High paying jobs without a degree
What are the high paying jobs without a degree out there? There is a common consensus that you need a university degree to secure good-paying jobs and live a healthy financial life.
But is that the case? Are there no good-paying jobs that don’t require a university degree?
The answer is no. There are some jobs for non-degree holders out there that pay better than some degree holder jobs.
All you need to do is equip yourself with the right training and certification and you’re ready to enter the labour market.
In fact, a research carried out by Indeed, a job site found 10 roles for non-degree holders that pay better than the average UK annual salary of £29,500.
According to the research, some of these jobs can earn you up to £71,700 without a degree.
To make it clear, I am not against going to school and getting a university degree.
The gospel I am preaching here is that you can still have a healthy financial life if for some reason you are unable to acquire a university degree.
I should mention here that jobs without a university degree do not mean you can just walk into a job that pays above the national average.
In most cases, you will require some training, certification and years of experience in some cases
The jobs are ordered from lowest to highest of their average salary
Software Tester – Average Salary: £25,277
You may not know this but Software Testers play an important role in application development.
Some of their duties include thoroughly testing applications for bugs, interface and performance issues.
Software Testers are the quality assurance experts of the software development process. The cool part is that you do not need a degree to become one.
- Revising software requirements
- Preparing test setups
- Testing software usability
- Analyze results for bugs, errors, database impact, and usability
- Preparing test report and reporting to design team
- Participating in design reviews
Project Support/manager – Average Salary: £40,000
There is a probability that you’ve come across a couple of Project Managers yourself.
What a Project Manager does is ensure that an on-going project is carried out correctly and successfully.
Project Managers are usually required to have a sound command of communication, decision making and leadership skills.
Job Description (found on Glassdoor)
- Determine and define project scope and objectives
- Predict resources needed to reach objectives and manage resources in an effective and efficient manner
- Prepare a budget based on the scope of work and resource requirements
- Track project costs to meet budget
- Develop and manage a detailed project schedule and work plan
- Provide project updates consistently to various stakeholders about strategy, adjustments, and progress
- Manage contracts with vendors and suppliers by assigning tasks and communicating expected deliverables
- Utilize industry best practices, techniques, and standards throughout entire project execution
- Monitor progress and make adjustments as needed
- Measure project performance to identify areas for improvement
Construction Manager – Average Salary: £50,000
You may be wondering how a construction manager is different from a project manager.
A Construction Manager is in charge of the actual construction phase of a project, like personnel, materials, and construction budget. A construction manager oversees just the construction phase of a project.
A Project Manager is however involved in a project from start to finish. They are in charge of all phases of the project from marketing to administrative needs.
Construction managers are usually required to have a sound command of communication and leadership skills.
Job Description (found on Workable)
- Oversee and direct construction projects from conception to completion
- Review the project in-depth to schedule deliverables and estimate costs
- Oversee all onsite and offsite constructions to monitor compliance with building and safety regulations
- Coordinate and direct construction workers and subcontractors
- Select tools, materials and equipment and track inventory
- Meet contractual conditions of performance
- Review the work progress daily
- Prepare internal and external reports pertaining to job status
- Plan ahead to prevent problems and resolve any emerging ones
- Negotiate terms of agreements, draft contracts and obtain permits and licences
- Analyse, manage and mitigate risks
- Ensure quality construction standards and the use of proper construction techniques
Planning Officer – Average Salary: £39,705
If you love urban design, management, development, or environmental issues then this could be the career path for you.
Planning Officers work for local planning authorities and are involved in developmental processes management.
Some of the responsibilities include planning projects, managing policies, negotiating misunderstandings, collecting evidence and more.
Job Description (found on PlanIt)
- managing or helping to manage a department efficiently
- managing the budget for a department
- recruiting, supervising and monitoring staff
- managing and evaluating projects
- doing research and preparing reports for councillors and senior managers
- preparing agendas for council meetings and taking minutes
- presenting information at meetings
- helping councillors develop and implement council policies
- working with other agencies.
GIS Analyst Analyst – Average Salary: £28,000
A GIS Analyst works with large databases of images gotten from aerial photographs and satellite images.
They use this spatial information to create maps, analyse data for commercial, scientific or planning purposes, or develop specialized software.
Job Description (found on Betterteam)
- Analyzing spatial data through the use of mapping software.
- Discovering patterns and trends through spatial mapping of data.
- Designing digital maps with geographic data and other data sources.
- Creating “shapefiles” to merge topographical data with external data by layering external data over a topographical map.
- Producing maps showing the spatial distribution of various kinds of data, including crime statistics and hospital locations.
- Developing mapping applications and tools.
- Converting physical maps into a digital form for computer usage.
- Performing data munging and cleaning to convert data into its desired form.
- Produce reports on geographic data utilizing data visualizations.
- Managing a digital library of geographic maps in various file types.
Database Administrator – Average Salary: £36,000
As a database administrator (DBA), you are responsible for the performance, integrity and security of a database.
One of the main duties of a database administrator is to ensure that all the information stored in a database is secure.
Other primary duties include managing, back up and ensuring the availability of the data consumed.
Job Description (found on cwjobs)
- Assisting in database design
- Updating and amending existing databases
- Setting up and testing new database and data handling systems
- Monitoring database efficiency
- Sustaining the security and integrity of data
- Creating complex query definitions that allow data to be extracted
- Training colleagues in how to input and extract data
Nuclear Power Worker – Average Salary: £45,000
You are probably surprised by this inclusion as this is a highly skilled profession and thus should require a degree.
You are right with your assumption but there are some areas where you do not need academic qualifications.
Job Description (found on Prospects)
- understand the science behind how nuclear facilities work
- analyse energy transmission, conversion and storage systems
- solve design or operational problems with reactor cores and shielding, hydraulic and electrical systems, and complex instrumentation such as monitoring equipment
- manage staff and budgets for complex design, construction, maintenance, expansion, safety and decommissioning projects
- always keep the safety of people and the environment in mind, cooperate with local emergency services, and work with national, European Union (EU) and international industry regulatory bodies
- be aware of and address security concerns regarding the use, transport, storage and disposal of radioactive materials
- interpret data and respond to emerging issues to ensure equipment is always working properly
- write reports, project plans and other documents that provide information about new facilities, existing processes, problems and solutions, and safety exercises for regulators, energy firms and co-workers in facility construction and management
- including temporary and long-term disposal of high-hazard radioactive material
the National Nuclear Laboratory apprenticeship, HSE, Applied Science (Nuclear) Extended Diploma Level 3, Nuclear Sector Apprenticeship Level 2.
The Oil Industry (Offshore) – Average Salary: £49,278
This is another industry where you should ordinarily need a university degree but that isn’t always the case.
The job can be considered a dangerous one but the pay from it is very good.
If you choose this industry, you will have to work on rigs for months. Some of the jobs you can get here without a degree are rigging operations, drilling, and maintenance.
Job Description (found Prospects)
- prepare well data sheets
- design and select well-head equipment
- draw up drilling programmes, taking account of desired production flow rates
- obtain relevant data, carrying out engineering analysis on-site, recommending necessary actions and writing up reports
- monitor the daily progress of well operations
- keep track of current daily costs, comparing actual costs with expenditure proposals and recommending cost-effective changes
- liaise with specialist contractors and suppliers, such as cement companies or suppliers of drilling fluids
- monitor safety and ensure the good maintenance of the well
- adhere to environmental protection standards, in some cases through direct discussion with local governments to ensure compliance with legislative requirements
- establish and administer drilling and service contracts
- coordinate and supervise the work of the drilling team
- undertake engineering design and the planning of wells (including development work)
- design directional well paths (horizontally or multi-laterally, as appropriate)
- manage operations on behalf of small clients
HSE, Foundation Drill Rig (HDR), Anchor/Micropile Drill Rig (AMP)
Air Cabin Crew – Average Salary: £20,000 – £25,000
If you enjoy travelling and are a people person then this is for you.
Some of the responsibility of a Cabin crew is being responsible for the welfare and safety of passengers in the aircraft.
To start working as a cabin crew member, you must first complete a specific course with your airline and it takes about four weeks. Some airlines will provide you with accommodation and salary separately.
Job Description (through Prospects)
- be professional, punctual and courteous at all times
- attend a pre-flight briefing, during which you’ll be assigned your working positions for the upcoming flight. The crew are informed of flight details, the schedule, the number of infants on board and if there are passengers with any special requirements, such as diabetic passengers or passengers in wheelchairs
- carry out pre-flight duties, including checking the safety equipment and doing security checks.
- welcome passengers on board and direct them to their seats
- inform passengers of the aircraft about safety procedures and ensure that all hand luggage is securely stored away
- check all seat belts and galleys are secure before take-off
- make announcements on behalf of the pilot and answer questions during the flight
- serve meals and refreshments
- sell duty-free goods and advise passengers of any allowance restrictions in force at their destination
- reassure passengers and ensure they follow safety procedures correctly in emergencies
- deal with any difficult or inebriated passengers (who may be acting in a rude or anti-social way) politely but firmly, to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone on the flight
- give first aid where necessary
Depends on your chosen airline, HSE
Ethical Hacker – Average Salary: £68,793
The IT industry is one of the best developing industries right now.
In fact, if you are a frequent internet user you must have come across advertisements for one IT training or the other.
But I bet you’ve never considered Ethical Hacking. An ethical hacker is responsible for testing the safety of businesses IT systems. They hack into computer networks to test and assess its security.
Job Description (found on Prospects)
- understand complex computer systems and technical cybersecurity terms
- carry out remote testing of a client’s network or onsite testing of their infrastructure to expose weaknesses in security
- work with clients to determine their requirements from the test.
- plan and create penetration methods, scripts and tests
- advise on methods to fix or lower security risks to systems
- consider the impact your ‘attack’ will have on the business and its users
- create reports and recommendations from your findings
- present your findings, risks and conclusions to both technical and non-technical audiences
- understand how the flaws that you identify could affect a business, or business function if they’re not fixed.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Pick up hacking skills from online courses
Firefighter – Average Salary: £32,500
Firefighters are no doubt our unsung heroes but did you know that it pays well too?
Firefighters like any job pay according to your rank. Starters can earn an upwards of £20,000.
Managers earn around £30,000 while station managers can earn around £40,000. Application as a firefighter is subject to written exams, aptitude tests, and physical exams.
Job Description (through Prospects)
- responding immediately and safely to emergency calls and requests for assistance
- attending emergency incidents including fires, road accidents, floods, terrorist incidents, spillages of dangerous substances, and rail and air crashes
- rescuing trapped people and animals
- minimising distress and suffering, including giving first aid before ambulance crews arrive
- safeguarding your own and other people’s personal safety at all times
- cleaning up and checking the site after dealing with an incident
- taking time to become familiar with local streets, roads and buildings so you can respond to emergency calls with speed and efficiency
- inspecting and maintaining the appliance (fire engine) and its equipment, assisting in testing fire hydrants and checking emergency water supplies
9-4 GCSE, Mechanical reasoning test, HSE
Air traffic Controllers – Average Salary: £41,011
This sounds like a cool job if you’ve always been fascinated by planes and travel in general.
You don’t need a university degree to become an air traffic controller but you will need a certificate. It takes three years to get your air traffic control license from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), and you must have five GCSEs (grades A-C).
Air traffic controllers earn an average salary between £17,000 and £21,000 for starters. Experienced Controllers earn as much as £50,000.
Job Description (through Prospects)
- keep radio and radar contact with aircraft
- direct the movement of aircraft en route or at an airport
- instruct aircraft to climb or descend and allocate final cruising level
- provide information to aircraft about weather conditions
- make sure that minimum distances are maintained between planes
- handle unexpected events, emergencies and unscheduled traffic.
Accountant – Average Salary: £56,000
The major job accountant does is prepare and examine financial records.
Accountancy is no doubt a boring job but it pays well and you don’t need a university degree to become a qualified accountant.
It is important to know that you will have to study for an AAT qualification. Accountants earn as much as £35,000 as beginners and a whooping £100,000 if you become a Finance Director.
Job Description (through Targetjobs)
- preparing accounts and tax returns
- administering payrolls and controlling income and expenditure
- auditing financial information
- compiling and presenting reports, budgets, business plans, commentaries and financial statements
- analysing accounts and business plans
- providing tax planning services with reference to current legislation
- financial forecasting and risk analysis
- dealing with insolvency cases
- negotiating the terms of business deals and moves with clients and associated organisations
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAC), The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Institute of Public and Finance Accountancy (CIPFA)
Equities Trader – Average Salary: £59,475
The most important attribute required for being an equities trader is to be a good salesman.
You don’t need a university degree to become an Equities Trader.
But this doesn’t mean you can just walk into any company and submit your CV.
To become an Equities Trader you need approval from the FCA and CISI to start work. You also need to study for and pass a CISI Capital Markets certification. Once that is done, you’re good to go.
Job Description (through Prospects)
- speaking with colleagues, making phone calls and making instant decisions
- making prices in their relevant products
- executing trades electronically or by phone
- liaising with sales traders or clients on market movements
- predicting how markets will move and buying and selling accordingly (especially derivatives traders, who try to predict the state of a market at a future date)
- informing all relevant parties of the most relevant trades for the day
- gathering information – critically about mispriced assets, detailed data analysis and valuation.
Certification in Equity Trading and Investment
Agile Coach – Average Salary: £69,900
An Agile Coach is one of the most slept on jobs out there and you don’t need a degree to become one either.
The goal of an Agile Coach according to Sessionlab is to make a team more efficient, transparent and cohesive.
The role is about empowering workers to rise to business challenges faster, smarter and with minimal risk.
Job Description (through Jobhero)
- Educate Colleagues
- Mentor Team
- Develop Agile Adoption Strategy
- Implement Agile Methodology
ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP), ICAg ICAgile Certified Professional IN Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF), ICAgile Certified Professional in Agile Coaching (ACC).
HR Manager – Average Salary: £38,677
It is perhaps surprising that you do not require a degree to become an HR Manager.
Although, you will need to acquire a certificate from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
With good communication, organization, and leadership skills, you are on the path to becoming an HR Manager.
You might want to start your journey as an admin assistant then you move up from there. Finance even suggested that HR Managers can earn up to £100,000 yearly.
Job Description (through Jobisjob)
- Recruiting staff
- Negotiating contracts
- Developing training programmes
- Mediating conflicts
- Attending meetings
- Delegating tasks
- Overseeing employee welfare
- Coordinating with department managers
- Reporting to the HR Director
Vocational training like Higher National Diploma or apprenticeship in HR, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development courses.
Marketing – Average Salary: £32,698
If you are a naturally creative and full of ideas then this is for you.
In fact, not all marketing jobs need a degree. You can get paid as much as £18,000 annually for entry-level.
Also, you can start your marketing career as an intern, digital assistant, or junior researcher.
You will get a salary bump of around £50,000 in a senior role like Marketing Manager, Head of Marketing, or Marketing Executive.
Job Description (through Prospects)
- create awareness of and develop the brand you’re marketing
- communicate with target audiences and build and develop customer relationships
- help with marketing plans, advertising, direct marketing and campaigns
- source advertising opportunities and place adverts in the press or on the radio
- work closely with in-house or external creative agencies to design marketing materials such as brochures and adverts
- write and proofread marketing copy for both online and print campaigns
- produce creative content, including videos and blog posts
- run social media channels (e.g. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to enhance audience engagement
CIM courses like Foundation Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing