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Highest-paying Jobs Without a Degree


Are you wondering if you can land one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree? A college degree isn’t a prerequisite for getting the highest-paying job. However, you can pursue many jobs without a four-year degree.

These jobs offer employees not only high salaries but also opportunities for advancement. Some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree are available across various sectors, such as technology, healthcare, art, and business. Furthermore, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you may want to start your job search by learning more about available jobs that don’t require a degree.


Moreover, most individuals are looking for jobs that don’t require a college degree. But what are the options for the highest-paying jobs without a degree? This article will take you through some in-demand jobs without a degree and have an average annual salary of over USD60,000.

Although some of the jobs listed here may need a little education and require a post-secondary learning certificate. While other high-paying jobs on the list don’t require formal education credentials. However, the highest-paying job with the least amount of schooling was found to be farm labor contractors. With an average annual salary of USD 61,900 and requires no formal education at all. Dive in as we discuss some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree and provide tips for your job search.

Highest-paying Jobs That Does Not Require a Degree

Many jobs have educational requirements, even for a degree program. The time you will need to complete it will be shorter than the usual four-year degree. Furthermore, you may need to complete on-the-job training, a certificate program, or an apprenticeship to progress on the job.

These jobs pay above USD60,000 annually and are open to applicants who may not have a bachelor’s degree.


1. Executive Assistant

An executive assistant usually works closely with an executive leader within a company. They, however, handle all the executive’s administrative demands, like organizing appointments, answering phone calls, and responding to necessary activities. In most cases, an executive assistant role is similar to the modern iteration of the secretary position.

Furthermore, the job roles of an executive assistant include clerical work, managing schedules, booking meetings, and making travel arrangements. Education requirements include a high school diploma or its equivalent. In addition, an executive assistant may earn an average salary of USD 64,200 per year.

2. Licensed Practical Nurse

Another of the highest-paying jobs without a degree is that of a licensed practical nurse. As a licensed practical nurse, you’ll work with registered nurses (RNs) and doctors to support patient care. LPNs are responsible for taking vital signs, maintaining medical records, changing bandages, inserting catheters, and bathing patients.

Although this job demands a particular license and training, including challenging coursework in the sciences, it can be worthwhile if you want to work in the medical field. Furthermore, LPNs must have excellent communication skills to effectively interact with RNs, doctors, and patients. In addition, they require the ability to thoughtfully pass information to patients and their families.

People passionate about caring for others do well as licensed practical nurses. They must also have strong organizational skills because the job is fast-paced and demanding. A patient’s health and well-being depend on an LPN’s ability to multitask and manage information. Educational requirements include a licensed practical nurse program lasting 12 to 24 months. They may earn an average annual salary of USD62,480.

3. Carpenter

Carpentry is another highest-paying job where you can start your career without a bachelor’s degree. This job is a skilled trade and a craft in which your primary job includes cutting, shaping, and installing building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, and timber bridges, among others. Furthermore, carpenters perform their job functions using specialized tools and/or machines. Carpenters are employed by construction companies, carpentry contractors, and maintenance departments or may be self-employed. Educational requirements include a high school diploma or apprenticeship under the supervision of a certified carpenter, called a journeyperson. Additionally, a carpenter can earn an average salary of USD62,460 annually.

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4. Drafter

Drafters are responsible for preparing technical drawings and plans. They use software to convert the designs of architects and engineers into technical drawings. Meanwhile, most workers design architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting. However, they use technical drawings to help design everything entirely, from microchips to skyscrapers. Drafters can produce building plans, wiring diagrams, topographical maps, and equipment assembly drawings. Education requirements include a two-year degree in drafting or a related field. Drafters can earn an average salary of USD 64,570 per year.

5. Sales representatives

A sales representative promotes and sells products of a company or organization to customers. While they advertise products to prospective customers, they showcase new products to existing ones. As well as maintaining old customer accounts by ensuring smooth sales and customers are satisfied.

Generally, sales representatives are given sales targets to meet and report to their sales director. This job is widely in demand in many industries, from technology to manufacturing. An inside sales representative usually works from within the office, while an outside sales representative will travel to see customers. A sales representative is a great career choice if you enjoy working with others and have strong communication skills. Furthermore, sales representative jobs can be lucrative and rewarding since they can earn a relatively high salary. Education requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent. You can also earn an average salary of USD66,410 per year.

6. Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work with the direction of an occupational therapist to design a treatment plan for patients. This may include educating a patient on how to move from a bed into a wheelchair. Also, do therapeutic exercises or complete daily living tasks. OTAs can also work closely with people with developmental disabilities, teaching them skills to be more independent. Furthermore, they educate patients and their families in at-home therapy programs, equipment usage, and living skills. As an occupational therapy assistant, you must take vocational training that lasts roughly two years.

However, some of the coursework will be in the sciences. Education requirements include a two-year OTA degree. You can also earn an average salary of USD 71,630 annually.

7. Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants provide physical therapist services with the guidelines and supervision of a physical therapist. They execute parts of patient care, obtain treatment information, and collaborate with the PT to modify necessary care. Furthermore, they assist the physical therapist in treating individuals of all ages, from newborns to the aged.

PTAs care for many patients with injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment. They also care for people wanting to become healthier and prevent complications. However, PT will examine each individual and develop a treatment plan to improve their ability to walk, reduce or manage pain, reinstate function, and prevent disability. Furthermore, PTAs usually have a heartfelt effect on people’s lives. Education requirements include an associate’s program, proper certification, and a two-year physical therapist assistant program. In addition, a physical therapist assistant can earn an average salary of USD 74,350 per year.

8. Aircraft Mechanics

Aircraft mechanics are one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree. They supervise, manage, and perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs on aircraft. However, their major role is ensuring the aircraft’s safety and airworthiness for passenger travel, air cargo, and shipping.

Furthermore, they are highly trained and federally certified, commonly called airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics or aviation maintenance technicians. To secure an aircraft job, individuals must undergo meticulous training and testing to become A&P certified. As well as obtain the licenses required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform aviation maintenance. A&P ratings are important for a career foundation as an aircraft mechanic. Furthermore, they are often required for other career pathways or advancement opportunities. Education requirements include the Federal Aviation Association certification. You can earn an average annual salary of USD78,500 as an aircraft mechanic.

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9. Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents help their clients negotiate sales, attend home inspections, and purchase, or rent properties. However, depending on the market, a career in real estate can be one of the highest-paying jobs in any context. While the requirements may differ by state, all aspiring agents must enroll in a pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate school. Take their state exam, pass it, activate their license, and join a real estate brokerage. Education requirements include passing the real estate license exam. Additionally, you can earn an average salary of USD96,570.

10. MRI Technologist

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists use MRI scanners to detect internal images of the human body. These scans are then used to diagnose various critical conditions like brain tumors and infections. As well as abnormal brain activity resulting from strokes, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

Furthermore, it informs the development of treatment plans to boost a patient’s health. MRI techs provide an important service that saves and prolongs lives. Their job roles include injecting contrast dyes into patients, putting patients in the scanner based on physician orders, maintaining MRI equipment, and keeping detailed patient histories.

Education requirements include completing a vocational training program that may result in associate’s degrees. Some states may require ARRT certification. With an average annual salary of USD96,820.

11. Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists carry out tests for diagnosis and medical analysis. They are responsible for preparing and administering small doses of radioactive drugs (radiopharmaceuticals) to patients. Then record images of the radioactive material in the body using high-level imaging equipment. Meanwhile, physicians transcribe the images to study and diagnose an infection or disorder.

They also administer doses of radiation to patients internally to treat medical conditions. Furthermore, as a nuclear medicine technologist, you can work with doctors, medical physicists, nuclear pharmacists, computer specialists, and administrative staff. The training required for this position consists of a two-year educational program (Degree in nuclear medicine technology). And earn an average salary of USD 105,325 per year.

12. Radiation Therapist

A radiation therapist is another highest-paying job without a degree. However, they are health professionals who give radiation treatments to cancer patients. A radiation therapist is part of the care team that treats patients with cancer and other diseases through the use of radiation treatments.

Furthermore, their job role is linked with doctors who specialize in radiation therapy and oncology nurses whose specialty is caring for cancer patients. Meanwhile, radiation treats cancer by shrinking or removing cancer or tumors. This program typically requires a two-year program (radiation therapy). Radiation therapists can earn an average salary of USD120,000 per year.


Tips For Your Job Search

Here are some tips to help you secure one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree. Dive in!

  1. Begin with certain sectors: Jobs in the technology, customer service, administration, and medical assistance sectors only require a high school diploma, industry certification, or on-the-job training.
  2. Focus on your studies: Keep in mind that most jobs in the medical field often require some extra schooling. This, however, demands that you perform well in science courses. Meanwhile, some other careers may require manual labor or finesse in mechanical thinking.
  3. Get some training: Give yourself a competitive edge by taking online learning, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and/or certificate programs. Many of these flexible programs allow students to keep working full-time simultaneously.
  4. Modify your resume. Ensure your resume demonstrates your skills when you don’t have a bachelor’s degree or higher. You should personalize your resume to include skills listed on the job posting for the position you’re applying to.
  5. Research potential employers. Learn as much as you can about potential employers before going in for an interview. Use websites, professional publications, and articles to learn about a company’s mission, policies, and structure.