High Income Skills without Degree

Ashwin Honawar

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A college degree in a field of your choice can definitely open doors to a superb career. However, not everyone successfully completes a college degree to get high-paying jobs to make a wonderful career.

In fact, persons without a college degree are widely believed to earn much less income than undergraduates or graduates who have successfully completed their courses.

Facts & Figures of College Students in the USA

According to various sources, some 40 million Americans dropped out of college in 2021, though nearly 850,000 re-enrolled for other colleges or degrees later that academic year. These figures include all students- from the first year of college to the fourth year. At the same time, some 32.9 per cent of all college students don’t complete their degree programs and drop out.

College dropouts earn about 35 per cent less than their counterparts holding at least a Bachelor’s degree. Incidentally, college dropouts are 20 per cent unlikely to get any good job. This has a cascading effect on the life of the college dropout since their progress in life is slower and some major landmarks come much later in life or are missing altogether.

Just for your information, nearly 19 million students join colleges across the USA every year. While some are first-timers enrolling for an undergraduate course, others go for graduate and post-graduate degrees. This figure of 19 million students also includes some 850,000 foreign nationals studying at American colleges and universities as well as re-enrolment cases.

High Income Skills without Degree

Generally, women and men without a degree earn less money, this needn’t be your case. That’s because there are as many as 10 wonderful skills that could help you earn a high income.

These skills are in high demand currently and expected to remain so for at least the next 50 years, according to data from various sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Therefore, if you’re interested in getting these high-income skills without a college degree, here are some wonderful ones that you could try.

1. Graphic Designing

Graphic Designing

While it’s true that thousands of graphic designers graduate from art colleges, it’s not really necessary to hold a college degree.

Thanks to the Internet and the availability of free and cheap designing software, almost anyone with some knowledge of computers, the Internet and a high sense of creativity can become a graphic designer. If you’re interested in this skill, join as a trainee or novice at some other position.

2. Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a skill that’s growing in demand worldwide. It includes various skills such as social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), email marketing, content marketing, and more.

With the rise of online businesses, digital marketing skills are in high demand in the US and elsewhere.

3. Software Development

Software Development

If you can master coding languages, for example, Python, JavaScript, Java, or C++, it’s possible to make a lucrative career in software development, web development, mobile app development, and more.

There are several resources including coding boot camps that are available free or cheap online, where you can attend and learn the skills.

4. Content Writing

Content Writing: best high income skill without degree

All it needs is superb writing skills. Generally, most of us know how to write an essay or a short narrative. You can always practice writing at home and develop it as a skill.

There are lots of free resources available online to learn the basic nitty-gritty of content writing. Use these to become a superb content writer.  You can work freelance or with some employer.

5. Plumbing


Plumbers are in high demand around the year and across the US. In fact, this is a profession that will always continue to grow. You don’t need a college degree to become a plumber.

Instead, working as an apprentice with a plumbing company and later, getting some certifications with your skills can secure your career as a plumber.

6. Drone Pilot

Drone Pilot

Nowadays, drone surveillance, drone mapping, drone photography and other such jobs that require drones are becoming very popular. This job too doesn’t need a college degree.

Instead, you can take a small course and become a qualified drone pilot to obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). You can make lots of money with a good drone.

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7. Baker


In the US, bakers do not need any formal education. However, some hotels and companies might prefer high school grads. Baking is a skill that you learn at home by helping your mom or grandma or someone else bake cakes, cookies and other such yummy stuff.

You can always fine-tune your skills at home and learn how to make mouthwatering pastries and other such products. This is another skill that’s going to remain in high demand over the decades.

8. Automotive Service Technicians

Automotive Service Technicians

Also known in simple terms as car or automobile mechanics or repairpersons. This is a very lucrative profession and the job requires specialized skills. However, that doesn’t mean you need a college degree.

Working with an automobile workshop will give you the skills. Furthermore, large auto corporations such as General Motors have learning programs where they train fresher students to become automotive service technicians and work for them, upon completion.

9. Lab Assistant

Lab Assistant

Lab assistants have several tasks when they help lab technicians in their complex work of testing samples and other stuff. Generally speaking, a high school certificate will be enough to find work as a lab assistant.

Alternatively, you can do a small lab assistant diploma from some community college and work at this post which carries a high salary. This is also one of the high-demand jobs in the US.

10. Mail Carrier

Mail Carrier

Mail carriers work for the United States Postal Service (USPS). They don’t need a college degree. However, they do require superb skills to deal with people and physical fitness to deliver mail across a wide zone of residential areas.

Some also assist with mail sorting machines and selling postal stationery. The salary is superb as a Federal employee and you get lots of perks too.

Wrap Up

If you look around on job portals, there’s no shortage of high income skills and jobs without a degree. You might find this list of skills and jobs helpful to make or change your career.

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