10 Profitable Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

Growing up you were likely told that you have to graduate high school, go to college, get married, and then settle down to have kids. While that sounds like an ideal timeline, what if your life doesn’t follow this “traditional” plan? A four-year degree is not in everyone’s books, whether you don’t have the time to dedicate or you simply cannot afford the student loans, if you’re looking for jobs without a degree then look no further! Here are 10 jobs without a degree that can still make enough money to provide for your home.

Air Traffic Controller

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

According to NATCA, an air traffic controller “provides separation between landing and departing aircraft, transfer control of aircraft to the en-route center controllers when the aircraft leave their airspace, and receive control of aircraft on flights coming into their airspace.”

You are probably thinking there’s no way you can apply for air traffic control jobs without a degree. While there are schools like Embry Riddle Aeronautical University that offer a four-year program for air traffic controllers, that is not your only option. The FAA hires air traffic controllers directly and they have their own two to five-month training you attend. Once they have accepted you into their program, you begin your job while training and getting certified – in fact, you get paid during this process! 

Air traffic controllers do end up in some very stressful situations. Navigating multiple aircraft is a lot trickier than it sounds, but it’s not impossible to learn. The average air traffic controller salary is around $120,000, so when it comes to jobs without a degree this is definitely one of the top ones to consider! 

For more information or to apply, visit the FAA website

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

This title may sound overwhelming, but it is one of the greatest jobs without a degree that you work your way up. Study tells us, “Transportation, storage and distribution managers are in charge of allocating and shipping merchandise in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.” With this career path, you will have a ton of responsibilities including creating budgets, overseeing employees, and more. If you’re a multitasker then this career path is for you! Transportation, storage, and distribution managers are such an important role in every company in the world – including places like Target, Amazon, and more.

While a degree is not required for this career, you must have at least five years’ experience in the field. This is the perfect job where you can start in one department and work your way up. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers on average make anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 per year. 

To find jobs as a transportation, storage, and distribution manager visit Indeed.

Read More: Career Planning – Everything you Need to Know

Dental Assistant

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

Although there are many jobs without degrees, some of us don’t have time to go through a five-month training process. Luckily, jobs like dental assisting have programs where you can get your certification within 10 weeks! Dental assistants help dentists perform their job quicker and easier. Some tasks that you can expect are taking x-rays, passing instruments back and forth to the doctor, sterilizing the equipment, and helping to reassure and calm patients.

There are programs where you can become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), but if you’re looking for jobs without a degree and need to start right away, places like Accelerated Dental Assisting Academy offer a 10-week program. The only requirements for this certification are a high school diploma or GED, good health and you must be 17 years or older. The average dental assistant brings in a salary of $45,000 per year. 

If you’re interested in a 10-week program, visit ADAA for more information.


10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

If beauty jobs without a degree spark your interest, then you’re in luck! There is absolutely no one we trust more than our hairstylist, so why not start your career to become one and help give confidence to other people! To become a hairstylist, you are not required to have a degree. There are tons of state-licensed cosmetology programs around the world that you can attend to acquire your license and career as a beautician. 

Training to become a licensed hairstylist can take anywhere from 9 months to a year. There are many roles you must play when you are a hairstylist, but Cosmetology License says that “Hairstylists provide a range of hair care services as part of a routine session, including shampooing, cutting, coloring, styling, and blow-drying.” Once you have passed the schooling and exam, there are so many opportunities within the field. Whether you’re wanting to work in a salon or you’re wanting to branch out and offer wedding services, you’re not limited to doing one thing over and over again.

Average salaries for hairstylists in salons is around $25,000 a year, but those who own their own business average quite a bit more.


10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree
Becoming a photographer is one of the most creative jobs without a degree!

Everyone has a hobby that they wish could turn into their career. We’re here to tell you that you can absolutely pursue your passion! When it comes to jobs without a degree, pursuing photography may sound a bit difficult without attending college. Most would think that in order to become a professional photographer, you have to study and have a degree in photography. Although the information that comes with a degree is useful, nowadays there are so many other options for photographers.

Websites like CreativeLive offer online classes from professionals explaining everything you need to know to start your photography business. From the technical side of your camera and other equipment to basic marketing, you’ll be able to start your business from the ground up in no time. Depending on what your photography business niche is, you’re looking at a yearly salary of anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000! Whether you’re wanting to photograph nature or weddings, this is one of the best jobs without a degree you’ll find in the creative field! 

Read More: Portrait Photography Basics

Massage Therapist 

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

Honestly, there is nothing more relaxing than a good massage. If you’re looking for jobs without a degree that are interesting, rewarding, and provide a good annual salary then becoming a massage therapist could be for you. MyPlan tells us that “Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.”

As a massage therapist, you’re in charge of ensuring that your patient’s muscles are relaxed to improve a number of medical conditions! With some programs, you may be able to add on certifications for facials as well.

In terms of time for certifications, Natural Healers tells us “legally the minimum hours required for obtaining a massage therapy license vary by state, and these minimums range from 300 to 1,000 hours. Depending on how your program is structured, you can obtain your license in a matter of weeks, or it might take you up to two years.” Make sure to look up your state requirements for massage therapists before applying to a massage therapist program.

As a massage therapist, you can expect an average salary of $41,000 to $60,000. And that’s not even including the endless massages your family will be receiving.

Read More: The Luxury of Massage Anytime with Ovie


10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

If you’re looking for jobs without a degree that is more hands-on, then you’ll want to add carpenter to your list. Becoming a carpenter is an incredible career option, but it is extremely physically tolling. You have to be in great shape, as you’ll be lifting and building a number of things. But if you’re up for the job, you can expect an average annual income of $41,000 to $72,000.

Although an associate’s degree can help you land the best job, you’ll only need a high school diploma to start your carpenter apprenticeship. Under your apprenticeship, you’ll be learning all of the basics from reading blueprints and working directly with wood to accumulating the hours that are required for your certification. In order to become a full-time carpenter, you’ll have to pass all OSHA requirements. For more information on certification, check out NARI.

Registered Nurse

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

Maybe a four-year degree isn’t in the works for you, but if you can commit to a two-year degree, then you’ll definitely want to look into becoming a Registered Nurse! With only an associate’s degree, you could be looking at bringing in an average yearly income of $68,000! But what exactly is a registered nurse responsible for? 

Rasmussen gives us some insight on this career path and says “RN nurses might administer medication, consult with other healthcare providers, monitor patients, educate individuals and family, and be responsible for managing medical records. They must also stay up-to-date with new tools and technology to help provide the best care to patients and families, and the best support to doctors and other healthcare professionals.”

When you’re looking at jobs without a degree, becoming a registered nurse gives you so many different avenues. After receiving your associate’s degree in nursing, you can apply for a job at a hospital, private practice, and even hospice care. With so many different options, a registered nurse is a great alternative to a four-year degree.

Home Daycare

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

If you have little ones at home, but still want a fulfilling career, then you may want to look into running your own home daycare. This career path definitely fits into jobs without a degree, but it is not one to take light-heartedly. Caring for other people’s children is hard work, not just anyone can do it. You’ll be spending your days ensuring that these children are happy, healthy, and most importantly loved. 

Each state differs on the requirements for running an in-home daycare. You must be 18 years or older, pass a background check, and complete the required training. Once you’ve completed the necessary steps, you can expect an average annual salary of around $20,000-$31,000 (which is pretty great in addition to being home with your own children)! Keep in mind that there are limits on how many children you can watch at a time. Make sure to check in with your state’s Department of Social Services for all the information on how to open your in-home daycare.

Real Estate Agent

10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

We all have the Pinterest boards of our dream homes. But have you ever considered finding and selling those dream homes to other families? Real Estate agents are one of the best jobs without a degree that you can find. As a real estate agent, you will be working directly with people who want to sell their homes or properties. Staging the homes and scheduling walkthroughs with potential buyers are just a few of the tasks you’ll be doing. Real estate agents’ income is based on a percentage they make for selling each house, but on average you can make anywhere from $23,000 to $45,000 a year.

Each state is different when it comes to the requirements of becoming a real estate agent, but regardless of where you are you’ll need to be licensed. You cannot simply start selling homes unless you own them. To become licensed, you will need to enroll in a prelicensing course and pass the necessary exams. Once everything is done, you can begin selling homes in your state. Kaplan College has courses for nearly every state, so make sure to check them out.

When you’re looking for jobs without a degree, don’t fret! We were all taught to follow certain guidelines for careers, but in today’s world, each person’s history and gameplan is different. With so many different job opportunities, you can quiet those voices in your head and create your own path.

If you already have your dream job, but now you’re working from home, make sure to check out 9 Tips and Tricks for Working from Home Moms.

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10 Profitable Jobs That Don’T Require A Degree

Sources: Natca | FAA | Study | Indeed | ADAA | Creativelive | Natural Healers | My Plan | Rasmussen | Nari

Photo Credits: Lauren Benson Photography | Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash | Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash | Ani Kolleshi Unsplash | alan caishan on Unsplash | Paul Trienekens on Unsplash | JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash



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Lauren Benson
Lauren Bensonhttp://www.lbensonphotography.com
Lauren is a traveling mom, wife, and wedding photographer. Some of her favorite things include hiking with her family, photographing couples who are in love, singing to her daughter, creating incredible vegetarian dishes, traveling the world, and dying her hair crazy colors.