20 Jobs Where Experience Trumps Degree

Jobs are why most people get into studies and pile up degrees. Yet, some jobs pay well but don’t require you to have a degree. Here is a list of lucrative careers that don’t need a degree. 

Life Coach

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Coaching across all industries is rewarding. While a degree isn’t mandatory, a certification in coaching is a requisite for success, and these aren’t time-consuming like college degrees. As a life coach, you can earn around $70,000 a year. 

Real Estate Agent 

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Agents help clients buy or sell properties, earning a commission on each transaction. The commission varies, often higher for commercial buildings compared to residential properties.

Real Estate agents are highly paid individuals in the US. While you do not need a degree, you will need a real estate license. The other essential requirement for this profession is networking. 

The average pay for a real estate agent is $96837 per year. 

Sales Director

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Business administration is a field where you can thrive without a college degree. If you put in the work, rewards will follow. 

You start entry-level as a sales representative. After a few years, you can get promoted to sales manager and, ultimately, sales director. A sales director can earn anywhere between $70,000 to $185,000. 

Commercial Pilot 

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Remember when you heard someone aspiring to be a pilot in school? A degree isn’t needed as long as you can clear the certifications from AOPA and license tests for handling flights. 

The median pay of a commercial pilot is almost $150,000 in a year.

Supply Chain Manager 

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Supply chain managers don’t need a college degree, either. They oversee how a product gets from the manufacturer to the consumer, managing everything from sourcing materials to delivering the final product. Gaining experience and learning the required professional courses will do the trick.

The pay for a supply chain manager can range from $109,645 to $140,513.

Software Developer 

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A bachelor’s degree in computer science is the ideal requirement for this job. Another way is skill acquisition through courses, certifications, and experimentation. You can also become a software engineer without having a college degree in the relevant field as long as you have the technical skills.  

Software developers earn around $130,000 a year. 

Police Officer 

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The procedure and qualifications to become a police officer vary from state to state. The only mandatory requirement in the USA is a high school diploma, as candidates are evaluated by their performance in the police training tests.

The average pay for a police officer is $63600 a year.

Masonry worker

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This job has nothing to do with degrees, courses, or certifications. However, the extreme physical nature of the job can make it difficult for many, therefore cutting the competition. 

All you need to become a masonry worker is a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The earnings of masons in the US can range between $45,290 and $60,190


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Few professions have stood the test of time; one is a carpenter. The average salary of carpenters in the US ranges between $40,000 – $62,000 per year. To become a carpenter, you only need a high school diploma followed by a trade school diploma. 


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Dance as a career is booming thanks to its growing presence in media and live shows. Choreographers trained in specific dance styles can earn around $40,000 a year, with the potential for more as they gain experience. To begin, they usually take dance courses, build expertise in various projects, and develop a solid portfolio to showcase their work.

Taxi driver 

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To be a taxi driver, you need good driving skills, a valid license, and a clean driving record. Drivers can also work with taxi companies and rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. The average salary varies between $30,000 to $40,000.


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With grooming being a lifestyle, hairdressers have grown in number. Hairdressers often go to beauty schools for courses and training. A hairdresser can earn between $25,000 and $50,000 a year working in salons or spas.


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Today’s entrepreneurs can have more than just traditional businesses. There are many options to explore – both online and home-based ventures. All it demands is hard work, persistence, and planning. The profit potential is limitless, and so is the salary of a CEO.

Skincare specialist

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People who want to become skincare specialists can gain training through various cosmetic courses. After that, they need to take an exam to get their license. Skincare specialists can work in salons and spas or even start businesses and make good money. 

Nail technician 

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Nail technicians must pass a test and cosmetology program to be eligible to become a nail technician. Cleaning, shaping, trimming, and grooming nails are part of the job. Nail technicians make around 40000 in a year. 


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A high school diploma is enough for a person aspiring to be a firefighter, although training in emergency medical services is a skill that has to be acquired. Firefighters make around $50000 a year.  

Restaurant chef 

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Formal education isn’t required for an aspiring chef, but some places require a high school diploma. Vocational courses are the way forward. The typical way is to learn on the go with experience. Chefs earn $52,500 a year on average. 

Gym Trainers

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You can start as a gym trainer with a school diploma. As you gain experience, you can also obtain certifications in your area of choice. Health and fitness workers earn around 45000 per year.


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Attending a technical school is an essential requirement to get into a job. After that, finding an apprenticeship is a standard method of learning. The number of electricians employed in the US is at an all-time high in April, and they’re being paid better than ever. It averages around $65008 a year.

Massage therapist 

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For aspiring massage therapists, secondary certification or license training is necessary. The work involves relieving the pain and stress of the customers through unique massage techniques. The average earning of a massage therapist is $49,860 per year.

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