17 Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree


17 Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

What is one job for someone who doesn’t have a college degree?

To help you find a job without a college degree, we asked successful entrepreneurs and career coaches this question for their best insights. From pursuing a job as a diesel mechanic to breaking into the IT industry, there are several recommendations that may help you find a job in the future.

Here are seventeen jobs that don’t require a college degree:

  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager
  • Event Planning
  • Flight Attendant
  • Hospitality 
  • Legal Secretary Or Assistant
  • Truck Driver
  • Create a Digital Project 
  • Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant
  • Drop-Shipping
  • Offshore Oil-Platform Worker
  • Movie Industry
  • Home Services
  • Blogging
  • Real Estate Agent
  • UX Design
  • IT Industry 

Diesel Mechanic

When a diesel engine doesn’t start, an entire operation can be thrown into disarray. The product doesn’t ship. Timelines aren’t hit. Customers can’t get their product. Companies stumble. A good diesel mechanic is worth their weight in gold. With certificate programs ranging from a few months to a few years, it is a high-skill job that commands high-skill pay and respect. With a median national salary of $47,350, it is a high-quality job with room for growth and advancement.

Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

In a sector that is experiencing growth in this role, you will earn a median annual wage of $94,730. Overseen people who are working on transportation, storage, distribution, and other logistical activities for an organization. You may be involved in ensuring that the company is operating in accordance with government laws. To work in this role, you’ll generally need a high school diploma and a few years of experience working in a related field.

Amit Raj, The Links Guy

Event Planning

You can work in event management. This kind of job requires the ability to be social, creative, and to think quickly. You never know what will happen at an event so you have to be ready to improvise sometimes. These kinds of skills are not necessarily ones that you need to study in school.

Jared Hines, Acre Gold

Flight Attendant

Becoming a flight attendant doesn’t require a college degree and is a great career to pursue at any age after completing high school. Flight attendants assist with passenger safety, serve food and beverages, and are a crucial component of air travel. In some cases, a flight attendant will be given the opportunity to choose flights with a few days between them in order to spend time in the locations they’re traveling to. This career path is an excellent choice for someone looking to explore the world and meet new people along the way.

Joe Spector, Dutch

Hospitality 

The hospitality industry offers a wide range of roles and rapid growth opportunities for those willing to add value in a customer-facing position. Whether working from a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, managing the front desk of a local hotel, running an area restaurant, or as a security officer at a casino, successful career tracks in hospitality are in-demand and can pay rather well for those without a college degree. These jobs are not the typical 9-5, so shifts can vary times of day, which can be a benefit to those with family responsibilities, daytime classes, or a preference for a challenging role in an exciting environment.

Benjamin Meskin, Cabrella

Legal Secretary Or Assistant

Legal secretaries are specialized administrative assistants to perform clerical duties unique to the field of law. Though they don’t perform much legal work, sometimes they cross over into the paralegal role. But, mostly, they keep law firms running like well-oiled machines by transcription court proceedings, coordinating court dates, client billing, and filing critical legal documents. Some employers look for a legal assistant with an associate degree, but many enter the field with a high school diploma. With a national average salary of $53,000, you can enjoy financial security without the need for a degree.

David Aylor, David Aylor Law Offices

Truck Driver

Unprecedented increases in online ordering during the pandemic sent the demand for delivery truck drivers skyrocketing, forcing those trucking companies to hike pay. There are still an enormous amount of truck drivers needed to fill the gaps. Taking into consideration the truck driver demand, without experience, you can make a lot of money on a trucker’s salary. You can earn $100,000 or more a year as a truck driver, after a few years. Owner-operators often earn even more than six figures annually.

Joe Bowab, Lobster Anywhere

Create a Digital Product 

In a post-pandemic world, online education, or the e-learning market, has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Sharing your expertise in the form of digital products can be lucrative for people with and without college degrees. If you have not yet explored digital learning, complete this exercise: 

  1. Make a list of three to five things you know how to do exceptionally well. 
  2. From this list, identify the result, transformation, or skill you can teach others in a practical, step-by-step way. 
  3. Next, conduct thorough market research to determine if your idea is viable. 
  4. Once you determine a market exists, it’s time to plan, position, package, present, and profit by turning your ideas into income.

Margot Blair, AMB Consulting & Co.

Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant

You can become a Digital Marketer and SEO consultant by taking free or paid courses online. By learning and understanding how search engines crawl and index content, you can gauge what search engines value. You can specialize in this field and then offer your knowledge and expertise as a consultant to any business that owns a website.

Liz Hogan, Find My Profession

Drop-Shipping

It is very easy to connect to suppliers and place orders when you receive interest from a customer. At Rush Order Tees, we started as a dropshipping business that prints on-demand t-shirts when a user ordered a specific design. These designs can be as simple as words written with free fonts, logos, or illustrations you can buy from stock images if you do not have the skills and send it to be printed when you have an order in place. This requires minimal capital, no supply of products to be bought, and a very low-risk job that anyone can do from anywhere.

Michael Nemeroff, Rush Order Tees

Offshore Oil-Platform Worker

There is a mixture of roles to choose from in this most demanding of environments aboard an offshore oil rig, including equipment maintenance, rig and drilling operations, and administration roles. A college degree is not required to start working on an oil platform.

Hakeem Shittu, iPad Recycle

Movie Industry

If you’re looking for an industry to work in, look no further than the movie industry! These businesses are always on the lookout for people who like being in front of a camera. Installing, maintaining, and repairing audio and visual systems can earn you $73000 a year with 5% growth opportunities over 10 years. All it takes is just some high school education or short-term on-the-job training – this could be your opportunity knocking at your door!

Jar Kuznecov, Water Softeners Hub

Home Services 

Apprenticing in the home services industry is a great way to learn a variety of potentially-lucrative skills. Even starting as a home painter can open doors, through the people you meet, to learning skills in plumping, electrical work, and appliance repair. These are jobs that are highly skilled, though they don’t require a college degree, and they provide stable work at a good income. Simply reach out to those who know the skills, express your interest, and often people are willing to teach if it means getting extra help in their work.

John Jacob, Hoist

Blogging

There is no college degree for blogging because you need to combine so many skills from creative writing and graphic design to social media marketing and technical aspects of websites. Of course, you could outsource some parts, but still, it’s hard to imagine a degree that would cover most of these areas. You need to learn them by yourself!

Joonas Jokiniemi, Yerba Mate Culture

Real Estate Agent

Many successful real estate agents have never attended college. Instead, they earn a high school certificate before obtaining a real estate license and starting employment. This enables students to enter the real estate market early, as many careers in this field do not require any additional formal schooling. Real estate agents and brokers, like salespeople, get a commission or a percentage of the deals they close, so if you’re successful in this profession, your profits might be pretty significant. Those who earn commission in addition to their base wage in their employment have the opportunity to earn more than those who are only given a flat salary.

Wesley Exon, RNT to BSN Program

UX Design

Most people associated with UX Design started with graphic design, web development, product design, or gained relevant industry experience before collecting the skills to call themselves a UX Designer. Nevertheless, one thing is clear- there’s no such thing as a Bachelor’s in UX Design, so just go for it. UX Designers are heavily in demand at the moment, and it’s unlikely it doesn’t continue this way. What’s more, you may pick up all the soft and hard skills easily if you come from a design or development background; even if not, you’ll do just fine.  It does take practice, willingness to learn, and an inner thirst for innovation.

Agnieszka Goulin, Spacelift

IT Industry

The IT industry is ready for enthusiastic people without a degree. The secret is spending a few months preparing to apply. Steps are easy: 

  1. Dive into industry websites and learn as much as you can about networking, PC support or website design. There are many jobs that don’t require years of experience coding.
  2. Get a professional certification in the area you are interested in. With a little bit of studying, these are easy to get. It shows a potential employer that you are eager and willing to learn.
  3. When applying for a job, use a cover letter explaining your interest and the steps you have taken to show your commitment to breaking into the industry.
  4. On your resume, add a skills and certifications section to show off what you have learned on your own.

The IT industry moves so fast that what you learn may be obsolete tomorrow, employers look for candidates that are self-motivated with a passion and eagerness to learn.

Jean Prejean, Guardian Computer, LLC

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

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