Jobs that pay $50k without a degree
These good-paying jobs offer more than $55k a year—no college degree required.
In an analysis of more than 2,000 U.S. employers, Monster data recently identified some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree that you can get—all of which pay more than $55k a year. After all, college isn’t for everyone, and if it’s not part of your plan, that doesn’t mean you’ll end up working a low-paying job.
Topping the list are janitorial managers and service shop managers, with workers in both occupations taking home close to six figures a year. Not too shabby, right?
Just don’t expect to make quite this much right off the bat. In order to reach these high salary numbers, many of these positions require four to six years of experience. But if you stay the course, it will (literally) pay off in the long run. Salary also depends on your specialty and where in the country you're employed. For example, a maintenance supervisor salary in Bedford, Pennsylvania, is 6% higher than the national median; a surveying/mapping technician salary in Webster, New York, is 5% higher than the national median; and a hotel manager salary in Ama, Louisiana, is 2% higher than the national median.
Check out the list below to see if one of these jobs could be the right career path for you.
What you’d do: If you're curious about why a janitorial manager is one of highest-paying jobs without a degree, consider all the labor-intensive work they have to do and oversee. Janitorial managers are responsible for tasks associated with the maintenance of buildings and grounds, such as cleaning floors and fixtures, removing trash or debris, maintaining lawn care, pruning shrubs and flowers, and clearing and maintaining sidewalks and parking lots.
What you’d need: This position typically requires a high school diploma and six or more years of experience; although, some post-secondary education may give you a leg up.
What you’d make: $93,500 per year
Shop service manager
What you’d do: Overseeing a team of automobile, truck, or heavy equipment technicians and mechanics, shop service managers assign work orders and act as a points of contact between technicians and customers.
What you’d need: You’d typically need a high school diploma and at least six years of experience; a bachelor's degree may be preferred.
What you’d make: $93,400 per year
Aircraft Mechanic III
What you’d do: Job duties in this position involve maintaining and repairing the avionic and mechanical components of aircrafts, inspecting the structural, mechanical, and electronic elements, cleaning, refueling, and changing oil, painting the aircraft, and maintaining all other aircraft standards as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
What you’d need: The typical route to be an aircraft mechanic requires a high school diploma, training and an internship, as well as four to six years of experience.
What you’d make: $85,200 per year
What you’d do: This job involves operating grinding machines during the assembly and manufacturing process to perform precision smoothing, polishing, or grinding. Grinders select, calibrate, and use a variety of grinding machine equipment, and deburr, buff, or polish materials to specifications.
What you’d need: A high school diploma, along with four to six years of experience, are standard.
What you’d make: $69,500 per year
Instrument technician III
What you’d do: Instrument technicians test, calibrate, install, repair, and inspect monitoring devices for plant production and process equipment, using scientific and analytical computer software, voltage meters, and electronic probes to diagnose faults in circuitry.
What you’d need: An associate degree, plus four to six years of experience under your belt, are typically required.
What you’d make: $69,200 per year
Land surveyor III
What you’d do: This job involves assisting surveyors and other mapmakers in obtaining and computing data relevant to measuring land surfaces, such as angles, elevations, points, and contours, using electronic distance measuring equipment.
What you’d need: You’ll need an associate degree and four to six years of experience to land this role.
What you’d make: $66,600 per year
Tool and die maker III
What you’d do: Tool and die makers build and modify tools, dies, jigs, molds, and fixtures using precision bench and machining operations. Duties include conducting tests for completed tools or dies to ensure all specifications are met, which may involve cutting, shaping, and trimmings blocks, or grinding parts.
What you’d need: A high school diploma, plus four to six years of experience, are generally required.
What you’d make: $65,800 per year
What you’d do: Sanitation supervisors oversee and maintain documentation of the cleaning of production areas and machinery. Responsibilities also include supervising the breakdown of equipment, cleaning system, or chemical usage, and facility inspection.
What you’d need: Yes, this is one of the highest-paying jobs without a degree available, but you still have to do some studying to get the gig. In addition to your high school diploma and at least four years of experience, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
What you’d make: $62,700 per year
Title examiner III
What you’d do: Title examiners review documents and public records to determine property title status, examines chain of title to verify current ownership, identifies assessments against the property, and ensures total accuracy of all property details.
What you’d need: This position typically requires a high school diploma and four to six years of experience.
What you’d make: $60,400 per year
What you’d do: Hotels offer many jobs. A managers oversees the day-to-day operations for a hotel and ensures profitability, cleanliness, and customer satisfaction. Tasks include promoting a positive environment for guests, monitoring cash flow, maintaining financial records, executing corporate events, and supervising the work of front desk, valet, concierge, or housekeeping staff.
What you’d need: Your high school diploma and at least four years of experience are typically required for this role.
What you’d make: $57,900 per year
Give your resume a boost
The path to a great job doesn't look the same for everyone, which is good news because there are loads of jobs out there that require different skill sets. However, everyone needs a great resume. If you don't have a degree, you may feel you're at a disadvantage compared to degree-holding candidates who are also pursing these jobs. But if you clearly highlights your skills and strengths you'd bring to a job, there's no reason you wouldn't be considered. Could your resume use some extra attention? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll be on your way to a great new job.