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No College Degree Needed: Successful Careers A Person Can Get

Updated on June 2, 2014

There can be a variety of reasons why a person may not want to attend college. There may be some people who will say that a person cannot attain a great job without a college degree. That statement is false. There are many ways a person can gain success without a degree. These are all great jobs that do not require a college degree:

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Nuclear power reactor operator

A nuclear power reactor operator only requires a high school diploma. A career in this field can be very lucrative. The mean annual wage in this field averages at $78,400. This is more than many who have earned high level degrees earn. The primary States where employment in this field is highest are: Illinois, Louisiana, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Installing and repairing elevators

Ride the elevator to the top without a college degree by becoming an elevator installer or repair person. This career only requires a high school diploma. To gain a successful job such as this, a person must start as an apprentice. A license is required to be an elevator installer, and by being an apprentice, the test for licensing will be a breeze. The average annual wage for this no degree job is $76,650.

Power plant operators, distributors or dispatchers

Humans all need electricity, therefore they all need those who operate the power plants that feed that electricity. A person can get any of these careers without college. All that is needed is a responsible attitude and a high school diploma. There will be a long-term on the job training. Power plant operators average in the neighborhood of $68,200 per year. That isn't bad considering they will have no college education.

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Farmer or rancher

While there has been a steady decline in the jobs in this area, many believe that it will rise again. Farm or ranch managers only need a high school diploma, but they do need a strong back and good work ethics. Most farm owners are not as concerned about levels of education. They seek people who believe in working hard and getting the job done. In some cases, this can mean from early morning until after dark. The average yearly wage in this category is $69,300.

Insurance claims adjusters, examiners and investigators

There is big money in the insurance business. A person can land any of these careers without college, but there are tests and licensing that needs to be passed to attain these jobs. There are ample jobs to be had in this field. The average yearly wages amount to $59,800. Insurance can provide a person a great career and success without a college degree.

Subway or streetcar operator

Subway and streetcar operators are other types of jobs that provides a lucrative income for someone who didn't attend college. The only drawback is subways are not all over. To gain success as a subway operator, a person would have to live in an area that has this mode of transportation. The majority of these areas do have high cost of living scales. The great part is: subway and streetcar operators average $58,800 per year. That, by no means, could be called failure because a person didn't attend college.


It is quite evident that there are successful careers for the people who didn't, or will not attend college. It is still wise to attain a college degree if a person has the ability, but if not, they do have options to find great jobs that do not require a degree. They can gain success without a college degree.

© 2014 Greg Boudonck


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    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      You are welcome. Thank you for visiting.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      This is a helpful list for careers without a college degree. Thanks.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      Thank you. I hope a career change works out for you.

    • livingabroad profile image

      livingabroad 3 years ago from Wales, UK

      Looks like I need a career change as I'm not earning anywhere near these kind of salaries with my university degree!! Maybe I chose the wrong occupation...

      Interesting read. Up and Sharing

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      Good point MsDora, college is a great plan. Thank you for your input.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good information for those who can use it. Question is: are there enough of these jobs for all the people without college degrees? As you mentioned, it is still good idea to get all the qualifications you can.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      That is a bit nerve-wracking. Oh well, I think the problems would be there with or without college. Thanks billy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For a variety of reasons, it bothers me greatly that a nuclear reactor operator only needs a high school diploma. LOL Perhaps that explains the problems at Hanford right now.

      Have a great weekend, Greg!