Who says you have to obtain a college degree to have a stable, high-paying career? The truth is that, with rising tuition costs and the demand for skilled workers skyrocketing, many jobs that don’t require a degree are paying more than ever before. That’s not to say that aspiring to get a degree is a bad thing, only that — contrary to popular belief — it’s not the only option on the table.
We used Salary.com and Glassdoor to help us find some of the best high-paying careers that don’t require a college degree. Check them out and see if any strike your fancy.
- Flight Attendant: $41,881 — Flight attendant might not be the highest paying role on this list, but it sure is the one with the most perks (for people who love to travel, anyway)! Requiring only a high school diploma and a training program that usually only takes about eight weeks, flight attendants earn between $27,000 and $66,000 per year. Many airlines offer attendants free or discounted flights as well as deals on hotels and resorts.
- Police Officer: $56,201 — The average salary of a police patrol officer is $56,201, but you can make over $60,000 as a cop in some parts of the country. As an officer, you also have the option to advance to more specialized jobs within the criminal justice system, many of which pay more, such as supervisors, detectives, and criminal investigators. Law enforcement officers must graduate from the police academy, which takes around 13 to 19 weeks on average but may take as long as six months.
- Electrician: $56,470 — In general, electricians in the U.S. make somewhere between $42,000 and $70,000 per year, and the income potential seems to be steadily rising. Some reports even suggest that electricians may soon make over six figures due to a steadily growing electrician shortage that’s making it one of the most in-demand jobs. You can learn how to become an electrician through vocational programs and apprenticeships as well as on-the-job experience.
- Carpenter: $55,888 — Carpenters, like electricians, are more in-demand than ever due to a growing skilled labor shortage. This means that some skilled carpenters, depending on the geographic area and specialty, are raking in over $100,000 per year. While no degree is required, to become a carpenter, you will need to complete a formal apprenticeship program to learn the ins and outs of the trade.
- Real Estate Agent: $50,631 — Real estate can be a lucrative career for those without any formal education, but it does require some schooling. To become an agent, you must complete your state’s required pre-license education and then pass a state licensure exam. In total, this usually takes between four and six months. Not bad for a career offering a strong base pay and unlimited earning potential!
- Executive Assistant: $68,098 — Executive assistants provide high-level administrative support to the top executives of a company or organization. The ability to conduct deep research and stay highly organized are essential in this career path. The role of executive assistant is ranked the second best job in U.S. News & World Report’s list of highest-paying jobs without a degree.
- Transportation and Distribution Manager: $58,156 — With the rise in eCommerce, the need for skilled logistics professionals is stronger than ever. Transportation and distribution managers deal with the logistics of getting goods shipped while also overseeing warehouses and distribution centers, and that’s no small feat! Some managers in this field make nearly six figures, depending on experience.
- Air Traffic Controller: $124,540 — Believe it or not, you do not need a degree to become an air traffic controller (however, due to the highly competitive nature of the job, earning an associate’s in the field may set you apart). According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), air traffic controllers must have a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years. Despite the relatively low experience requirements, the pay is high. These professionals can bring in as much as $124,540 per year without a degree!
Whether you’re looking for 6-month certificate programs that pay well or want to work a high-paying job while you earn your bachelor’s, these career paths are well worth your consideration. Ready to get the ball rolling in your chosen field? Start by creating a profile on Tallo and showcasing your skills, talents, and interests.