ollege costs are rising and student loan debt has ballooned to over 1.5 trillion dollars. With these mind-boggling stats, it’s no wonder many people are hesitant to take on the expense of a college education. Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs that pay well and don’t require a degree—that means you can get paid without going back to school. Working as an engineer, software developer, or IT security analyst might sound intimidating and require advanced training, but the truth is that these positions don’t always require a degree. Some engineers make great money without a degree, as do developers and cybersecurity professionals. Get ready to discover some of the highest-paying jobs that also happen to require no college education.
Become an Expert in Something
The best way to make money without a college degree is to become an expert in something. Whether you’re knowledgeable in software engineering, business, or another industry, you can earn money simply by sharing your knowledge with other people. You might even be able to make a living just by writing a few books and selling your expertise in the form of an e-book or other online course. If you don’t know what you want to be an expert in, try thinking about what you’re passionate about. Another way is to find your gap in the market—what do people need that isn’t currently being offered? An expert in a niche is worth much more than an expert in a crowded and overly saturated market. A few examples: an expert in SEO, an expert in social media, an expert in marketing, an expert in crypto, an expert in fashion, an expert in food, an expert in web design, an expert in coding, an expert in business, an expert in the law, and an expert in health/fitness/wellness.
If you’ve ever wondered how some people earn a living as a voiceover artist, it’s a legitimate career path. With just a few hours of practice, you can learn how to be a voice actor. You don’t have to have a special voice or a trained singing voice to make money with your voice. You can earn money by recording commercial advertisements, narrating podcasts and audiobooks, or providing voiceover work for websites. What’s more, you can make a full-time income from home with some regularity. The average hourly rate for a voiceover artist is about $50 an hour, which translates to $80,000 a year if you work 40 hours a week. Voiceover artists with regular work can earn many times that amount. But it’s not easy money. You’ll have to build your reputation in the industry and regularly audition for work.
Blogging and Vlogging
If you have a subject that you’re really passionate about, you might be able to turn it into a lucrative blog or vlog. Selecting the right topic is crucial. You don’t want to choose something that’s too broad or too niche. Instead, you want to pick something that has a lot of search traffic, but that you can also add value to. A great example is travel blogging. You don’t have to be a seasoned traveler to become a travel blogger. You can write about destinations near and far, from your hometown to faraway lands. Nearly every major blogging platform allows you to monetize your blog posts with ads, affiliate links, and sponsored posts. The average annual salary for a blogger is $80,000. If you want to go beyond blogging and start a vlog, you’ll need to invest in a good camera. But you can make that money back by monetizing your videos with affiliate links.
If you’re a gifted writer and have a knack for travel, you can turn your experiences into a stream of income by writing for travel publications like National Geographic or Condé Nast Traveler. You can also apply to write for online travel publications like The Points Guy, AFAR, and Travel + Leisure. To land these jobs, you’ll need to have a proven track record of published work. You can start by writing for your own blog. If you make a name for yourself as a travel writer, you can earn as much as $80,000 a year. But unlike blogging, you can’t monetize your travel writing with ads or affiliate links. Instead, you’ll have to catch the eye of an editor and earn a regular paycheck.
If you’re a native English speaker, you can make a living as an English as a Second Language teacher. Many people look to move abroad and take up teaching jobs that don’t require a university degree. You can find English teaching jobs in countries all over the world, including Asia and Latin America. With English teaching jobs, you can earn $80,000 a year or more. But you’ll need to be prepared to relocate. And the job will likely last from one to three years, with no promise of renewal. To find English teaching jobs, you’ll need to seek out a recruiter or school. You can also sign up with an agency that connects English teachers with schools. Before you sign up for a contract, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your teaching job.
Computer Software Developer
A computer software developer is someone who creates computer programs and applications for a living. There are many different types of software developers, and their job titles vary based on the industry they’re working in. For example, in healthcare, somebody who writes computer programs to manage patient care is a “clinical engineer.” The job of a software developer is to write code for different types of software like websites, apps, and computer programs. Wage: $96,000 Description: Software developers create computer programs and websites from scratch. Education: Bachelor’s degree The majority of software developers have bachelor’s degrees in computer science or a related field. Some employers may hire applicants with a two-year associate’s degree if they have a lot of related work experience.
Information Technology (IT) Security Specialist
Cybersecurity specialists protect computer networks and systems from hackers and cybercriminals. If you have a knack for computer systems and a high school diploma, you can find a job as an information technology security specialist. Wage: $90,000 Description: IT security specialists test computer networks’ security systems and look for weaknesses that hackers might exploit. They also design new systems to improve network security. Education: High School Diploma Although most employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, some IT security companies hire people without a college degree.
Detective and Criminal Investigator
A detective is someone who investigates crimes, usually for a law enforcement agency, such as a police department. Criminal investigators are similar to detectives, but they may work for government agencies other than law enforcement, such as the state department of corrections. Wage: $86,000 Description: Detectives and criminal investigators interview witnesses, review evidence, and follow leads to solve crimes. Education: High School Diploma Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a similar field.
Beauty salons, television and film studios, fashion shows, and other types of businesses hire makeup artists to help people and models look their best. If you have a flair for makeup and aren’t shy about the spotlight, becoming a makeup artist might be a great way to make money without going back to school. Wage: $72,000 Description: Makeup artists apply cosmetics to people’s faces and bodies to help them look their best. Education: No degree required Most makeup artists learn their skills on the job or through apprenticeships at beauty salons or cosmetics companies. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed formal education programs in makeup artistry, but it isn’t always necessary.
First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives
A first-line supervisor of police and detectives is the person in charge of a law enforcement agency such as a police department. First-line supervisors of police and detectives are responsible for managing the operations of the agency, such as hiring new officers, assigning tasks to detectives, and evaluating employee performance. Wage: $86,000 Description: First-line supervisors of police and detectives manage the operations of law enforcement agencies. Education: Bachelor’s degree Most employers require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, public administration, or a related field.
Commercial pilots fly planes and helicopters for companies that contract with people to transport passengers and cargo. Most commercial pilots have bachelor’s degrees in aviation, but a high school diploma and some work experience can get you started in the field. Wage: $80,000 Description: Commercial pilots fly planes and helicopters for companies that contract with them to transport passengers and cargo. Education: High School Diploma Many commercial pilots have bachelor’s degrees in aviation or a related field, but a high school diploma and some work experience can get you started in the field.
Power Plant Operator
If you have a high school diploma and a clean criminal record, you might be able to land a job as a power plant operator. Wage: $81,000 Description: Power plant operators manage the operation of the electrical or steam turbines, or the boiler plant that generates power. Education: High School Diploma A Power plant operators are responsible for the operation of the plant, including monitoring and adjusting the plant’s operation to maximize efficiency. They monitor and control the amount of water being used at the plant, and measure and record the amount of electricity being produced.
Marketing and Advertising
Marketing and advertising managers are responsible for overseeing the advertising efforts of a company or organization. They might design marketing campaigns, manage budgets, and oversee the selection of outside firms that help with branding efforts. Marketing and advertising managers earn an average of $79,000 a year. To become a marketing and advertising manager, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, or a related field. You can also become a marketing and advertising manager with an associate’s degree, but it will take you longer to break into the field. To advance in this field, you can join marketing or advertising associations and attend conferences.
If you’re proficient in more than one language, you can make money as a translator. There are many different types of translation jobs, such as machine translation and human translation. You can work remotely as a translator and earn $80,000 a year. But it can be difficult to find translation jobs. That’s because translation work is often outsourced to companies that employ translators full-time. To find translation work, you’ll need to be diligent and regularly apply for jobs. You can also try to find translation projects that let you work for yourself.
Freelancing is a great way to earn $80,000 a year without a college degree. The key is to pick the right skills to freelance in. For example, you can earn money as a virtual assistant, writing content, programming, tutoring, designing, or completing other digital or creative tasks. You’ll need to set up your own freelance business and market your services to potential clients. You can also try using a freelance platform, like Upwork, to find work. While freelancing can be a great way to make money, it’s not easy. And it can take time to find enough jobs to make a full-time income.
Become an Animation Artist or Animator
To earn $80,000 a year without a college degree, you can become an animation artist or an animator. This is not a job for beginners, but experienced artists can earn a very good living from freelance animation jobs. If you don’t want to freelance, you can also apply for a full-time animation job, either in the entertainment industry or in an advertising agency. To land these jobs, you’ll need a portfolio of your best work. You can also try to get an apprenticeship in an animation studio. There are many non-traditional ways to make a living without a college degree. You can earn $80,000 a year without a degree by becoming an expert in something, picking a profitable niche, and tackling freelance work. Keep these non-traditional ways to make money in mind the next time you consider going back to school.
Final Thoughts on What jobs make 80k a year without a degree?
If you’re interested in a lucrative career that doesn’t require a degree, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of high-paying jobs that don’t require a college education, from commercial pilot to computer software developer. With the right training and experience, you can earn a high salary and get paid well without a college degree. Now that you know which jobs pay well and don’t require a degree, you can explore different career paths and find the best fit for you.
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James is the editor-in-chief at biggerinvesting.com. James is a workaholic and an entrepreneur who has been in the tech industry for over ten years. He has worked with Microsoft, owns multiple websites, and now owns a mattress shop. Furthermore, when he has time left over, he will be in his woodworking shop building furniture as a side hustle. James has a B.S. in Business Management Information Systems and a Master’s in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Executive Leadership, and once he completes that, he will pursue his Ph.D. in Business Administration – Entrepreneurship. James also seeks investment opportunities, putting his money to work instead of himself.