25 Highest Paying Jobs: College degrees can be tiresome not only academically but also financially. However, literacy is important, and one must be a school graduate. But, there is a very common stereotype that a person without a college cannot earn well. This is not at all true.
The degree has a lot to do with your professionalism and profound knowledge of the field you are aiming to work in. It guarantees a good and well-paid job, as does experience, skill, and talent.
If you have a flair for one thing or the other, you can easily use that proficiency to support and sustain yourself financially.
If you are planning to start a career without a college degree and are afraid that you might not be able to earn well, you must read the ensuing article.
In the following article, we have listed the 25 best jobs you can take up without a college degree. All of the subsequent career options shall yield you an income of nearly $100K or more on an annual basis.
Table of Contents
Highest Paying Jobs without a College Degree
Good college degrees in the United States can be highly expensive. It is still a better option if you are willing to take up a deficient college for the same degree by paying less.
If you are willing to get educated and apply your skills to your profession, you must always choose to do so. You surely will earn a decent amount of money annually and stabilise yourself financially.
However, if you cannot study any further and have to drop out of college, you must not freak out. Many jobs in the country will pay you well even if you do not have a college degree.
A substantial amount of experience or probable certification in the specific field will definitely act as a good substitute.
Hard and smart work always plays an important role. You must always be diligent and enthusiastic to tirelessly strive towards your goal. Not having a college degree has its consequences.
You will have actually to receive proper training and guidance. You must have the patience to learn all that a college degree teaches. If you are working in a skill-based field, proficiency in that particular skill is crucial.
Additionally, you will have to develop a tendency to be exposed to relatively uncomfortable situations. Degrees provide the luxury of knowledge and expose you to jobs where you apply your mental skills. Thus, it is potentially better to advise you to pursue a college degree if possible.
Nevertheless, a degree does not define your income. You can not have a degree and still earn more than the one who does. You can even make up to $100K+ annually.
All you need to do is keep an open mind and wisely take up your opportunities. Here are 25 jobs in a good income slab, and you can easily pursue them without a college degree.
10 Top Lucrative Jobs without a College Degree
The subsequent data has been obtained after closely considering the information from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics of the United States.
The job data lists the average salary and the highest you can get. Additionally, we have also mentioned the basic requirements for these occupations. You can check all the details and pursue a career accordingly.
Consider the skill set and the basic eligibility requirements to take up the following as a profession. You can entirely rely on the information provided below as it is eclectic.
The aim is to deliver the on-ground reality of each job. Certain jobs require a certification, while others need a skill or proficiency in a trade. Moreover, there can be jobs or professions that demand an investment. Nevertheless, they still do not need a college degree.
An airline pilot in the United States is one of the most lucrative professions. It involves an ample amount of travel, locomotion, and demand. The airlines recruit prospects with considerable certification.
A decent number of years of experience is also mandatory sometimes. Although the certification might cost quite a bit, the salary is worth it. There has been a recent increase in demand for professionals for this job.
The candidates will just have to need a Commercial Pilot License. As far as experience is concerned, the prospects must also have 1500 flying hours as a part of the certification to obtain the certificate.
You can earn nearly up to $100,000 in their first year. The precise amount differs depending on the company you get recruited at.
How to become an Airline Pilot?
In the United States of America, an airline pilot is one of the highest-paying jobs. The aspirants need to take admission into a Research Pilot School. After that, they must apply for the FAA Student Pilot Certificate and Medical Certificate.
They will have to take lessons and pass the Knowledge Test and the Practical Examinations. Before obtaining the certificate, you will have to attend 1500 flying hours.
If you do not have decent years of experience in the field, you will have to pay an amount of nearly $92,000 or equivalent. If you have substantial experience, the costs and investments are reduced to nearly $70,000.
Foreign nationals need to receive accreditation from the Homeland Security Department of the United States and only then they shall be able to take up a job in the US as an airline pilot.
Is Airline Pilot a good profession choice for Highest-Paying Jobs?
Yes, if you are pursuing the career, you must know that in their first year, pilots can earn up to $110,000 for their services to the company. Not only it is one of the highest-paying jobs in the United States, but also, it is an interesting job.
You get to meet people of different nationalities, places, and much more. Travel is ensured. There are a lot of additional benefits which depend on the company that hires you.
However, the job has certain limitations, and you are bound to an extent. But, every profession has its own drawbacks, and the money and exposure this is worth it.
Real Estate Brokers
Be it the United States or any other part of the world, Real State Brokers earn a great deal of money for the unversed.
It is definitely one of the highest-paying jobs. People usually rely on brokers to find a home. They are also highly in demand since finding a decently budgeted place in the country is difficult.
Additionally, one needs some help with the paperwork. Brokers assist their clients with transactions, transfers, and more.
The jobs might involve a lot of assistance activities and other things, but it is highly rewarding. The commission amount serves the prospects well.
How to Become a Real Estate Broker?
You do not need a particular degree to be a real estate broker. However, you need a license to be a legal broker and not land up in problems.
The first and foremost step that you can take to be one is to take up a real estate broker course.
With the help of that, you can get all the insights into how to be a broker and manage your clients. You must have adequate knowledge to pass the state real estate license examination.
Once you pass the exam and receive the certification, you can easily start practising as a broker.
Is Real Estate Broker a good professional choice for the Highest-paying jobs?
If you can deliver the needs of your clients and try to get as much as you can, you can make a great deal of money.
It is important to be updated with all the government’s latest guidelines. While, on average, you can make $ 67,000 on an annual basis, you can earn up to $ 107,000 depending upon your diligence.
At the end of the day, Real Estate Brokerage is a highly lucrative career option.
Systems Application and Products Consultant
One of the Highest-paying jobs in the United States is of SAP Consultant. The aspirants can choose to take up a degree in order to become one. However, it is not at all a necessity.
SAP Consultants earn a great deal of money as far as annual income is considered.
You do not need a technical or non-technical degree but have a very adequate knowledge of the relative field, which is computer science. All you need to do is be equipped with various technicalities even if you do not have a degree.
How to become a SAP Consultant?
In order to become a SAP Consultant, you must have complete knowledge of SAP ERP. You can either attain them by attending college and taking up a relevant degree or simply by courses or consulting teachers regarding the same.
The more knowledge you are able to extract on the matter, the better it is. You can also do certification courses. Another way can also be to obtain relevant experience by working under a consultant and obtaining an understanding of all the professional nuances accordingly by comprehending the real-time application of the concepts.
It only takes three to six months in order to absorb the real aspects of consultancy in this field.
Is SAP Consultant a good professional choice for the Highest-paying jobs?
Being an SAP Consultant, you can earn up to $127,000 annually. It depends on your skill and the application of your concepts. However, in no way is it an underpaid job.
It is highly lucrative, and you can earn well. Even the average salary is $100K+ as per the records and data retrieved post surveillance and multiple surveys.
Senior Sales Executive
There are certain jobs that require skill sets, communications, and good experience. You must consider becoming a Senior sales executive if you are good at selling and making relative communications.
Well, this job takes a tremendous amount of experience and energy, but it is very rewarding. There might be a question regarding degrees in sales and marketing that can be a requirement of the job. However, it is not compulsory.
You can earn well even if you do not have a degree in the related field. All you need is excellent convincing and communication skills, and you can ace the game.
How to become a Senior Sales Executive?
One needs to consider that in order to become a Sales Executive, you need to climb the ladder up.
You will not be instantly placed in the senior position. You need to do some sales on the ground level under employers.
Experience and evidence of your skills are important. The prime requirement to actually be a sales executive is to have convincing strength and be excellent in communications.
If you can do that, you can easily do sales. Moreover, so as to be placed in senior positions, you need relevant experience and even some team-leading skills. Sales are more about skills and less about education.
However, if you wish to take up courses or pursue degrees, you should because they provide an extra edge with all the knowledge of the course modules.
Is a Senior Sales Executive a good profession choice for the Highest-paying jobs?
If you have the skill set and experience, then you must apply to art firms in order to get employed in the relevant position.
You can make up to $120,000 on the position. Sales is a very lucrative field. It gives you the liberty to make a lot of money depending on your knowledge of things and diligence.
Air Traffic Controller
The job of Air Traffic Controller comes with a lot of responsibility but also earning opportunities.
There are four kinds of positions in this job. You can either be a ground controller, local controller, clearance delivery, or be in charge of flight data. The job pays extremely well and is worth all the stress and responsibility tensions that come along with it.
However, it is tough to get recruited. The job is in high demand for the aspirants, but there are only a limited number of opportunities. ATCs have to take care of everything, and they have to be in charge of many activities.
How to become an Air Traffic Controller?
You must pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program examination.
You can either take up a relevant course to gain relative knowledge or simply attain the aspects of the job through personal education.
Airline Forms seek a relevant amount of experience in the candidates they are willing to recruit. Thus, you must try gathering as much experience as possible before you apply for a permanent job.
Is Air Traffic Controller a good profession for Highest-paying jobs?
You can definitely earn up to $ 100,000 if you apply at a good firm. Established airlines offer a good salary for the work of Air Traffic Controlling.
You can pursue this job with or without a degree, and it is very easy for one of you to obtain the license.
If you are great with communications and can create a good networking web, you must consider Network Architect as an option.
Data communication network design and framework is the prime aim of a network architect. You can be one based on your skill set.
It is important to establish yourself as a Network Architect on the ground level and you can take it further from there.
Although there is a mandatory requirement for a degree to pursue this job as a career, the experience can serve as a substantial substitute.
How to become a Network Architect?
While there are many firms and enterprises that require you to have a relevant college degree, certain settle for substantial experience.
Network Architect is one of the highest-paying jobs in the United States. With good experience and skill set, you can bag a good job.
Is Network Architect a good profession?
As per multiple surveys and data, Network Architects can earn up to $130,000 on an annual basis if they establish themselves as an esteemed entity in the job.
Firms opt for proven work portfolios and good experience over degrees, considering the benefits of their companies.
Acting and other jobs that are based on skills and talents do not need you to submit a college degree in order to establish yourself as a highly qualified professional.
You need to have experience, a well-maintained portfolio, and talent if you wish to become one.
Luck and diligence act as major factors when we talk about these professions. However, college degrees, in any scenario, are not a requirement.
You can be a dropout homeschooled, or anything. This will never be the way of your dream to be an actor.
If we talk about a very high level such as that of Hollywood, you would need to observe that many factors come in the way and the competition is exceptionally high, but the salaries are extremely high.
However, on a stage level or any other, you can make a decent amount of money. It depends on the number of projects you can bag annually.
How to become an actor?
This question can be a bit confusing. But yes, you can opt for courses and take a very structured road before trying to become an actor, or you can simply take up projects and apply for auditions.
You can keep trying your luck and improve your creative skills, and in the age of social media influencing, you can use the platform.
You must work on your portfolio and apply for acting jobs. In order to get acting projects, you must get an agent who can help you with auditions and acting projects.
If you do not work on your confidence and creative skill sets, you will definitely face a hard time establishing yourself.
Is Acting a lucrative profession?
If you can reach a level where you have established yourself as an esteemed and skilled actor, your annual income can be millions.
Additionally, your life will be stocked with luxuries. However, there are a lot of struggles that come with this job. To reach such a place, you will have to give in a lot of energy, patience, and hard work.
There is a lot of competition, but you can make a lot of money if you can act well and bag good projects.
Though not exactly a job, you can be an entrepreneur or, in simple words, a business owner.
All you need is a decent amount of investment to establish your firm. You can make a lucrative firm with a complete understanding of the product you are willing to enter the market with and well-comprehended strategies.
Here, you shall employ instead of seeking employment. Being a business person is not easy. You need to have focus and be diligent, but the results pay well.
How can you be an entrepreneur?
To be an entrepreneur, you need to establish a business. You do not need any college degree to do so. However, if you have a relevant degree or have taken education in the field, it will benefit you because you will be equipped with all the technicalities and understand the little aspects.
But still, it is not important. Knowledge is recommended for self benefits. You must register your firm with the United States as a commercial project, and then you can proceed the way you want.
All you need is an investment; to do so, you can take up loans or use personal deposits. Is
Is being an entrepreneur a good professional option?
Well, yes! Nothing can be better than being the player, taking charge of your products, and establishing something that can grow.
There is maximum career growth even if you are not categorically qualified. The experience and learning you shall pick up on the way will be enough for you to completely understand the world.
You need to observe that it is a long shot. You might not exactly be able to make a lot of money in the very beginning. Nevertheless, you can grow and obtain all the subsequent money.
Your income depends on the way your business proceeds. In the best scenarios, you can earn millions in the first year.
It might seem very weird to see such a job in this list, but skill-based jobs are dying in America, leading to high demand.
Plumbing is one of them. If you are well aware of the technicalities and skills of plumbing, you can take up the plumbing job and make a good amount of money.
There is an acute shortage of skill based workers. Due to shortage and high demand, the prices for the services are increasing. Thus, this is very lucrative.
How to become a plumber?
You can obtain knowledge and skills by taking up apprenticeships, training, or getting an internship in the trade.
Once you are done with that, you can start working with a firm or take up individual or independent projects and work.
You can also join a construction firm with the relevant skill set and experience. You do not need a degree to become a Plumber.
Is Plumbing one of the Highest-paying jobs?
Yes. As per data and surveys, plumbers make more than $ 100,000 annually in America. The salary scale can go up with the requirement and the number of projects taken up in a year.
Construction Site Manager
This is another skill based job that is highly lucrative. All you need is complete insights on the construction and relative works.
Many students and dropouts in America take up labour work early in their age. With progression, you can start leading a team and managing a site.
You can start working independently with a team and manage sites very early in age. Site Managers pay a significant amount of money for their work.
They can make a decent income depending on the cost of the projects and the number of sites they manage in a year.
How to Become a Construction Site Manager?
Very evidently, this is a skill based job. To be a manager, you need to have a relevant amount of experience. Without experience, you shall have a little difficult time in acting towards the position.
You must know all the aspects of construction. A college degree is not a crucial requirement.
You can be of any background and have knowledge of various fields. Personal experience as a Construction Site Worker would be more relevant and a compulsion.
How much can a Construction Site Worker earn annually?
As explained earlier, the salary of a Construction Site Manager can depend on the firm they are employed at and the projects they are connected to.
It depends on the number of sites you have to manage. However, a Construction Site Manager can make up to $ 120,000 annually.
15 Highest-paying Jobs in the US with $100K Income/Year
The aforementioned jobs can surely earn you more than 100,000 dollars on an annual basis. However, there are certain jobs that average less than the slab, but your earnings can reach so depending upon your diligence and company or any other place of work.
Check the list of the following jobs that require certification and not definite degrees to earn nearly $100K Income on a yearly basis. The basic requirement and average salary have also been mentioned subsequently.
Jobs based on Certifications
The following list of Jobs can provide you with the highest income of $100K on an annual basis of certification in the relative field irrespective of college degrees:
- Radiologist: To be a radiologist, you need an associate degree or diploma and can work in the medical field. It is highly lucrative, as you can make up to $ 100,600 annually.
- Risk Manager: Jobs such as that of Risk Managers can be supported by certifications initially. They can add up to the value of your Resume, and you can easily land good, lucrative jobs. After substantial experience and a good CV, risk managers can make up to $ 130,000 annually.
- Patrol Officer or Police Officer: To join forces such as NYPD and more, you must participate in the programs and get admitted to the training schools. You have to pass examinations to be a Patrol Officer. You can easily become a police officer by completing basic tasks and assigned jobs. Further, you can appear for promotional exams for Lieutenant, Sergeant, and Captain to rise above the ranks. These are some of the highest-paying jobs in the United States without a college degree.
- Flight Attendant: Worldwide, the job of a flight attendant is one of the well-paid jobs. All you need is relevant training at the relative academies, and you can obtain basic knowledge to get a certification. Once you do so, you can apply to airline companies and start your job. Being a part of the cabin crew is a tough job but very rewarding in terms of money since the beginning.
- Insurance Sales Agent: Agents who sell insurance earn well through commission. All you need is relevant certification or pass the exams to prove your knowledge, and you are good to go.
Skill Based Jobs
When you have the skills, you do not need any college degrees to prove them. Thus, you can have the basic knowledge and be good in the trade you are concerned with, and you are good too.
All you might need is relevant experience, but skill tests can definitely help if you lack that. Here are a few jobs you can take up if you are well-acknowledged in the field and have the skills.
- Cook: One might say that you need Hotel management degrees, but if you can cook well and have a taste for exquisite dishes, you can earn well. Decent knowledge of cuisines can help you progress in your career with this job without a degree.
- Electrician: One of the highest-paid jobs in America without a college degree is of Electricians. It is similar to that of Plumbers. The scarcity of skilled laborers has created a high demand.
- Freelance Writer: If you have a flair for writing, you can be a freelance writer. It does not matter if you have a degree, but if your content can serve the purpose, you can earn well. Writers have been in high demand. Especially now that everything is dependent on the internet.
- Musicians: Musicians need to have relevant skills and be able to create good music. If you can, you can easily earn well in the United States.
- Influencers: With the monetisation of social media platforms, influencers, and content creators have become the Highest-paying jobs. You need to have a different content creation style and a good outreach, and you can definitely make an annual income of $100,000. Your academic qualifications no longer matter if you know how to engage the audience with your skills.
Experience Based Jobs
These kinds of jobs are self-explanatory. You do not need experience in the field and you can definitely earn well.
These kinds of jobs take time to deliver money but they surely do. Experience counts higher than degrees for a lot of firms.
They are also reflective of proper knowledge of the field. More the experience, the better the salary package that is offered to you. Check the following jobs:
- IT Consultant: Proper Experience in IT Consultancy firms can help you find better jobs in a higher position in the same or similar fields.
- Executive Assistant: This is one of the highest-paying jobs based on experience.
- Computer Support Specialist: If you have an excellent knowledge of the technicalities of Computers and have previously worked in the field, you can definitely start earning more in the same job.
- Senior Account Manager: With experience in account management, you can get hold of a senior position at firms.
- Product Manager: This is one of the most well-paid jobs you can get entirely on the basis of experience in the field. Here, your achievements and number of years count more than the degree you hold.