Categories: Careers

The Highest-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require An Undergraduate Degree

The highest-paying jobs are often in industries like tech and medicine, which often require a lot of education and time to rise up the ladder. But, just because you never graduated from college and aren’t qualified to snag a career in one of those specific fields doesn’t mean you still can’t earn a high-paying salary. In fact, there are plenty of jobs out there that don’t require a college degree and still pay really well.

While you may feel inferior to those who have a bunch of degrees hanging on their walls in a fancy office, we’re here to remind you that some of the highest-paying jobs are ones that a lot of schooling isn’t necessary for. If you’re on the hunt for a gig over $65,000 per year, you may want to check out some of these jobs.

Web Developer ($66,000)

We all know that tech boot camps are becoming more and more popular, so it might be worth attending one to enhance your tech skills to become a web developer. As one of the highest-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college degree, this career is beneficial in that it builds and maintains websites and web applications, so you’ll have a hand in how users around the globe interact with one another, which is pretty cool.

Registered Nurse ($68,000)

With an expected 15 percent job growth, just because you don’t have an undergraduate degree doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for this profession. An associate’s degree or a diploma from a nursing program are required, however, but not a four-year diploma.

Dental Hygienist ($72,000)

Another medical-like profession that’s growing fast with an expected rate of 20 percent, being a dental hygienist takes an associate degree and some licensing. Cleaning teeth prior to a dentist coming in for a full check-up, this is a career that usually requires strong interpersonal skills.

Detective/Criminal Investigator ($78,000)

Ever dream about being the detective who cracks a big case? Well, if so, you’re in luck, because one of the highest-paying jobs that doesn’t require an undergraduate degree is a detective. With a growth rate of about seven percent, this profession isn’t easy, as it’s both physically and mentally exhausting, but with an associate’s degree and training in the police academy, it’s attainable.

Power Plant Operator ($78,000)

Requiring just a high school diploma and lots of on-the-job training (about 8-10 years worth,) a power plant operator must be responsive and reliable in case any electrical problems arise. It’s not an easy job, with long and odd hours, but no one said earning a high salary would be simple.

Network Systems Administrator ($79,000)

Growing at an average rate at about six percent, becoming a Network Systems Administrator does require either an associate’s degree or some postsecondary education, but it’s one of the highest-paying jobs on this list because of the responsibilities that it carries. In this career, you’ll be responsible for all IT solutions for a company, becoming the expert when technical things (presumably) come up.

Radiation Therapist ($80,000)

Although becoming a radiation therapist is a tough profession to break into, the job itself is both rewarding and pays really well. With a 13 percent expected growth rate, this job requires an associate’s degree and, in most states, a certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Transportation/Storage/Distribution Manager ($89,000)

Are you highly organized and enjoy logistics and tracking shipments? If so, this is a high-paying career you might want to consider. Just requiring an associate’s degree and on-the-job training with about five years experience, a transportation/storage/distribution manager can earn big bucks for making sure things are delivered on-time and tracked appropriately during the process.

Commercial Pilot ($105,000)

Commercial pilots are on the list of the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a degree, but, as you’d expect, this isn’t a job for the feint of heart. With the responsibility of delivering a safe flight for all passengers on a plane, a commercial pilot needs to stay cool under pressure and have superb hand-eye coordination. In addition to a high school diploma, a certified pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required.

Air Traffic Controller ($122,000)

Much like the aforementioned commercial pilot, an air traffic controller requires some sort of training and a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All hopeful candidates for this job also must receive an associate’s degree from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI), but the reward is a high-paying gig, so it’s worth it in the end.

Lead image via Getty

The Editorial Staff

The Editorial staff are financial enthusiasts and analysts from across America. Their profession expertise extends to corporate consulting, accounting, and financial strategy.

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