25 Highest Paying Jobs in the World Without a Degree (2023)

In this article, we take a look at the 25 highest paying jobs in the world without a degree. For more such jobs, visit 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World Without a Degree.

It is a widespread misconception that a college degree is necessary to land a high-paying job in today's competitive employment market. In this article, we will debunk the myth that a degree is a prerequisite for a high income and explore a variety of high-paying jobs that don't require one.

Many lucrative job options call for something other than a degree, giving people a chance to succeed without the cost or time commitment of a traditional college education. People may opt to forgo higher education for various reasons, including financial limitations, personal circumstances, or a simple desire to join the workforce sooner.

The value of technical and vocational skills in the employment market has come to the fore in recent years. Many sectors now prioritize practical experience and knowledge over formal schooling due to the rise of automation, artificial intelligence, and the gig economy. A study from Harvard Business Review showed that many tech companies like Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have dropped the degree requirement.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) have done it in order to make sure there's no filter when it comes to attracting practically skilled individuals.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Pursuing a Non-degree Career

Less expensive education, quicker entry into the workforce, and greater career freedom are advantages of choosing a non-degree career. On-the-job training and apprenticeships are standard in non-degree careers, allowing people to develop their skills and acquire experience. Trade and technical careers also frequently offer employment security and high demand.

For instance, the demand for electricians is expected to grow steadily at 7% from 2021 to 2031 — based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, disadvantages could include restricted chances for advancement and potential wage ceilings in certain areas. Some professions requiring no degree might be less prestigious or well-known than positions requiring a degree.

Furthermore, lacking a formal degree might make it more challenging to switch industries or professions later, necessitating additional education or certifications.

How to Find a Job without a Degree?

Start by figuring out your skills, interests, and aptitudes if you want to locate a job without a degree. Look into fields and professions that fit these criteria and don't call for a degree. Use online employment boards, sector-specific websites, and neighborhood classified ads to look for openings.

Attend job fairs and industry events, and register for online discussion groups to meet people in your desired work area. To improve your abilities and show dedication to learning, consider obtaining certifications, attending workshops, or enrolling in online courses. Based on a survey, 60% of IT professionals say certifications lead to a new job.

Make a significant first impression with your resume and cover letter by emphasizing your relevant experience, successes, and soft skills. Lastly, practice common interview questions and demonstrate your enthusiasm and adaptability.

Challenges and Barriers

Social pressure to pursue traditional higher education and societal expectations may hinder obtaining a non-degree job. Even for jobs that don't require a degree, some employers might favor candidates who have one, limiting your options for employment.

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Due to the increasing number of graduates joining the job market, non-degree job seekers may encounter more intense competition. A lack of knowledge about non-degree career paths and the resources that can assist them may also exist.

Without the connections offered by a college setting, networking can be challenging. Lastly, non-degree job seekers might need help obtaining specialized training or certifications, which can hinder entry into some industries. Still, millions of workers entered the workforce with only a high-school diploma.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


We analyzed the 25 highest-paying professions worldwide that do not require a college degree by gathering data from various credible websites, including Indeed, RamseySolutions, the University of the People, and US news. Then we listed consensus highest-paying jobs in ascending order considering their average salaries. The salary information was gathered from Indeed.

25. Makeup Artist

Average Salary: $22,229

When a client is getting ready for a special event like a wedding, a photo shoot, or a theatre show, a makeup artist applies makeup to them. They employ their understanding of various products and techniques to give their customers the desired look.

24. Sports Coach

Average Salary: $38,043

A sports coach prepares and teaches participants in a given exercise or activity. To support the success of their squad, they design and carry out training programs, offer advice and feedback to athletes, and develop game plans.

23. Carpenter

Average Salary: $46,315

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A carpenter builds and fixes wooden constructions like furnishings, cabinets, and buildings. They take measurements, cut materials, assemble structures, place them, and fix deteriorated or old structures.

22. Power Plant Operator

Average Salary: $49,750

A power plant operator oversees and controls the performance of the machinery that produces electricity. They activate and deactivate machinery, modify controls to maintain proper power levels and monitor sensors and meters to ensure machinery operates as intended.

They also carry out regular upkeep and safety inspections. A power plant operator aims to produce consistent, effective power while assuring safety and legal compliance.

21. HVAC Technician

Average Salary: $50,590

HVAC technician installs, maintains, and repairs heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for domestic, commercial, and industrial buildings. They carry out routine upkeep to ensure the systems operate effectively and diagnose and repair HVAC equipment, such as furnaces and air conditioning units.

They also set up and manage thermostats and ductwork. An HVAC technician's responsibility is to ensure that the HVAC system is energy-efficient, compliant with building codes, and provides a comfortable and safe indoor atmosphere.

20. Plumber

Average Salary: $50,602

Plumbers construct, maintain, and repair pipes and plumbing fixtures for residential and business buildings. They follow plans, measure and cut pipelines, and put in fixtures like sinks, toilets, and showers. They also identify and fix plumbing problems like leakage and clogs. A plumber's primary duties include ensuring the plumbing system operates correctly and supplying the building's inhabitants with clean, safe water.

19. Masonry Worker

Average Salary: $52,336

Masonry workers build and fix structures using brick, concrete blocks, and other masonry materials. They analyze plans, measure and cut materials, mix and apply mortar, and arrange the materials according to a predetermined layout.

They also put in and fix retaining walls, fireplaces, and staircases. A masonry worker aims to produce stable, visually appealing structures that adhere to building codes and regulations.

18. Firefighter

Average Salary: $52,394

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An emergency scenario involving a fire, an accident, or hazardous materials is handled by a firefighter. They labor to put out fires, rescue people and animals, and aid those needing medical care.

They also conduct fire safety checks and routine maintenance on firefighting apparatus. Protecting people, property, and the ecosystem from the effects of fires and other emergencies is a firefighter's mission.

17. Wind Turbine Technician

Average Salary: $56,260

These technicians install, inspect, maintain, and repair wind turbines. They also identify and fix issues with turbines and associated machinery.

16. Fashion or Commercial Photographer

Average Salary: $57,804

Photographers capture images for various uses, including artistic, business, and private ones. For their intended effect, they record and manipulate images using a variety of cameras, lighting, and editing techniques.

15. Air Traffic Controller

Average Salary: $58,107

An air traffic controller manages the safe and effective aircraft movement within the airspace under their supervision. To ensure that all aircraft are safely separated, they monitor flight paths, give pilots instructions, plan takeoffs and landings, and interact with other air traffic controllers. They want to keep the flow of air travel going while avoiding collisions.

14. Electrician

Average Salary: $60,040

An electrician installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems for residential, commercial, and industrial structures. In addition to installing wiring and electrical components and testing electrical systems to ensure they operate correctly, they also read blueprints.

They also identify and fix electrical problems like bad wiring and power disruptions. An electrician is responsible for ensuring electrical systems are reliable, secure, and adhere to building codes.

13. Sales Representative

Average Salary: $61,348

On behalf of a business, a sales representative offers goods or services to clients. They locate prospective clients, create sales presentations, negotiate terms and conditions, and close deals.

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They also deal with customer queries and complaints while maintaining relationships with current clients. A sales representative aims to achieve or surpass sales goals while fostering long-lasting relationships with clients and promoting the company's goods and services.

Sales Rep is one of the most expansive careers to choose. They're found in virtually any company dealing in goods and services, including local stores, to major companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

12. Police Officer

Average Salary: $62,436

A police officer keeps the people safe while upholding the law. They react to calls for help, look into crimes, make arrests, and write tickets. By patrolling the designated area, stopping traffic, and interacting with the locals, they also try to avoid crime.

A police officer's objectives are to uphold law and order, safeguard the public, and foster a safe and secure neighborhood.

11. Hearing Aid Specialist

Average Salary: $63,680

Hearing tests are performed by a hearing aid expert, who also fits patients with hearing loss with hearing aids. They work closely with patients to comprehend their needs and preferences to make the best hearing aid recommendations.

The hearing aids are also continuously supported and maintained by them, including washing and adjusting them as necessary. A hearing aid specialist's mission is to enhance the standard of life for those who suffer from hearing loss by offering efficient hearing solutions.

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Disclosure: none. 25 Highest Paying Jobs in the World Without a Degree is originally published on Insider Monkey.


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