15+ Best High Paying Jobs Without A Degree

Can you get a high-paying job without a degree?

After writing recently about the debate over whether a college degree is still valid, I’ve been doing a little more research on the subject. I’ve been researching the burgeoning FauxPloma industry and I recently came across an article about the 35 highest-paying jobs you can get without a degree. In the article, the author has a few words of encouragement for those who do not have a university degree…

The belief that you need to go to college to get a well-paying and rewarding job is rapidly fading. A four-year degree certainly has its benefits in the business world, but it’s not the only path to a successful career.


“…according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), eight of the 10 fastest-growing occupations as of 2014 do not require a bachelor’s degree. And these jobs, which include medical technology, plumbing, firefighting, and auto repair, are less likely to be outsourced. After all, if a fire breaks out, you need the fire department a few blocks away, not halfway around the world.”

As I mentioned in the previous articles I wrote about college degrees, regardless of whether you get a college degree or not, you have to be a learner. Success comes from learning. If you don’t have a college degree, but you are a lifelong learner dedicated to self-development and learning new and relevant skills, you will succeed. If you’re assuming (that I was earlier in my life) that you can get your degree, drop out of school, and move on with life, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

The mind of the wise acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.


The past few years have taught me that there are legit work-from-home jobs and other ways to make money online. After getting laid off a few years ago, I started ramping up my blogging efforts and now I’m a full-time blogger and couldn’t love my job more!

Starting a business isn’t for everyone, but even a small business can be a great source of additional income. Places like Elance and Odesk have thousands of writing positions available if you’re interested in freelance writing. I’ve written a step-by-step guide to starting an affiliate marketing business as well as a guide on how to make money writing articles. Can be small side businesses that can generate extra money if the day job. And best of all – they do not require a college degree!


The 25 highest paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree and their average salaries, based on data from BLS and CBSalary.com. It’s important to note that some of these jobs do NOT require some degree, not a 4-year degree. As many have commented below, many jobs require formal training of some sort or even a two-year degree.

I think it’s interesting to see that Air Traffic Controllers top the list at $100k/year. Who knows? A few other interesting jobs are…

  • Funeral Director (about $80K)
  • Real estate broker: (about $58K)
  • Dental hygienist (about $60K)
  • Detective and criminal investigator (about $54K)
  • Commercial pilot (about $54K)


One of the things that struck me a bit was that the author said there are over 50 million jobs that pay over $40,000 a year and do NOT require a 4-year degree! As a college grad who mostly goes to college to be able to earn over $40k/year, I’m really blown away by that statistic.

The biggest thing I learned from reading this article is that like most things in life, there are alternative paths. If you have the mindset that you can only get a good job if you have a college degree, that’s all you can find. But if you’re desperately looking for opportunities that don’t require a degree, you’re more likely to stumble across them.

“So while a college degree was a must for the Baby Boom generation, it wasn’t necessarily the case now. In today’s high-tech and service-related market, workers are valued more on their skills than on their sheepskin.”

The truth is that the world is changing – and fast. Finding a job/career like our parents (with security, pension, etc) probably won’t happen. The best we can handle is to get up to speed with what’s going on in the world around us and get educated. I don’t necessarily have a college degree, but it’s always beneficial to study. Whether it’s learning how to be a better _______ (fill in the job here), improving your time management skills, or improving your interviewing skills, learning will always help.

By the way, if you are looking for a job, here are some job sites that can help you find a job. Or if you’re looking to work from home, here are some legitimate companies that will let you do it.

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