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HomeMake MoneyTop 12 High-Paying Jobs without a Degree or Experience

Top 12 High-Paying Jobs without a Degree or Experience

In the world of skyrocketing education costs, it’s never been more vital to know that there are high-paying jobs without a degree or experience. This guide explores 12 of the most lucrative opportunities out there, showing you that a hefty paycheck doesn’t necessarily need a degree attached.

1. Real Estate Broker

When we think about high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree or prior experience, the role of a real estate broker often comes to mind. This lucrative profession focuses on guiding individuals through one of the most significant financial decisions they’ll ever make: buying or selling property.

Becoming a real estate broker doesn’t necessitate a college degree. Instead, what you need is a high school diploma, complete a state-accredited pre-license course, and pass the state’s licensing exam. Once these requirements are fulfilled, you can start your journey in this high-paying job without a degree or experience.

As a real estate broker, your responsibilities would include interacting with homebuyers and sellers, marketing properties, negotiating deals, and closing sales. It’s a role that combines elements of sales, marketing, customer service, and financial analysis.

What’s more, the earning potential in this field is mostly dependent on how much effort you’re willing to put into it. The more properties you sell or help buy, the higher your income will be. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for real estate brokers was $59,720 in May 2020. However, top earners can make significantly more.

The appeal of becoming a real estate broker doesn’t stop at the attractive income. The job also provides a degree of flexibility that most other jobs can’t offer. As a broker, you are essentially your own boss, setting your own hours and choosing your clients.

While experience is helpful in this profession, it’s not a requirement to get started. Many real estate firms offer on-the-job training programs to help new brokers learn the ropes. This includes mentorship programs and additional training to better understand the market and improve selling techniques.

All in all, being a real estate broker presents a promising opportunity for those looking for high-paying jobs without a degree or experience. It offers a chance to earn an attractive income, enjoy flexibility, and enter a dynamic and rewarding field.

2. Commercial Pilot

One of the most exciting high-paying jobs without a degree or experience is a commercial pilot. This adventurous career choice offers more than just a good salary; it offers the chance to travel, a unique view of the world, and the thrill of navigating the skies.

To become a commercial pilot, you don’t need a college degree, but you will need to complete a training program from a certified flight school. These programs are often intense, teaching the specifics of flying different aircraft, navigation, emergency procedures, and even meteorology.

Once your training is complete, you’ll need to clock a specific number of flying hours and pass written and practical exams to earn your pilot’s license. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum of 250 flight hours for a commercial pilot’s license. Remember, these hours are where you gain invaluable experience, making this one of the rare high-paying jobs without a degree or prior experience.

The life of a commercial pilot can be thrilling, but it’s not without its challenges. The responsibility of safely transporting passengers or cargo, navigating through all weather conditions, and adhering to strict flight schedules can be demanding. However, the median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers was $147,220 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which makes it a rewarding career.

One thing to remember about becoming a commercial pilot is that the progression can be gradual. Many pilots start with smaller local jobs, such as banner towing or crop dusting, before making their way up to regional airlines and eventually large commercial carriers.

Overall, if you have a love for the skies and are searching for high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, becoming a commercial pilot might be the perfect fit for you. It’s a career that rewards your hard work and dedication with a high income and an office view that is second to none.

3. Air Traffic Controller

If you’re seeking high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, then becoming an air traffic controller may be a compelling choice for you. This job might not require a conventional degree or prior experience, but it does demand precision, quick decision-making, and an ability to handle stress.

An air traffic controller’s primary duty is to ensure the safe and organized movement of aircraft on the ground and in the air. They manage takeoffs, landings, and the airspace around airports. Given the safety implications, this role calls for rigorous training and certification, but not a traditional college degree.

To embark on this career path, potential controllers typically need to complete an FAA-approved education program. Afterward, they must pass pre-employment tests, a medical examination, and a background check before they can enroll in a training course at the FAA Academy.

On-the-job training follows graduation from the FAA Academy, during which trainees work under the supervision of experienced controllers. This period is when you build experience, making this one of those high-paying jobs without a degree or experience requirements at the outset.

It’s important to mention that air traffic controllers often work in shifts, covering 24/7 operations at most control facilities. So while the career can be financially rewarding, it may also call for lifestyle adjustments.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for air traffic controllers was $130,420 in May 2020, reflecting the responsibility and skills that the job requires.

In sum, if you’re someone with a strong sense of responsibility, sharp concentration, and excellent problem-solving skills, pursuing a career as an air traffic controller might be a smart move. Remember, some of the most high-paying jobs don’t require a degree or experience – they simply require the right person ready to learn, work hard, and commit to the demands of the job.

4. Sales Representative

In the panorama of high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, one role that consistently emerges is that of a sales representative. In this position, you’re at the heart of a company’s operations, driving revenue, cultivating customer relationships, and often getting a solid income in return.

A sales representative is responsible for selling products or services to businesses and consumers. They do this by understanding the customer’s needs and offering solutions that satisfy these needs while also bringing profit to the company they represent.

While having a degree or previous experience might be beneficial, it’s not always necessary. Many companies prioritize skills such as communication, persuasion, and customer service over formal education. What truly matters is your ability to build relationships with clients, understand their needs, and convince them that your product or service is the solution.

Most companies offer on-the-job training to equip their sales reps with the necessary product knowledge and sales techniques. This training allows newcomers to learn and grow, making sales one of the best fields for high-paying jobs without a degree or experience.

It’s worth noting that sales jobs often come with a base salary plus commissions or bonuses based on performance. This means your earnings can increase significantly based on your effort and success in closing deals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales representatives for wholesale and manufacturing, excluding technical and scientific products, earned a median annual wage of $59,930 in May 2020.

Becoming a sales representative also opens doors to higher positions. With experience and proven results, you could move into roles such as Sales Manager, Account Executive, or even Director of Sales.

In conclusion, if you possess excellent communication skills, the drive to succeed, and the ability to build strong relationships, becoming a sales representative could be a rewarding career choice. It’s an ideal role for those seeking high-paying jobs without a degree or experience but with the ambition and drive to succeed.

5. Web Developer

In the digital age, web development has emerged as one of the most promising high-paying jobs without a degree or experience. As a web developer, you get to create, design, and maintain websites, playing a pivotal role in shaping internet experiences.

To become a web developer, you don’t necessarily need a formal college degree. Many successful developers are self-taught, having learned their craft through online courses, coding boot camps, or by experimenting on their own. Knowledge of coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and others is key, and these can all be learned independently.

In terms of experience, many developers start by building their own websites or volunteering their skills for small projects. This way, they build a portfolio that can demonstrate their capabilities to potential employers. This makes web development an accessible field for those seeking high-paying jobs without a degree or prior experience.

As a web developer, you have the flexibility to work in various sectors, from tech companies to digital marketing agencies, or even freelance. The job often allows remote work, adding to its appeal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for web developers was $77,200 in May 2020.

Furthermore, web development provides an opportunity for continuous learning and growth. As technology evolves, new tools, frameworks, and languages emerge, offering endless potential for upskilling and increasing your earning potential.

In summary, if you’re technologically inclined and enjoy creative problem-solving, a career in web development might be right for you. Remember, some of the best high-paying jobs are not tied to a degree or experience but to skill, talent, and dedication.

6. Small Business Owner/Entrepreneur

Perhaps one of the most rewarding high-paying jobs without a degree or experience is becoming a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur. This career path gives you the freedom to pursue your passion, be your own boss, and potentially reap significant financial rewards.

Entrepreneurship doesn’t require a specific degree or background. It’s all about identifying a market need, coming up with a solution, and having the courage and determination to turn that idea into a viable business. From tech startups to local coffee shops, every business starts with an idea and someone brave enough to make it happen.

Of course, starting a business isn’t easy. It involves planning, capital, marketing, sales, and a whole lot of perseverance. However, many successful entrepreneurs started their journey without a formal business degree or any prior experience in running a business. Instead, they learned by doing, adapting, and overcoming challenges along the way.

The potential earnings of an entrepreneur can vary greatly, depending largely on the type of business, its success, and growth. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most small business owners in the U.S. made between $30,000 and $149,999 in 2020. However, the sky’s the limit, and many entrepreneurs have gone on to earn much more.

While the path of an entrepreneur can be risky, it’s also filled with potential. It gives you the chance to create something of your own, provide jobs, and contribute to the economy. If you have a great idea, the motivation to see it through, and are looking for high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, becoming an entrepreneur could be your calling.

7. Writer/Blogger

A career in writing or blogging stands out as one of the most flexible high-paying jobs without a degree or experience. If you have a passion for words and a knack for telling stories or sharing information, this could be an excellent path for you.

Being a writer or blogger doesn’t necessarily require a formal degree. While having a background in journalism, English, or a similar field can be beneficial, many successful writers are self-taught. They’ve honed their craft through continual practice, reading extensively, and embracing feedback.

In the realm of blogging, success often boils down to identifying a niche you’re passionate about, creating engaging content around it, and building an audience. Blogs can be monetized in various ways, such as advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or selling products or services.

Starting as a writer or blogger, you don’t need prior experience. Many individuals begin by writing part-time while holding down another job, gradually building their portfolio, honing their skills, and establishing their brand. Freelance platforms, blogging sites, and social media have made it easier than ever to get started and reach an audience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for writers and authors was $67,120 in May 2020. However, your income as a writer or blogger can vary widely, depending on factors such as your niche, audience size, monetization strategies, and the time you invest.

In conclusion, if you love writing and are looking for high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, consider becoming a writer or blogger. It’s a profession that gives you the freedom to express yourself, work from anywhere, and potentially earn a good income from something you love doing.

8. YouTuber/Influencer

In today’s digital era, becoming a YouTuber or influencer stands out as one of the unique high-paying jobs without a degree or experience. These roles blend entertainment, personal branding, and marketing into an unconventional but potentially lucrative career.

Being a YouTuber or influencer doesn’t require formal education. Instead, it’s about creating engaging content that attracts and retains a substantial following. This could be in the form of vlogs, tutorials, reviews, or any other content type that resonates with a particular audience.

Income for YouTubers and influencers can vary greatly, primarily deriving from advertising revenue, brand partnerships, sponsored content, merchandise sales, or crowd funding. According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, top influencers can earn up to $250,000 per sponsored post.

Remember, the key to success as a YouTuber or influencer lies in understanding your audience, consistently creating appealing content, and building authentic relationships with followers and brands.

9. Firefighter

Being a firefighter is one of those high-paying jobs that doesn’t necessarily require a degree or prior experience. It’s a role filled with risk and reward, demanding courage, physical stamina, and a commitment to public service.

To become a firefighter, candidates generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a physical fitness test, and complete a rigorous training program. The median annual wage for firefighters was $52,500 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, in many regions, firefighters can earn significantly more, especially with overtime and advancement.

Remember, firefighting is not just about combating fires. It’s also about providing emergency medical assistance, educating the public about fire safety, and being a pillar of the community.

10. Postal Service Mail Carrier

A Postal Service Mail Carrier is another job that offers respectable pay without the need for a college degree or prior experience. It’s a public service role that keeps the mail and package delivery system running smoothly.

Candidates usually need a high school diploma, must pass a postal service exam, and complete a training program. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for postal service mail carriers was $52,060 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Becoming a mail carrier can be a solid career choice, offering a steady income, job stability, and the chance to serve your local community.

11. Plumber

When discussing high-paying jobs without a degree or experience, the role of a plumber certainly deserves mention. With a critical role in maintaining and repairing vital water and sewage systems, plumbers ensure the smooth functioning of our daily lives.

To become a plumber, you don’t necessarily need a college degree. However, you do need to complete a technical training program, often offered by trade schools or community colleges. These programs teach the fundamentals of the trade, including reading blueprints, local safety codes, and using tools.

After completing technical training, aspiring plumbers typically enter an apprenticeship. This hands-on training under the guidance of experienced plumbers can last several years. The good news is that apprentices earn while they learn, making this path appealing to those seeking high-paying jobs without a degree or experience.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $56,330 in May 2020. This figure can increase significantly with experience, specialization, and overtime work.

In conclusion, if you enjoy problem-solving, physical work, and have a knack for mechanics, a career as a plumber can be both rewarding and lucrative.

12. Police Officer

Becoming a police officer is a noble profession that offers a good income without requiring a formal degree or previous experience. It’s a role for those committed to maintaining law and order, protecting the public, and improving community safety.

To become a police officer, you generally need a high school diploma or equivalent. Potential officers then attend a police academy where they undergo rigorous physical and academic training. They learn about law, ethics, investigative techniques, self-defense, first aid, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers was $65,170 in May 2020. However, compensation can significantly increase with years of service, promotions, and overtime work.

In conclusion, if you have a strong sense of duty, physical stamina, and the ability to make quick decisions under pressure, becoming a police officer can be one of the rewarding high-paying jobs without a degree or experience.


It is evident that there are plenty of high-paying jobs without a degree or experience available to those who seek them. From being a successful real estate broker to a budding entrepreneur, from an intuitive web developer to a skilled plumber, there’s a plethora of opportunities that value skills, determination, and passion over formal education.

The path to wealth doesn’t necessarily start or end with a college degree. Instead, it often involves identifying your talents and interests, investing in self-education, and diligently working towards honing your skills and mastering your craft. Indeed, many successful individuals have proven that a degree isn’t a prerequisite to earning a high income or achieving professional success.

Remember, it’s not about disregarding the value of formal education but understanding that it’s not the only path to success. In an ever-evolving job market, practical skills, adaptability, and a lifelong learning mindset can hold as much, if not more, value.

Take heart in knowing that there are numerous paths to success. Whether it’s one of the high-paying jobs without a degree or experience we’ve discussed here or a path yet undiscovered, the opportunity to create wealth and enjoy fulfilling work is within reach. The key lies in understanding your potential, embracing your passion, and committing to the journey of success.