How to Land High Paying Jobs Without a Degree

By Workplace Learning Solutions

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Do you find yourself wishing over and over that you finished up those few college credits?  You want to reach out for high paying jobs but to qualify you worry about that degree qualification.  You want to go back to school. You want your degree, but you need cash now! What do you do?  Do you settle with your low paying job? Do you juggle both work and school?  Do you quit work and finish your studies?  It's a tough call!  But it's one of those things that needs a strong decision.

Many people believe if you have a college degree, you'll make some decent cash right away.  That's not always the case.  In today's economy, a degree does not mean you are guaranteed high paying jobs.  Some people may even wonder if a college degree is still worth it.  In the Federal Reserve Bank of New York publication (Volume 20, Number 3, 2014 Issue), economists, Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz, question if all college degrees are equally better for future jobs.  They find that majors that provide more training earn a higher return.  This means more hands-on training programs are better for future employment.

If you're a job seeker who did not go to college, stay calm and don't worry! College isn't for everyone. Yeah, we get it.  That doesn't mean that you should sell yourself short in the employment line.  You don't have to be stuck in a low-paying job for the rest of your life. There is still hope in finding high paying jobs.

Is There Anything Else Besides College?

Finding high paying jobs is not impossible.  You just need the technical skills along with proper training certifications.  Even though you didn't go to college, you still will have to learn new skills.  If you want to pass up formal education, you can teach yourself specialty skills or you can get assistance through other resources.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeships are great ways to enter high-paying jobs because they provide  hands-on work experience.  Get the training you need for high paying jobs by receiving one-on-one or classroom instruction.  Registered apprenticeship programs include auto-mechanic, construction laborer, plumbing, pipe fitter, electrician, HVAC, and any other occupation that requires hands-on training certification.  You can visit ApprenticeshipUSA to learn more about how these programs can help you get high paying jobs.

Trade/Vocational Schools

If you're more of the hands-on type and prefer practical experience, seek a trade school.  Trade skills are great to have on your resume.  This shows recruiters that you have experience within the desired industry.  On average, trade school takes two years to complete and cost less than a Bachelor's Degree.  Trade schools can steer you on your way to high paying jobs in no time. It just depends on the type of work you want.  Interested in learning a trade?  Click here for more information.


Learning is your responsibility.  If you decide not to go to college but want high paying jobs, you must grow.  It's important to learn a skill on your own.  Creative jobs like design may require you to teach yourself the trade.  Try online learning if you're interested in skills like professional photography or instructional design.  Online tutorials are great options.  You shouldn't just stop there.  Research communities and network with other persons that are professionals in their jobs.  In these groups, you can get advice and discuss problems. High paying jobs become possible to get when you develop career building relationships with others.

16 High Paying Jobs to Choose From

Having a college education and degree will always be helpful to earn high paying job opportunities.  However, there are many workers out there that do not even have a two-year degree.  They, like many others, would like the opportunity to have high paying jobs.  If you have a post-secondary non-degree award, you're in luck! HERE are 16 high paying jobs that you could do to make the big bucks.

Source: U.S Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Did not see what you're looking for?  Here are more high paying jobs you can get without a college degree.  Skip the four-year degree.  Find occupations that give you hands-on experience.  Find high paying jobs that look for training experience over formal education.  Don't get turned away from something great.

Check out 'Put Yourself Out There: Defeating the Fear of Failure' to prepare for your next big job interview.

About the Author:

Workplace Learning Solutions LLC (WLS) is a professional development agency in Atlanta, GA. We provide career and job readiness coaching to professionals and job seekers.  We also work with organizations that are interested in providing professional development opportunities and training to their staff.  Our writers are experienced career and professional development coaches and instructors passionate about career success.  You will find our articles to be timely, interesting and thought provoking.  Individuals who are interested in improving their professional image, advancing their careers, and finding a good balance between life and work will find great value in our writing.  To learn more about WLS, you can visit our website at

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