! I’ll break this down by category below, but there are a number of careers where you can make great money without a degree!
Some of these jobs are going to depend on things like commission, whether they are local, regional or federally based, government vs. civilian, public or private, etc. There’s also of course opportunities to advance. For example, an entry level retail job doesn’t pay well but if you work your way up in the company, a regional supervisor or head buyer position might!
Government Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
- Court Reporter
- Financial Clerk
- Library Assistant
- Social Services Assistant
- Administrative Assistant
- Police officer
- TSA Agent
Creative Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
- Costume attendants
- Web designer (freelance)
- Makeup artist
- Creative writer
Traditional Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
- Physical therapy aide
- Home health aide
- Medical secretary
- Medical scheduler
- Personal care aid
- Commercial driver
- Flight attendant
- Personal trainer
- Postal carrier
- Real estate broker
- Claims adjuster/investigator
- Food service manager
- Insurance sales
- Tax preparer
- Transportation inspector
Non-Traditional Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree
- Wind turbine technician
- Dog walker/pet sitter
- Tax collector
- Land surveyor
- Casino gaming supervisor
- Construction supervisor
- Refinery operators
- Regional commercial pilot
- Freelance writer
- Software engineer
- Become a blogger
- Start a virtual assistant business
In addition to these, there’s lots of ways to earn money online without a degree too. Definitely something to keep in mind if you’re searching for a job that pays well without a degree!
How to get a job without a degree
Literally the same way you would get a job with a degree! The difference is, you’ll want to shift the focus away from your lack of degree and towards your skills and experience.
I have been in this boat every single time I applied for a job. The key is to shift the focus of your resume towards all your applicable work experience and skills.
Your worth as an employee is not determined by a piece of paper with gold foiling. It may take the “right” employer to see that, but you can definitely still get a job without a degree.
Enlist the help of a “head hunter” or staffing firm, ask your former bosses for letters of recommendation and keep your head held high!
Can you get a good job without a college degree?
You sure can! I have a fantastic job now outside my blog, and many of our software engineers don’t have degrees at all, or don’t have degrees in their field.