How to Find Careers That Do Not Require a Degree

As of 2005, according to USA Today, 64 percent of high school move on to attend college, but only 29 percent graduate. So even if you never attend college, you are in the majority of Americans in the job pool.

Does this mean that you are excluded from making a lot of money or even the American dream of becoming wealthy? Of course not. To encourage you, here are some famous people who never made it through high school or never attended or completed college.

We’ll take them alphabetically but don’t have space to go from A to Z.

Lucille Ball was a high school dropout. Roseanne Barr was too. Carl Bernstein, the famed Watergate reporter, quit college. Andrew Carnegie left school and started working when he was 13. Astronaut, Scott Carpenter, failed out of college twice. Charles Dickens never finished elementary school. Thomas Edison was home-schooled until he went to work on the railroad at age 12. US President Millard Fillmore had only six months of school in his life. Bill Gates quit Harvard after two years. William Randolph Hearst, on the other hand, got thrown OUT of Harvard because of low grades. Don Imus, attended college for one week. We could go on, but you get the idea. You don’t need to attend college if you have talent.

Everyone is good at something. And the goal of work should be to be able to support yourself and your family, doing honest and meaningful work, and you should also enjoy what you do for a living.

become an employee Without A Degree

High Paying Regular Jobs Without Degree Requirement

Number one is being an air traffic controller. Air traffic controllers must take an FAA test, but no college degree is required, and they make just more than 50 dollars an hour.

Logistics Managers

Transportation and distribution managers earn close to 70K a year, and no college degree is required. Sure, you may need to work your way up through the ranks, but it can be a rewarding career.

Managers of Police and Detectives earn almost 70K a year with no college degree. Pay may vary by location, of course.

Computer Programmers

Despite popular belief, you do not need a college degree to be a good computer programmer — just talent. Getting your first job without a degree might be more difficult, but if you have an aptitude for programming, you can make up to 50 to 60 dollars an hour as a programmer/analyst.

This particular writer has a degree in psychology and wound up in the computer programming field, eventually earning close to 100K a year. I am also a former professional musician, and studies have shown that musicians tend to make good programmers for the unknown as of yet reasons. I know many musicians who gave up the nightlife to raise a family who went on to become successful computer programmers.

Search online and study the job market. There is a place for you at high pay somewhere without a degree.


If you happen to have some skill, perhaps writing or coding that you learned by trial and error and can put it to good use, then there are ways you can earn money utilizing it. There are plenty of ways you can make money through freelancing. There are websites dedicated as a market place for freelancers and clients. There are many people out there that earn a lot more money doing freelance work than they would make working for an employer. Some other people might do a regular full-time job but want to supplement their income by doing some extra work on a freelance basis.

There are also many examples of people rising the corporate ladder through experience and hard work. Some of these people may have joined the company as young as 16,17,18 years of age as a lowly staff member but gradually gaining experience and rising the echelons of the organizational hierarchy.

You can even start a blog if you love writing about your favorite things.