25 Best High Paying Jobs Without A Degree

25 top paying jobs without a college degree... /paying-jobs-without-degree/...After recently writing about the debate of whether a college degree was still worth it or not, I have been doing a little bit more research on the topic. I found out about the growing FauxPloma industry and I recently stumbled on an article that talks about the top paying 25 jobs that you can get without a degree. In the article, the author makes a couple encouraging statements for those without a college degree...Can you get a good paying job without a degree?

After recently writing about the debate of whether a college degree was still worth it or not, I have been doing a little bit more research on the topic. I found out about the growing FauxPloma industry and I recently stumbled on an article that talks about the top paying 25 jobs that you can get without a degree. In the article, the author makes a couple encouraging statements for those without a college degree…

The belief that you need a college education to have a well-paying and rewarding job is quickly fading. A four-year degree definitely 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 through 2014 don’t require a bachelor’s degree. And these jobs, which include health technology, plumbing, firefighting and automotive repair, are less vulnerable to outsourcing. After all, if a fire breaks out, you need the fire department to be a few blocks away, not halfway around the world.”


As I mentioned in the previous posts I wrote about college degrees, regardless of whether or not you get a college degree, you have to be a learner. Success comes from learning. If you don’t have a college degree, but you are a lifelong learner devoted to developing yourself and learning new and relevant skills you will be successful. If you are under the assumption (that I was at an earlier point in my life) that you can get a degree, quit learning and coast through life, you are likely to be disappointed.

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

Proverbs 18:15

Do you really need a job?

The last couple years have taught me that there are legitimate work-from-home jobs out there and other ways to make money online. After getting laid off a couple years ago I started to step up my efforts to make money blogging and now I am a full-time blogger and couldn’t love my job more!

Starting a business isn’t for everyone, but even a small-side business can be a great supplemental income source. Places like Elance and Odesk have thousands of writing positions available if freelance writing is your thing. I wrote a step-by-step guide to starting an Ebay business as well as a guide to making money writing articles for Hubpages – both can be small side-businesses that can generate some extra cash if your day job just isn’t cutting it – and best of all – they don’t require a college degree!

25 High paying jobs that you can get without a degree

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

I thought it was particularly interesting to see that Air Traffic Controllers topped the list at $100K/yr. Who knew? A couple of the other interesting jobs were…

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

Click To read the rest of the 25 top paying jobs without a college degree.

One of the things that struck me a little was that the author said there were more than 50 million jobs available that pay over $40,000 a year and DON’T require a 4-year degree! As a college grad who went to college mostly so that I could make more than $40K/yr I am pretty blown away by that statistic.

The biggest thing I learned from reading this article is that just like most things in life, there are always alternate routes. If you have the mindset that you can only get a good job if you have a college degree, then that is all you are likely to find. But if you desperately look for opportunites that don’t require a degree, then you are going to be a lot more likely to stumble upon one.

“So while a college degree was de rigueur for the Baby Boom generation, that’s not necessarily the case now. In today’s highly technical and service-related market, workers are judged more on their skills than their sheepskins.”

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

By the way, if you are doing a job search, here are some job sites to help you find one. Or if you are looking to work from home, here are some legit companies that will allow you to do that.

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  1. bob

    good question – it is amazing to me how we as a country are veering from all the things that made it a great one in the first place…

  2. FruGal

    Interesting post. I have to admit that I am surprised to see a few of these jobs on this list, I would have thought some of them required a degree. I do whole heartedly believe, however, that everyone who has the means to go to university, should do so. Regardless of whether you then go on to use that degree in any way, attending university teaches you to think in ways that you might never discover otherwise, and encourages original research and exposes students to so many different schools of thought and differences in opinion. I don’t think you can put a price on that. I also think that if you go straight into a profession without a degree, your options may be restricted later on, if you want to make a career change. Here in the UK, having a degree is certainly still the most desirable thing to see on someone’s CV, and is a prerequiste if you want to work in a non-technical industry.

    • pamela rice


  3. hank

    I like the list but I find “#11. Computer specialist: $59,480” a little vague. True, but vague nonetheless. I think we’re ALL specialists in some aspect of computer-ization these days! 😉 Interesting list indeed though…

  4. bargainph

    I believe computer specialist is someone who has vast knowledge of computers from networking, system administration and hardware.

  5. D'Ann Dunabr

    ARE YOU KIDDING? I am a pilot. More than a few of these ‘no degree’ jobs you state are miss leading. The common person needs to know:
    there is a LOT of money dropped to get a couple of these jobs. On the education it takes, and a good mind to go with it. Not to mention the psych stuff has to be checked out too. Dream on people. The “degree” !! Is still there and payed for.

    • pamela rice


    • Androlla

      All of the money you “payed” bought an excellent education.

  6. Nancy

    Please tell me the average pay salary for an EMT. Also, what is a Computer Tech exactly?

  7. mary

    Are you kidding…..some of these jobs reguire some kind of college; and some difficult college…. dental hygienist….not easy!

    • Ralph T.

      The article said some college, just not a four year degree.

  8. Will

    Hedge fund manager, save some money from working at McD’s, learn how to trade, generate a track record, start a fund, and make millions per year. There are hedge fund managers making HUNDREDS of millions per year literally without even a high school diploma, and the income potential is truly unlimited, the best of both worlds.

    In general, you can be a ceo without a college degree too. Start your own business is another great high paying thing to do with no degree.

  9. toothcleaner

    how funny #18 is Dental Hygienist…and in order anyone to practice in this field in any state must obtain a college degree and past not only a written national exam, but a clinical exam, ( just like a dentist )…so should it be on this list…i think now

  10. Lee

    Was that funeral job a joke? Cuz that was pretty good… Haha jobs at a dead end…

  11. C.J. Rogers

    NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! I do not believe a word of it I have worked in manufacturing for years and learned everything about the jobs I had. Then watch the people that knew nothing run the company’s into the ground. I am 36 and went back to school to get a degree in software engineer. I got sick of the ones with degrees think they were smarter then me.Worst yet taking an idea I had and calling it theirs then getting large bonuses for my ideas. All the time calling me a liar for fighting them for my idea. No I say a degree so you can walk away from an injustice without putting your family into any trouble with money!

    • drew

      First of all you had a great point of all theses college people thinking they know everything.As a wise man once said you cant fix stupid and there is a whole lot of stupid in the buisness world.Mainly because if you have a degree, in any companys eyes you are qualified to do any job( please!)Thats why we are so screwed up today you have people with no on job training with no common sense making the calls these days.Management loves new kids cause they know no better and and they can mold them in the shady ways they operate.

  12. A.V.R

    All I can say is that I don’t have a degree of any kind. I am a store manager for a check cashing service and I get paid about 70k a year. NO DEGREE!!! I think that the jobs are out there we just need to look and learn when we do find something. I make more than teachers, police, and quite a few others with no degree. I always tell my kids it’s really important for them to get an education because I really believe that! It is important for many reasons but not to be a top earner! Good luck everyone!

    • Paula

      Hi A.V,R thanks for your information. Can you share what you had to do to make it as a store manager? What type of working experience did you have prior to that?

  13. hernan lamatao

    all of you’ve said are i think needs a college degree except for the plumber…and am pretty sure it was applicable only in europe,k.s.a. and usa; and not in third world countries like the philippines that even a janitor must have a four years course in tertiary before it will accepted on that job…..

  14. Julianne

    I dont know where the author got the information that a computer support specialist does not require a degree, because I went to college for computer systems and any kind of work in the IT field requires a college degree and some of the certifications come in handy depending on what type of work you are doing. You must have good knowledge of servers, networking systems, etc. Someone with no training could not do this work or deal with its daily stress, especially when a lot of responsibility is riding on your back.
    People like to write a bunch a crap and haven’t done the job for one day…

  15. kokong

    there’s a lot money in garbage

  16. abedallatif

    i want to know what type of job that to suite me with you people.
    i am doctor graduate frtom very good college, but some people is behind me in the feild of the job so i can t find good seat for me in my country . i can travell and work any job that suite me because i want to support my self.

  17. michel bodden

    please e-mail a copy to me.

  18. dave

    Julianne, the author is correct. A degree is not required to be a computer support specialist, however I agree that most people wouldn’t be able to succeed in IT without at least some college, or at least IT training. I work in IT even though I have an associates degree in a completely different field. Many of my coworkers are highly motivated and intelligent individuals without a college degree and they do very well. You have to remember that there are quite a few people in the world who posses very high intelligence, good work ethic, and self-motivation who did not attend college for four years.

    • sharedsecrets

      Absolutely correct, Dave! The point being some people are talented in some areas, while at the same time lacking “common sense” and others who lack in knowledge of one field exceed astonishly at another occupation which GENERALLY requires skill, knowledge and extensive education. Some may not believe it, but I actually do, and know this to be a fact. Take Drs of old, what was their ACTUAL education level and btw WHO TAUGHT THEM and how did THEY learn??? BY trial, error !! I have a cousin who plays the piano so beautifully! Years and years of piano lessons, practicing daily never behooved her , however. EVERY NOTE she plays is completely by ear!!
      Get what I’m trying to convey?

  19. III

    That is true about not needing a degree for the Nuclear Operators and Technicians. But I think the payscale is wrong. I am a insturmentation tech at a nuclear power plant and by the time I reach max pay I will be making 75,000. That will be in 3 more years. The operators make about 90,000 at the plant. That does not include all the overtime with refuelings. After all the overtime 100,000 a year is very achievable.

  20. John Whitman

    I think the best job that does not need a college degree is a hotel sales or catering manager. I earned an entry level salary of 45 thousand and bonus and made more than 77 thousand after just two years.

    I plan to get to the Director of Sales Positon (no degree required) in about 2 more years and should earn 100 thousand or more plus bonus…..now that’s a good salary without a college degree. I was gong to a marketing class at a JC but found an easier way to get a start with a on-line certificate from aprinda.com

    The aprinda.com was on-line and only took me about 20 hours to complete.

    I would think hotel sales jobs should rank right up in the top two jobs for those people that don’t have a degree.

    • Tara

      Exactly what types of hotel sales jobs do you recommend that pay as high as you mentioned (entry level 45K)?

  21. Jeremiah

    Anyone know how to get into air traffic control?

    • Jake

      Join the Air Force – Get the best training and experience for free, not to mention bonuses and other benefits. Then when you get out you’ll basically be guaranteed a job as an Air Traffic Controller as a civilian.

  22. James

    You missed yacht crew. Positions vary, but captains can make well into six figures, chef/cooks can make close to six figures, and chief stewardesses/ first mates can make up to 60-80 k. American stewardesses are in particularly high demand.

  23. Meaghan

    Computer specialist is quite misleading indeed. I am what some people would call a computer specialist and at the end of the day, you will pay for a college degree by the time you obtain all of the certifications necessary to keep your career afloat. I have a Masters in Information Technology and that didn’t stop me from being laid off. During an economic downturn like the one we’re facing now, a degree is a hindrance to getting just any old job because they think you are going to try to get paid more than they are offering. Because technology and computers change so often, education is an ONGOING effort. There will always be something new to learn and if you are not working for a company that will pay for that education, you will be hemoraging money left and right for the certifications. I am looking to change careers because you really don’t get paid that much to keep spending $5,000 here and there for certification courses.

  24. April

    FYI: Unless things have changed since 1995, you do not need a degree to become a dental hygenist. But this entire post is misleading. Although you may not need a degree you do have to be certified for most of these jobs. If you don’t go to college for a degree you still need to take some sort of classes. Which are usually accelerated, overpriced vocational courses and you usually pay out of pocket. Even if you do qualify for some sort of aid it won’t cover everything because the classes are usually so expensive. So you still come out of pocket. You only come out with a ‘certificate’ of completion for that particular job or take a test to become certified in that field. And if you leave that job field, what can that certificate do for you except look good on a resume. And while you may not need a degree, most employers I know require at least an associates degree, in any field, before they will consider hiring you for any job. I’d rather go to college but, different strokes for different folks.

    • Sheri

      I think you are confusing this job (dental hygiene) with being a dental assistant. No degree is required for that. A hygienist requires no less than an Associates degree, you must pass a national , regional and sometimes a state board for a license. I have been a hygienist for 25 years, not easy degree by any means!

    • Sheri

      You are confusing this with a dental assistant, which requires no degree. A dental hygienist must have a minimum of an associates degree, just FYI!

  25. Liz

    I agree with all the people who say this list is misleading. Some of these jobs require associate’s degrees and associates are degrees as well. And for the record, many dental hygienists have bachelors degrees.

  26. EP

    Well, I worked in IT for 11 years in Canada with only a 2 year technical college programmer certificate… That was until 2002 when dot com collapsed. Trying to find work again was near impossible, because with all that and the huge influx of programmers in I.T from other countries — They began more and more to ask for university degrees. I have worked with others who where self taught programmers, making the same salary. I agree that some health field or regularte fields should require degrees for obvious reasons, but I also think that many employers today for fields like I.T, sales, marketing etc… should rely more on the persons ability to learn and aptitude, then a university degree…But we all know how today they dont look/scan past the resume text, and that is an issue all in itself!

  27. bristolfarmer

    Money is the wrong reason to go after any career. I deliver gasoline for a living and make btwn 60 and 80k and I work a really odd shift that compromises time with family and quality of life. Before anyone looks into any of these high paying , no degree needing fields, do your research and find out what’s required of you first. The need to earn money will always exist whether you earn a degree or not. Be certain that you and your loved ones can live with the conditions of the career path you choose. P.S., I do not have a college degree.

  28. JTTT

    i work at a small warehouse making over seventy a year easy that is with taking a bit of over time, but with thoes other carreers you mite have to add in retairement or heath insurance or things such as that meaning warehouse inployees or making way more than you think they are

  29. martin jones

    i agree and disagree with much of the dialogue here, and some is just plain silly and uninformative pap. as for college degrees and advanced higher education, they have their place. to be sure, you cannot be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, scholar or resarcher without a degree, and preferably from a prestigious institution. moreover, if you’re looking to better your skills at reading, writing and critical thinking, a higher education is a worthwhile pursuit and a true gift for those who can avail themselves to it. that aside, most jobs do not require degrees. they require basic intelligence, various skills, common sense and the ability to get on fairly well with others. networking, schmoozing and knowing the ‘right’ kinds of people never hurt either. this is especially true in areas of sales. many other types of work, such as graphic or web design, require creativity and an artistic sense. most jobs can be learned either on the job or with preliminary training and practicum. many computer people i know never pursued a degree in IT. they learned it on their own, from books, websites, following others or getting a lucky break at work. as for hedge fund traders, yes, some are high school dropouts. but you have to be a gambler and have nerves of steel for that kind of highly speculative work. i am a big advocate of trade schools. you want to be a plumber or electrician, a specialized school or union should teach you, and then you should apprentice for a year or two. the ancient guild system was a worthwhile institution. if you want to learn to repair engines or be a mechanic, go to a trade school for that. most sales jobs require a certain height, weight, build, well-groomed appearance and the gift of gab. you can’t read books on how to influence people, though many have been written. again, college has its place, but as with any enterprise, it has its limitations as well and is not the silver bullet to success. university should be a choice for those seeking to pursue intellectual disciplines and the higher mental life. it’s too bad that it has become little more than a factory for cranking out people to do jobs that they could better learn from training and apprenticeship.

  30. Daffy Duck

    Duh, you even have to have a degree pretty much to work at Mc Donalds, burning burgers and over salting the fries. It’s hard to find a good paying job that doesn’t require a degree!

  31. raj dash

    Hmm. About 10-15 years ago, it was predicted by “experts” that (at least in Canada), 2/3 of all new “career” jobs would require a degree higher than a Bachelor’s — mostly a Master’s. But in a country like the U.S., with a much larger economy, it’s understandable that there could be so many jobs that don’t require a degree and pay over $40K. However, it depends on where you live. $60K in, say, San Francisco, doesn’t get you the same lifestyle as in other parts of the U.S.

  32. kyle

    ATC jobs do not require a degree, its true. BUT, It definatly helps. I was in a similar field when i was in the Air Force and had plenty of experience, After a grueling 18 MONTH application process and almost perfect qualification test score, someone else was still selected for the position in front of me! If you plan on applying for an ATC spot, be prepared (as the government saying goes) to “hurry up and wait!” Good Luck!

  33. Dima

    Air Traffic Control shouldn’t be on the list just for the fact that money hungry/lazy people that don’t want to go to college will really try to pursue this as a career. ATC isn’t a joke, u have more peoples live in the palm of your hand than the actual pilots do.

  34. Bruce

    Having felt the frustration and rejection of being told, “Sorry but as much as we would like to , we can’t hire you because despite your extensive management and sales experience we can’t offer you a position with our company.” This along with encouragement from my wife compelled me to obtain my CIS degree. It was later confirmed by a friend who works as an HR manager that ,in some companies, in order to mitigate the possibility of legal damages incurred via litigation , they have a mandate that prospective employees can’t even interview for certain positions without having a verifiable degree from an accredited college or university. One reason is that if a careless or incompetent employee mishandles a clients account or gives them improper advice resulting in a financial loss the employer can be held liable if they didn’t exercise reasonable care and “Due Diligence” in their hiring process.

  35. Zoe

    I think that a college degree will always be a useful tool, especially in this economy…
    For example, firefighting, which is under the list of not needing a bachelor´s…I live in California and am looking into jobs for my boyfriend who does not have a college degree. Though the job does not have a 4 year degree pre-requisite officially in type…it is nearly impossible (at least in California) to be hired by a Fire Department if you do not have at least an Associate´s degree in Fire Science.

    The truth of the matter is now there are so many people searching for jobs so the pool of applicants is very competitive. If the choice is between 2 potential firefighters who have all the same qualifications, certifications, but one has a degree and the other no, the one with the degree will be chosen…

    In times of economic stability a 4 year degree may not be as necessary as it is in times of crisis and competition…

    Doing a quick search on job search engine sites it´s true that there are jobs out there that don´t put a degree as a pre-requisite…but I´m guessing the person who is actually hired does have the degree…even if that may make them overqualified.

    So I guess I´m saying the importance of a 4 year degree depends on the economy…bad economy…degree more important than in a good economy…

  36. Cindy

    #20 – nuclear medicine techologist – i hate to tell the author of this blog but you are required by Federal guidelines to be accredited, certified and registered to obtain a job. If you can do it without getting some kind of certificate without formal education than you have pulled a rabbit out of a hat. I work for a hospital and the minimum education they require is a 2 yr certificate and a State registration. Many employers and an increasing number of States require certification or licensure.

    #18 – Dental hygienist – they are now required to have at least an Associate’s degree before they can even take a State exam.

    Writer needs to recheck his facts.

  37. Rayssen

    Im gonna do some research about most of these jobs cause I get out if the navy soon and I’m undecided about what I wanna do buy I really rather not go back to doing stuff with air planes anymore air traffic control really ain’t that great unless your incharge other wise it pretty much sucks by u can’t say how it is for civilians .

  38. Rayssen

    Im gonna do some research about most of these jobs cause I get out if the navy soon and I’m undecided about what I wanna do buy I really rather not go back to doing stuff with air planes anymore air traffic control really ain’t that great unless your incharge other wise it pretty much sucks by u can’t say how it is for civilians . So hoping these jobs are true to wat he is saying about them .

  39. Baggs

    Listen here, I have no degree and no high school education. ( I had a child in high school and had to work immediately to support him.) The fact of the matter is, my IQ is higher then most people and I can’t get a job that pays squat. I had one job that paid $30/ hour, but the cost of this job was losing all feeling in my hands and arms within three years. I have been passed over time and time again for promotions due to my lack of degree. Even people who can’t spell or count are making more than me due to having a degree. So for all you wishful thinking young people who want to rebel, GO TO SCHOOL.

  40. Brenda

    Isn’t the point of going to college to learn new things, experience a wealth of knowledge that wouldn’t be available to us otherwise!? I thought college was a place where you discover your interests and talents and utilize the resources to help you to accomplish your goals? But what do I know!! I’m just Reading this like the rest of you. I went to college because it helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life to better myself. If you know what you want to do with the rest of your life … Do it!! If not I recommend college, it will help put things in perspective and give you time to decide for yourself what you enjoy. If not make a hasty decisions like going to trade schools that teach you a skill.

  41. Bri

    But everyone does not have the MONEY to play around in college while they figure out what they want to do in life. If your going to spend all that money on college you might as well go for a medical degree….atleast then you will see an actual return on your money. College is for rich people and future doctors. How about for those people who havent been to college yet and already have working experience….work for yourself! You have the skill and the experience, why not work for yourself.

  42. Kyle McShane

    I have been helping some friends that did not attend college in their job hunting process. This article helped me out. I also was reading this article (http://blog.dreamfetcher.com/Jobs_without_Four_Year_Degrees). It gave a lot of good information.

  43. Rietta

    I wanted info if anyone knew about furthering education without paying for. I know that there are grants but the ones that I have seen you have to pay a fee for information, which I am not trying to do. If it is free you should not have to pay for. Also wanted to be emailed places that are hiring cooks and caterers in the state of new jersey. As for website my husband and I are both distributors with. If you or if you know anyone who wants to have own business and keep 9-5 and improve their health the natural way to contact by email address provided and when emailing to put to attention Mike and Rietta. thanks

  44. Nic

    To be honest, I’ve always thought that studying for a degree because you wanted a highly paid job was a pretty poor idea. I did it because I loved my subject and because I wanted to know more about it. Graduate jobs can pay higher salaries but you often still have to work up to that.

    A degree isn’t for everyone, which is not to say that those who lack a degree lack intelligence.

  45. Gennaro

    I wouldn’t know what a degree is. I ‘ve been working since the age of 10, and never could afford to go to college. I am now 45 years old with nothing accomplished, having low paying jobs without benefits, with little or no raises, which these breed of employers do constantly take advantage! I am a honest, conscientious , perceptive, and intelligent. I do not understand by having such a great work ethic, that I ended up being a working class Bum!

    • Mary

      I know this posting comes a bit late to the party…but let me tell you…YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING…you worked since the age of 10 and though you may have low paying jobs, without benefits, at least from a monetary standpoint, you have worked harder than some who do go to college. You’re not a Bum either…you work, remember and you haven’t given up…that’s a PLUS! I feel your pain and I will pray for you.

  46. jessica

    Depends what you can find, Thats paying well and doesnt need to much to get, You have to realize that jobs like that are not for everyone, & everyone doesnt get lucky enough for that. duh.

  47. Summer

    Just to clarify, a person DOES need a degree to work as a dental hygienist in every state except Alabama. Why would you trust someone to clean your teeth with sharp instruments, among other things, if they hadn’t some real time and experience invested in learning how?

  48. drivers

    Hotel sales and catering managers never get listed even though every hotel employs 1-7 or more sales and catering professionals. These jobs start at 40-60K plus bonus and advance rapidly. You can travel, work in great surroundings, enjoy great food, meet lots of people every day, and advance rapidly in terms of salary. Personally, I oversaw 12 hotels in 5 years and earned over 100K plus bonus. I recommend this career to anyone that has a good head on their shoulders and has a professional image.

    Or even take a course at a local college. You don’t need a college degree to advance to the often highly paid General Manager position (75-200K per year)…..and lots of added perks

  49. agent

    I work in real estate – had a degree in ministry from a non-accredited “school of ministry” and I have been in real estate and met many very successful Brokers who either had no higher education, or had degrees completely irrelevant to their current careers. No matter how bad the economy – people will be buying and selling homes on some level. I think this is a really open field for people who are self-motivated and relationship oriented. O yea, and you do have to be with a company that is good and that will offer ongoing training….this is my education, and I can see myself doing it til the day I day…no matter where I live!

  50. Annie

    having a degree is one thing, working your way up the lader is another. a degree is an investment that should start you somewhere in the middle of things and work yr way to the top. however, thatis not always the case. i have a degree, never got an opportunity to work in the field but because i had it i was able to advance to management level. it depends on where you live and the economy. it’s sad to note that there are still many people who have inveested thousands of dollars earning a degree and they have been jobless or underemployed for a very longg time, strugling to pay their student loans.

  51. MDa

    Just to point out to the above people: this article is NOT titled “no college degree required jobs” it says in the title “no four year degree” AA’s and creditadations are NOT four year degrees unless you’re lazy and take four year to finish.

  52. meme

    I have a 2 year degree. I have had so much trouble getting a god paying job. I am a very hard worker. I did catering sales for 13.00 a hour. I am 40. That is the highest paying job I have had. Most catering jobs do want a degree in hospitality. Sales? yes even at the wireless sales store they want a degree. A lot for stores in the mall for management want a degree. I have also been passed by for lack of education. My 2 year degree is a field that is declining. I am forcing my child to go to school. She is 18 she has no choice. All my friends who finished their degree is doing very well. I find most people in a lot of these fields have degrees and have made a switch in careers. Example real estate. Also I do see that a lot of people who go to school are better readers and writers.

  53. Been there, done that

    You don’t need a degree to be a realtor, but intelligence goes without saying, and there is huge money to be made for a diligent prudent person. You don’t have a life, except when no one is after you…but….if money is your goal and you can attract and deliver for buyers and sellers, you can make several hundred thousand a year! Education isn’t necessarily acquired in the classroom either…the technical aspect of any occupation is a given, but beyond that, it is all about hard work, good ethics, and continuous study.

  54. Dp

    I love reading comments on educated situations. Some people need to attend High School before they are allowed to post anything on anything. Before you can tell me or anyone else how you feel, please learn how to spell, punctuate, and make sense for that matter! This may be the reason you don’t have a job and are living off of the taxes I pay. Good luck with your endeavourers.

    • Natasha

      before you cast stones, you may want to spell check and grammar check your own post. “High school” is not capitalized unless you are referring to a specific one, such as Millard High School. Also you spelled endeavors completely wrong. “Endeavourers” does not make sense. Assuming you are British or Canadian and meant to add the “u”, there is never an “er” on the end. “Educated situations” does not make sense either, for that matter.

      Also, your logic is in error. You make a general assumption that people replying to this article are unemployed and/or living off your taxes. Are you referring to the Navy sailor’s post with spelling errors? He is certainly employed to protect your freedom to post your opinion, but I suppose you could say he’s living off your taxes since he’s employed by the government, which is totally funded by general taxes. Your assumption omits the probability that some readers may be seeking a career change from their jobs, others may be graduating high school. In the latter case, they are probably living off their parents, not welfare. Furthermore, most people who are unemployed live on unemployment benefits, not welfare, because they have recently been employed. Half comes from the taxes they as individuals pay in, not the general population, and half from their employer.

      Looking for a living wage in this economy and overcoming whatever obstacles one may have is difficult enough without having to deflect judgmental or critical comments. Give ’em a break. At least they’re trying to improve their situations, even if they can’t spell like the majority of Americans. I blame Spellcheck.

  55. DAn

    top jobs without a degree
    Try a hospitality job.

    If your young, and just out of high school, start at the front desk and earn 8-14 and hour. After a few years you can obtain a managment position. The range is vast 35-100K or more. It depends on the size of the hotel and location. Many advance to General Manager jobs and earn 75 thousand to 150 thousand or more per year. It happens all of the time. My friend started as a secretary and now earns 150 thousand at a hotel in SF at Fishermans Wharf.

    Another way to get started in hospitality is the sales and catering department. You can get entry level jobs at 40-60K plus bonus. These jobs also can lead to the Director of Sales or the General Manager job. I know of hundreds of people that got started this way. Get an inexpensive hotel sales certificate at ecornell.com or aprinda.com

    Hospitality is a great career, it’s a top job for 2010, and will be way into the future. I believe hospitality is the second or third largest employer in the world.

    • Daniel HIdalgo

      Wow this has been very help, thank you to everyone that have posted their positive and negative comments in here. I am Daniel my education is very limited 10th grade is as far as I went due to being the oldest male in a family of four with a single mom. I discovered in Alabama that I was born to be a people person a local news paper offered me a job making 100.00 per week and 15% commission and it was terrible, I quickly realize in a matter of a month that I could do it on my own I simply needed a designer and I came up with my own Birmingham magazine where I advertise local companies and posted local free jobs for them i got toped out at clearing about 8,000 per month, shortly after I started buying little cheap houses fixing minor things and reselling them I was on top of my game sold my magazine invested that money on another house at age 26 I had 7 houses I have never in my life made so much money and it hit me I had never had money to offer my mother who fought three jobs to feed us so I bought here and my family plane tickets on a vacation before I knew it we had spent 30k I was ignorant with what do with so much money. When I got back I sold two house shortly after I made 60k on one and 55k on the other I put all my earned money and decided to build me a future for me and my boys and spent all my money buy more houses, soon after the market just dropped and now I’m thirty years old stuck with properties that I dint know when they will sell.

      I share my story because these are two subjects that have been mentioned on this topic, I am a self motivated person with 2-3 months into my 10th grade in high school I can never be proud to tell my boys but for everyone out there this one time I can say it, if a latin gang affiliated did it everyone can, I come from Santa Ana, california ran away from their to get out of gangs and man up to help my mother I have felt success in the sales and real state but the truth is that you will not ever make it if you don’t love it in your heart or have a drive for it.

      I came in here to thank everyone for their tips because I want to find a company where my sales drive can grow in a company but until then I’ll be opening soon a used tire shop in panama city Florida called Quick Stop I will be out generating sales accounts like dealers and spreading the word to the local companies, please excuse my spelling for which I should go back to school but life comes pretty fast I don’t know if I can any more, but thanks to all of you I will be submitting resumes at hotels and maybe land a job with benefits and making a good income while running my little shack.

      Daniel hidalgo

  56. Caligurl

    These are all great ideas for young adults out there. However, if you are mid to late 30’s, or even 40’s, there are age limits on some of these jobs. Typically, no older than 30. I wish I had known more about these fields when I was much younger.

  57. kitty

    what about recently graduated high school students? The economy is so crappy these days, its hard for us to even get a job at a fast food joint.

  58. ohno

    i’ve heard that in US, you get unemployment benefit, as long as you don’t make certain amount of money.

  59. marie

    ohno… tell that to the poor and homeless.. especially over hear in detriot and wayne..mi

  60. julie

    You do need a degree to be a dental hygienist, thats what Im majoring in now

  61. joseph piatt

    im 17 and trying to find out some stuff about good jobs for when i get out of high school, i dont plan on going to college but dont really want to end up like my father and be 53 years old and still working a full time job just to get by. and the way the economy is going i dont no what filed of work to get into. so if any one has some advice let me know

  62. robert

    Take a tip from a 50 year old without a degree. Get your degree!

  63. kiran

    It is true that degree is not obvious for earning money. A car cleaner whom I ve seen earns 80000 per annum and tax free. At the same time degree is also important for many. All this is about finding your own ways to earn money and respect in the society. Many business men in the world like Apple Jobs, bill gates, were the college drop outs. All we need is an aim and a good planning to succeed. Money comes on its own way.

  64. Elaine

    So, I went and got my BS degree in Business Management, back 5 years ago, and the only thing it got me was qualified to work on projects that come around every now and then. Having the degree did NOT advance my pay when I got management positions either. I am now thinking to go back and get a new certification in a field that will always be in demand, or so they say…..at the time I was getting my Bus degree, I was told my degree would be highly needed, but so far the economy is proving this wrong. Best of luck to us all out there. I’ll believe my degree means something when the economy proves it. BTW, My mother didn’t have a college degree and she was able to become her own boss over and over again and manage…..education is grand, but the proof is in the paycheck or cash flow coming in more than those accounts payables going out…..

  65. IT Guru

    I myself am a self taught I.T. Administrator and Application/Database Developer who earned several certifications in the field, spent many years working with upper management reading books that target my challenges and putting things into practice while learning new techniques that have been very successful and have built a portfolio over time, which college heads were not able to do. In our try before you hire session, at my company we ended up getting rid of a few college grads because their knowledge was so far behind and seem to be spoiled. I think experience and character overrides College by far, remember in college courses you just read a little try to memorize till test time pick and choose teachers who most of time has spent little time, if any, in the field they are teaching. What is the difference between this and jumping on Google and reading the latest information about a subject, then putting it into practice. People that hire based on degrees are just selfishly looking out for themselves, because perhaps they have a degree, and end up hurting themselves and their company by passing up someone with more knowledge, certifications, character and experience, remember results is why you hire, not because you might have read something in a outdated textbook. That being said, I am working on a degree although as I take the classes it is confirming what I feel to be true.


    I love how so many of these comments are incorrectly spelled, etc. Too funny, and from people with college degrees, based on their comments.

  67. Amanda

    I have an awesome job! 75,000 a year. No degree. Medical Sales.

    • Tara

      Hi Amanda, Could you talk more about your experience please? For example: How you found the job? What the requirements are? Thank you.

    • Maria

      Good stuff. Kudos. Would you share the information wealth of who I could contact for work too? Thank You.

  68. jenny


    what kind of medical sales do you do & what does that entail ?

  69. Marco

    Congratulations Amanda !

  70. Marylu

    95% of job postings on monster.com require some kind of degree.
    Regarding hotel sales jobs, you need previous experience (at least 2 years) to start at a 40k job, check career builder.
    Technical jobs are the way to go for high paying non degree jobs but most are for the male population – I do not want to be a firefighter or an automobile mechanic or a plumber.
    As for as starting your own business, that would be ideal for alot of non-degree people but what bank will give someone a loan in these economic times. Especially for someone who has been out of work for over a year.

  71. P. Oneil

    In regards to the debate on whether you need a degree or not: I have a day job but it only earns so much and doesn’t offer much room for advancement. It’s a job that I’ve let myself become comfortable in and never thought I’d need to advanced, but I’ve been got a new girlfriend for almost a year now and we are getting serious. I realize that soon I will need to provide for her and a future family and I’m seeing the need to go back to school. I’m a bit reluctant because i hated high school but it’s necessary for me to get at least an associates degree. I don’t have natural talent or the skills and personality to work for myself or be an entrepreneur, therefore I NEED a degree otherwise I will regret it later in life. If you’re in a similar situation as me, don’t follow this article… a degree can only better your options and outcome!

  72. IT Guru

    I’m getting my degree right now solely to satisfy false beliefs, yes I am picking up information along the way, but could have just as well Google the same info from reputable sources and it would have been a lot cheaper 🙂 I’m doing very well at my job now, however I do get challenged by people all the time when they find out all I have is some college. I usually win in the end by my results(my certs helped too targeted proficiency), but this is stressful for me. This is the information age you can learn about anything without having to shell out cash to the school business. Putting things into practice and building on your knowledge overtime you learn things no school will ever be able to teach.

  73. Dental Hygienist Jessie

    I just want to let you know a little bit more about Dental Hygiene as an option. It is at minimum a three year degree and not an easy one. After doing your year of prereq classes you have to compete to get in. In my program they took 24 applicants out of 450. After you get in you have to fight to stay in. Out of 24 of us 4 failed to keep the above 73 grade in every class. Were talking all heavy duty science classes…. think you can memorize ever tiny nuance of nerves and cells in the mouth? theres a lot more going on in the mouth then I woulda thought in my wildest dreams. You have to take an insane amount of clinical classes on top of your science classes and even have to give and receive novacaine injections from your classmates. After you make it through all that you have to take a thousand dollar clinical exam, a couple hundred dollar written exam that tests everything you have learned in 3 years, a state law of dentistry exam aaannnd an exam on giving injections… this is not a good path for someone looking to skimp on a degree and make a good living… While in the program I saw people’s marriages fail because of the stress, and grown women and men break down crying.. just saying

  74. farhaj

    I see most of the people in here are from the U.S. You people are really lucky, i mean people earning 40k+ per year without a degree. I am a graduate from a third world country and not earning a penny yet. Anyone with a job in my country is considered to be blessed even the ones with the master degrees, with the pay that i can’t even mention in your currency.
    It does depend where you live in the world and believe me people you live in a good part of the world

    • John Frainee

      Thanks for the reminder Farhaj. I know I love America. I wish you the best!

  75. Kevin

    Well Farhaj, even here in America we have people with masters degrees and no job. My sister has a masters and has been unable to find work for a year. Another sister has her BS in something, can’t remember what right now, and no job for almost 2 years. I myself only took 1 semester and was bored out of my mind. I recently lost my job due to the economy, but previously had worked for 15 years straight starting at about 35k and working up to 65k in the low-voltage industry. If I so choose, I can take a few training classes with a manufacture and be an independent programmer making 100k a year easy.

    I have been a firm believer in the fact that college teaches you how to work for someone else for the rest of your life, and make them rich. Even friends of mine that have taken several entrepreneur type courses have said that in the end the course still leaned more on the “working for someone else” side of things. Basically you just need to decided what it is YOU want to do in life and figure out what is needed for you to do that. It might be college, it might be a trade school, or it might just be self training.

    On a side note. I also found it funny that many of the posts from people claiming to have a degree, seem to be the worst posts. The posts had very poor sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Just a tip to all of you out there. When typing out anything on a computer, you should put 2 spaces after a “.” before starting your next sentence.