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High Paying Careers That Don't Require Expensive Degrees

Updated on February 6, 2014

You're graduating from high school, congratulations by the way, and it's time to seriously think about your future. Many of your friends are busily applying to their favorite universities to pursue their academic dreams. Well, you have dreams too, but they don't involve spending wads of cash and another four years in school. In your opinion that's not a dream. That's a nightmare.

Flatten out that furrowed brow and breathe a sigh of relief. You can land a great job without a fancy degree. Here are a few careers that have comfortable salaries without the need for uncomfortable student loans.


Insurance Sales Agent

If you're a self-starter with excellent people skills and would love to work in an office, you may enjoy a sales agent career at an Insurance brokerage. With a median income of roughly $47,000 and an expected employment growth rate of 22% by 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Services this is a booming industry. Insurance Sales Agents must have a high school diploma and be licensed by the state in which they work. You may also want to get a few business courses under your belt before taking your licensing exam.


Real Estate Broker

If you are a "people person" who loves to work independently and are great at influencing others, you may thrive in a real estate career. Real Estate Brokers assist clients with buying or selling properties--just like a Real Estate Sales Agent--but they are also licensed to run their own Real Estate business. In order to become a Real Estate Broker, you must have a high school diploma, and complete a series of Real Estate courses in order to write an licensing exam. It is also helpful if you have some business courses under your belt. The median salary for a Broker is approximately $59,000 and occupations in this field are expected to rise by 11% by 2020.


Elevator Repair Technician

If you are physically fit, have an eye for detail, and are mechanically-inclined, a career in elevator repair and installation may be a perfect fit for you. A high school degree is a must, but classes in mathematics, the trades, and mechanical illustration will also prove beneficial. In order to work as an Elevator Repairer, you will need to embark on a four-year apprenticeship that includes 2000 hours of paid on-the-job instruction. In some states you will be required to pass a licensing exam. The National Elevator Industry Educational Program is a good place to start, if you're interested in learning more. This field is expected to experience an 11% growth by the year 2020. With a median annual income of almost $71,000, you may want to give this field some serious consideration.

Casino Gaming Manager

If you are a natural leader with great customer service skills, a mind for numbers, and a healthy supply of patience, you may enjoy a career as a Casino Gaming Manager. With a median income of nearly $67,000 annually and an employment growth rate of 11%, this is a viable occupational path for someone who is not university-bound. Casino Gaming Managers typically have a high school diploma, some courses in management, and many have experience as a slot or gaming supervisor. You must also become licensed by the state, submit to a drug test, and complete a background check. The American Gaming Association is a good resource if you're interested in pursuing this career.

Sure there are lots of Bachelor Degree jobs out there, but that's not your only option. This is just a small sampling of the great careers that you can embark on without spending years and a fortune at a post-secondary institution. So strop fretting and look forward to the future. It can be bright without a fancy degree.

Have you achieved a successful career without a degree? How did you make it happen?

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