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Is higher-education a necessity? Is it a must for everyone to have it?

The two questions can be difficult to find answers to them, especially when you consider the people who are successful in life without higher education.

In this post, we will delve deep and come out with some of the high-paying jobs you won’t need a degree for. But first, what is higher-education?

Higher-education is a specific education that people get from universities, colleges and other learning institutions where you earn an academic degree. It includes undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Higher-education is today’s crucial point of knowledge and as an institution that contributes immensely to the economic development of a country and the entire world via nurture modernism and growing advanced skills.

Higher education is an institution that helps to improve the quality of life and helps to solve major social and global encounters. It is a crucial driver of growth performance, wealth and effectiveness.

Whether we need higher-education or not, it is obvious we need it, however, most successful people known today have made it in life without it.

According to sources we’ve come across, higher-education provides graduates with more job opportunities to select from which those who haven’t gone beyond high school cannot afford to apply for.

In fact, studies show that people who have pursued higher-education can live many years since they can access better health care, have good economic stability and lucrative jobs and don’t necessarily rely on the government for assistance than high school graduates.

On the other hand, individuals who are successful in life and who have never gone for higher-education think that a good education is just a status and cannot guarantee wealth and success.

This is why we decided to find out whether there are jobs that people can do and become successful without the need for a degree and found 20 of them as presented below.

1. Air Traffic Controllers

This job entails directing and monitoring aircraft. One does not need a degree to do this job.

Job Description:

  • Direct aircraft pilots during landing and take off.
  • Direct and issue instructions on the movement of aircraft at the airport and in the air via radars and computers.
  • Control baggage vehicles and airport staff.

This job does not require any working experience and is a long-term job.


The average pay for an Air Traffic Controller is $82,292


Communication skills, attention skills, decision-making skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills

2. Creative Writers

Creative writers are responsible for creating copies of books, essays, poetry, and promotional marketing sources. 

You do not need necessarily need a degree to do this job, even a high school education is fit for the job.

Job Description:

Produce unique written materials, like essays, editorial articles, and promotional marketing sources.


Entry-level creative writer’s salary range is $71,920


Persistence, patience, imagination, technical ability.

Creative writers are here to stay.

3. Postal Service Mail Carriers

Mail carriers are responsible for sending mail to companies, homes on a designated route. Delivery of mail can be done on foot or by vehicles.

Job Description:

  • Distribute mail to homes and businesses.
  • Sell money orders and stamps to clients.
  • Receiving and signing of incoming mail.
  • Sort mail for distribution.


Mail carrier salary range from $40,000 to $60,000


Excellent navigational skills, ability to carry heavy packages.

A degree is not required for this job since it can be done even with high school education.

This job is expected to last until 2026.

4. Painters

Painters are responsible for coordinating building, painting projects, preparing paint and applying it to various surfaces in buildings.

Job Description:

  • Mixing, matching and applying paints on various surfaces as well as other finishes.
  • Evaluate the required materials and the estimation of costs.
  • Getting rid of paint splatters when completed.
  • Create ladders for use on the high walls and ceiling.


The average annual salary for a painter range from $37,570 to $57,520


Communication skills, familiarity with required tools, time management skills, detail-oriented.

5. Food Service Managers

This job entails the planning and supervision of activities of businesses that deal with food and beverages.

Job Description:

  • Supervise food preparation, portion sizes, and the overall distribution of food
  • Ensure staffs conform to health and food safety standards and guidelines


The average salary range from $57,449 to $81,694


Business skills, customer service skills, leadership skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, speaking skills.

This job can be done even by high school graduates.

High-Paying Jobs You Won't Need a Degree for

6. Boilermakers

These are individuals responsible for the making, repairing and installation of large containers that store hot liquids and gases.

Job Description:

  • Make, repair and install pre-made boilers into manufacturing sites and constructions.


The average annual salary range from $36,313 to $85,839


Physical strength, courageous of confined spaces, courageous of heights

7. ICT Professionals/ Tech Support

This is a job for computer nerds who are capable of learning and troubleshooting to fix computer problems.

Job Description:

  • Troubleshoot computer problems.
  • Install computer software and updates.
  • Cleaning of computer labs.
  • Training staff on the use of computers.


Annual average salary is $34,000 to $76,000


Communication skills, troubleshooting skills, attention to detail, flexibility, teamwork.

8. Crane or Tower Operators

These are individuals responsible for operating towers and cranes. Work is normally done in manufacturing firms. The job entails moving large construction materials using cranes.

Job Description:

  • Operate cranes to lift and relocate construction materials, a shipment of containers and other heavy objects.


The average annual salary ranges from $37,110 to $56,261


Operation and control, critical thinking, active listening, troubleshooting, quality control analysis

This job can be done by high school graduates and some college.

9. Ship Pilots

These are individuals responsible for steering ships into and out of harbours on lakes, oceans, and rivers.

Job Description:

  • Steer ships in and out of harbours and instructing tugboat captains to berth and unberth ships.


The average annual salary range from $56,000 to $84,000


Manoeuvring skills, social skills, area knowledge

10. Computer Network Support Specialists

These are information technology specialists working with companies to provide support and advice to ensure the safety and security of networks and information maintained.

Job Description:

  • Identify the causes of networking hitches, using diagnostic testing software and devices.
  • Back up to network data.


The average annual salary is $60,277


Customer service skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, listening skills.

Computer network support specialists are here to stay until 2026

11. Makeup Artists

This job entails applying makeup to artists, celebrities, individuals, and entertainers during special events like weddings and dates.

Job Description:

  • Work with people to create various looks.
  • Style hair according to makeup.
  • Advise clients on their skincare routines.


The average makeup artist salary ranges from $21,000 to $52,000


Creativity and imagination, excellent attention to detail, communication skills, hair styling.

Career in the beauty-High-Paying Jobs You Won't Need a Degree for

12. Gas Station Operators

These are individuals responsible for operating steam and gas equipment and also power-driven pumps to transfer liquids and gas and powdered materials.

Job Description:

  • Work with power-driven pumps to transfer liquids, gases and semi-liquids and powdered materials.
  • Compress/cover gas like nitrogen, butane, and natural gas.


Entry-level salary is $68,000


Organizing skills, Planning skills, problem-solving skills, creative thinking skills.

13. Gaming Managers

This work is usually done by individuals in Casinos. It entails the preparation, directing and organizing of gaming activities.

Job Description:

  • Maintain an understanding of all games used in the Casino, as well as policies or tricks employed in those games.
  • Recruitment and hiring of staff.


The average annual salary for a gaming manager range from $55,406 to $105,036


Communication skills, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, planning skills, organizational skills.

This job can be done by high school graduates.

14. Mining Professionals

Work with diesel or motor powered shuttle car in quarries to move materials from working to conveyors.

Job Description:

  • Checking mining tools and equipment, structures, or material.
  • Control conveyors that run the entire length of shuttle cars to transport materials as loading progresses.


The average annual salary is $56,370


Communication skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, creative thinking skills.

15. Real Estate Sales Agents

These are individuals tasked with buying and selling properties on behalf of clients.

Job Description:

  • Sell property for clients.
  • Buy property for clients.
  • Negotiate the price on behalf of clients.
  • Find clients on behalf of real estate owners.


The average annual salary for a real estate sales agent range from $44,090 to $112,570


Honesty and integrity, communication skills, negotiation skills, understanding of the real estate market.

16. Funeral Service Managers

These are individuals responsible for organizing, planning and directing funeral services.

Job Description:

  • Assisting and caring for the briefed.
  • Recording of funeral information.
  • Planning work and funeral activities.


The average salary for a funeral service manager ranges from $35,000 to $76,000


Speaking skills, time management, coordination skills, communication skills, and negotiation skills.

17. Distribution Managers

These individuals coordinate the distribution, storage, and delivery of goods according to business policies and government regulations.

Job Description:

  • Managing warehousing and logistics teams.
  • Implementation of the organization’s strategic plan as well as contribute to and participate in the assessment and scrutiny of the business objectives.


The average salary for a distribution manager range from $76,399 to $105,131


Management skills, administrative skills, interpersonal skills, Microsoft office skills

18. Web Developers

These are individuals responsible for designing and maintaining websites

Job Description:

  • Designing company and client’s websites.
  • Modifying websites.
  • Maintaining websites.
  • Providing user support to clients.


The average salary for a web developer is $66,130


Knowledge of Photoshop, HTML, CSS, detail-orientated, flexibility, proficient with JavaScript.

Web Developer at the office-High-Paying Jobs You Won't Need a Degree for

19. Petroleum Pump Operators

These are individuals responsible for working with equipment in petroleum facilities and processing units.

Job Description:

  • Operate pumps.
  • Monitor temperatures and gauges.
  • Regulate multiple processing units.


The average salary for this job is 67,870


Artistic skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, detailed-oriented skills.

This job can be done by a high school graduate.

20. Elevator Installers

These are individuals responsible for assembling, installing and repairing elevators.

Job Description:

  • Installation and repair of elevator doors, cables, motors, and control systems.
  • Examine newly installed tools to ensure that it meets specifications.
  • Conform to safety guidelines and building codes


The average salary for an Elevator installer is $78,890


Detail-oriented, mechanical skills, troubleshooting skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills.

Example of Successful People without a Degree

Today, the mantra of going to school to get a job seems to be irrelevant. There are successful people without a degree out there and below are just some examples.

A) Richard Branson

Richard Branson is the founder and owner of Virgin records.  It is believed that he started The Student, a magazine when he was 16 years old at Stowe School in England. Richard Branson did not attend college. Richard Branson’s net worth is projected at $5 billion as of January 2018.

B) Bill Gates

Bill Gates is currently the richest man in the world. He attended Harvard University in 1975 and dropped out to start Microsoft, a leading company in the tech world. Bill Gates’ net worth is projected to be $90.2 Billion.

C) Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the co-founder of Apple. He attended Homestead High School in 1972 and joined Reed College but dropped out before he could graduate.

D) Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg the founder and owner of Facebook a giant social media platform also dropped out of Harvard University where he launched Facebook in 2004. His net worth is estimated to be $74.2 billion.


Although pursuing a degree in your education makes you stand a higher chance of getting jobs and become successful in life, there are still people who are successful and who are college dropouts.

We hope this post will help you to realize that you can still be successful in life. You can consider taking the jobs mentioned above, become creative, and start your own venture and end up becoming successful.


Written By
Mary Whitman is a writer and editor based in Adelaide, South Australia. She works at Assignment Geek. In her spare time, she likes to talk about Art and Sustainable Development.

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