5 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree

By Kailey Walters on September 11, 2017


While we are all having unique experiences in college, the end goal of obtaining a university degree is the same: to get a job after graduation. Many of us, now making our way through the rough yet storied college path ourselves, are (desperately) embarking on job hunts to land that internship or get connected with the right companies early on.

But sometimes, as we struggle through our coursework, our classes, and constant late nights, we can’t help but recall the stories of people who made something of themselves without getting a college degree. Then we can’t help but compare ourselves to those legends and wish we could be just as successful, just as quickly.

Of course, everyone works hard to make their dreams a reality in one way or another — so don’t think you have an automatic excuse to drop out of college!

Just for kicks, though, here are some high-paying jobs one could possibly attain without a college degree … because having more job options is never a bad thing.

1. Office Support Supervisor

With a median annual salary of $52,602 in 2017, this job as an administrative assistant only requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. This role involves coordinating the activities of clerical and administrative workers in companies. If you can see yourself working in an office space and are fairly organized and responsible, this may be a good option for you.

Plus, if you enjoy doing something useful to help others without being in the spotlight, you can perform your duties as an office support supervisor relatively behind the scenes.

2. Real Estate Brokers


If you enjoy interacting with people and consider yourself at least somewhat persuasive, a real estate broker could be the job for you. Although the median annual wage is $56,790, brokers’ earnings depend largely on sales commission and so the pay will inevitably vary according to individual skill, economic conditions, and property value. And while brokers don’t typically need on-the-job training, most states do require candidates to pass a licensing exam first.

3. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

While this job does not require a college degree, most candidates receive some sort of training related to aircraft mechanics in the military or attend a technical school approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. So, if you’re willing to go through a little bit of training beforehand and are interested in something mechanics-related, you could potentially earn about $60,170 annually.

4. Makeup Artist


If you’re eyeing something a bit more on the creative and artistic side, you might consider becoming a makeup artist in the theatrical performance field. According to wallst.com, more than 22 percent of theatrical makeup artists did not graduate from high school — and the median annual salary is still an impressive $60,970.

5. Media and Communication Equipment Worker

If you have a working knowledge of various types of equipment (e.g. spotlight operators or satellite communications), you could be an equipment worker in the media and communication field. A great thing about this job — besides the median annual wage of $75,700 – is that it involves only short-term on-the-job training.

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