The Top Jobs for People Without a College Degree


Meta Description: As a non-graduate finding a job may be difficult, but not impossible. Find out tips on how to start a successful career without a college degree.

Growing up you’re usually told the importance of having a college degree. Sometimes that just doesn’t work, perhaps due to financial reasons, familial obligations, or maybe you just feel studying isn’t for you.

However, in an era where higher education holds a lot of weight, it’s also essential to remember that many fulfilling and even lucrative careers don’t require you to have a college degree.

While it may be harder to land a job without a degree it’s not impossible if you know which types of jobs to look for and how to present yourself on your resume. That may be tricky, but there are plenty of websites that offer resume templates for non-graduates, is one example.

This article explores such professions, the certifications that can improve your career trajectory, and the potential advantages of pursuing further education.

The Best Jobs for People Without a College Degree


If you’re trying to figure out your next career move and haven’t graduated from college, your options may be a bit limited. However, you still have a variety of sections that you can start a career in.

Below is a list of different career paths that you can take without having a college degree and find some success in the future.


Beyond the heroics of battling blazes, firefighters play a pivotal role in emergency medical services and disaster response. While a college degree isn’t a prerequisite, many departments necessitate a high school diploma and provide intensive training. EMT or paramedic certifications can further enhance one’s career prospects, leading to specialized roles or leadership positions.


The nursing profession offers various entry points. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) can initiate their careers with a post-secondary certificate or diploma. They cater to primary patient care, often forming the backbone of healthcare facilities. Pursuing certifications in specialized areas like gerontology or IV therapy can lead to more responsibilities and higher pay.

Postal Worker

Ensuring seamless communication, postal workers are integral to our societal fabric. A high school diploma and clearing the postal exams can secure a stable federal job with benefits. With experience, one can move up to supervisory roles or even postmaster positions.

Truck Driver


The logistics industry relies heavily on truck drivers. Acquiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and undergoing on-the-job training can lead to a well-paying career. Special endorsements, like those for carrying hazardous materials, can further increase earning potential.


Landscaping is an art and science. While formal education isn’t mandatory, certifications from recognized bodies can lend credibility and lead to specialized roles in landscape design or management.

Real Estate Agent

The real estate market is dynamic, and agents are at its forefront. State licensing, which involves education hours and an exam, is essential. With experience and additional certifications, one can move into luxury markets or property management.


Dance transcends entertainment. Choreographers craft stories through movement. While many start with formal training, experience, and a unique style can carve a niche in the industry.


The beauty industry is booming, and estheticians are its ambassadors. State-approved training and licensing are prerequisites. Specializations in areas like medical esthetics can lead to roles in dermatology clinics or medical spas.


Culinary arts combine creativity with skill. Many chefs climb the ladder through sheer experience, starting as line cooks and evolving into master chefs. Certifications in cuisines or bakery can pave the way for niche roles or restaurant ownership.

Reasons to Consider Further Education


However, just because you don’t have a college degree now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study one in the future.

Even if you start a jab that doesn’t require you to have a degree your career will likely benefit from having one in the future.

Here are some specific reasons why:

  • Career advancement: Higher education often opens doors to managerial or specialized roles. For instance, an LPN might become an RN or even a Nurse Practitioner with further studies, leading to increased responsibilities and pay.
  • Skill enhancement: Advanced courses can offer in-depth knowledge, refining one’s skills. A real estate agent, for example, might delve into property law or commercial real estate, expanding their service offerings.
  • Networking: Educational institutions typically provide access to a vast network of professionals, alumni, and industry experts. These connections can lead to job opportunities, collaborations, or mentorships.
  • Personal growth: By studying for a degree you can enhance your problem-solving skills, and even obtain a broader worldview.

Balancing Work and Study

While you may be interested in studying you may be wondering how you can do so if you’re already working.

Finding time for both work and studying is not an easy task. Here are some tips to help you navigate this challenging yet rewarding path:

  • Prioritize: Clearly define your goals. If you’re aiming for a promotion or a career switch, your study choices should align with these objectives. This clarity can guide your study choices, time allocation, and even course selection.
  • Manage your time correctly: Allocate specific hours for study and stick to them. Consider techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves focused study sessions followed by short breaks, to enhance productivity.
  • Seek support: Many companies have programs or partnerships with educational institutions, offering flexible hours or even course sponsorships for employees.
  • Take online classes: Various online platforms like Coursera provide courses from top universities, allowing working professionals to learn at their own pace. By using these platforms you can get a certificate that is recognized by many employers.
  • Stay organized: Different online tools like Trello track assignments, exams, and work commitments. You can use these to stay organized and reduce stress.

If you study and work at the same time there you can even find that there are numerous benefits.

study by the Lumina Foundation found that employees who balance work and study tend to develop better time management, multitasking skills, and a higher stress tolerance, all of which are invaluable in the modern workplace.



Plenty of paths exist to professional success. Don’t feel that your lack of a college degree will make starting a career impossible.

However, in an ever-evolving world, continuous learning remains key, which means if you do find your career, try to find the time to study and keep improving.

Whether through formal education or hands-on experiences, the quest for knowledge can only enrich one’s career and personal journey.