Top 22 High Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Bachelor’s Degrees

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In this article there are 22 top paying jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Don’t have time to pursue a college degree?

Well… fret not!

Because according to Bureau of Labor Statistics

…you can bring in over $100,000 a year without getting a bachelor’s degree.

See also – Vocational Training Programs/Courses list (TRADE COURSE) -Key Benefits

Top 22 High Paying Jobs

The below occupations salary range from $30,000 – $100,000 annually.

Let’s look a little bit at each occupation:

1. Appliance Repairer- $43,640 annually


This category of workers includes individuals who work on air conditioning, heating and refrigeration.

To work as an appliance repairer, you may need to enroll in a technical school since employers may need to see the qualifications.

The programs can take between 6 months and 2 years of study.

The repairers earn between $43,640 annually.

2. Paralegal Assistants – $46,990 annually

successful business planThese are people who assist lawyers to prepare and file legal documents.

They also work as administrators and conduct legal research.

While there are paralegals with bachelors degrees, most of them have associate degrees or certificate in paralegal studies.

Demand for paralegals is very high and on average they earn $46,990 annually.

3. Computer Service Technicians – $48,900 annually

computer-technicianIndividuals working under this category assist organizations and customers to use equipment and software and therefore computer knowledge is important.

Employers will look for individuals who have taken computer related courses.

They (employers) will mostly hire applicants with associate’s degrees even though there are some who prefer people with bachelor’s degree.

The average earning in this category is $48,900 annually.

4. Electricians – $49,980 annually

Young adult electrician builder engineer screwing equipment in fTo become an electrician, you will not need a college degree.

However, training is important considering the high stakes nature of the job.

Electricians start by attending a technical school and afterwards they pass through an apprenticeship program which may take up to five years.

Some states will also require licensing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting the employment in this category to expand by 20% which indicates higher demand.

The average annual pay for electricians is $49,980.

5. Respiratory Therapists – $55,890 annually or $26.86 per hour

respiratory-therapy-schools The therapists assist patients with breathing problems including people suffering emphysema.

Their demand is high in medical facilities like hospitals but there are others who make home visits.

To work as a respiratory therapist, you will need an associate degree and the necessary licensing.

The therapists on average earn $55,890 annually or $26.86 per hour.

6. Multimedia Artists – $61,370 annually

These are people who create visual effects and animations for the media outlets.

Even though the labor departments say that most of the people working in this field have bachelor’s degrees, a university degree isn’t necessary.

Training in graphics, computer animations or any related field will land you on the job.

Expectedly, the job demand in this category may continue growing at a 6%.

And the annually earnings for multimedia artists is $61,370.

7. Web Developers – $62,500 annually 


Web developers work to design and create websites.

In this career coding knowledge and talent is important than a college degree for this career.

Even though most developers have associate degrees, most employers will need to see excellent coding and HTML knowledge.

Experience in graphic design may also be important.

The average annual pay in this category is $62,500.

8. Registered Nurses – $65,470 annually

To be a registered nurse you will need an associate degree from an approved nursing program.

And the demand for registered nurses is high considering the aging American population.

The annual salary for registered nurses is $65,470 annually.

9. Dental Hygienists – $70,210 annually

To work as a dental hygienist you will need an associate degree in dental hygiene.

After attaining the associate degree, you will again need a license.

But the demand for the hygienists is high considering the aging population and the people who need to maintain their original teeth.

The annual pay for this job is $70,210 annually.

10. Plumber – $37,650 annually

This might not be among the most glamorous jobs but it is among the highly paying jobs.

Demand for plumbers is very high since pipes will always need fixing, new construction and replacement.

To be a plumber, you will need to go through a four or five year apprenticeship.

The average annual pay for plumbers is $37,650.

11. Construction Supervisors – $77,376 annually

To become a construction supervisor, you won’t need a degree even though you might need to pay your dues for some years.

You may need to work on construction sites for four or five years before taking the supervisor position.

And the average annual pay for supervisors is $77,376.

12. Brick Mason – $35,860 annually

This is an old fashioned job but a higher paying one.

To be a brick mason, you have to start with three to four paid apprenticeship years in which you will learn everything concerning bricks.

You can also attain a masonry program from a technical school which may take two years.

On average masons will earn $35,860 annually.

13. Gas Plant Operator – $63,000 annually

To be a gas plant operator you will need a high school diploma or an equivalent with the relevant training.

Gas plant operator’s process and distribute gas to the utility companies and can’t be replaced with artificial machinery.

The annual average pay for gas plant operators is $63,000.

14. Electrical Power Line Installers – $64,170 annually

To work as an electrical power line installer, you will need a high school diploma.

With many electrical lines going up day after day, the demand for the installers is very high.

On average power line installers earn -$64,170 annually.

15. Mail Carriers and Superintendents – $54,000 annually

Even though emails have changed how people communicated in the past, snail mail is still alive.

The demand for postal jobs may be low but if you can get one, don’t decline.

The annual pay for mail carriers per year is $54,000 on average.

16. Transportation Inspectors – $65,950 annually

This is another job that only needs a high school diploma or the equivalent.

The inspectors check taxi meters; they double check cargo and ensure that wheel chair ramps are up to the standard.

The inspectors will earn an annual average salary of $65,950.

17. Gaming Managers – $66,200 annually

For the last few decades, the gaming industry has been growing but it hasn’t grown much.

And moreover, the industry is always expanding.

To oversee operations in a casino, you will need a high school diploma.

On average gaming managers earn $66,200 each year on average.

18. Power Plant Operators – $68,100 annually

Most power plant operators have high school diplomas with relevant training.

In the current world, almost everything needs power to operate including the device you are using to read this.

And you should thank power plant operators for that since they oversee all the power generation and transmission process.

The annual average pay for these individuals is $68,100.

19. Criminal Investigators and Detectives – $76,000 annually

This career doesn’t require any qualification higher than a high school diploma.

You will only need to pass drug tests along with physical and written tests.

Then you will need to go through training in a police academy.

And after working for some years as a police officer, you may start working as a detective or criminal investigator.

The average annual pay for this job is $76,000.

20. Transportation, Distribution and Storage Manager – $33,850 annually

With transportation, distribution and storage market always growing demand for these managers is high.

A transport manager will generally plan and direct the logistics involved with shipping and warehousing.

To work as a transport manager, you will need a high school diploma and the average annual pay is $33,850.

21. Sales Representatives – $93,200 annually

This is one of the easiest and well paying jobs that don’t need vocational or college education.

You only need interpersonal skills and high motivation to work.

Almost every industry will need sales representatives with the average annual pay standing at $93,200.

22. Purchasing Manager – $91,431 annually

Most people think that all purchase managers do is to buy stuff.

But in addition to the purchases they make, they interview vendors, evaluate demand and costs, negotiate contracts and review the quality of products.

To work as a purchase manager you will need a high school diploma.

And the annual average pay for the managers is $91,431.

Top 22 High Paying Jobs [Summary]

Job TitleAnnual Avg. Salary
Appliance Repairer$43,640
Paralegal Assistants$46,990
Computer Service Technicians$48,900
Respiratory Therapists$55,890
Multimedia Artists$61,370
Web Developers$62,500
Registered Nurses$65,470
Dental Hygienists$70,210
Construction Managers$105,000
Brick Mason$35,860
Gas Plant Operator$63,000
Electrical Power Line Installers$64,170
Mail Carriers & Superintendents$54,000
Transportation Inspectors$65,950
Gaming Managers$66,200
Power Plant Operators$68,100
Criminal investigators & Detectives$76,000
Transportation, Distribution & Storage Manager$33,850
Sales Representatives$93,200
Purchasing Manager$91,431

Final Thoughts

I hope you got some ideas from this list and that you found the information useful.

If there’s anything you’d like to add or to say I would be happy to hear about it in the comments below.


Frequently Asked Questions

What jobs make 100k a year without college?

There are several jobs that pay more than $100,000 without a college degree.

You may not start at that level, but it is still good pay, and you can work your way to $100,000 quickly.

Commercial pilots are the highest paid, elevator installers and air traffic controllers are also very well paid.

A business has the potential for unlimited earnings, but there is also substantial risk.

How can I get rich without going to college?

Many people get rich without going to college.

It takes a little luck, but with some basic expertise, it is possible.

Becoming a commercial pilot is one way, and owning your own business is another legitimate way to get rich.

Jobs in sales can make you rich if you are successful enough.

You could also get rich by being a star athlete or a star music performer without college.

How can I make money from home?

There are many ways to make money from home, and those ways only increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

You could sell products and services online, whether your own or for someone else.

Becoming a freelance writer, photographer, or editor are also solid options for working from home.

Make and sell a product like candles or cookies.

How much can you make repairing appliances?

Repairing home appliances can be a profitable home-based business.

You can offer lower prices than big box stores because of the lack of overhead expenses, and if you are good, you will find a loyal following when people need repairs.

You can make an average of $20 an hour, and maybe much more than that depending on your location.

How do I advertise my trade business?

One of the most popular ways to advertise a trade business is on the Internet.

It is easy to create a small website and could be worth it to buy some advertising on related websites.

Getting your name out there is the key.

Signs are a good way of building name recognition.

Do a good job and ask customers to spread the word.

  1. Avatar for Dave Dave

    I’m sorry but a lot of these jobs want you to have a bachelors degree or a level of apprenticeship that lasts just as long. I have been in sales for over 20 years now and we never hire someone without either a degree or 5 years of proven sales experience (the degree is easier) . My gf is a MHNP (mental health nurse practitioner) and an RN before that and she said that if someone who had an associate degree the hospital would require them to get their BS in a certain amount of time. Oddly they left out imaging tech for health care that is still a 2 year program. Also these salaries seem all wrong sure you can make 96k in sales but starting off the only way you make 96k is through commission not salary.

  2. Avatar for Knowledge Knowledge

    This is not true because you do need a bachelor’s degree to be an RN!

    1. Avatar for Maggy Maggy

      That depends on the state you are from, not all require a bachelor degree.

  3. Avatar for Kofi Kofi

    Hi Roy
    Thanks for the information. I am from Ghana and would like to find out if there are scholarship schemes available for those of us outside USA and more so if you can help with what type of visa we are to apply for. I am much interested in the vocational training. Thank you

  4. Avatar for Carl Carl

    Hello, please I’m looking for heavy equipment operator training schools in Germany or Denmark to enroll myself into. Can you kindly assist me get intouch with some few schools offering this? Thanks.

  5. Avatar for TIMOTHY TIMOTHY

    Hello Good day ,Good day, I would like to know whether there is opportunity for aspiring international student to learn a craft in Canada especially appliance repairer and brick mason. thanks.

    1. Avatar for Scott Miller Scott Miller

      Sorry Timothy but I don’t have the information you seek about Canada.

  6. […] Don’t have the time or energy to invest in earning a bachelor’s degree? Worry not! There are plenty of high paying jobs that require, at the most, a diploma. Keep reading this article to know about the top-paying jobs that don’t need a bachelor degree. To know about more jobs that don’t require a degree visit 22 top paying jobs that don’t need bachelor degree. […]


    Is this for canadan alone?
    Afolalabi Gbenga from Nigeria.

    1. Avatar for Scott Miller Scott Miller

      These salary averages are done in US Dollars, these careers however might be something you can check in your country as well.
      Good luck!

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