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Transition Into One of These $50,000 Careers with No Degree Needed

June 13, 2018 | By Louis Tully

Not everybody has the means to head back to the classroom and get their college degree. Tuition is more expensive than ever and the average time frame from enrollment to graduation is at least 3-4 years for most degrees, and that’s if you’re enrolled full-time.

8 Jobs that Don't Require a Degree

For those of us who don’t have the luxury or the time to get a college education, there are still some great professions out there that offer solid salaries. Here are just a few entry-level careers that pay well with no degree required!

Police Officer

Many law enforcement agencies favor applicants with military experience on their resumes over any type of college degree. New hires to the police force undergo paid training at a specially designed police academy, which is very similar to a military boot camp. Police Academy training isn’t nearly as time-consuming as a college education, with officers in training typically graduating after just a few months.


The services of an experienced and reliable handyman are always in high demand, no matter what part of the country you live in. You don’t need a college degree to know how to use a monkey wrench and most maintenance and repair companies will take on apprentices straight out of high school. The average repairman can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 a year.


The United States manufacturing industry runs on machines. A certified machinist controls the functions of these big machines by computer or a manual control panel, making sure production runs smoothly. With no college degree needed, the average machinist makes about $40,000 to $60,000 a year.

Truck Driver

Truck drivers are more than just glorified deliverymen. These knights of the road are an invaluable part of our economy, ensuring the safe and timely delivery of goods of all sorts to every city and town throughout the country. Experienced truck drivers are in high demand and command a salary upwards of $60,000 a year, one of the highest paying jobs available without a college degree.

Oil Fields

The oil industry is a good fit for anyone without a college degree who’s willing to travel, work hard and put in a substantial amount of overtime. Oil extraction pays a pretty penny, too. The average oil field worker can take home anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

Related: Want to kick your saving game up a notch? Start a penny-saving challenge for National One-Cent Day


A mechanic’s work is never finished. These automotive techs work around the clock in body shops, car dealerships, corporate vehicle pools, and even construction equipment companies. Certification is required, but not a college degree. On average, mechanics make between $30,000 to $50,000 a year.

Construction Worker

As long as people live in houses, work in offices and shop in stores, construction workers will always have plenty of work. Certifications for operating certain equipment is required, but a college degree is not. Construction worker salaries are around $40,000 to $50,000 a year to start, and as a sub-contractor the earning potential is substantial.


Any company that has a product to sell needs a salesman. Salesmen usually work off of commission plus base, but some positions offer a steady salary. A successful salesman could make up to $80,000 a year, with the possibility of bonuses.

You Don't Need a Degree to Make $50,000 a Year

If you’re tired of working for peanuts and payday loans seem to be the only thing keeping you afloat, you should give one of these great-paying careers a shot. If you can’t do college due to time and financial constraints, a promising career is not out of the question for you. The American workforce could always use you, even without a college degree.



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