If you’ve not obtained a bachelor’s degree, you still have numerous potentially high-paying career options. These roles are available in diverse industries, with some requiring specialized training. By identifying the various job options available to you, you can assess your interests and those requirements to determine which career path best suits you.
In this article, we provide a list of 25 career options that pay at least $60,000 without a bachelor’s degree.
25 jobs that pay at least $60,000 without a bachelor’s degree
The following list includes 25 careers across various industries that offer a national average annual salary of at least $60,000. Some of these career paths may require specific training, educational programs such as a two-year associate degree, certification or licensure. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, use this list to help research potential high-paying career paths:
1. Claims adjuster
National average salary: $60,629 per year
Primary duties: A claims adjuster is responsible for investigating insurance claims to determine an insurance company’s liability in order to calculate an adequate settlement amount. Also known as insurance claims adjusters or insurance adjusters, this profession requires strong customer service skills and knowledge of insurance policies. In addition to a high school diploma or GED equivalent, employers may require candidates to have an insurance adjuster license, although this can depend on the state where they live.
2. Instrument technician
National average salary: $64,326 per year
Primary duties: An instrument technician is responsible for monitoring, repairing and maintaining mechanical systems. Also known as instrumentation control technicians, they often work at manufacturing plants to oversee industrial equipment. This profession does not have educational requirements, though technicians often receive on-the-job training or pursue an Engineering Technologies certification.
3. Web developer
National average salary: $67,591 per year
Primary duties: A web developer is responsible for creating websites and web applications. While some employers prefer candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, individuals can begin their career without them as self-employed developers. Individuals interested in this career may teach themselves web development skills or take courses. Their responsibilities include writing front and back end code to set up the parameters of the website, analyzing user feedback to fix errors and improve user experience (UX) and implementing testing tools to continuously monitor the website.
4. Electrical foreman
National average salary: $67,605 per year
Primary duties: An electrical foreman is responsible for planning and supervising electrical projects. They typically have prior experience as electricians, which requires a high school diploma or equivalent, participating in specialized training or apprenticeship programs and obtaining licensure. Their responsibilities include discussing clients’ electrical needs, performing time and cost estimates, hiring and training employees, directing project staff, ensuring safety compliance and inspecting and conducting quality assurance on work.
5. Aircraft mechanic
National average salary: $69,306 per year
Primary duties: Aircraft mechanics provide maintenance and repair services for flying vehicles like helicopters and airplanes. If you’re interested in being an aircraft mechanic, you’ll need to attend a technical Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accreditation and complete on-the-job training. They can work at any organization that involves planes and helicopters, including airports, government organizations, military groups and engineering companies. Their responsibilities include inspecting aircraft systems, diagnosing operational issues, measuring aircraft parts, interpreting manuals, completing repairs, cleaning mechanical parts and updating maintenance records.
6. Insurance agent
National average salary: $69,693 per year
Primary duties: An insurance agent is a salesperson who is responsible developing strategies to promote different types of insurance, evaluating the needs of a business or individual and proposing insurance plans that meet their criteria and for developing relationships to grow a base of clients. This proession requires a high school diploma or GED, and you’re generally required to take a course and pass your state’s licensing exam. Most agents usually specialize in a certain type of insurance, such as health, property, disability, casualty or long-term care.
7. Solar installer
National average salary: $70,024 per year
Primary duties: A solar installer is a professional who installs solar photovoltaic (PV) panels onto a structure’s rooftop, which provides electricity from the sun. You’ll likely need to earn a two-year associate degree or attend trade school to learn the safety skills and knowledge needed for this profession. Employers in this field value certifications, so it’s a good idea to also enroll in a certification program through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
8. Truck driver
National average salary: $70,414 per year
Primary duties: A truck driver is responsible for transporting goods via a tractor-trailer or heavy truck. Individuals must have a high school diploma or equivalent and obtain their commercial driver’s license. They may be on the road for days or weeks, driving regional or national routes. Their responsibilities include planning efficient travel routes, conducting inspections of their trucks regularly, maintaining daily logs and securing cargo.
9. Nuclear technician
National average salary: $71,365 per year
Primary duties: A nuclear technician is a professional who monitors nuclear reactors and other equipment to ensure safety. Also called an operations technician or radiation protection technician, a nuclear technician often works in a nuclear power plant or in a laboratory to help others conduct research. Nuclear technicians often earn an associate degree in nuclear science or a related field from a community college or technical school. Their duties can include testing radiation levels, calculating measures of efficiency, implementing safety protocols for decontamination and emergency procedures and performing hazardous waste removal and clean-up.
10. Makeup artist
National average salary: $71,810 per year
Primary duties: A makeup artist is responsible for applying makeup to clients for personal and professional purposes. This role does not have education requirements, as clients typically focus on the makeup artists’ level of experience. Makeup artists can work in various settings, from entertainment production to department store beauty counters or freelancing. Their responsibilities include collaborating with clients on desired makeup looks, assessing what will look best on clients and providing makeup application advice. Working in entertainment settings may require applying prosthetics on performers.
11. Sales representative
National average salary: $73,762 per year
Primary duties: A sales representative works on behalf of wholesalers or manufacturers to sell their goods and services. Roles in this profession do not require a post-secondary degree. However, some specialized sales positions, such as pharmaceutical or technical, may require further educational attainment. Their responsibilities include contacting existing and potential customers, performing product demonstrations, negotiating sales contracts and handling transactions. They may also need to meet sales goals set by their employers and create sales reports regularly.
12. Yoga instructor
National average salary: $73,775 per year
Primary duties: A yoga instructor is responsible for teaching yoga to improve students’ flexibility and strength. This profession does not have degree requirements, though instructors need to complete a specialized training or certification program to practice. Yoga instructors can be self-employed or work for fitness centers and studios. Their responsibilities include planning lessons, demonstrating yoga poses and techniques, adapting instructions for all student levels and teaching breathing exercises.
13. HVAC supervisor
National average salary: $74,509 per year
Primary duties: An HVAC supervisor oversees a team of HVAC engineers or technicians. HVAC technicians maintain, repair and install heating and cooling systems for residences and businesses. Individuals may pursue a supervisor role if they have prior experience as an HVAC technician, which requires obtaining certification and participating in an apprenticeship program. HVAC supervisors’ responsibilities include assigning work orders, planning and supervising repair and maintenance activities, performing time and cost estimates and managing inventory.
14. Physical therapist assistant
National average salary: $74,646 per year
Primary duties: A physical therapy (or therapist) assistant, also known as a PTA, is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide patient treatment. They can work in outpatient facilities, private homes, sports clinics, assisted living facilities and hospitals. You’ll need to earn a two-year associate degree and pass the National Physical Therapy Exam. Their duties can include educating patients about their injuries and how to treat them, demonstrating exercises for patients and documenting patient treatment sessions.
15. Occupational therapy assistant
National average salary: $75,524 per year
Primary duties: An occupational therapy assistant assists an occupational therapist in healing and enhancing the physical and mental health of patients. You’ll need to earn a two-year associate degree in occupational therapy, complete hands-on training and take the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy exam. The duties of an OTA can include helping patients perform different tasks, teaching patients how to use special equipment to aid them in daily life, recording a patient’s progress and reporting to an occupational therapist and assisting children with disabilities in play activities that help coordination.
16. Cargo pilot
National average salary: $77,619 per year
Primary duties: A cargo pilot is responsible for transporting goods or freight via plane. This profession does not have degree requirements, though individuals must obtain a commercial pilot license and airline transport pilot certification. Cargo pilots typically fly at night or in the early morning, transporting goods such as mail, perishable items, industrial supplies or emergency relief supplies. Their responsibilities include planning routes, checking the weather before flights, coordinating flight plans with air traffic controllers and monitoring fuel and equipment.
17. Railroad conductor
National average salary: $78,401 per year
Primary duties: A railroad conductor coordinates the daily activities of a train crew. A freight train conductor also oversees the loading and unloading of cargo at each stop. Individuals interested in this career need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and also need to pass a conductor certification course. A train conductor’s duties include assisting passengers as needed throughout the duration of transport, conducting a pre-check on the train prior to departure and observing tracks for route signals and potential obstructions.
National average salary: $79,849 per year
Primary duties: Boilermakers are tradespeople who create, assemble, test and install tanks, furnaces, towers, heat exchangers and other heavy metallic structures. With a high school diploma or GED, most boilermaker apprenticeships take 4-5 years to complete, comprised of both classroom/virtual and hands-on apprentice work. Their responsibilities include interpreting and reading blueprints, directing crane operators, testing and inspecting the boiler system for any defects or leaks and erecting supporting steel beams and columns.
19. Power plant operator
National average salary: $80,960 per year
Primary duties: A power plant operator is responsible for controlling and maintaining the equipment used to produce electricity at a power plant. The equipment they work with may include generators, turbines, boilers and reactors. Individuals interested in this career need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and receive comprehensive training while on the job. Their responsibilities include cleaning machinery, monitoring charts and meters to assess voltage and electricity flows, checking equipment and indicators to identify issues and ensuring compliance with safety and environmental standards.
20. Dental hygienist
National average salary: $85,031 per year
Primary duties: A dental hygienist work under the supervision of dentists to perform teeth examinations and cleanings. Individuals interested in this profession must complete an associate or specialized training program for dental hygiene to obtain certification. Their responsibilities include educating patients on oral health, applying protective materials to teeth, taking dental X-rays and working with dentists to develop treatment plans.
21. MRI technician
National average salary: $90,537 per year
Primary duties: An MRI technician, also known as an MRI technologist, is responsible for operating the machinery that produces 3D images of patients’ organs and tissues. To pursue this career, individuals must obtain an associate degree, certificate or MRI technology diploma from a community college or trade school. Their responsibilities include injecting patients with dye for imaging purposes, positioning patients for scans, discussing medical histories, addressing concerns and ensuring maintenance of imaging equipment. They often work closely with doctors and radiologists to read and analyze images.
22. Nuclear medicine technologist
National average salary: $95,812 per year
Primary duties: A nuclear medicine technologist performs nuclear imaging tests under the supervision of a trained physician. Nuclear medicine technologists often need to earn an associate degree, and it’s a good idea to get certified in order to be more marketable in this field. Their duties include diagnosing medical conditions and diseases such as cancer using imaging tests, preparing radioactive drugs and administering these drugs to various patients and maintaining detailed records of medical procedures.
23. Radiation therapist
National average salary: $101,634 per year
Primary duties: A radiation therapist is a medical professional who administers radiation treatments to patients, often those who have cancer. While some employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree in radiation therapy, others hire individuals who have completed a certificate program and gain licensure. Their responsibilities include operating radiation therapy equipment, taking X-rays to identify treatment areas, discussing treatment procedures, following radiation safety protocols and monitoring patients during the treatment process.
24. Real estate agent
National average salary: $104,451 per year
Primary duties: A real estate agent works with clients to buy, sell or rent properties. To work as a real estate agent, individuals must take courses required by their state to obtain a real estate license. Real estate agents work closely with clients to understand their needs, conducting research to assess potential options and answer questions about the local area. Their responsibilities include publishing real estate listings, coordinating property viewings, negotiating purchase offers and creating contracts.
25. Owner-operator driver
National average salary: $145,939 per year
Primary duties: An owner-operator driver works within the trucking and transportation industry as an independent contractor. They own semi-trailer trucks and often have prior trucking experience, so this role requires a valid commercial driver’s license. As truck owners, they are responsible for a truck’s expenses, such as maintenance and fuel. Their responsibilities include driving trucks over long distances, planning routes, following appropriate traffic laws and loading and unloading cargo. They may also perform business-related duties, such as accounting and tax-related tasks.