Looking for jobs that pay $70k a year without a degree? It’s a good search to make, because it’s definitely not a pipe dream. Some people go to college, pay tens of thousands of dollars, and get a job that maxes out at $40,000 a year. It just makes absolutely no sense! Why not instead, get in a career field that can earn $70k a year or more?
It’s certainly a question worth asking. And, if any of the careers below look interesting, why not pursue them? You may not need a degree, and it might earn thousands more than you’re earning today!
16 Jobs That Pay $70k a Year Without a Degree
Want a lucrative career that earns $70k a year or more? And without the need for a degree?
- Commercial Pilot
- Air Traffic Controller
- Elevator Technician
- Real Estate Broker
- Aircraft Mechanic
- Funeral Service Manager
- Truck Driver
- Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
- Dental Hygenist
- Line Lead for Operations
- Railroad Conductor
- Web Developer
- Starting Your Own Business
Want to know the pay and requirements for each of the positions that made this list? Read on for more details!
1) Commercial Pilot
Median salary: $112k – $240k (depending on the type of aircraft)
Duties: Commercial pilots navigate airplanes, crop dusters, helicopters, and other aircraft. Even though they can be airline pilots, they don’t necessarily have to be. They can also assist firefighters and become tour guides.
Certification: You will need a private pilot license, pass the FAA exam, and 250 hours of flight training.
How to Get Started: How to Become a Commercial Pilot
Median salary: Around $52k-$110k
Duties: Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain a safe distance between them
Certification: Candidates typically need an associate’s degree from the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program. But, if they have 3 years of progressive responsible work experience, they may be able to work themselves into the role.
How to Get Started: How to Become an Air Traffic Controller
3) Elevator Technician
Median salary: Around $84k
Duties: Elevator technicians oversee the installation of elevators, mechanical walkways, and escalators. They also take care of the servicing, maintenance, testing, and repairing of the electrical system and all its parts.
Certification: Apprenticeship and certification through the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC)
How to Get Started: How to Become an Elevator Mechanic
Median salary: $25k – $114k
Duties: The broker represents the sellers or buyers of real estate or real property (which is super hot right now!). They tend to work independently but can also work with a company, but the pay is solely commission-based.
Certification: High school diploma and real estate license
How to Get Started: Getting Into Real Estate: 5 Steps to Becoming an Agent
5) Aircraft Mechanic
Median salary: $65k – $108k
Duties: Aircraft mechanics are responsible for repairing wings, brakes, electrical systems, and other aircraft components. They diagnose mechanical and electrical problems as well as replace defective parts.
Certification: Obtain a certificate from an FAA-approved school for maintenance or; gain at least 18 months of on-the-job experience
How to Get Started: Basic Requirements to Become an Aircraft Mechanic
6) Funeral Service Manager
Median salary: $98k
Duties: Offer counsel to family or friends of the deceased, arrange removal of the deceased’s body, prepare the remains, file death certificates, and train junior staff.
Certification: May need an associates degree in mortuary science, but not always required. High school students can prepare to become a funeral service worker by taking courses in biology, chemistry, business, and by participating in public speaking.
How to Get Started: How to Become a Funeral Service Manager
Median salary: $55k – $90k
Duties: Electricians work on power outages as well as rewiring projects for fixtures and equipment. They also handle the safety of lighting and wiring installation. They take care of the inspection of electrical components as well.
Certification: Apprenticeship and state licensing
How to Get Started: How to Become and Electrician
Median salary: $40k – $71k
Duties: Plumbers are responsible for installing and repairing pipes/fittings. They also install plumbing fixtures like sinks and tubs.
Certification: Apprenticeship and plumbing license
How to Get Started: How to Become a Plumber
Median salary: $37k -$77k
Duties: Truck drivers haul light/heavy/oversize loads over the road (OTR) or locally. They can work solo or in teams. The pay can vary depending on different factors like the type of load, mileage, and even the area.
Certification: Commercial Driver License & on-the-job training
How to Get Started: Becoming a Truck Driver in 6 Steps
10) Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
Median salary: $84k
Duties: Plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities (ie. make a plan for where stuff should go and when). They usually work in a warehouse and manage a staff of employees.
Certification: High school diploma. 5 years of experience in a related field. Experience in warehouse management or an understanding of shipping technology.
How to Get Started: How to Become a Distribution Manager
Median salary: $36k-$100k
Duties: Responsible for managing the daily operations of a United States post office. Hire, train, and supervise postal employees as well as enforce postal regulations, oversee customer service, handle administrative tasks, and manage mail distribution.
Certification: High school diploma. Additional education in public administration, communication, or a business-related field. One to five years of experience in the postal system is required.
How to Get Started: Become a Postmaster: Education and Career Roadmap
12) Dental Hygienist
Median salary: $57k-$96k
Duties: Meet with patients and examine their teeth before they see a dentist. Clean the patient’s teeth and identify any problem areas.
Certification: Must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam. Many private practices also require an associate’s degree.
How to Get Started: How Long Does It Take to Become a Dental Hygienist?
13) Line Lead of Operations
Median salary: $35k-$105k
Duties: Work on a production line and manage a team of line workers in an operations setting. You’ll not only manage the team, but also keep an eye on inventory, problem solve issues, and come up with ways to speed up production without hindering the quality of the product.
Certification: High school diploma as well as extensive experience working on a production line
How to Get Started: What is a Line Leader and How to Become One?
Median salary: $47k-$100k
Duties: Work aboard trains and coordinate the daily activities of train crews. They also oversee the loading and unloading of cargo.
Certification: High school diploma, on-the-job training, and in some circumstances, certification.
How to Get Started: What Does a Railroad Conductor Do and How to Become One?
15) Web Developer
Median salary: $37k-$87k
Duties: Web developers create, modify, and manage functional websites. Web developers are responsible for programming a website and designing its user interface.
How to Get Started: How to Become a Web Developer
16) Start Your Own Business
Median salary: $40k – infinity
Duties: You could start your own business in any field – from electrical to plumbing to blogging, writing, or site building! The key here is that you wouldn’t just draw a salary like a typical job. You could work as much or as little as you want, and the sky is the limit on income! Want to earn a ton? Then add a ton of value for your customers!
Certification: No certifications needed to work for yourself. You’ll obviously want a ton of experience in your desired field before you jump in with both feet.
How to Get Started: 10 Steps to Start Your Small Business
Jobs That Pay $70k a Year Without a Degree: Which Will You Choose??
Jobs that pay $70k a year without a degree aren’t that hard to come by (depending on the state you live in of course).
With the list above, you can now find a lucrative career without having to go through 4 years of college and incur a huge debt. And most of these jobs allow you to become certified by receiving on the job training.
And how great is that?!
You get paid more based on the skills you acquire over time so there’s certainly potential to make over $70k a year!
So don’t get discouraged. You can still be successful without a degree.
Are you ready to make $70k a year with no degree? It’s certainly possible if you get into the right field!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.