10 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College DegreePosted June 28, 2022, 3:00 pm by
Looking for jobs that don't require a degree? Not interested in paying for four years of expensive university tuition? Trying to convince your parents that there's good reasons to not got to college? Then this is the TeenLife blog for you!
There are lots of reasons why a student might decide not to go to college. For many families, college is just too expensive, and with the cost of higher education rising, even scholarships and other financial aid opportunities aren't enough. Other students -- especially those who take a gap year or gap semester -- may find that the idea of more institutional learning just isn't for them. Still other may be interested or required to join the workforce immediately after high school.
Whatever the reason, the fact is this: college is not the end-all-be-all that it once was and may not the best option for some students. That's why we've put together this list of 10 high-paying jobs that don't require a degree!
10 Jobs That Don't Require a Degree
Below, you're find a list of 10 high-paying jobs that don't require a college degree. Click on each one to learn more about median salary, unemployment rates, and expected job growth in the next ten years. Or, scroll down and explore the whole list!
- Home Health Aid
- Wind Turbine Technician
- Recreation and Fitness Worker
- Massage Therapist
- Landscaper and Groundkeeper
- Security Guard
- Restaurant Cook
- Computer Support Specialist
While many of the jobs listed here are specific careers that we encourage students to explore, they represent only a fraction of the many jobs that don't require a degree. In fact, every job included below can be seen as representative of an entire industry that supports, encourages and requires workers without a college degree. Healthcare, IT, security, repairs and more -- these industries have hundreds of different careers available that don't require degrees, not just the ones named below.
Lastly, it's important to note that the accessibility, education requirements and salary of the jobs listed below may vary dramatically based on where you live. Many of these jobs do not ask for a specific degree, but they do require certain special skills and other experience from their applicants. For that reason, it's best to use this list as a starting point for your research. See which jobs don't require a degree, and then explore in detail the opportunities available closer to where you live!
All occupational data in this article comes from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics
10 Jobs That Don't Require a Degree
1. Home Health Aid
Median salary: $27,080
Unemployment rate: 6.9%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 1,129,900
Healthcare and medicine is one of the largest emerging fields fields that is full of jobs that don't require a degree. As the world's population grows older on average, home health aids, personal care aids, and other at-home healthcare workers are expected to be in high demand in the coming years. For more information on home health aids, personal care aids and other healthcare jobs that don't require a degree, check out TeenLife's Guide to Your Future in Healthcare, a free resource available now.
2. Wind Turbine Technicians
Median salary: $56,230
Unemployment rate: N/A
Expected new job openings by 2030: 4,700
Technicians, mechanics and other repair specialists are some of the high earning workers without college degrees. Technician positions across a number of industries have no degree requirement, but one of the most interesting is this specialized position that deals with maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing turbines that provide renewable energy. As clean and renewable energy continues to grow in the coming years, this is a great field for interested students to watch.
3. Recreation and Fitness Worker
Median salary: $31,250
Unemployment rate: 17.6%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 179,500
Whether they're working in a gym, leading outdoor recreation courses, or acting as a personal one-on-one trainer, workers in the recreation and fitness industry are bouncing back in a big way. Between the explosion of online fitness communities, the high earnings of fitness influencers on social media, and the general public's return to fitness and recreation post-pandemic, this is a great industry to look for jobs that don't require a degree. Many jobs in this industry will require professional certifications through an industry group, but most do not require a college degree.
4. Massage Therapist
Median salary: $43,620
Unemployment rate: 17.6%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 46,500
While becoming a massage therapist requires quite a bit of intensive, in-depth training, very few massage therapy positions require a degree of any kind. This makes the position of a massage therapist a very promising one for students looking for jobs that don't require a degree. Additionally, work as a massage therapist can set students up for success in a career in healthcare of other types of physical therapy.
5. Landscaper and Groundskeeper
Median salary: $31,730
Unemployment rate: 2.9%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 85,000
Landscaping and groundskeeping can be intense, physical work, but for those looking for well-paying jobs that don't require a degree, it can be a fantastic option. In many countries, there is always a demand for this work, and the skills needed on the job can be quickly taught and learned.
Median salary: $56,900
Unemployment rate: 6.2%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 66,100
While electrician positions do not require a degree, they, like many of the other trades, require extensive apprenticeship and training. Still though, this training and education is much, much cheaper than a full college education, and the pay for even a novice electrician can be very competitive and attractive. Students looking for jobs that don't require a degree should definitely consider the trades and other technical positions in their search.
Median salary: $43,760
Unemployment rate: N/A
Expected new job openings by 2030: 16,700
There are hundreds of amazing acting and performing arts college programs out there, but the fact of the matter is that not everyone who wants to be an actor needs to go to school for it. In fact, with the advent of social media, the internet and influencer culture, it's easier than ever before to be an actor and performer without any professional training. Even if you're not in Hollywood immediacy, opportunities in commercials, training videos, web productions and more abound.
8. Security Guard
Median salary: $31,050
Unemployment rate: 7.7%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 154,200
Security guards positions come in all different forms -- workers can screen passengers at transportation hubs, serve as security at a museum or other public space, or guard warehouses at night. Security and even certain types of police work require little to no higher education or training.
9. Restaurant Cook
Median salary: $28,800
Unemployment rate: 16.4%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 563,500
Like with a number of other jobs on this list, cooks can and may go to school, but many positions in their industry do not require it. For foodies or those who love to cook, climbing the ranks of a private or commercial kitchen can be an exciting, fulfilling and high-paying career.
10. Computer Support Specialist
Median salary: $52,690
Unemployment rate: 5%
Expected new job openings by 2030: 58,000
A computer support specialist helps troubleshoot a number of technical issues for clients. More broadly though, positions in information technology, computer science and other similar fields are perhaps the best example of an industry leading the charge when it comes to jobs that don't require a college degree. Positions in this field are almost always skills-based, and while many schools offer compressive computer science degrees, many of the concepts taught can and are often learned by dedicated workers at home.
Conclusion: Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree
We hope this list of 10 high-paying jobs that don't require a college degree has helped give insight into the many career possibilities that exist for students who don't go on to a college or university. The world and the workforce are rapidly changing, so stay tuned right here at TeenLife for constant updates on how to launch teens into life!