High Paying Jobs Without a Degree

Become Team
Become Team
July 28, 2022
High Paying Jobs Without a Degree

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College can be an excellent next step to help you land a high-paying career. But college isn't for everyone, and as the cost of tuition and the average student loan debt continue to rise, many students find themselves looking in another direction.

The good news is that you don't necessarily need a degree to land a high-paying career. There are plenty of non-degree jobs that pay well more than the national average salary, and you may even find yourself earning six figures. Keep reading to learn the top 10 high-paying jobs without a degree.

Top 10 High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree
Position Average salary Job growth rate
Commercial pilot $110,830 9%
Transportation, storage, and distribution manager $105,100 4%
Nuclear power reactor operator $104,470 -16%
First-line supervisor of police and detectives $97,180 5%
Power distributor and dispatcher $93,260 -8%
Detective and criminal investigator $89,300 1%
Elevator installer and repairer $86,200 7%
First-line supervisor of firefighting and prevention workers $83,170 6%
Electrical and electronics repairer, powerhouse, substation, and relay $83,150 -1%
Insurance claims adjuster and appraiser $70,650 -6%

Commercial Pilot

Why Become a Commercial Pilot?

Pilots are known to have lucrative careers, so you might be surprised to learn you don't need a college degree to enter thisaviation career. On average,commercial pilotsearn a salary of $110,830, and the field is expected to grow at an impressive 9% over the next decade.

商业飞行员往返运送货物,并提供航空旅游服务。

Cost to Become a Commercial Pilot

To become a commercial pilot, you'll have to earn a commercial pilot's license from theFederal Aviation Administration (FAA). You'll also need to earn certification from anAviation Medical Examiner (AME), which can cost up to $200.

While that might sound simple, it requires significant training—think flight instructors, airplane rentals, and more. Between that and the license itself, expect to pay more than $30,000 upfront. If you have access to a plane or know a flight instructor who'll take you on for cheap, there are ways to cut your costs.

Ways to Pay to Become a Commercial Pilot

While it's not cheap to get the training required to become a commercial pilot, there are ways to help cover your costs. First, the highest cost you'll pay is for flight rentals for your pilot training. Looking for older and more affordable planes can help reduce your costs.

Another way to reduce your costs is to join a flight club, giving you discounted training rates. Finally, you can apply for scholarships to cover your flight training costs.


Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

Why Become a Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager?

Transportation, storage, and distribution managersearn an average annual salary of more than $105,000. The job doesn't require a college degree to get started (though you may first need some experience in a lower-level position in the field). This makes it one of the most lucrative jobs available to non-degree holders. You'll plan, direct, and coordinate your firm's transportation, storage, and distribution activities in this job.

Cost to Become a Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

There's no upfront education or training required to become a transportation, storage, and distribution manager. All of your training happens on the job, meaning there are no upfront costs.


Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Why Become a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator?

Nuclear power reactor operatorscan earn more than $100,000 per year, all without a college degree. While the field isn't growing, it still offers salaries well above average. In this job, you'll find yourself controlling nuclear reactors with responsibilities such as controlling rods, monitoring reactors, and responding to abnormalities.

Cost to Become a Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

There's not much education required to get a job as a nuclear power reactor operator, meaning your costs will be minimal. In most cases, a high school diploma will be sufficient to land an on-site training job. If you want to appeal more to a hiring manager, you might want to complete a vocational program, but it isn't required.

You can expect to spend a few years working as a trainee to become fully qualified.

Other than that, you'll have to complete the licensing exam from theU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which may require a fee.


First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives

Why Become a First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives?

Supervising and coordinating the activities of a police force doesn't require a degree. In this job, you'll directly supervise or overseepolice officers and detectiveson the force. You can earn amedian salary of $92,970. The field is expected to grow by about 5% over the next decade.

Cost to Become a First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives

Because you only need a high-school diploma to become a supervisor of police and detectives, there are no major costs associated with it. Instead, most of your training will happen on the job in your years on the force.


Power Distributor and Dispatcher

Why Become a Power Distributor and Dispatcher?

Apower plant distributor or dispatcher这份工作不需要大学文凭,如果你有科学和数学方面的天赋,那么这份工作将是一个不错的选择。在这项工作中,你将控制电力的流量,监测和操作转换器,并检测和响应紧急情况。你通常会和电站操作员一起工作。分销商和调度员的平均工资超过9.3万美元。

Cost to Become a Power Distributor and Dispatcher

There are minimal costs required to become a power distributor and dispatcher. There are years of training required, but it happens on the job, so you can start working right away.


Detective and Criminal Investigator

Why Become a Detective and Criminal Investigator?

Detectives and criminal investigatorswork for local police forces. But instead of being patrol cops, they work to investigate serious crimes, gather facts and evidence, conduct interviews, and more. Detectives often specialize in a particular type of crime, such as fraud or homicide. You can expect to earn anaverage salary of about $89,000as a detective.

Cost to Become a Detective and Criminal Investigator

Becoming a detective or criminal investigator doesn't require a college degree, and there's no paid training required. Instead, you train for the job by going through your agency's police academy and climbing the ranks, starting as a police officer.


Elevator Installer and Repairer

Why Become an Elevator Installer and Repairer?

Becoming anelevator installer and repairerrequires only a high school diploma, yet you can earn an impressive $86,200 per year. In this job, you'll work to install, maintain, and fix elevators and escalators, usually working for building equipment contractors.

Cost to Become an Elevator Installer and Repairer

成为一名电梯安装和维修人员只需要高中文凭,这意味着开始不需要任何成本。The training usually involves a four-yearapprenticeship计划,但通常由工会、行业协会或雇主赞助。你所在的州可能会要求你获得执照,这可能需要缴纳少量的年费。


First-Line Supervisor of Firefighters

Why Become a First-Line Supervisor of Firefighters?

As a first-line supervisor of2022世界杯预选赛 , it's your job to directly supervise and coordinate the activities of those who fight and control fires. The average salary for this job is $83,170, and the field is growing faster than most.

Cost to Become a First-Line Supervisor of Firefighters

No college degree is required to become asupervisor of firefighting and prevention workers. In most cases, training will happen on the job.


Electrical and Electronics Repairer

为什么要成为一名电气和电子维修人员?

Electrical and electronics repairerswork to install or repair electrical equipment, often in telecommunications, utilities, transportation, and more. There are many types of electrical and electronics repairer jobs, and the most lucrative is for powerhouse, substation, and relay, where you can earn an average salary of $83,150.

Cost to Become an Electrical and Electronics Repairer

To become an electrical and electronics repairer, you won't need a high school degree. However, you may need to attend a technical or trade school. Though the cost will depend on the school you attend,trade school can costas much as $33,000 or as little as $3,000. You'll also have to go through on-the-job training, but at no extra cost to you.

Ways to Pay to Become an Electrical and Electronics Repairer

There are plenty of organizations that offer scholarships specifically designed for students attending a technical or trade school. Additionally, many schools are eligible for federal student aid.


Insurance Claims Adjuster and Appraiser

Why Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster and Appraiser?

When you think of jobs that don't require a degree, you typically think of blue-collar jobs. So you might be surprised to learn that this fairly lucrativeinsurance industry jobdoesn't require a college degree.

As an insurance claims adjuster and appraiser, you work for an insurance company to investigate and evaluate insurance claims and decide whether the company should pay. Professionals in this job can earn anaverage salary of $70,650.

Cost to Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster and Appraiser

Because you don't need a college degree to become an insurance claims adjuster or appraiser, the costs associated are minimal. Your training will primarily happen on the job, and you'll work under a more experienced adjuster or appraiser to learn. While some states may require licensing for this role, most don't.


Take It From a Pro: Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Job Without a Degree

As the cost of college continues to rise, more students may find themselves looking to start careers that don't require costly degrees. And while average earnings may be lower for those with only a high school diploma, there are still plenty of high-paying jobs that don't require a degree.

"Generally, people with more education have higher wages than those with less education," says Elka Torpey, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in acareer outlook paper report she wrote. "But you don't always need a bachelor's degree to land a high-paying job."

Choose the Career You'll Commit To

Before you begin applying for jobs, consider what field you might like to go into. While it's possible to find a high-paying job without a degree, you'll probably have the highest earning potential if you choose a particular career path and commit to it.

Choose the Career with the Training and Education You Want

接下来,决定你可能愿意接受什么样的培训来开始你的职业生涯。While the jobs in this article don't require a degree, some requirecertificatesor training programs, especially if you want to be one of the highest earners in the field.

“高中毕业后的正规教育并不总是包括获得学位,”汤培写道。“对于某些职业,员工通常需要接受高等教育才能获得证书或其他奖项,但不能获得学位。这些高等教育的非学位课程的长度从几周到2年不等。"

Network and Apply for Internships

最后,在找到第一份工作之前,想办法尝试一下这个领域。Examples could include networking with people currently in the field or applying for relevantinternships.

Non-Degree Jobs Resource Center

Need more help with finding a high-paying job without a degree? Here are a few resources to help you get started:

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Become Team
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