The 10 Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get Without a Degree

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

Many believe a college degree is a must for a well-paying job, but that’s not always the case. In reality, skills, experience, and determination often carry more weight than degrees. There’s a world of opportunities where these qualities are your ticket to a rewarding role.

In many fields, hands-on experience and expertise take the front seat, overshadowing formal education. Employers are opening their eyes to the reality that there are multiple paths to gaining the experience and skills needed to compete for high-paying jobs without a degree.

So, before you plunge into student loans and lengthy lectures, weigh your options. You can find high-paying jobs without a degree or experience.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover high-paying jobs that don’t demand a degree.
  • Harness your skills and network to find hidden career gems.
  • Tailor your resume to spotlight your skills and expand your network to climb the career ladder.

How to Find the Highest-Paying Jobs Without a Degree

Woman thinking about her job and what to spend money on holding cash
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Kickstart your journey to high-paying jobs without a degree by identifying your ideal role. What jobs suit your skills and passions?

Make your resume a reflection of your strengths — particularly those aligned with your targeted position.

Your next step should be investing time in networking. Industry professionals and peers can offer opportunities not listed on job boards.

Consider enhancing your skills through certifications or workshops. These can be the perfect bridge to demonstrating your capabilities without a degree, fast-tracking your way into the job market.

5 High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree

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There’s a world of opportunities out there where your skills and experience are valued more than a degree.

Here’s the inside scoop on the highest-paying jobs without a degree.

1. Administrative Jobs

A young woman in a work-from-home chat job uses a webcam and headset to help customers
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Consider higher-paying administrative roles, such as executive assistants or virtual admins.

In these roles, you’re not just managing schedules but also juggling tasks like social media management, customer interactions, and internal communications.

A degree? Not a necessity. Strong organizational and communication skills? Absolutely essential.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $22.12 per hour with a career growth projection that’s 10% slower than average

2. Bilingual Jobs

Woman working from home
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Bilingual roles offer some of the best jobs without a degree if you’re proficient in in-demand languages, such as Spanish or German.

Your language skills, attention to cultural nuances, and quick decision-making abilities can pave the way to rewarding career opportunities.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $25.79 per hour with a career growth projection of 4% (as fast as average)

3. Event Planning Jobs

Happy woman working her job from a desk
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Event planning is about creating experiences that leave a lasting impression. Without a degree, you can still make a significant mark in this field, where organizational skills and communication acumen are paramount.

Professionals in this role plan a diverse range of functions in roles such as event coordinator or event planner.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $27.36 per hour with a career growth projection of 8% (faster than average)

4. Insurance Jobs

Medicare insurance broker
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Stepping into the insurance field, roles such as sales agents and property claims adjusters offer good-paying jobs without a degree.

As an agent, you’ll be on the front lines, helping clients choose the right coverage to secure their financial future. Key skills include a deep understanding of insurance products and excellent communication abilities.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $28.40 per hour with a career growth projection of 8% (faster than average)

5. Sales Jobs

Retail stores manager or sales assistant working in a technology or electronics store
ORION PRODUCTION / Shutterstock.com

The world of sales is full of good-paying jobs without degrees.

As a business-to-business (B2B) or insurance sales agent, for instance, your communication and negotiation skills will be your greatest assets.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $29.46 per hour with a career growth projection that’s 7% slower than average

5 High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree or Experience

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Excited about joining the workforce but don’t have either a degree or experience under your belt? No worries!

Your career path isn’t set in stone, and there are industries ripe with opportunities that value skill and aptitude over formal degrees and lengthy resumes. So, let’s dive into professions offering jobs that pay well without a degree or experience.

1. Customer Service Jobs

Happy woman studying online with laptop and headphones taking online class
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Dive into dynamic customer service roles, where your gift of connection and empathy is your ticket to high-paying jobs without a degree.

Companies are always on the lookout for individuals who radiate charm and patience for roles ranging from chat support to collections.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $19.08 per hour with a career growth projection that’s 5% slower than average

2. Mortgage & Real Estate Jobs

Real estate agent with a young couple buying a home
Lordn / Shutterstock.com

Step into the world of mortgage and real estate. Your analytical acumen and interpersonal skills are highly valued.

You might be surprised that these are some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree requirement. Roles such as loan processor or property manager can often be learned with hands-on training.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $27.22 per hour with a career growth projection of 3% (as fast as average)

3. Translation Jobs

Worker in a headset
DenisProduction.com / Shutterstock.com

If you’re fluent in more than one language, the translation sector awaits.

There’s more to this field than you might realize at first glance. It’s not just about translating words but contexts and cultures too when you’re applying to be a translator or interpreter.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $27.45 per hour with a career growth projection of 4% (as fast as average)

4. Travel & Hospitality Jobs

remote worker without a degree
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Ever dreamed of a career sprinkled with travel and human connection? The travel and hospitality sector is calling.

Here, travel agent or hotel jobs are within reach if you radiate enthusiasm and are armed with a learn-as-you-go attitude.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $22.79 per hour with a career growth projection of 3% (as fast as average)

5. Writing Jobs

Happy freelance writer
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

If you have a way with words, there are multiple ways to put that talent to work for you. Content and copywriting, for example, are lucrative avenues to explore.

Many companies and publications are less concerned with degrees and more interested in your writing ability. Build a solid portfolio — it can speak louder than a communications degree.

Career growth outlook: Median pay of $35.43 per hour with a career growth projection of 4% (as fast as average)

Alternative Education Paths

Man taking notes
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Bypassing the conventional route of attending a university after high school doesn’t mean stalling your career journey. Numerous alternative education paths can launch you into the professional world equipped with hands-on experience.

Online courses, for example, from platforms like Coursera or edX, provide flexible learning options in multiple fields.

These are solid options that combine learning with hands-on experience. Two of the more popular options are certifications through boot camps and apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships

Engineer And Apprentice Planning
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Let’s talk apprenticeships — it’s almost like a backstage pass to high-paying jobs without a degree.

You’re not just learning from a book, you’re in the thick of it from day one, guided by pros who’ve been in the game for years. Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn.

Certification Programs

Woman at computer, coding.
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Think about certification programs. Say you’re keen on becoming a software developer — you don’t necessarily need a four-year degree.

There are coding boot camps, specialized online courses, and other certification programs that can whip your skills into shape and get you certified.

Gaining Skills or Experience: Key to Success

Retail store manager at a clothing shop talking on the phone and taking an order while using a touchscreen laptop
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The path to a thriving career isn’t solely paved by a college education. You can arm yourself with real-world skills and experience that can help you stand out.

Opportunities to gain those are everywhere — from internships and volunteering to networking at industry events. There’s a whole world of high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree or experience.

1. Industry Events

Customer service representative
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Industry events are your sneak peek into the latest and greatest in your field. Whether it’s tech, marketing, or anything in between, being in the room (virtual or not) where trends are unveiled and insights are shared can be a game-changer.

It’s your chance to learn, connect, be seen, and land high-paying jobs, no degree required.

2. Internships

comfortable remote worker houseplants
DimaBerlin / Shutterstock.com

Internships offer an entry point into the professional world. Paid or not, they involve hands-on work and provide opportunities to demonstrate your skills.

It’s real, on-the-ground experience that puts you in touch with seasoned professionals and industry insiders.

You’re not just adding lines to your resume, you’re networking and building relationships that can propel your career forward.

3. Volunteering

Young man in glasses using a laptop
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Volunteering isn’t just about giving back (although that’s a big win), it’s also about gaining skills that make employers take notice.

Whether you lend a hand at local community centers or lead initiatives that make a splash, every moment spent volunteering offers learning and growth opportunities.

It provides real-world experience that doesn’t just boost your skills but expands your network. And in the professional world, connections can be just as valuable as credentials.

Overcoming Challenges in the Job Search

A woman sits a table and works at her laptop
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Job hunting can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re eyeing high-paying jobs without a degree in hand.

But remember, it’s not just about certificates or diplomas. The key is to play to your strengths and seize every opportunity to showcase your abilities.

Here are some strategies to boost your job search for “high-paying jobs no degree.”

1. Expanding Your Network

happy woman worker using laptop and excited
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

A strong professional network can unlock doors to opportunities you won’t find in regular job listings. Get active on LinkedIn, join professional groups, and look for creative ways to stand out.

Every person you meet could potentially lead to unseen job opportunities. It’s often about who you know, so make every connection count.

2. Exploring the Hidden Job Market

Senior worker
Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock.com

Jobs that never make it to the public job boards are part of the hidden job market. They can be gold mines for high-paying positions that don’t require a degree.

Connect with professionals in your field and attend industry events. Be curious, ask questions, and explore companies.

These under-the-radar positions often pop up through internal referrals or word of mouth. It’s about being in the right place at the right time, ready to jump on opportunities.

3. Tailoring Your Resume

Woman on a laptop
Flamingo Images / Shutterstock.com

A well-crafted resume is your ticket to get noticed. Highlight your skills and experiences that align with the job you’re eyeing.

Use the job description as your road map to customize your resume. Highlight specific skills and experiences that make you the perfect fit. Show recruiters you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for, degree or not.

Finding the Best-Paying Jobs Without a Degree

A man counting money in front of a computer
voronaman / Shutterstock.com

Stepping into the job market without a traditional degree isn’t a detour — it’s an entirely valid path brimming with options to land a high-paying job without a degree.

The keys? Skill development, networking, and a dash of creativity. So, go after that life-changing job. You’ve got this!

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