You don’t need a degree to land a high-paying job

A college degree can help you get ahead in many professions, but this type of qualification isn't necessary in every industry.

Although many assume that a four-year degree is necessary to obtain a high paying job, you can earn a healthy paycheck with just technical or on-the-job training — if you know which careers to pursue. Take a closer look at these five high-paying jobs that don't require a degree.

5 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require a Degree

See the world in a new light with higher paying jobs, like construction manager — no degree required.

Air-Traffic Controller

If the idea of working with aircraft appeals to you but you'd rather stay on the ground, consider a job as an air-traffic controller. These professionals are in charge of monitoring aircraft movement and directing pilots in the air and on the ground; they advise pilots on when to take off and land, and provide pilots with weather updates and other important flight information.

To become an air-traffic controller, you'll need to pass the Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test and a training course at the FAA Academy. With a median salary of $123,000 per year (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), air-traffic controllers have one of the best paying jobs that don't require a four-year college degree — though significant technical training is still required.

Elevator Mechanic

Elevator mechanics install and repair elevators, escalators, and other specialized lift systems. They have advanced knowledge of electricity and hydraulics, and they can diagnose complex brake, motor, and control switch problems.

Though you won’t need a college degree, you will need to complete a four-year apprenticeship program before getting your license to work as an elevator installer or repairer; however, during this time you'll receive paid, on-the-job training. As an elevator mechanic, you can expect to earn about $79,000 per year, according to the BLS.

Construction Manager

Leadership, business acumen, initiative, and time management are all crucial skills for construction managers. These professionals oversee a variety of different construction projects, and their responsibilities include budgeting, hiring, scheduling, client communication, and regulation compliance.

To become a construction manager, you'll need prior experience in the If you enjoy hands-on work, pursuing a career as an electrician could be for you. Responsibilities of the job include installing and maintaining wiring systems, inspecting electrical elements, and identifying and fixing problems. Since virtually all new and existing buildings rely on wiring systems, demand for electricians isn’t expected to decline anytime soon.

Electrician

If you enjoy hands-on work, pursuing a career as an electrician could be for you. Responsibilities of the job include installing and maintaining wiring systems, inspecting electrical elements, and identifying and fixing problems. Since virtually all new and existing buildings rely on wiring systems, demand for electricians isn’t expected to decline anytime soon.

To land a job as an electrician, you'll need to complete coursework at a technical school or secure an apprenticeship, where you'll receive extensive on-the-job training before obtaining a license to work in your state. After getting your license, you can look forward to an average hourly salary of $25.35, or about $52,720 per year, according to the BLS.

Pilot

Pilots spend much of their time in the air, transporting people and cargo from one destination to another. Most pilots fly for commercial or freight airlines, but some operate helicopters, planes for charter airlines, or rescue operations.

To be a pilot, you'll need to complete basic flight training and get a commercial pilot's license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — no college degree required. As a pilot, you can look forward to a median annual salary of about $102,500.

From jobs in the sky to managerial positions rooted firmly on the ground, plenty of careers can earn you a hefty paycheck without a four-year degree. For many of these jobs, though, you’ll have to learn skills and obtain experience before progressing to the highest possible salary — but you’ll be able to hit the ground running and start earning as soon as possible.


Other jobs to consider:

Maintenance Mechanic
Mechanics
Nursing