Some of the best careers that don’t require a college degree

Do you REALLY need a degree to get an interesting job? We look at a some rewarding careers that you don’t need a college degree for. 

Today’s university and college students are forced to take on an increasingly daunting amount of debt in pursuit of their education. But is that really their only option?

What if you don’t have a degree? Or don’t wish to study for one? There are still a wide range of exciting and financially lucrative career options open to you. Here is a just a tiny selection of jobs that don’t require a degree.


Did you dream of becoming a pilot as a child? Well the good news is that the dream is still within reach. As long as you don’t have specific medical issues such as color-blindness, angina, coronary heart disease, and epilepsy, it’s still possible to attain your pilot’s license and become a commercial pilot.

It’s a great career if you enjoy, travel and adventure. You can even train to fly helicopters, aid in firefighting, and assist in rescue operations. The annual wage can be quite high, with the median estimated at about $73,000.

Dental hygienist

As a dental hygienist, you are responsible for inspecting for possible mouth diseases and advise on proper medical care.

Don’t want to be a pilot (or can’t commit to being away from home) but still like the idea of a travel-related job? What about air traffic control?

An air traffic controller has a pivotal task: to keep planes and the people in them safe. You also must monitor the arrival and departure of planes to ensure that the planes are on schedule.

While you don’t need a college degree for this job, you will need to get your associate’s. The median wage for this job is about $122,000.

Small business owner

As a small business owner, you are freed of the restrictions of working for someone else, and can shape your business around the lifestyle you want.

But with that freedom comes much more responsibility. You need to build and grow a business that will sustain you financially, and offer a consistent and reliable service to your customers.

Whether you want to open a bakery, liquor store, or an at-home DIY business, the possibilities for starting your own business are virtually endless. The annual salary ranges widely, making the average about $50,000.

Dental hygienist

Fancy the idea of a job in the health sector? What about becoming a dental hygienist? As a dental hygienist, you are responsible for inspecting for possible mouth diseases and advise on proper medical care.

An associate’s degree will train you in the technical aspects you need to launch a career as a dental hygienist. You can expect to earn around $70,000.

Enrolled agent

If you want to be involved in law or accounting but can’t afford the degree, an enrolled agent position is a great alternative.

In contrast to CPAs, who have must have a college degree, complete CPA review courses, and pass an extremely rigorous exam, the road to a role as an enrolled agent is relatively simple.

As an enrolled agent, you are granted unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. You are able to work alone or with a law firm as well. Besides a high school degree, you must also pass the EA exam. Enrolled agents can expect to make anywhere from $30,000 to $76,000 or more.

Artists or designer

The term ‘artist’ can be applied to many trades – not just painters and sculptors. Many artists work as freelancers, interior designers, commercial photographers, makeup artists, videographers, or graphic designers.

If you are looking for something more consistent and reliable than freelance work, you could look for a role in the design department of a company.

If you like the idea of being an artists, you can hone your skills in local classes. Experienced artists can make $65,000 or more.

Criminal investigator

Are you a natural puzzle-solver? Do you love getting to the bottom of a good mystery? If so, a career as a criminal investigator may be a good fit for you.

Keep in mind that you must have a strong grasp of local, state, and federal law, as well as well as discipline and analytical skills. You can expect to make approximately $74,000 in this field, depending on company and location.

Whatever career you choose, make sure you use your talents and skillset to the best of your ability – with or without a degree.