A lot of my friends told me that I should go to college. They said that it was what you had to do if you wanted to be successful. As someone who was struggling to pay rent, I didn’t really feel like throwing thousands of dollars down the drain. So instead, I created this resource for people who want to look at alternate ways to jumpstart their career. It gives you free information on top jobs with high salaries and little to no degree required
When you hear about jobs that make you rich fast without a degree, what do you think of? Maybe you’re thinking about getting rich from being a writer or a speaker. Or maybe your mind is going towards making tons of money on the stock market or playing daily fantasy sports.
Obviously, this is so highly paid because it’s so intense and stressful—you have to be alert and on-task constantly. You’d be monitoring and directing aircraft and earning up to $122,530—the highest of any occupation in which employees don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree. The on-the-job training is long-term and rigorous (but you’ll appreciate it when you can actually save money and retire like an old-school human being).
If you’re interested in a career in healthcare without the nearly decade-long investment of time, money, and your sanity, consider a radiation therapy career. You’ll be responsible for checking equipment, observing patients after their treatments, and documentation of sessions. The median salary is $77,560, you’ll need an associate’s degree, and you may find more than 8,400 jobs waiting upon graduation.
If you happen to like elevators—or any electric or hydraulic systems maintenance, you could find yourself happy in this job—the $76,650 you could earn with your high school diploma might help too! Typically new repair techs start with an apprenticeship. there are more than 8,000 jobs in the forecast.
Median annual pay: $78,740
Projected job growth through 2026: 4 percent
These pilots handle unscheduled flight activities, such as aerial application, charter flights and aerial tours. Some, known as corporate pilots, transport company executives. They are also typically responsible for other non-flight duties such as scheduling flights, arranging for maintenance of the aircraft and loading luggage.
Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Median salary: $46,470
Education needed: high school diploma, on-the-job training
Job growth: 51%
These guys and gals install and maintain solar systems that convert sunlight into energy. This job involves travel to various homes and businesses. If you like being active and outdoors, this could be a great fit for you! And as this becomes a more popular energy source, we’ll see the demand for this job increase. Folks, 51% is an astronomical growth rate!
Power Plant Operators
Entry-level Education: High school diploma
Median Income: $85,950
Job Growth: -16%
This science and engineering career hosts experienced professionals planning and directing the operations of power plants, ensuring plants not only produce power, but provide that power to the appropriate locations and clients. The career provides a high median salary, but the obvious negative is the job reduction. Between 2019 and 2029, the demand for this career is expected to drop by 16%, and there will be fewer jobs. However, with long-term, on-the-job training, a high school graduate can enter one of these highest paying jobs without a degree.
Another job not to go for just because it looks cool on tv—detectives and criminal investigators assist law enforcement and private citizens in tracking down suspected violations of laws, to prevent or solve crimes, or find and recover private property. The median salary is $74k, there will be nearly 28k potential job openings coming, and there’s moderate on-the-job training.
These positions involve, as you might expect, coordinating, regulating and distributing electricity or steam, which may involve working in a technical facility or plant. The median salary breaks $71k, you’ll be able to get long-term on-the-job training with your high school diploma or equivalent, and there are more than 3,000 prospective openings.
Funeral service managers
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Median annual wage: $78,040
Projected job growth through 2026: 7 percent
Overseeing the operations of a funeral home may seem a morbid job, but it is a highly rewarding one. These managers need to not only be skilled in handling typical business tasks like staffing, marketing and maintaining revenue, but also at offering counsel and support to grieving families, arranging for the removal of the deceased’s body, preparing the deceased for the funeral, and filing death certificates and other legal documents with appropriate authorities.
Typically, an associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science is all the education that’s needed to become a funeral service worker. On the job training, however, is also important, as those studying to be funeral directors and morticians must one to three year-long internships and pass a state and/or national board exam.
Nuclear medicine technologists
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Median annual wage: $75,660
Projected job growth through 2026: 10 percent
These healthcare workers prepare radioactive drugs for patients to assist with imaging or therapeutic purposes. They operate the imaging equipment used to diagnosis and treat patients. They may also help physicians in researching the uses of radioactive drugs.
Nuclear medicine technologists typically need an associate’s degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. Although, some technologists become qualified if they have a degree in a related health field and complete a 12-month certificate program. They commonly need a certification in the field and some states may require a license to practice.
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Median annual wage: $80,370
Projected job growth through 2026: 1 percent
Monitoring radiation is an average day for these technicians who typically work in nuclear energy production or help physicists and engineers in nuclear research. They operate the equipment necessary for these nuclear experiments or power generation and track the levels and types of radiation that are produced by such activities. Testing air, water and soil samples for radioactive contamination can be another aspect of their job.
Nuclear technicians typically need an associate’s degree in nuclear science or a nuclear-related technology. Some gain an equivalent experience from military service. Extensive on-the-job training is also required.
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Median annual wage: $80,570
Projected job growth through 2026: 13 percent
Part of the healthcare teams called in to treat cancer, these therapists operate the machines that deliver concentrated radiation therapy to a patient’s tumor. They are also responsible for explaining treatment plans to patients, determining the region of the body receiving treatment, and checking for unusual reactions.
Employers usually prefer to hire applicants with at least an associate’s degree in radiation therapy, though some companies accept those who’ve completed a certificate program. In most states, radiation therapists must be licensed or certified. Requirements vary depending on the state but typically include passing a national certification exam.
Whatever career you pursue, it’s worth your time and effort to make sure it comes with a sizeable paycheck. And even if you never step foot in a classroom again (like me), there are still many high-paying jobs you can do without a college degree.