12 Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree (Hiring in 2021!)

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Land one of these high paying jobs without a degree: 12 jobs hiring now

Did you think you needed to go to college to make a good salary? Think again. There are plenty of jobs paying upwards of $70,000 that don’t require a college degree. Oh, and they’re hiring in 2021.

Did someone tell you that you needed to go to school to land a high-paying job?

I thought so. Good news: that old conventional wisdom isn’t the reality anymore. College is no longer a prerequisite to land a job paying excess of $70,000.

Median personal income in the U.S. for all jobs is around $36,000, according to latest reports. While college graduates earn higher wages on average, some make relatively little. A lot of jobs pay beyond the national average, and do so without requiring a pricey college degree.

Want to get hired at a high-paying job without a college degree? Take a look at 12 of the best  jobs that pay well without a degree. These jobs are hiring in 2021 and don’t require a secondary education.

Looking for a side-hustle? Check out our beginner’s guide on how to make money from home.

No. 1 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Air traffic controller  

Median wage: $123,000

An occupation sure to test your organization skills (and patience) is an air traffic controller. It’s an exciting, be it high-stakes job of directing air traffic from the ground to the skies to the ground again. Given air travel is a round-the-clock business, air traffic controllers may work nights and weekends. If you don’t mind an irregular schedule, this job is well compensated. Requirements of this job are an associate’s degree, plus some on-the-job training.

No. 2 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Commercial pilots  

Median wage: $82,000

Clear for takeoff. Commercial pilots require a high school diploma, and must earn a commercial pilot’s license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Flight school is a prerequisite before taking to the skies. Flight school costs a lot less than a standard four-year college degree. Typical is about $10,000.

Demand for commercial pilots is expected to reach sky-high levels. More than 100,000 pilots are set to reach retirement age in the next decade. Estimates show there are not enough student pilots to fill the gap left by those exiting the workforce. It makes for good reason to expect strong demand for this high-paying job in the years to come.

No. 3 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Elevator installers and repairers 

Median wage: $80,000

Looking for a job on the up and up? Elevator installers and repairers have a robust growth rate that’s expected to continue as long as buildings stack stories. Elevator installers are needed to ensure people can get up and down buildings safely. Repairers maintain that safety. Elevator repairers may earn more than installers. Repair work involves troubleshooting, which may require more knowledge and experience. Becoming an elevator installer or repairer starts with an apprenticeship, usually of four years.

No. 4 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median wage: $76,000

You’ve got mail. Postmasters run the show at your local post office. They manage and supervise letter carriers and clerks. They also set letter carrier routes. Qualifications of a postmaster are solid communication and logistics skills. Email and digital communications has erased some demand for standard mail. With that, the demand for this position has and is expected to decline. There are fewer openings for postmaster jobs today than yesterday. It’ll be that way for a while.

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No. 5 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Web developer

Median wage: $76,000

Web developers use their technical and creative skills to design and build websites. With more attention to eCommerce, web developers are in high demand. Agencies and businesses alike have a need for web developers. Becoming a web developer is an attractive opportunity. It has a conservative growth rate of 20%, good for best on this list. Salary for web developers is equally attractive. Hardworking web developers may exceed $76,000, with opportunity to work from home as a freelancer — which most do. Pretty nice for a job without a degree.

No degree in computer science is required to qualify for a job as a web developer. All that’s required is a knowledge of code and an ability to prove it. Most web developers are somewhat or exclusively self-taught. You can begin learning to code online through free YouTube tutorials.

No. 6 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree
Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Median wage: $71,000

Want a job with a lot of power? Try an electrical power-line installer or repairer. They install or repair electrical cables or wires. Given just about everything runs on electricity nowadays, power-line installers is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country. It’s expected the demand for power-line installers will increase by at least 10% in the next seven years, experts forecast. Slight drawback: power-lines, as you know, are high off the ground. Hope you’re not afraid of heights.

No. 7 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Electrician

Median wage: $58,000

Maybe this job will spark your interest. Electricians help wire power to buildings and homes. Electricians don’t require a four-year college degree. But there is skill required to know how to connect the right wires. Interested parties can attend technical school or find an apprenticeship for on-the-job training. Demand for electricians is consistent, and expected to maintain for the next five years.

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No. 8 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Plumber

Median wage: $56,000

Plumbing is an obvious essential. So are people who know how to install and fix plumbing. Get this: the demand for plumbers outnumbers the supply. Plumbers have a necessary demand, and tend to make bank. Perks of being a plumber is freedom to skip a four-year college plan. Plumbers earn certification from a technical course. It’s a nice luxury that’s more affordable and takes much less time than college. Beyond some technical school, apprentice plumbers will seek an apprenticeship for on-the-job training. Plumbing apprenticeships are highly sought after, and last two to five years. Apprentices make decent money while learning, an added perk. But one drawback is plumbers may work nights and weekends responding to urgent calls.

No. 9 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Flight attendant

Median wage: $56,000

Flight attendants play an important role in the safety of a flight. They ensure passengers feel comfortable and safe during the flight. They prepare the cabin for takeoff and landing. Major airlines are expecting a rebound to air travel in the coming months, as the pandemic winds down. That could be good news for someone looking to the skies for their next career move. Until air travel picks up this summer, the demand for flight attendants may be limited. Like other jobs in this sector, flight attendants may have irregular schedules with some nights, weekends, and overnight stays. Bonus perk: this high-paying job allows you to travel for free.

No. 10 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Wind turbine technician

Median wage: $53,000

Wind turbines are the enormous white pinwheels lining America’s windiest fields. Wind energy is becoming a popular source of alternative energy. And the demand for technicians is, like the wind, surging. Technicians install and maintain wind turbines, and are in charge of troubleshooting any issues. Requirements of a wind tech are knowledge of the wind turbine’s electrical and mechanical components, and skill replacing of fixing broken components. One drawback of this occupation is it’s not recommended for people afraid of heights. The average wind turbine can stand 262 feet tall.

No. 11 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Real estate agent

Median wage: $50,000

Real estate agents have the fun challenge of buying and selling homes. Agents control their earning potential. Real estate is commission-based, so it’s up to the agent to determine their earnings. But there is one major downside to real estate: competition. There are more real estate agents in the U.S. than homes for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. The National Association of Realtors had 1.45 million members in January. That’s while only 1.04 million homes were for sale. Mild warning: you will have your work cut out for you should you enter the crowded field.

No. 12 Highest Paying Job Without a Bachelor’s Degree 
Solar panel installer 

Median wage: $45,000

Grab your sunscreen. Solar power is a bright spot in the alternative energy sector (pun intended). Growth potential for workers to assemble, install, and maintain solar panels is glistening. Installers adjoin solar panels to rooftops of homes, businesses, and commercial buildings. Demand for solar energy is taking off all throughout the U.S., and growth is expected to continue on an upward trajectory. Secondary education is not required to work in solar energy. Most installation workers receive on-the-job training from their employer.

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