If you aren’t a fan of sitting in the classroom, there are still a few in-demand jobs that are ranked among the best jobs that pay a decent amount of money without a four-year degree. To sort through them all, you can use the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Finder or you can check them out here.
Here’s our list of the best jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree:
10.) Search Engine Expert
This job involves analyzing and auditing a website’s search engine presence, including factors that affect the website’s search engine ranking and website traffic on search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing and other sites.
While some may hire in-house SEO specialists, some work remotely, and it does not require a four-year stay in college.
However, you need to update your knowledge on SEO best practices and search engine updates to remain relevant.
SEO skills can be learned directly from online tutorials like Google’s SEO Starter Guide.
9.) Computer Support Specialist
Although some who hold this position might have college degrees, a four-year college degree is not a prerequisite to being a computer support specialist.
The job of a computer support specialist entails helping customers and even co-workers with any basic technical issues they might have.
All you need is basic knowledge of computer systems and good communication skills.
It is one of the best jobs that you can do remotely and earn a good salary. A computer support specialist earns about $50,000 yearly.
8.) Social Media Manager
It’s a social media world today, and there is a high demand for social media managers.
The job of a social media manager involves creating, scheduling and managing a brand’s image and presence on social media networks.
This is one of the best jobs that doesn’t require a college degree. All you need is experience and passion for participation on social media combined with good communication skills.
A social media manager earns about $30,000-$40,000 a year. If you are interested in learning how to be an expert in social media management, you can learn with Coursera.
7.) Web Designer
They work closely with web programmers, but they are more concerned with the user experience and aesthetics of a website. They create a mockup of the website needed; then it is given to a programmer, who writes the code to make it functional.
There are usually no four-year degree requirements with this job. All you have to do to get a client is to show your past projects, even if they are personal projects, and know a bit about graphic design.
A website designer earns around $40,000 a year, and you can learn to be a web designer on sites like Udemy.
6.) Computer Programmer
They are the brains behind many websites and mobile applications. Naturally, you would expect such a job would require a college degree for you to be a specialist.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. You can become a programmer without spending time inside the four walls of a college classroom.
Although most programmers have college degrees, some only need an associate’s degree or extensive experience in coding. Also, you can choose from the various programming languages to specialize in.
A computer programmer earns about $60,00-$70,00 yearly, making it one of the best jobs that earn you a sizeable amount without a college degree.
You can take a course in programming online at Code Academy.
5.) Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
Even though The Simpsons would have you believe otherwise, there is no college education required to become a nuclear power reactor operator. Of all the jobs available to those without a degree, working in a nuclear power plant offers the highest pay, but you’ll have to be lucky enough to dwell close to an existing plant or the site of a new one starting up. Word is that Mr. Burns is looking to expand from Springfield.
Many nuclear reactor operator jobs only require a vocational school certificate or significant work experience with nuclear reactors. You must also have completed high school. Through on-the-job training you would learn the basics of nuclear power generation, gaining knowledge about turbines, generators, safety protocols and appropriate equipment operation.
The job specifications of a nuclear power reactor operator include conducting procedures that start up or shut down nuclear reactors at a power plant. You also may be required to operate a specialized naval reactor that can propel a submarine. Some operators provide assistance with the loading and unloading of nuclear fuel, and some monitor sensors to ensure that any radiation leaks are detected and addressed quickly.
4.) Construction Managers
Telling people what to do can be fun and profitable. If you have construction experience, you can get into work as a construction manager with just an associate’s degree. The pay is about twice the national average, and the job market is expanding.
Also known as a site manager, the construction manager is the one in charge of the operations of an ongoing project on a site. They plan the project and ensure cost control, quality control and safety on the site.
The skills required for a site manager are not much. You need basic management skills, basic mathematics skills, good organizational and planning skills and experience in the construction industry to know how everything works.
Best of all, you’ll get to wear a bright yellow hard hat to work.
3.) Dental Hygienists or Dental Assistants
One of the fastest growing job markets is sticking your hands into the mouths of strangers. If that doesn’t immediately dissuade you, you might be a good dental hygienist. It takes a two-year degree—though you can be a dental assistant with just a trade-school certificate—and you get to do all the work so the dentist can drive a Porsche.
Hygienists clean teeth, check for cavities and do most of the dental work besides fillings and surgeries. Assistants prep the exam rooms, schedule resources and keep records.
You could do all these without needing to go through college or a university. Dental assistants serve as helping hands to the dentist. They help in surgical procedures and aseptic technique, management of sharp injury, management of clinical waste, sterilization, disinfectant and application of antiseptics.
The dental assistant is very important as they help the dentist in various other ways, allowing fast and effective dental services.
Most of the time, dental hygienists are the people you initially see before seeing the dentist. Also, one of the main factors that would get you hired as a dental hygienist and keep you in the job is good communication skills and flexibility to work with different kinds of people with different kinds of teeth problems.
According to the balancecareers.com, the median salary for a dental hygienist was about $72,910 as of 2016, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19 percent increase in jobs in this field by 2024. It is one of the best jobs you can do if you don’t have any interest in going to college.
2.) Registered Nurses
If you love comfy clothes, staying up all night and spending your time around sick people, then being a registered nurse might be one of the best jobs you can do without spending time in college. While some nursing gigs will require a bachelor’s degree, there are many that ask only for a two-year associate’s degree.
The job market is growing, the pay is good and the uniform is essentially an excuse to wear pajamas all day long (or it could be all night long, depending on the shift you get). Since people refuse to schedule their illnesses around normal business hours, nurses often work long, late and hard, but for good money.
The job of a registered nurse is to administer hands-on care for patients. They work with doctors and other medical personnel to prep patients for exams and update and maintain patients’ records.
1.) Cement Masons
Cement masons smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads or curbs.
If you want to do work that will be remembered for years but doesn’t require years of memorization, look into becoming a cement mason. It is one of the best jobs that don’t require going to college. Most of the time it doesn’t even require a high school degree; you learn through an apprenticeship on the job.
The job market for cement masons is growing quickly, and there aren’t too many other jobs where you can write your initials and have them visible for decades.
These jobs don’t require you to spend four years in a school trying to earn a degree. All you need in order to get some of these jobs is just an associate degree, certificate or on-the-job training.