Skip to content

15 Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree That Can Jumpstart Your Career

Updated: May 17, 2024 | Published: May 4, 2020

Updated: May 17, 2024

Published: May 4, 2020


Earning a degree is a personal choice. While it’s advisable for several reasons, including higher salaries, it isn’t always possible. Some prospective students may face extenuating circumstances that make it impossible to earn their degree. Even with the option of online college, some students still choose not to earn a degree and enter the job market straight after high school. There are a number of jobs that don’t require a degree.

By no means are these jobs any less important than a job someone gets with a degree. In fact, they are growing in number.

Definition Of “New Collar”

With technological changes and cultural shifts, new opportunities continuously arise. As such, there are job opportunities that don’t require a degree at all. These jobs are being coined as “new collar jobs.”

New collar jobs are actually filling up a big space in the job market. They are great positions for recent high school graduates, caretakers who want to get back to work, and those who are looking to change careers.

Customer support specialist at a computer
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree

Here’s a look at some jobs and expected salaries that don’t require degrees.

1. Computer Support Specialist

A computer support specialist offers assistance to companies and people with software and hardware. They can offer support via phone, in person, or online. Some computer support specialists may have taken certification courses. However, some companies will hire without any degree or certification. Rather, it helps to have knowledge of computers and have good people and communication skills.

This job averages a salary between $50,000-$55,000 per year.

2. Network And Computer Systems Administrator

Companies rely on network and computer systems administrators to set up their computer systems. This job is needed across industries because everyone uses some type of network and computers to operate. Some companies may prefer their employees to have a bachelor’s degree. However, others just require a postsecondary certificate and strong computer skills.

The average salary is just over $80,000 per year.

3. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists provide medicine to healthcare professionals and patients. Many work in private pharmacies or drug stores, but some may also work in hospitals. There are programs that offer certificates to become a pharmacy technician. Alternatively, many pharmacy technicians have the opportunity to learn on the job.

The average salary is around $32,000 per year.

4. Service Delivery Analyst

A service delivery analyst uses software and data to track customer satisfaction. This role has skills that vary by industry. However, across the board, this job requires strong computer skills and communication skills.

On average, service delivery analysts earn nearly $55,000 annually.

5. Transportation Inspector

Transportation inspectors can work with just a high school diploma. They check both equipment and goods to make sure that people and cargo are transported safely. For example, they can work as freight inspectors or rail inspectors.

On average, they earn around $74,000.

6. Media And Communication Equipment Worker

Media and communication equipment workers help install, repair, and maintain audio and visual equipment in homes and businesses. They can learn the job through practice and apprenticeship.

The salary is quite high for a job that only requires a high school diploma, coming in at nearly $80,000 per year.

7. Elevator Technicians

Elevator technicians install, maintain, and fix elevators, escalators, lifts, and moving walkways. The job is expected to grow over the next decade by about 10%. Apprenticeship and high school diplomas are often the only requirements for this position.

Elevator technicians can bring in around $78,900 per year.

8. Air-Traffic Controllers

Air-traffic controllers direct and coordinate the movement of air traffic for airplanes, jets, and helicopters to ensure a safe distance between them. This is a high-stress and demanding job because it requires such important attention to detail. The training for the job is long-term, on-the-job training and often requires an associate’s degree.

Because of how high stakes the job is, it can bring in just over $124,000 per year.

Healthcare Jobs that Don’t Require Degrees

Interested in healthcare-related jobs specifically? Here’s a look at some jobs that don’t require a degree within the field:

9. Medical Scribe

Physicians use scribes to fill out their patient charts with electronic medical records software. To become a medical scribe, you need to have typing skills and should have an interest in medicine.

Medical scribes earn about $35,000 a year.

10. Phlebotomist

The medical field needs phlebotomists to draw blood. They draw blood in labs and during routine tests. A certification is needed to perform this job, which takes about 6 to 12 weeks to complete.

Phlebotomists earn around $34,000 per year.

11. Surgical Technologist

Working in the operating room, surgical technologists help by preparing surgical equipment. It’s required to have an associate’s degree or certification for this position.

A surgical technologist can earn roughly $46,000 a year.

12. Assisted Living

Many assisted living jobs don’t require degrees. People can become personal care assistants and help patients perform daily tasks. People who are best fit for this job are those with compassion and a desire to help others.

Caregivers generally earn about $23,130 a year.

13. Ultrasound Technician

Those interested in healthcare, but who are not yet sure they want to fully commit to the education process can start as ultrasound technicians. An ultrasound technician performs ultrasounds and provides results to doctors. The job typically requires an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate.

Those working in the position can expect to earn an average of $65,600 a year.

14. Medical Coder

Medical coders are a high-demand position within the field of healthcare. Medical coders establish coding systems and maintain them on patient records for insurance submission. Each employer requires their own set of experience or training, but many accept medical coders who are ready to learn on the job.

On average, the salary is $39,180 a year.

15. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants help medical staff without being hands-on with patients. This means that they perform a variety of tasks that range from scheduling appointments to preparing rooms for patient exams. Medical assistants should complete a post-secondary program for training that typically takes about a year.

They earn $32,480 on average per year.

Network support and technology technician
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

More Positions: Technology And Business

Haven’t seen anything listed above that suits your fancy? Don’t worry, there’s more! Here is an abbreviated list of a few more job titles that may be worthwhile to research if they speak out to you.

  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Cloud Administrator
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Security Analyst
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Computer Systems Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Database Administrators
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Support

Challenges For Getting A Degree

There are a variety of different reasons why someone may choose not to get a degree. Some of the top reasons people choose not to earn their higher education degree include:

Types Of Degrees

There are different types of degrees that you can earn.

  • Associate: Entry-level degree. Generally takes 1-2 years to complete.
  • Bachelor’s: Most common higher education degree that’s required in job settings. Typically takes about 4 years to complete.
  • Master’s: A specialized form of study that relies on research and more individual study time. It generally can take 1-2 years to complete.
UoPeople student on laptop with notebooks attending online college
Photo from Pexels

Want to Earn Your Degree?

If you’re interested in earning your degree, changing your career, or landing a job that requires a degree, you still can! No matter where you are or from or how much money you have, the University of the People has programs for you.

UoPeople is an online, tuition-free, US accredited institution that offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The programs cover: Health Science, Business Administration, Computer Science, and Education. They are all tuition-free.

Because all classes are online, students can choose when and where they want to learn. Therefore, a lot of the barriers that keep people from enrolling in traditional college campuses simply do not exist at the University of the People.

The Bottom Line

There are many career options that don’t require a degree. While career options for non-graduates tend to offer lower salaries than for graduates, they can still make for rewarding and satisfying careers. For some people, the path of higher education is not the right fit. They can still achieve success by jumping full-force into the job market.

For others, perhaps it’s a case that earning a degree doesn’t feel possible, but it’s still a dream. If that’s you, please consider online education. The University of the People is just one of so many options where you can take classes online, communicate with peers around the world, earn your accredited degree, and enter the job market with more opportunities.