20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree


College isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. There are plenty of high-paying jobs out there that don’t require a college degree. Vocational or technical school is always an option instead of a university. There, it’s possible to earn certification for a wide variety of careers or get on-the-job training. There are endless options out there, no matter what level of education a person chooses to pursue.

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Sales Representative

All you need to become a sales rep is a high school degree and a go-getter personality. Sales representatives have to be extremely self-motivated to be successful in their field.

Annual Salary Range: $35,000-$113,000

Restaurant Manager

Most upscale restaurants only require managers to have previous management experience. Since restaurant managers are typically paid by salary instead of by the hour, working more than 40 hours a week (including weekends and late nights) is common. Their daily responsibilities include supervising employees, filling out paper work, doing payroll, and managing customer relations.

Annual Salary Range: $50,000-$100,000

Electrical Power Line Installers and Repairers

Electrical power-line installers and repairers are electricians who put their lives on the line (pun intended) to keep electricity flowing in their communities. Hours can be a bit odd, due to natural disasters, and required experience for this job is acquired through apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

Annual Salary Range: $60,000-$65,000

Web Developer

An associate’s degree and extensive knowledge of coding are the only real requirements to become a web developer.

Annual Salary Range: $60,000-$65,000

Transportation Inspector

Transportation inspectors check out vehicles to make sure they’re in compliance with government regulations. Hours are irregular and travel is a big part of the job.

Annual Salary Range: $65,000-$70,000

Gaming Manager

Gaming managers are the people who maintain the craziness and chaos of casinos. You’ll have to start out at an entry level and work your way up, and most casinos have in-house training for employees. There is a licensing process you must go through to become a gaming manager, but it mostly consists of a background check and a drug test.

Annual Salary Range: $65,000-$84,000


Being a postmaster comes with the perks of a typical government job, and no college degree is required. Training comes with experience in this line of work.

Annual Salary Range: $65,000-$85,000

Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators maintain and manage plants and must go through a lot of on-the-job training.

Annual Salary Range: $68,000-$70,000


The first step to becoming a detective is to attend police academy and move up through promotions.

Annual Salary Range: $76,000-$125,000

Commercial Pilot

A pilot license, which can be achieved through either a private instructor or flight school, is all you need to work for charter businesses or companies that show tourists around.

Annual Salary Range: $74,000-$136,000

Elevator Technician

College isn’t required to become an elevator technician, although apprenticeship and on-the-job training is required, and usually takes about five years to complete. But don’t let that scare you away; you get paid pretty well while working your way up.

Annual Salary Range: $78,000-$100,000

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers are in charge of shipping and storing for various businesses. While it’s common for most managers to hold a bachelor’s degree, the only real requirement is a high school diploma.

Annual Salary Range: $83,000-$140,000

Computer Support Specialist

Computer support specialists help people and companies with their computer equipment and software. They’re usually in IT departments, but not always. You don’t need a college degree for this job; you just need a computer, communication, and people skills.

Annual Salary Range: $30,000-$60,000

Database Manager

Also known as a database administrator, database managers are in charge of storing and organizing data using specialized software. The cool thing about this job is that you can work in almost any industry, although it’s usually for companies that focus on computer systems design and support. All you need is a strong understanding of database languages and communication skills.

Annual Salary Range: $35,000-$122,000

Ultrasound Technician

Your job as an ultrasound technician would be to work for a doctor to produce ultrasound pictures for patients. If you’re interested in the medical field but don’t want to go through all that schooling, then you’re in luck. This job only requires a certificate, which you can earn in one year.

Annual Salary Range: $35,000-$80,000

Tool-and-Die Maker

A tool-and-die maker is a type of machinist that is in charge of setting up and operating the machines needed to produce new tools. You can learn through apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training.

Annual Salary Range: $35,000-$75,000

Radiologic Technician

Also known as radiographers, radiologic technicians are responsible for performing X-rays and other imaging tests on patients. While many employers require an associate’s degree, you can also participate in a one-year certification program to become qualified.

Annual Salary Range: $36,000-$67,000


If you’re passionate about dancing and also have great communication skills, you should consider being a choreographer. They create new dance routines, conduct rehearsals, and direct presentations.

Annual Salary Range: $20,000-$128,000

Explosives Worker

As the name suggests, explosives workers place and detonate explosives for demolition purposes or to loosen earth or rock. You just need a high school education to get the job, and then you’ll have extensive on=the-job training on safety procedures, operating machinery, and running soil tests.

Annual Salary Range: $30,000-$90,000

Railroad Conductor

Railroad conductors are in charge of coordinating activities within a specific location between the train crew and passengers. They also handle scheduling, orders, and the makeup or breakup of trains. All you need for this job is a high school diploma.

Annual Salary Range: $36,000-$94,000

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