Here’s the thing: You don’t need to have a degree to make more than 60k a year. Did you know your garbage man makes $80k a year? That’s one job, and we’ve got a list of 50+!
These jobs focus on your skill set and not your educational background. And if numbers are anything to go by, this is the need of the hour. A study by McKinsey and nonprofit Opportunity@Work highlighted that as many as 30 million American workers without college degrees have the skills necessary to earn 70% more. If you’re one of these 30 million Americans, it’s time to leverage your skills to make some good money. Sit tight and gear up for our list of 50+ jobs that pay $60k a year without a degree.
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List of 50+ Jobs That Pay $60k a Year Without a Degree
You don’t need to have a degree to get into careers that pay well. Here’s a whopping list of the 50+ good jobs that pay well ($60k or more) WITHOUT a degree.
|Job Title||National Average Salary|
|Air Traffic Controller||$89k–$200k|
|Petroleum Pump Operator||$51k–$79k|
|Hearing Aid Specialist||$48k–$100k|
|Real Estate Broker||$40k–$200k|
|Wind Turbine Technician||$40k–$75k|
|Computer Support Specialist||$39k–$85k|
|Farm Labor Contractor||$36k–$71k|
|Funeral Service Manager||$35k–$75k|
|Medical Sales Representative||$34k–$98k|
|Gas Plant Operator||$34k–$98k|
|Insurance Sales Agent||$33k–$100k|
|Food Service Manager||$33k–$73k|
|Social Services Assistant||$32k–$60k|
|Manufacturing Sales Representative||$27k–$100k|
Air traffic controller
National Average Salary: $89k–$200k
Duties: These folks work from a control tower and manage air traffic. They check flight schedules, give pilots clearance for takeoff or landing, and direct the movement of traffic on the runway.
Certification: Pass the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) air traffic pre-employment test and have three years of progressively responsible work experience. Entry-level applicants must complete training courses at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City.
Get Started: How to Become an Air Traffic Controller
National Average Salary: $63k–$100k
Duties: A dental hygienist examines patients to check for oral diseases and provide preventive care. Their daily tasks include cleaning teeth, applying sealants and fluorides, taking dental X-rays, and more. Apart from providing oral care, they also educate patients about oral health.
Certification: Complete an accredited program and get state licensure.
Get Started: How to Become a Dental Hygienist
National Average Salary: $62k–$100k
Duties: Radiation therapists work with oncology teams for cancer patients. They operate machines to deliver concentrated radiation therapy to a particular region of a patient’s tumor. This treatment may shrink or eliminate cancers.
Certification: Get a high school diploma or GED before enrolling for a diploma in radiation therapy. You may need to obtain a license and become a Registered Technologist (R.T.).
Get Started: How to Become a Radiation Therapist
National Average Salary: $59k–$100k
Duties: MRI technicians specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners. They help take pictures inside the human body by injecting it with contrast media for diagnostic purposes. The media is usually a dye that allows images to show up on the scanner.
Certification: Enroll in a program for MRI training to get a certificate. Other requirements include clinical work.
Get Started: How to Become an MRI Technician
National Average Salary: $53k–$100k
Duties: Commercial pilots navigate airplanes, crop dusters, helicopters, and other aircraft. Even though they can be airline pilots, they don’t necessarily have to be. They can also assist firefighters and become tour guides.
Certification: You will need a private pilot license, pass the FAA exam, and 250 hours of flight training.
Get Started:How to Become a Commercial Pilot
National Average Salary: $51k–$100k
Duties: Railroad conductors travel on trains and help coordinate the activities of the train crew. When on passenger trains, they ensure customer comfort and safety. Additionally, they check tickets and make important announcements to keep those traveling informed.
Certification: You’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, and several months of on-the-job training.
Get Started: How to Become a Train Conductor
Petroleum pump operator
National Average Salary: $51–$79k
Duties: A petroleum pump system operator works at an oil refinery. They signal other workers, to check temperatures and pressures, operate pumps, open and close valves, and more. These operators also need to record operational data, such as pumped products and quantities, timings, gauging results, etc.
Certification: You’ll need a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. To advance in this career, you can also take up an apprenticeship.
Get Started: How to Become a Refinery Operator
Hearing aid specialist
National Average Salary: $48k–$100k
Duties: A hearing aid specialist administers hearing tests for customers and interprets the findings. They then take impressions of the customer’s ears to determine whether hearing aids are suitable. They may also design, prepare, and fit hearing aids to the customer’s ears.
Certification: Get a high school diploma or GED.
Get Started: How to Become a Hearing Aid Specialist
National Average Salary: $48k–$80k
Duties: Boilermakers assemble, install, and maintain boilers. They also maintain closed vats, and other large containers or vessels that hold liquids and gases.
Certification: You’ll have to earn a high school diploma or GED. Also, consider taking up a welding certification.
Get Started: How to Become a Boilermaker
National Average Salary: $47k–$200k
Duties: Criminal investigators usually collect, analyze, and preserve evidence from crime scenes. They investigate complex criminal activities, and local, federal, or state law violations.
Certification: You’ll need a high school diploma or GED certificate to meet the education requirement. Most investigators will need additional training, but employers don’t usually require a postsecondary education.
Get Started: How to Become a Criminal Investigator
National Average Salary: $42k–$200k
Duties: Subway operators run the subway, elevated suburban trains, or electric-powered streetcars, to transport passengers from one location to another.
Certification: Get a high-school diploma or equivalent.
Get Started: How to Become a Subway Operator
National Average Salary: $42k–$100k
Duties: Instrumentation technicians work with a wide variety of devices. They monitor various mechanical systems to maintain, test, and inspect equipment to ensure good working conditions.
Certification: High school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED).
Get Started: How to Become an Instrument Technician
National Average Salary: $42k–$95k
Duties: Police officers are responsible for enforcing the law. To that end, they respond to emergency and non-emergency calls, patrol areas, observe people and activities, conduct traffic stops, and more.
Certification: You must have a high school diploma or GED.
Get Started: How to Become a Police Officer
National Average Salary: $41k–$100k
Duties: Casino management is a supervisory position. The managers administer policies, monitor the gaming area, and assure regulatory compliance. These folks also supervise casino staff, handle customer complaints, and more.
Certification: Industry experience and on-the-job training.
Get Started: How to Become a Casino Manager
National Average Salary: $41k–$100k
Duties: Patternmakers are skilled workers who create templates to mass-produce products such as clothing, shoes, furniture, and more. They translate blueprints and design models into factory patterns with the help of drafting software or freehand measurement techniques.
Certification: Get an apprenticeship or an internship under your belt.
Get Started: How to Become a Patternmaker
National Average Salary: $41k–$99k
Duties: Electricians work on power outages and rewiring projects for fixtures and equipment. They also handle the safety of lighting and wiring installation. They take care of the inspection of electrical components as well.
Certification: Apprenticeship and state licensing.
Get Started:How to Become an Electrician
National Average Salary: $41k–$94k
Duties: Model makers are specialists responsible for making three-dimensional (3D) scale models for many uses. These uses include project blueprints, product prototypes, film sets, construction, engineering, and more.
Certification: Find an internship or apprenticeship, as practical experience is key.
Get Started: How to Become a Model Maker
National Average Salary: $41–$86k
Duties: Interior designers beautify indoor spaces using decor, colors, lighting, and materials. They also work on making spaces functional and safe.
Certification: There are no strict degree requirements for this career choice. It’s best to intern with an interior designing firm to get started.
Get Started: How to Become An Interior Designer
National Average Salary: $41k–$77k
Duties: Adjusters inspect property damage or personal injury claims. They are there to determine how much the insurance company should pay for the loss. Since they are responsible for dealing with claims in insurance, they inspect homes, vehicles, and businesses.
Certification: High school diploma and claims adjuster license.
Get Started:How to Become a Claims Adjuster
Real estate broker
National Average Salary: $40k–$200k
Duties: The broker represents the sellers or buyers of real estate or real property. They work independently but can also work with a company, but the pay is solely commission-based.
Certification: High school diploma and real estate license.
Get Started:How to Become a Real Estate Agent
National Average Salary: $40k–$100k
Duties: Plumbers are responsible for installing and repairing pipes and fittings. They also install plumbing fixtures like sinks and tubs.
Certification: Apprenticeship and plumbing license.
Get Started:How to Become a Plumber
National Average Salary: $40k–$89k
Duties: Aircraft mechanics are responsible for repairing wings, brakes, electrical systems, and other aircraft components. They diagnose mechanical and electrical problems as well as replace defective parts.
Certification: Obtain a certificate from an FAA-approved school for maintenance or; gain at least 18 months of on-the-job experience.
National Average Salary: $40k–$88k
Duties: Welding supervisors are responsible for safely delivering welding projects according to schedule and budget. They combine management skills with an extensive knowledge of welding processes and welding economics.
Certification: You’ll need a high school diploma or GED, along with a welding certification in your chosen area of expertise.
Get Started: How to Become a Welding Supervisor
Wind turbine technician
National Average Salary: $40k–$75k
Duties: Wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair turbines. Their work involves inspecting towers’ exterior and physical integrity, climbing towers to check them and troubleshoot their performance.
Certification: You’ll need to earn a high school diploma or GED certificate. Consider an apprenticeship to learn more.
Get Started: How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
National Average Salary: $39k–$96k
Duties: Truck drivers haul will light/heavy/oversize loads over the road (OTR) or locally. They can work solo or in teams. The pay can vary depending on different factors like the type of load, mileage, and even the area.
Certification: Commercial Driver’s License and on-the-job training.
Get Started:Becoming a Truck Driver in 6 Steps
Computer support specialist
National Average Salary: $39k–$85k
Duties: Organizations hire computer support specialists to act as help-desk technicians. They usually provide technical help to all the non-IT computer users in their company.
Certification: These jobs mainly focus on support and require in-depth computer knowledge. But they don’t need any degree or formal training. It can be a good idea to get a related Associate’s degree.
Get Started: How to Become a Computer Support Specialist
National Average Salary: $38k–$200k
Duties: A massage therapist works extensively with their hands and will collaborate with clients to target stress and pain areas as part of the treatment plan. Other responsibilities include maintaining treatment records and coaching patients through proper exercise and relaxation techniques.
Certification: License through the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
Get Started: How to Become a Massage Therapist
National Average Salary: $38k–$100k
Duties: Web developers create and maintain websites by programming code and telling web applications how to operate. They’re also responsible for the website’s performance. Sometimes, web developers also design the websites, not just code them.
Get Started: How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree
National Average Salary: $38k–$100k
Duties: Ranch managers direct or organize the operation of farms, ranches, and nurseries. They oversee the ranging process, including the raising and birthing of all livestock. Plus, they supervise the production and care of livestock and other farm animals.
Certification: High school diploma and on-the-job experience.
Get Started: How to Become a Ranch Manager
National Average Salary: $38k–$72k
Duties: A career coach helps people advance their careers by guiding them through all aspects of the job search process. This can include resume writing, interviewing preparation, networking, and LinkedIn optimization.
Certification: Consider earning a certificate from an internationally recognized and accredited organization, such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Get Started: How to Become a Career Coach
National Average Salary: $36k–$89k
Duties: Ironworkers usually work on erecting new structures by joining iron girders and columns. But they sometimes also participate in the demolition, decommissioning, and rehabilitation of older structures.
Certification: You usually need a high school diploma and at least four years of working experience.
Get Started: How to Become an Ironworker
National Average Salary: $36k–$86k
Duties: Fire inspectors are responsible for detecting fire hazards by examining buildings. They ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met.
Certification: High school diploma and on-the-job training. You can become certified through the National Fire Protection Association.
Farm labor contractor
National Average Salary: $36k–$71k
Duties: Farm labor contractors hire farmworkers to help with seasonal staffing needs. They recruit, train, manage, transport, and pay farmworkers, providing them to farmers for help in different farming activities.
Certification: Anyone associated with farm labor contracting must register with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Apply online for an FLC license by visiting the FLC online application page.
National Average Salary: $35k–$100k
Duties: Elevator technicians handle the installation of elevators, mechanical walkways, and escalators. They also oversee the servicing, maintenance, testing, and repairing the electrical system and all its parts. This is one of the best paying technician jobs out there.
Certification: Apprenticeship and certification through the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC).
Get Started: How to Become an Elevator Mechanic
National Average Salary: $35k–$85k
Duties: Avionics technicians are repair specialists who maintain a plane’s electronic instruments. This includes radio communication devices, radar systems, navigation aids, and more.
Certification: Get a high school diploma or GED certificate. You’ll also need an FAA-approved avionics certification.
Get Started: How to Become an Avionics Technician
Funeral service manager
National Average Salary: $35k–$75k
Duties: Funeral managers manage the general operations of a funeral home business. This includes performing various tasks, such as planning and allocating the resources of the funeral home, handling marketing, managing staff, and more.
Certification: Get a high school diploma or equivalent. And complete a reputable mortuary science course.
Get Started: How to Become a Funeral Service Manager
Medical sales representative
National Average Salary: $34k–$98k
Duties: Medical sales reps market medical products and services to hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ practices.
Certification: High school diploma; training and certification necessary to become a certified national pharmaceutical rep (CNPR).
Get Started:How to Become a Medical Sales Rep
Gas plant operator
National Average Salary: $34k–$98k
Duties: Gas plant operators process gas for utility companies. They run compressor equipment along the pipelines used by utility companies to distribute gas. They also maintain the all-important specified pressures within the pipelines.
Certification: Most jobs require a high diploma or GED certificate. Employers usually provide training for entry-level positions. How to Get Started: How to Become a Gas Plant Operator
Insurance sales agent
National Average Salary: $33k–$100k
Duties: An insurance sales agent is responsible for selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance premiums. Depending on whether they work independently or for a company will determine if they will have the interest of the customer or the business in mind when selling insurance.
Certification: High school diploma and producer license.
Get Started:Guide For How to Become an Insurance Agent
Food service manager
National Average Salary: $33k–$73k
Duties: Food service managers handle the restaurant’s daily operations. They oversee their staff to ensure that customers have a positive dining experience.
Certification: You’ll typically need a high school diploma and several years of work experience in the food service industry.
Get Started: How to Become a Food Service Manager
National Average Salary: $32k–$91k
Duties: Firefighters put out or control fires and respond to emergencies. These emergencies may involve human life, property, or the environment. Their work is dangerous. When on call, firefighters sleep, eat, and perform other duties in the fire station. They work on shifts that often last 24 hours.
Certification: Entry-level firefighters will need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services.
Get Started: How to Become a Firefighter
National Average Salary: $32k–$91k
Duties: A court reporter is a shorthand writer who maintains an exact record of what occurred during a legal proceeding. These workers produce a complete, accurate, and secure transcript of depositions, trials, and more.
Certification: Take up a court reporting program and meet licensing requirements. Most states in the US accept the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation through the National Court Reporters Association instead of state exams.
Get Started: How to Become a Court Reporter
National Average Salary: $32k–$82k
Duties: Yoga instructors guide students by safely practicing various yoga poses, practicing meditation, and promoting mindfulness.
Certification: Get certified by a registered yoga school. Ensure you pick a program officially recognized by the Yoga Alliance.
Get Started: How to Become a Yoga Instructor
National Average Salary: $32k–$65k
Duties: Riggers take ownership of setting up or repairing rigging for construction projects, logging yards, manufacturing plants, ships, shipyards, and more.
Certification: You’ll typically need a high school diploma. Plus, getting an OSHA Safety Certificate can help you earn more.
Get Started: How to Become a Rigger
Social services assistant
National Average Salary: $32k–$60k
Duties: Social services assistants connect clients with available benefits and community resources. These benefits include, psychology, rehabilitation, social work, and more. They also provide vital support to social workers and other mental health professionals in serving the community.
Certification: High school diploma and some on-the-job training.
Get Started: How to Become a Social and Human Service Assistant
National Average Salary: $29k–$65k
Duties: Makeup artists visually transform their client’s facial aesthetics through makeup. These beauty practitioners offer general makeup services or work in prosthetic design.
Certification: Enroll in a reputed makeup program. Ensure you build a portfolio of makeup images.
Get Started: How to Become a Makeup Artist
National Average Salary: $28k–$100k
Duties: Power distributors and dispatchers operate systems to control the flow of electricity as it travels to substations and users from generating stations.
Certification: You’ll typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and extensive on-the-job training.
Get Started: How to Become a Power Distributor and Dispatcher
National Average Salary: $28k–$100k
Duties: A waste collector (also referred to as a garbage man) is employed by a public or private enterprise to collect and safely dispose solid waste, recyclables, residential, and commercial waste.
Certification: High school diploma and on-the-job training.
Get Started: How to Become a Garbage Collector
Manufacturing sales representative
National Average Salary: $27k–$100k
Duties: Manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to other businesses and organizations. They usually attend trade shows and conferences to reach new customers and follow up with old ones.
Certification: Get a high school diploma or GED certificate and lots of on-the-job experience.
Get Started: How to Become a Manufacturing Sales Representative
National Average Salary: $27k–$81k
Duties: Chefs oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served.
Certification: No strict education or training is required. Most chefs gain knowledge and skills while on the job.
Get Started: How to Become a Chef
National Average Salary: $18k–$100k
Duties: Flight attendants are responsible for providing passengers with a positive experience. They achieve this through providing routine services and responding to emergencies.
Certification: You’ll need a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Consider taking up a flight attendant training program to increase your employability.
Get Started: How to Become a Flight Attendant
Looking to get a side hustle while working your full-time job? Check out these side hustle apps.
How to Get Jobs that Pay 60,000 a Year
Here are a few tips to help you find top-paying jobs without degrees:
Pick your career path strategically
Understand that some jobs, roles, and industries pay more than others. So, the first step to finding a job that pays $60k a year is knowing where to look. Currently, several jobs in construction, installation, renewable energy, and computer science pay very well without requiring degrees.
Here’s the bottom line: If a high level of compensation is your priority—make sure you’re exploring opportunities in fields and industries willing to pay that kind of money. Confused about which career to pick?
Read our article on 10 Steps For How to Choose a Career (With List of 800+ Job Ideas)
Find ways to refine your skills
We bet you’ve met college grads who believe their degree dictates the kinds of jobs they can do. As someone looking for a high-paying job with little schooling, you want to step away from this thinking. Focus instead on refining the skills you need to get your dream job.
- You want to be a coder? Learn the key computer languages and work on sample projects to showcase your abilities.
- Think you have what it takes to become a professional makeup artist? This type of freelance job will require you to hone your skills with practice, work with an expert, and create a social profile highlighting your work.
Build your network
Degree or no degree, one common aspect that helps all jobseekers set their foot in the door is networking. A survey by Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems showed that nearly 85% of jobs are landed through personal connections and networking! This isn’t something you want to shy away from. Be intentional and proactive about building connections. Here’s how you can get started with networking:
- Build a solid profile on LinkedIn. Ensure your profile has all the key details about your skills and interests. You can then request to connect with influencers, experts, and headhunters relevant to your field.
- Don’t skip networking events. Everyone attending makes their intentions clear—they want to get to know each other.
- Take a step back and analyze your current network. Is there anyone with relevant experience to help you out? Don’t hesitate to ask for help—it could be the only thing standing between you and your $60k job.
How Common Are $60k-A-Year Jobs With Little Schooling?
We’ve shared our list of the 50+ jobs that pay $60k, regardless of your education level. It’s safe to say that 60k salary jobs are pretty common with little schooling. Still need convincing? Here’s an interesting statistic: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2020 and 2030, about 60% of new jobs will be in occupations that don’t require an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree. Lyle Solomon, a personal finance expert and principal attorney at Oak View Law Group, says,
“$60k-a-Year Jobs without a degree are pretty abundant, and with the right skills, mindset, and know-how, one should easily be able to secure them. As the economy grows, the need for construction and installation goes up significantly; hence there are always a lot of workforce requirements that are not education-oriented but rather based on skills and training.”
Over the past decade, there have been growing concerns over increasing tuition fees, student debt, and the lower quality of graduates. And yet, today’s society believes higher education is essential to earning a higher income in the future.
Of course, getting a degree has its benefits. However, having one isn’t always a prerequisite for a high-paying job. We hope our list of 50+ jobs that pay well without a degree has outlined how skills (and not necessarily a degree) can still earn you a great income today.