10 Solid Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

No degree? No problem! Here are 10 attractive jobs that typically require just a high school diploma or, in a few cases, a certificate. Whether you’re a student still working on your degree or you’re hunting for a career that doesn’t require a college education, these jobs are worth a look.

Growth is from 2011 to 2016. Careers require a high school diploma unless otherwise noted. These are ranked from highest to lowest salary. 


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Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

45K new jobs (21% growth). Median salary: $54K. This job usually requires a high school diploma, though a certificate doesn’t hurt. Do you like working with your hands and fixing everyday problems? We all need these kinds of workers, so you’re in high demand. Check out our interview with a pipefitter who loves his calling.

2. Electricians

93K new jobs (17% growth). Median salary: $54K. Indoors, outdoors, days, nights, weekends, year round—electricians needs to enjoy fixing problems on the double and responding to emergency situations at any time. Also, not afraid of a few sparks.

3. Computer User Support Specialists

78K new jobs (14% growth). Median salary: $48K. A lot of young people today have an intuitive knack for technology, absorbing skills and knowledge by the second. Why not get paid for what you’re already good at?

4. Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

54K new jobs (22% growth). Median salary: $46K. Typical education requirement: passing an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. HVACR technicians work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems—installing them at the beginning and fixing them when they break. You’ll be making everyone’s lives more comfortable and efficient.

carpenters5. Carpenters

123K new jobs (21% growth). Median salary: $44K. A boom in housing construction has made carpenters a hot commodity. Are you a doer with a creative streak? Do you like assembling pieces to bring a vision to life? Looking for a job in the summer when lots of houses are going up? Give carpentry a swing.

6. Chefs

17K new jobs (16% growth). Median salary: $42K. Americans are eating out more, which means restaurants are growing—and they need cooks! Energetic creators who like bustling around and creating happiness are good candidates for chefs.

7. Fitness Trainers

32K new jobs (14% growth). Median salary: $37K. Typical education: A college degree isn’t always required but it’s increasingly common to have one. You’ll at least want a certificate. I don’t know about you, but my trainer is one of my favorite people on the planet. If you enjoy both fitness and teaching, then you might make a great coach at the gym. There’s nothing like getting people excited about personal progress!

8. Dental assistants

32K new jobs (11% growth). Median salary: $36K. Typical education requirement: Certificate from a 9-12-month training program. Yes, this job requires more education than just high school, but the good news is we’re pretty much in love with healthy teeth and bright smiles, so if you like the idea of helping dentists and hygienists, you’re the person we want to see when we walk in the door!

9. Medical secretaries

56K new jobs (11% growth). Median salary: $33K. Are you interested in the medical field but not sure you want to be a nurse or doctor? Do you like organizing, scheduling, and being the person behind the counter who helps everyone? You’d probably thrive as a medical secretary.

43-4051_hero10. Customer service reps

272K new jobs (11% growth). Median salary: $32K. Every business needs customer service reps who are knowledgeable, detail-oriented, helpful, friendly, and unfailingly polite. Is this you? You just might be the person we want to hear next time we call for help!

See whether you’re a good match for any of these jobs by taking our free Discovery Questionnaire on Find Your Calling.

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