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Top 5 High-Paying Jobs No Degree Needed

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2020 and 2030, about 60% of new jobs added to the economy won’t require a college degree.

For those who can’t or don’t want to get a degree, there’s still a chance of earning big money. But where to start looking?

We gathered the five best high-paying jobs with no degree required you can get, including where to find them.

High-Paying Jobs No Degree Needed


  1. Real Estate Agent– Best for Extroverts
  2. Commercial Pilot – Best for Job Growth
  3. Sales Representatives – Best for Level-Headed People
  4. Plumber– Best for Handy Men/Women
  5. Private Investigator– Best for Retired Officers

Top 5 High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree

Here are the five highest-paying jobs you can get without having a degree, including their advantages, disadvantages, and where to find them:

1. Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are the highest-paid people that can work without a degree.

Their main responsibility is to sell as many properties as possible, living off the salary and the commission from the transactions. If you have a high school diploma and a lot of charm, you should take on the real estate business.

The median salary of a real estate agent is $45,325, according to Salary.com. However, this is not necessarily accurate, as many real estate agents work only part-time.

The truth is, there is no limit to this business. Some agents earn more money than the CEO of a mid-sized business in Texas. With enough hard work, drive, and dedication, you can too.


  • Career: The more you work in this business, the better you’ll understand it. Many talented real estate agents often end up with their firms and businesses, making ten times the money they could’ve with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Financial Benefits: Besides the salary, which isn’t that big, real estate agents often have a percentage out of the deal they close. For example, if you close a $1,000,000 deal with a 1% commission, you get yourself $10,000 easily.


  • Probability to Fail: Many people have tried this business, but just a few have reached the top. While this is not a physically demanding job, you’ll be drained emotionally and psychologically. Also, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to close great deals every month.

Top Place to Find the Job

Real estate agent jobs can be found on LinkedIn and Indeed. These are the sites with the most big companies present there.

2. Commercial Pilot

With some technical training and safety procedures, you can become a pilot even if you don’t have a college degree. And it’s one of the highest-paying jobs out there.

According to Salary.com, airline pilots can earn up to $200,000, while the median salary is $154,000.

However, it’s not that easy to become an airline pilot, as you’ll have to pass a certificate program where the Federal Aviation Administration will assess your abilities, both psychologically and academically.


  • Traveling: This is probably the main reason why being a pilot is a dream for many people. You’ll see as many countries and cities as you’d like, some multiple times. While you won’t usually have the opportunity to visit them, sometimes you’ll have a couple of days off to visit the city you’re in.
  • Great Benefits: Besides having a great salary, pilots also get better health benefits than usual workers. Also, airline companies can provide you with additional discounts for your holiday flights, meaning you and your family won’t have to deal with high prices.


  • Education Requirements: While you can land a job as a pilot without a degree, you can’t land it with just a high school diploma. You’ll have to go to a technical school where you’ll study aircraft mechanics and how commercial pilots work. Also, you’ll have a lot of on-the-job training, starting as a co-pilot.

Top Place to Find the Job

The best place to find a pilot job is on PilotCareer. They list all the open jobs with related details and a contact list.

3. Sales Representative

If you’re not afraid of high-stress environments, joining a sales team will be the best choice for you.

Sales reps, usually having a college degree in finance or marketing, can also be self-taught. With just a high school diploma and many witty comments, you can climb the ladder quickly.

In terms of salary and money, it depends on many factors. Many sales teams offer the minimum salary and give you a commission for every product you sell.

Others don’t even bother to give you a salary at all. It also depends on the company, the products you sell, and more.


  • Skill Boost: If you’re lucky enough to enter a team of professional sellers, you’ll get the best experience of your life. You’ll learn how to sell, how to communicate with clients, and how to build a client base. All this experience can be life-changing if you want to build a business eventually.
  • Money: Many sales teams offer huge bonuses for a given amount of products sold. So, if you’re successful at selling, you can turn over much more money than your usual salary, maybe even triple it.


  • High-Stress: It’s no secret that high-performance sales representatives are always stressed. You must complete a given amount of sales to be in constant touch with multiple clients, and the responsibility is huge.

Top Place to Find the Job

You should go for a job aggregator like Indeed or Glassdoor. Also, you can take on the initiative and start dialing some top companies that have sales jobs open.

4. Plumber

Plumbers specialize in the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They ensure the safe and efficient functioning of water supply, heating, and sanitation systems.

Usually, plumbers are independent contractors with flexible salaries. For example, one month, you do the plumbing in 100 houses, but the next month in only 50 houses. Hence, the salary will be different.

On average, an expert plumber can take up to $50 per hour.


  • Job Growth: The more you work, the more experience you gather, and your rate increases. You can extend your job duties, add more skills and types of materials you can work with. Also, you can take on a trade school while working to increase your knowledge further.
  • High Demand: As long as people live in buildings with pipes for water, plumbers will be needed. The demand for this job is huge, especially when you count on the fact that most teenagers want to become streamers and bloggers; 10 years from now, plumbers will make double the money.


  • Dirty Job: Plumbing is a little dirty as you’ll have to deal with pipes, drains, and sewage most of the time. This job is not for those that wash their hands every time they touch something.

Top Place to Find the Job

The best place to find a plumber job, if you live in a small town, is to go door by door and ask if somebody needs help. If you live in a big city, find some plumbing companies and look for jobs there.

Also, aggregators like GlassDoor and Indeed can help you with that.

5. Private Investigator

If you were once a police officer or just interested in working with people, you can get a license as a private investigator.

While you won’t need a diploma, you’ll need to take some specialized courses and learn some laws that will prevent you from getting yourself in jail.

Private investigators can make up to $70,000 per year with a lot of space for bonuses and other kinds of financial activities.


  • Help People: Private investigators can help people, not only in crime-related matters but with routine things. They can find out if your children are hiding something, if your older brother is smoking, or if your parents are drinking wine again, even if the doctors told them not to.
  • Job Growth: Private investigators are used not only by people but also by companies or law firms that need additional information about competitors. When the private investigator doesn’t cross the legal boundaries, the evidence he finds can be used in a court of law or in production.


  • Messy: As a private investigator, you’ll probably have to deal with requests that involve violence-related crimes. Only by taking these cases, you’ll be able to build up a reputation as a highly-valued professional.

Top Place to Find the Job

Private investigators are usually freelancers. You can upload your CV on LinkedIn or spread the word through a local law firm or network of friends and relatives.

Similar Jobs

Here are some other jobs that don’t require a degree you might also find interesting:

  • Travel Agent: Travel agents help individuals and groups plan and book travel arrangements. They use experience and expertise to find the best option for you, often without needing a college degree.
  • Product Tester: While this profession requires certain skills, they can easily be acquired without a college degree. A high school diploma and some courses will be enough for you to master the art of product testing.
  • Voiceover Professional: You can start a career in the voiceover industry without an associate degree. You only need a high school diploma and some courses to get you started. After that, you’ll pass a lot of on-the-job training, as the job requires you to understand the underlying tech and some related practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Find a Job Without a College Degree?

Yes, you can. There are hundreds of jobs where you don’t need a college degree. You only need to focus on having a work ethic and constantly improving your skill set.

What Are The Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree?

There are a multitude of high-paying jobs that don’t need a degree, such as power plant operators, wind turbine service technicians, nuclear power reactor operators, subway and streetcar operators, police officers, and executive assistants.

Do All Jobs Require a College Degree?

No, they don’t. According to GoodJobsData, more than 30 million jobs in the United States pay an average of $55,000 annually and don’t require bachelor’s degrees.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, you can acquire high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree and can also have great job growth in the future. Everything you need is just a little bit of skill and patience.

You can even start today by making your CV and sending it to your local plumbing company or your local real estate agency!

What did you think of our article? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to share it to let other people without degrees and looking for high-paying jobs know.

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