Getting a good job doesn't have to wait until you go to college. Check out these 10 highest paying jobs without a degree you can pursue.

Going the "traditional" path through college isn't for everyone. The good news is: you don't need a college degree to get a high-paying job! There's plenty of opportunity for you without the time (and expense) of a four-year or higher-level college education. Today, the idea of pursuing jobs outside of the traditional 9-5 career is gaining traction. More people are finding ways to make a significant income without a "traditional" degree. Looking for your next (or first) career?



Here are 10 of the highest paying jobs without a degree. 

1. Computer Programmer

Did you realize you don't have to have a college degree for a career as a computer programmer? Most people probably assume programmers have a computer science degree to find success in that field, but that's the old-school way to do it. You certainly won't hurt your career options with a degree in computers, but you also don't need one. Most computer programming jobs require knowledge and experience with computer languages, like C++ and Java. Programmers can acquire the skills they need through certification training or technical colleges. Many employers prioritize experience and demonstrated skills over a 4-year bachelor's degree. There's also a good chance you can work from home. Not only is it a high-paying job, but you also have flexibility about where you work and plenty of available job options. For example, plenty of computer programming jobs in San Francisco are available with good compensation for computer-savvy individuals like you.

2. Electrician

Being a licensed electrician requires training and certification, but you don't need a college degree to pursue this career. Most employers require a high-school diploma and certification following electrician training. You'll also need an apprenticeship and to pass a licensing exam. Electricians are in high-demand and make good money. It's an excellent career option if college isn't your thing.

3. Pharmacy Technician

You don't need a degree to help people with medication. Pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies or hospitals. It's an important role that requires an eye for detail and customer service skills. You can learn the skills to be a good pharmacy technician at a technical or vocational school. However, many people in this career learn on the job. It's another high-demand career with an excellent salary and room for growth. 

4. Plumber

Like being an electrician, plumbing is another trade that doesn't require years of formal education to start in the workforce. People will always need plumbers. If you enjoy your career and can keep up with the physical demands, you'll find plenty of work. You'll need to be a problem-solver that can visualize solutions for a wide range of plumbing problems. You'll also need a high-school diploma, vocational training, and the completion of an apprentice program. 

5. Commercial Pilot

Fly planes! It's an exciting career that doesn't require a degree. Instead, pilots must make their way through flight school and log plenty of practice flight hours to earn a pilot's license. Most flight schools require a high-school diploma or GED since you'll need to understand math and physics to master your pilot skills. There are plenty of "fly by night" pilot training programs. Be sure you choose an independent FAA-certified flight school or instructor to make sure your training course is legitimate. A certification from a reputable training program will help you start your career off right. 

6. Radiologic Technician

If you want to work in the medical field but the idea of too many years in college and paralyzing medical debt isn't appealing, consider becoming a radiologic technician. As an RA you will perform imaging and X-rays on patients. You'll also help patients and doctors understand the images. Radiologic technicians are an essential part of a medical team. You don't need a 4-year degree, but most technicians complete an associate's degree in radiologic technology. It's typically an 18-month program followed by testing for your certification. 

7. Insurance Sales

Everyone needs insurance! The industry has plenty of options and a need for agents. A college education isn't required, but you'll need to learn plenty of laws to qualify for your license. It's a heavily regulated field. Be prepared to study hard, pass your test, follow a lot of rules, then continue learning as laws change over time. You'll also need excellent people and sales skills to find success in this industry.

8. Real Estate Agent

Here's another field that requires excellent people and sales skills, but it doesn't require a college degree. Top real estate agents can earn a significant income. A salary cap doesn't limit you. The more houses you sell, the more money you make! Real estate is another heavily-regulated industry. You'll need to keep up with the laws to pass a licensing exam. You also need an understanding of business and finance for success. 

9. Police First-Line Supervisors and Detectives

You'll have to work your way up the chain of command, but service experience and advancement exams help police officers increase their salary in law enforcement. Sergeants and captains take exams and exhibit exemplary service for the opportunity to move up to higher pay grades. Many detectives start as patrol officers, then work their way into investigative roles that better suit their skills. If you have the patience to start low and work hard for more opportunities, law enforcement might be for you. 

10. Heavy Equipment Operator

If you like big machines, this career is for you. Driving cranes, dump trucks, and other construction machinery don't require a college degree. Operating heavy equipment does require certification. You'll need a license to operate and an excellent safety record. 

You can accelerate your career and find success in pursuing any of the jobs on this list of the highest paying jobs without a degree. Do your research to find out what you need in terms of training and certification. You could find yourself in a job you really love—without the stress of big student loans to pay later. Was this article helpful? If you liked what you read, be sure you check out our other blog posts.