For those who may not have had the opportunity to pursue a traditional college degree, it doesn’t mean you are stuck in low-paying jobs forever. On the contrary, there is still hope for a lucrative career offering excellent job security and an impressive salary.
While some employment opportunities may require additional certifications or special training, many do not demand a four-year degree. The following list highlights some of the highest-paying jobs without a college degree in 2023.
For individuals with strong technical skills, there are plenty of high-paying options on the market. For example, positions such as computer programmers, electricians and aircraft mechanics offer competitive salaries without requiring employees to obtain their bachelor’s degrees first.
Moreover, there has been an increased demand for medical technicians over recent years, which has caused salary increases across the board.
10Sound Engineering Technician, $53,520
Sound engineering technicians are an essential part of the music industry, and in 2023, these professionals can expect to receive high pay for their work. Moreover, with no educational requirements necessary for entry-level positions,
sound engineering technicians have the potential to make a good living without incurring the cost of higher education. These technicians use specialized technology and equipment to record and mix.
Edit and manipulate sound from multiple sources. In addition, they often assist producers with complex recordings and live performances in concert halls or studios.
As entertainment becomes more accessible online, demand is expected to increase for experienced technicians who can provide top-quality audio with minimal errors. The job requires extensive knowledge of sound engineering principles and techniques that can quickly be learned through hands-on experience or apprenticeships.
9Structural Iron and Steelworker, $54,830
The structural iron and steelworker is a highly sought-after job in the industrial and commercial sectors of the economy. This skilled position requires knowledge and experience with welding, fabricating, and installing metal products.
As one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree, structural iron and steelworkers can expect to earn an average salary of $54,830 per year.
Structural ironworkers are responsible for constructing building frames from blueprints provided by architects or engineers. Therefore, a successful structural iron worker must possess superior skills with tools such as oxyacetylene torches, acetylene cutting torches, arc welders, and shears.
They must also be familiar with different types of metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum alloys, carbon steels etc., to construct structures according to safety codes established by OSHA.
8Brickmason and Blockmason, $55,080
The job outlook for brickmasons and blockmasons is bright, with a median salary of $55,080. Brickmason and Blockmason’s careers require no college degree, but individuals must possess the necessary skill set to work in this field.
A masonry career requires physical stamina and knowledge of construction materials and methods. Therefore, those looking to enter the masonry industry should expect a rigorous apprenticeship program that includes on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
Masonry tradespeople can find employment at construction sites across the country, working on public or private projects such as roads, bridges, and buildings. Masonry workers often specialize in either brickwork or blockwork according to their preference or skillset; however, some positions may require experience in both disciplines depending upon the project requirements.
7Wind Turbine Technician, $56,230
Wind turbine technicians are responsible for maintaining and servicing wind turbines. It is a rewarding job that can be done without needing a college degree but offers competitive wages.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2023 for a wind turbine technician will be $56,230 per year. The job requires someone who is mechanically inclined and has knowledge of electrical systems and computer software used in these systems.
As technology advances, their skills must also evolve; an aptitude for learning new information quickly and accurately is essential for this role. In addition, wind turbine technicians may travel to remote locations to install or repair turbines. Therefore, strong communication skills are also necessary to effectively interact with customers and other team members remotely over long distances.
Plumbers are among the best-paid tradespeople in the United States. In 2023, plumbers expect to earn an average annual salary of $56,330. This is almost double the national median income and makes plumbing one of the most lucrative professions without a college degree.
The demand for plumbers will remain high over the next decade due to a growing population and an increased need for new infrastructure projects in cities across America.
With ever-increasing government incentives encouraging people to become skilled tradespeople, this profession should continue to be highly sought after by individuals looking for job security and a generous salary. So naturally, the highest salaries will go to those with years of experience and technical expertise in this field.
Electricians are among the highest-paying occupations that don’t require a degree. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the United States earned an average wage of $56,900 in 2023, making it one of the most lucrative trades available to those without a college degree.
Electricians find employment opportunities across many industries, such as residential construction and industrial settings. This occupation requires extensive hands-on experience with electrical equipment and wiring systems, so knowledge of local building codes is essential.
Training for this job can be acquired through apprenticeship programs or vocational schools, which offer more tailored courses for those who want to specialize in specific areas such as home automation or sustainable energy systems. With the growing demand for skilled electricians due to increasing infrastructure projects, employment prospects are expected to remain strong over the next few years.
4Flight Attendant, $59,050
The flight attendant is an exciting career opportunity for those looking to travel without pursuing a college degree. Flight attendants are responsible for welcoming passengers onboard, ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members, and providing service during flights.
A flight attendant’s job can consist of many different tasks, such as assisting sick passengers, helping to secure carry-on luggage, serving food and drinks, or demonstrating safety procedures.
With the median pay rate in 2023 estimated at $59,050 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), becoming a flight attendant offers excellent rewards with minimal educational requirements. Flight attendants typically receive on-the-job training from their employers, which covers safety procedures and customer service expectations.
3Sales Representative, $62,070
A sales representative is a great career option for those who want to make a lot of money without needing a degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for this profession in 2023 is expected to be $62,070 annually.
This figure doesn’t even consider any potential bonuses or commissions earned from closing deals- which can be substantial depending on the industry and company you work for! With no college education requirements and on-the-job training available, becoming a sales rep might be the perfect fit if you are looking to earn big money quickly.
Sales reps need strong interpersonal skills to forge customer relationships and close deals. They must also have good problem-solving abilities to anticipate customer needs and handle any issues that may arise along the way.
2Executive Assistant, $63,110
If you’re looking for a high-paying job without requiring a degree, then you should consider an Executive Assistant position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, executive assistants in 2023 are expected to make an average annual salary of $63,110.
These professionals typically work directly with executives from businesses and organizations, providing administrative support and other services that help ensure the organization runs smoothly.
An executive assistant’s duties may include creating reports and presentations, organizing meetings and travel arrangements, managing emails and phone calls, and managing databases. They also provide support by keeping up with deadlines,
tracking projects and communicating important information between departments within the company or organization. Success in this role requires strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in computer systems used by their employer.
1Patrol Officer, $65,540
Becoming a patrol officer is one of the highest-paying careers available in 2023 without a degree. Patrol officers work to keep their community safe by responding to various criminal activities, assisting those in need and enforcing laws properly.
These professionals earn an average salary of $65,540 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Patrol officers often start as rookies and work their way up through various job promotions. They are also responsible for patrolling designated areas such as neighbourhoods, business districts and parks while being prepared for emergencies.
Depending on the level of experience, location and department size, some patrol officers can make upwards of $80,000 annually. In addition, a career in law enforcement can offer many benefits, such as health insurance coverage, retirement plans and educational opportunities.
Highest Paying Jobs Without A Degree 2023
- Sound Engineering Technician
- Structural Iron and Steelworker
- Brickmason and Blockmason
- Wind Turbine Technician
- Flight Attendant
- Sales Representative
- Executive Assistant
- Patrol Officer