Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree

Building inspector earnings range widely as certifications and years of experience can play a big role in compensation. But as the housing market grows and commercial real estate expands post-pandemic, inspectors are always needed to ensure the safety and the build of homes and other types of real estate.

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10 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years.

“New-collar jobs,” also known as “middle-skill jobs,” are those that require certain hard skills, but do not necessarily require a four-year college degree (or an extensive work history). Often, employees can get the skills they need for the job through vocational training, a certificate program, an apprenticeship, or a two-year degree program.

Hospitals, state governments, schools, manufacturers, IT companies, and other organizations have begun to search for employees with the right skills, rather than the right degree. Some companies even offer paid training programs for job candidates, which are similar to apprenticeships.

Here is a list of 10 of the top new-collar jobs. These are jobs that do not require a four-year degree, offer good salaries, and are in high demand. Read the descriptions of each job, as well as a list of more opportunities, and see which new-collar job is right for you.


Primary Duties: A driver is a hired professional who performs various transporting tasks. The most frequent employers for passenger car drivers are restaurants, hotels and delivery services. The main responsibility of a driver is transporting passengers or light goods from one point to another. They also typically perform maintenance work on their assigned vehicles and need to be able to communicate with customers in a polite and professional manner.

Primary duties: An administrative assistant provides administrative support to people and organizations. This can include preparing various reports, conducting research, communicating with customers and arranging meetings and seminars for the organization. Depending on the exact nature of the role, administrative assistants can provide support for the entire company, a single department or a single person in the office. Only a high school degree is required, along with soft skills such as organizational abilities and communication skills.

The best jobs without a college degree if you like the science behind medicine and personal healthcare:

Dental hygienist.

Dental hygienists are super hands-on with patients, examining them for oral hygiene and diseases. Because hygienists are not doctors of dentistry, they don’t require certain degrees. They can be trained at other institutions.

Ultrasound technician.

These medical staff members work alongside doctors and other health professionals to diagnose and detect issues using an ultrasound machine. Techs not only run the machine, they’re also responsible for maintenance of it.

Imaging technician.

Nuclear medicine technician.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, “ Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients for imaging or treatment . They provide technical support to physicians or others who diagnose, care for, and treat patients and to researchers who investigate uses of radioactive drugs.” Folks who want to be more hands-on with patients and work directly with doctors might enjoy this line of work.

Massage therapist.

Massages feel great, but there’s a significant amount of training and understanding of human anatomy that goes into becoming a massage therapist. Good therapists build up loyal clientele and can work virtually anywhere.

The best jobs without a college degree if you like working with people or making your own schedule:

Real estate agent.

Now, salary for real estate varies widely — years in the business and the type of real estate you sell can net you compensation within a huge range. However, as an average, real estate agents do pretty well for themselves and can typically work on their own schedule (or at the very least, on their clients’ schedules).

Insurance agent.

We need all kinds of insurance: auto, life, home, renters, health — so insurance agents are plentiful and are always needed to help folks navigate their insurance coverage and find the right fit for them. This includes claims adjusters, who handle the thousands of insurance claims that are filed every single day.

Funeral home manager.

Call it gruesome or depressing, but hey — people die every day, and funeral homes always have steady business for mourning families. If you can handle talking about death and all that goes with it, you could be looking at a lifelong career.

Gambling manager.

Casino lovers can rejoice knowing that a career that keeps you on the game floor and managing casino operations is a thing that exists! Though, this is only applicable in states that allow gambling, so it’s not feasible for everyone.


Detective or private investigator.

True crime podcasts and TV shows have turned all of us into a bit of a detective, but there are plenty of folks who do it in real life, too. It takes a certain personality and a very, very acute attention to detail, but if that’s your skillset, you might be interested.

Inside sales rep.

When it comes to sales, compensation is all over the board; you have your base salary, stock options, commission, and other parts of the overall compensation package that represent how much you make on an annual basis. What’s great about sales, though, is that once you hit your stride (and if your company has uncapped commission), there’s no limit to the amount of money you can make. Some people are incredible at sales, and many inside reps get their start without a college degree.

Lodging manager.

If you watched Lorelai Gilmore play a lodging manager on TV, it’s a career worth pursuing in real life if you are a people person and keep things tidy and organized. Lodging managers and hotel staff can make or break someone’s vacation experience.