31 Jobs That Pay $50K Without a Bachelor’s Degree

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Jobs That Pay $50K

If you are looking for a job that can guarantee you a decent living, you’ll be surprised how many options there are.

It is pretty easy to find a job that doesn’t require 4-year training and can provide you with $50K in income.

There are numerous careers in such spheres as transportation, hospitality, insurance, health care, IT, and sales spheres.

All these sectors offer job options for people with two years or less training.

The fact is that $50 000 per year can hardly be considered a huge income.

Just think what hourly rate you need to have to earn $50K annually.

Having a full-time job, you need to earn about $24 per hour so you can get $50K per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that an average hourly rate throughout the USA is about $22,63.

In other words, if you want to earn $50 000 per year, you need to look for jobs that provide an average annual income.

The greatest thing is that there’s no need to spend four years on training so you can get one of those positions.

We’ve prepared a list of great careers for those who want to earn about $50K per year.

The list is divided into several sections according to the required training.

Jobs That Pay $50K a Year Without a Degree

Vocational Training, Career Options, $50K Income, No Degree

You’ll be surprised how many jobs can provide you with a great income without long-term training.

Below, you find job options that do not require 4-year college training and can be started with just a little training.

In most cases, you’ll only need to obtain a certification, enroll in an apprenticeship, or simply complete some on-the-job training.

So, here is our list of careers that can provide you with $50K annually without a college degree.

Commercial Pilot

If flying through the sky is your dream, you should consider becoming a commercial pilot.

These special earn money by flying a plane for corp dusting, search, photography, rescue, and firefighting purposes.

Usually, you do not need to have a degree to be able to work as a commercial pilot.

To enroll in this career, you need to complete some short training programs approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)and obtain your certification.

In order to get your license, you need to complete at least 250 hours of practice.

Median salary—$82,240

Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators are specialists that control and maintain various complex equipment at power plants.

It involves different machines that generate and distribute electricity.

The list of responsibilities of these specialists includes energy production monitoring, equipment adjustments, and repairs.

To get an entry-level position, you usually need to have only a high-school diploma.

However, some employers may ask you to complete college training in the related sphere.

Median salary—$79,610


If you want to earn about $50K per year but don’t want to spend years on your training, you should consider applying for one of the farming occupations.

Most farmers get trained while supporting family farm or college programs in agriculture.

Farmers are people who plant and harvest different vegetables, fruits, and crops.

Also, they may be responsible for machinery maintenance and farm management including the supervision of hired workers.

Median salary—$67,950

Insurance Claims Adjuster

Insurance claim adjusters are specialists that held investigations on various insurance claims.

They gather info about property damages and personal information injuries in order to decide on the number of insurance payments.

The great thing is that you don’t need to have specific training to apply for this career as only information-gathering and interviewing skills matter.

In some states, you need to get a license so you can work as an insurance claim adjuster.

Median salary—$65,900


If you want to become a boilermaker, you can learn how to install and maintain tanks, vats, and boilers through an apprenticeship.

These specialists are responsible for the boilers’ assembly, repair and even replacement of broken parts.

You can consider obtaining a certification in welding as additional training.

Median salary—$62,150

Aircraft Mechanic

While some people decide to pursue an aviation maintenance program at an FAA-approved school in order to become an aircraft mechanic, there is another option.

You can get some on-the-job training right after graduating from high school.

Bolt these options will let you enter the field and get a fruitful career with a good income.

Median salary—$62,920

Police Officer

If you want to help people and protect them, the career of a police officer can be exactly what you need.

Moreover, you do not need to complete some long-lasting training as a short course in law reinforcement will be enough.

Usually, you need to complete a course at a police academy and complete some apprenticeship.

Just keep in mind that this career requires excellent physical fitness.

Median salary—$61,380

Railroad Conductor

To become a railroad conductor, you just need to complete some on-the-job training.

After it, you will be able to manage and coordinate train crews daily.

Working on passenger trains, these workers announce stations, check tickets, and make sure that the passengers are safe.

Speaking of freight trains, conductors are responsible for the control of cargo loading and unloading.

Median salary—$62,930

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative

In most cases, you don’t need to have a degree in other to get a job in wholesale and manufacturing sales.

Usually, you can get some on-the-job training after getting a job in the sphere.

However, you should consider completing some courses in communication, marketing, and sales techniques to make your job easier and more fruitful.

Median salary—$58,510

Postal Service Clerk

Postal service clerks are in great demand in all post offices all over the country.

They sort mail, sell stamps and envelopes, calculate postage and help customers.

No degree is required for this career but all candidates are obligated to pass a written test.

Also, you need to complete a background check, as well as a short on-the-job training.

Median salary—$55,280


An electrician is a specialist who knows how to install and maintain various electrical systems.

They can work in residential buildings, offices, facilities, and so on.

To enroll in this career, you can apply for a four-year apprenticeship after graduating a high school.

One other option is to complete a specialized training program at a trade school, read here more info on how to become an electrician.

Median salary—$55,190

Telecommunications Line Installer and Repairer

Telecommunications lines are very important nowadays as they are required for cable TV, telephone, and Internet services.

Telecommunications line installers and repairers install, maintain, and repair these lines.

Considering the importance of their work, these specialists usually have a good income.

Moreover, you do not need to have a degree and can start your career with just a little on-the-job training.

Median salary—$54,890

Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Operator

Mine cutting and channeling operators are specialists who use specific machinery and equipment to create tunnels under the ground.

These specialists should know how to use, maintain, and repair various equipment such as longwall shears and cutting machines.

Also, they are responsible for the installation of roof supports in tunnels.

To start your career in this sphere, you can get some on-the-job training.

Median salary—$47,170

Structural Iron and Steel Worker

Structural iron and steel workers install various steel and iron structures at construction sites.

If you are interested in this career, you can enroll in the apprenticeship or just get on-the-job training offered by some employers.

A certification in welding is a great opportunity to boost your career.

Median salary—$53,970


To be able to work as a plumber, you aren’t obligated to obtain a college degree.

If you want to learn how to install and maintain pipes, you need to enroll in an apprenticeship.

Of course, you can get some prior training by enrolling in a training program at a vocational or trade school.

Median salary—$53,910

Advertising Sales Agent

To be a successful advertising sales agent, it is more important to have communication with, charisma, and the ability to connect with people.

All these points are more important than any academic credentials.

Advertising sales agents are specialists who sell ad time and space for companies.

The main skill, any advertising sales agent should have is the ability to build and develop relationships with customers.

Median salary—$51,740

$50,000-a-Year Jobs That Require Work Experience But No Degree

Vocational Training, Career Options, $50K Income, On-the-Job Training

One other great way to achieve a $50K income is to get enough working experience.

Below, there’s a list of careers that do not require a degree but you need to have some experience to get a good salary.

Subway Operator

Subway operators manage subway trains in order to help people move around the city.

Usually, to be able to work in this sphere, you need to have an experience as a bus driver and complete some extra training.

During a short training course, you’ll learn about operating subway cars and other similar vehicles.

After completing this short training, you will be obligated to complete a written exam.

Median salary—$68,170

Building Inspector

To work as a building inspector, you do not need to have a degree however some relevant experience is required.

There are lots of specialists in this sphere who started their careers as plumbers, carpenters, or plumbers.

These specialists inspect and evaluate various components of buildings to ensure that they meet the requirements of the construction codes.

Usually, building inspectors get their training on the job.

Median salary—$59,700

Fire Inspector

Usually, to become a fire inspector, you should get some real-world experience as a firefighter.

Using the obtained experience, you will be able to identify fire hazards on different sites including residential buildings, offices, public facilities, and so on.

In some cases, fire inspectors are obligated to get certified.

Median salary—$62,510

Property Manager

To get a job as a property manager, you need to have a high-school diploma as well as some experience in real estate.

Property managers hold building inspections, deal with maintenance and repair issues, communicate with prospective tenants, and collect rent payments.

In some states, property managers should have a license or some professional credentials.

Median salary—$58,340

Food Service Manager

After high-school graduation and gaining some working experience as a cook, you have an opportunity to pursue a food service manager career.

These specialists are responsible for ordering supplies, creating schedules, hiring new workers, dealing with customers’ requests, and ensuring that food standards are properly followed.

If you want to increase your chances to get a high-paying job, you should earn some additional certifications.

Median salary—$54,240

Jobs That Pay $50K a Year With an Associate’s Degree

Vocational Training, Career Options, $50K Income, Associate's Degree

After obtaining an associate’s degree in your field of interest, you can a prospective career in different spheres such as healthcare, IT, and hospitality.

Below, there’s a list of great career options that can provide you with $50K income after obtaining an associate’s degree.

Nuclear Technician

After obtaining a degree in nuclear technology, you can monitor different equipment at nuclear power plants and naval ships.

Usually, these specialists make different measures to find the level of radiation.

Also, they maintain, adjust, and repair equipment and machinery that are used for work with nuclear power.

Median salary—$79,140

Dental Hygienist

With an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, you can start a career as a dental hygienist.

These specialists help people clean and polish their teeth to make them healthier as well as take X-rays.

Also, they are responsible for patients’ education in order to teach them about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Just keep in mind that you should have a license so you can work in this sphere.

Median salary—$74,820

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Ultrasounds are widely used in the healthcare industry and medicine.

This technology allows using high-frequency sound waves for getting images of tissue, muscles, vessels, and organs in the human body.

To be able to get a job in this sphere, you need to obtain an associate’s degree in sonography or a certificate in the field.

You aren’t obligated to have any certification but it is a great way to increase your chances to get a well-paying job.

Median salary—$72,510

Aerospace Engineering Technician

If you are fascinated with various objects that can fly, a career of an aerospace engineering technician is a great option for you.

These specialists help to create and test various components used in the aircraft and spacecraft industries.

They are responsible for the equipment calibration, performing computer simulations, troubleshooting faulty items, and so on.

To be able to enroll in this position, you need to have an associate’s degree in engineering technology.

If you are going to apply for defense-related positions, you will also be obligated to complete security clearance.

Median salary—$67,010

Web Developer

There are numerous amazing websites that were created by people with excellent computer programming and graphic design skills.

Web developers are responsible for both the visual and technical sides of any website.

Of course, lots of developers decide to specialize in one certain aspect.

Most employers give preference to qualified specialists with an associate’s degree in web design.

Median salary—$69,430

Computer Network Support Specialist

If you want to become a computer network support specialist, you can choose one of the numerous ways to achieve your goal and an associate’s degree is one of them.

These specialists use digital data networks in order to analyze and solve various problems.

Also, they are responsible for the standard network maintenance to ensure that everything works smoothly.

Median salary—$62,770

Radiologic Technologist

To be able to work with x-rays and computed tomography (CT), you need to obtain an associate’s degree in a related field.

You can get certified in such specialties as mammography, medical resonance imaging (MRI) technology, and others.

Just keep in mind that in most states, you should have a license so you can work as a radiologic technologist.

Median salary—$59,520

Hotel Manager

If you are interested in a career in the hotel business, you should consider becoming a hotel manager after obtaining an associate’s degree.

These specialists help travelers who look for comfortable accommodations all over the world.

The list of their responsibilities includes HR issues, room rates setting, budget management, and ensuring that clients get the best service.

Just keep in mind that this career requires excellent leadership and customer service skills.

Median salary—$53,390

Court Reporter

If you know how to keep your concentration and can capture all details, a court reporter career can be a great option for you.

Using various equipment such as stenography machines, they record every word that is said during trials, hearings, and depositions.

To get a job in this sphere, you need to have an associate’s degree while some extra training in criminal justice can add some extra points to your resume.

Median salary—$57,150

Hearing Aid Specialist

Hearing aid specialists help patients find the best hearing aid options according to their needs.

After making different measures, they determine the device that will fit the patient’s physical parameters and level of hearing.

They are also eligible to send patients to audiologists in order to complete some advanced testing.

Median salary—$52,770

Get Positioned for Success

As you can see there are many more career options that offer $50K income than you can imagine.

If you feel like pursuing one of these careers, do not waste your time.

Just brush up your skills and knowledge if necessary and start your successful career.

You can get the required training at one of your local colleges, trade schools, and tech institutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

It takes about two years to become a commercial pilot, and longer if you want to fly big passenger airplanes.

A private flying license takes 40 hours of training.

A commercial pilot certificate takes 250 hours of training.

An airline transport pilot license takes 1500 more hours of training.

It takes most people between two and three years, but there are accelerated programs that can be completed in two years.

What to study to become a pilot?

Most pilot training involves actual flying.

To get to that point studying subjects like aviation, science, and aerospace engineering will help you become a pilot faster.

If you have a BS or BA in one of those subjects, you will have a lot better chance of getting accepted into a flight training program.

Is electrician a good career for the future?

Being an electrician is a solid career, and it appears it will be a good career to get into for the next several years.

Government agencies predict a 14 percent increase in jobs through 2024, which is more than average for any career.

Electricians also make more than the national average of all jobs, so the pay is good.

There is demand all over the country so you would have a lot of options to live wherever you want.

How difficult is farming?

Farming is not nearly as hard as it used to be because of technology.

In 1900 it took a dozen people more than a week to harvest 100 acres of wheat.

Today one person can do that before lunch with a tractor.

The challenge now is how to make it profitable, and technology again is making that easier and more effective.

Can farming make you rich?

There are some wealthy farmers, but most farmers are not wealthy.

It can make you rich, but you need a lot of luck, and you must farm a large area.

Even then the weather can wreak havoc on your operation and wipe out your income for the year.

Farming is not the most lucrative career out there, but if you can afford the equipment, it can be very profitable.

What is a boilermaker salary?

Boilermakers make about $30,000 per year to start, and that can go up to $99,000 over the course of a career depending on experience.

Boilermakers install, build, and work on large metal containers that hold either water or gas.

It is a highly skilled job and one that pays pretty well in most parts of the country.

Where can boilermakers work?

Boilermakers create big vessels that handle – and may boil – liquids or gasses.

These jobs are industrial jobs and there are not all that many of them.

This is a unique skill that is hard to learn.

There are not a lot of jobs, but not of a lot of candidates either.

Most work for a company of some kind that needs large boilers.

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