10 Jobs You Can Land Without a College Degree

Eliud Rivera
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These days it seems you need a degree to do anything. But there are a few jobs that can get you some serious money without having to put in serious hours working towards an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program. Check out these 10 jobs (in no particular order) that you can land without a college degree.


Few people are born with the talent to be good with their hands. Building comes naturally to some and for them a career as a carpenter can come with a nice pay check. If you love seeing a project come together through building, planning, blueprinting and making people smile, carpentry may be for you. What you build is only limited by your client's imagination.

To land this position you must have a high school diploma and may need a few different certifications or licenses depending on the employer. Median annual pay for this position is $42,090.

Commercial Pilot

Few things compare to having the open sky at your fingertips. Commercial pilots are in charge of charter flights, aerial tours, and other private flights. It is not all flying though. Be prepared to organize and schedule flights as well as maintain your aircraft.

All you need to become a commercial pilot is a high school diploma and a commercial pilot’s license. The average salary for this position is $98,870 a year.


Are you the adventurous type? Can you find details that others miss or ignore? Detectives help police catch criminals by using fine-tuned analytical skills. Your responsibilities will range from observing and compiling files to participating in interviews and raids. By no means is this easy work. You need a strong work ethic and unwavering curiosity. You may be working on the same case for a long time.

In some cases, you only need a high school diploma. Still, make sure to always research a position fully before applying. Some agencies and departments do require specific certifications. The median salary for detectives is $76,730.

Real Estate Broker

Being your own boss takes talent, hard work, and perseverance, but it can pay off big time. Real estate brokers solicit potential clients to buy, sell and rent properties through their firm. These are the faces you see on the signs outside of houses. It’s all about knowing the housing market and marketing yourself to your clients. If you have confidence and like meeting people from all walks of life, this job is for you.

You only need a high school diploma, complete your state-specific pre-license education, and pass your real estate license examination to start your entrepreneurial journey. The median salary for this position is $45,610.

Gaming Manager

People love casinos. That’s why they end up spending way too much time at them. The glitz and glamour and risk are irresistible to many. A gaming manager is responsible for supervising the casino floor. This includes watching over betting tables for all different games to ensure both the house and guests are following protocol. Gaming managers also handle the cash, security and customer service duties for the casino.

Gaming managers only need a high school diploma to qualify but those with previous management experience are preferred. Casinos hire from within so working your way up from a dealer to a manager is a big possibility. Median annual pay for this position is $74,700

Commercial Diver

Here’s another one for the adventurers out there! These divers use SCUBA gear to complete various tasks underwater including installing equipment and performing maintenance.

Applicants must have a high school diploma, be proficient in English, pass a diving physical and obtain a TWIC card (The Transportation Worker Identification Credential).

Media and Communication Equipment Worker

In this age of technology, someone needs to make sense of the state-of-the-art gadgets we use to make our lives easier. If you find everyone turning to you for tech support, this may be your calling. Media and communication equipment workers install, maintain and repair audio and visual equipment in schools, businesses, and homes.

A high school diploma and on-site job training are all you need to get started in this career. This position has a median annual pay of $79,580.

Power Plant Operator

This career is a very important part of keeping people safe and providing them with the energy to get things done. Responsibilities for this position including checking gauges, running boilers, generators, turbines, pumps, and fans. Maintenance for the various pieces of equipment is also a big part of the job.

The only thing you will need for this position is a high school diploma or equivalent and on-site job training. Median annual pay for this career is $75,660.

Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers

These managers are in charge of making sure all deliveries and pickups go smoothly. You will oversee and plan distributions of goods and contact clients as needed.

All you need for this position is a high school diploma or equivalent and 2-3 years of experience in a related field.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

These workers are in charge of maintaining, installing and repairing any and all forms of automated transportation such as elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and freight lifts. This position requires a great amount of skill and expertise with hydraulics and mechanics.

To land a gig as an elevator installer and repairer you will need to complete a four-year apprenticeship, have a high school diploma or equivalent and may also need a license depending on the state you live in. The median annual pay for this position is $79,780.

It is nice to know there are options besides college that lead to successful careers, especially in a time when we are always hearing about student loan debt.



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  • Hillary E.
    Hillary E.

    I appreciate it

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your comment. It does get frustrating applying for jobs and not getting anywhere. Or not being able to apply because the company's app requires you to enter a college degree. When a company writes up a job posting, they taken into account everything they feel the applicant would need to have/know. Maybe the company has tried hiring a person without a degree for the copywriter position and it was a disaster. It's hard to say why but a company decides what is important and that's what they look for. Anything less than that and they are not interested. It takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication and diligence to get that degree and I feel that's why companies want that piece of paper. It shows them what type of person the applicant is. In addition, it means that the person has at least a bit of knowledge and expertise in what matters to the company. It used to be, years ago, if a person showed an interest in copywriting for example, they would be hired and trained. Companies don't do that in today's world sad to say. Wishing you all the best in your endeavors.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    Then why do some positions, like gaming manager want one. Everything is common sense and if you can read and write, you should be fine. I have written three books(Not published yet, no money to do it) and applied for a job as copywriter, but wasn't qualified because I didn't have a degree. You don't need one to write or edit anything because they're just words and anyone can use words.

  • Deborah Albright
    Deborah Albright

    I have done this before but back breaking.

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