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High Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

High paying jobs that don't require a degree


The soaring expenses associated with college degrees and the escalating burden of student loan debt have prompted individuals to reassess their career paths and explore careers that do not require a traditional four-year degree. Additionally, numerous careers that don't mandate a four-year degree offer higher starting salaries, rivaling many jobs that require a traditional college degree. This blog will uncover high-paying entry-level jobs that don't require a degree so you can start your career or finally make that career shift you've been waiting for.

Tip: Through System One's job site, you can do an advanced search to filter available jobs by education level!  Check out our career page to learn more about the different opportunities offered!

High Paying Jobs That Don't Require a Degree

Wind Technician 

Pay Range: $57,320-$80,170

Depending on the program, wind technicians can learn their trade in 6 months to 2 years, no college degree required. The industry is projected to grow by 45% over the next ten years, making this the perfect role for someone looking to seek advancement in a hands-on role. ("Wind Turbine Technicians," September 6, 2023).

Sheet Metal Worker 

Pay Range: $51,320-$85,000

Sheet metal is one of the fastest-growing industries, and workers don't need a college degree, they only need a high school degree and/or training through vocational programs or apprenticeships. This high paying job allows you to move your career toward a skilled labor or management path and enables you to explore different sectors. ("5 Reasons to Work in Sheet Metal," n.d.)

Ultrasound Technician

Pay Range: $59,100-$75,920

Depending on the program, ultrasound technicians can get certified in as little as 1 to 2 years, no college degree required. Employment is expected to rise by 10%, and it offers the flexibility to move into different areas of healthcare. ("How to Become a Sonographer," n.d.)

Surgical Technologist 

Pay Range: $38,860-$78,560

Surgery Technicians can get certified in 12-18 months. The demand for surgery technicians has increased by 5% over the past year, and they can work in multiple healthcare areas. ("Surgical Technologist Salary Guide," September 28, 2023)

Nuclear Technician

Pay Range: 63,500-$104,540

Nuclear technicians can complete their programs in 6 months to 1 year. Many nuclear technicians get their experience from military service, making this a great job if you want to transition into a civilian job. Not only can you work across various industries, but this role also leaves room for advancement, as you can become a power reactor operator or engineer with additional training. ("How to Become a Nuclear Technician," September 6, 2023)

Lab Technician 

Pay Range: $57,800-$76,110

If you're interested in working in a lab, there are many high paying jobs that don't require a degree within the medical and life science sector.  You can become a lab technician through an associate or bachelor's degree program, and there are also alternative certificate programs for those who want to advance their careers quickly. Lastly, many lab tech roles have on-the-job training for those who learn better with hands-on training. Lab Technicians can work in multiple life science, medical, and educational sectors, making this a flexible role with room for advancement. ("How to Become a Laboratory Technician – Salary & Requirements in 2023", n.d)

Aerospace Technician

Pay Range: $66,360-$80,020

You can become an aerospace technician with an associate's or bachelor's degree or partake in specialized training certifications if you are on the fast track to starting a career. Becoming an aerospace technician allows you to work in the public or private sector, and the demand for aerospace technicians is growing, with a 3.5% increase over the next ten years. ("How to Become an Aerospace Technician," n.d.)

Conclusion: Many High Paying Jobs Don't Require a College Degree

In a world where pursuing higher education often comes with a hefty price tag, it's reassuring to know that there is a demand for many high paying jobs that don't require a degree. Whether you're a recent high school graduate seeking an alternative to college or someone ready to pivot into a new career, these high-paying jobs offer a pathway to financial stability and personal fulfillment.

Need help exploring your options? Do you have transferable skills that could pivot into one of these high-paying roles? Follow System One on LinkedIn, and connect with one of our recruiters to land your next role!

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