10 Highest Paying Jobs With No Degree Required (Financial Freedom)

Isaiah McCall


With reliable online accreditation programs on the rise, four-year colleges are facing their greatest challenge yet: Staying relevant.

I don’t think they’re up to the task. Especially because most universities saddle their students with these:

  • Crippiling debt (which you cannot declare bankruptcy on)
  • Useless degrees like liberal arts or communications — the latter of which I advertently have
  • Little-to-no real-world experience which leaves many students vindicative

College is outdated. It’s like a four-year party and afterward, you’re the one stuck with the entire mess. A bachelor's degree is meaningless today without any real-world experience to back it up.

If you need help paying the bills or are looking for a career change, try these jobs instead.

10. DoorDash Delivery Driver

Potential Salary: $33,600 and up

DoorDash is for the person who hates the traditional 9–5 and/or is smart enough to realize that most minimum wage-paying jobs are sapping your creativity and making you miserable.

I made $100 dollars+ a day working with DoorDash (accounting for gas). It’s the most flexible, surprisingly fun job I’ve ever had. I listened to hours of podcasts and audiobooks while paying off my debt, and saving thousands of dollars.

9. Freelance Photographer

Average Salary: $36,630

The art of taking photos is the most available skill in the world. Speaking as someone who works with many photographers, a lot of them didn’t go to school for photography. You can take out your phone right now and get some practice in.

Photography is emblematic of how good your eye is. Capturing the lighting, shadows, and appropriate angles is a big part of the gig. Furthermore, potential clients focus more on your portfolio, not so much on how high your grade point average is.

Here’s a good place to start.

8. YouTube Content Creator

Average Salary: $45,242

My roommate is a videographer and explained the three skills needed to make it as a YouTube content creator:

  • Video Editing Skills: You can learn video editing almost exclusively from YouTube. There are millions of hours of free tutorials.
  • A Professional Setup: The camera on your phone is good enough to get you started. However, there’s no faking whether you’re a pro or an amateur. Wherever you decide to film, make sure it doesn’t look like a trashed college dormitory. Your names on the line here — don’t cheapen it.
  • Playing the long game: Like writing on Medium, you need to prioritize the long game to make it big. Keep driving in the direction you're most passionate about. Don’t be discouraged by a lack of initial success.

7. Pro Blogger or Writer on Medium

Potential Salary: $50,000 and up

I made about $5,000 writing on Medium last month. If I made that amount every month for this entire year I would have $60,000 in my pocket (before taxes).

I subtracted $10,000 just to give myself some leeway in case I have a bad month, and there we have it: $50,000 a year for doing what I love.

OK, how do we get you earning this much? Easy, keep writing. Write every day, and do it without shame. This doesn’t mean publish every day. Get better, even if it’s 1% better at what you love to do.

Also, you can read this brief guide to see how I made nearly $5,000 last month.

6. Real Estate Agent

Average Salary: $50,730

Real Estate is a flexible commission-based job. This means you eat what you kill. The more hours you dedicate to becoming better at sales and customer relations, the more you stand to make.

A lot of people doubt themselves when it comes to sales. The key, however, is to keep faking it until you fake it some more. No one starts out great, but instead, improves over time. A professional is just someone who’s more dedicated than the rest of the amateurs.

5. Firefighter

Average Salary: $50,850

At the height of the defund the police outcry I thought to myself: “Well, no one is ever going to say defund the firefighters.”

Firefighting will always be around. There will always be fires and a need for someone to put them out. We’re a long ways away from robots or A.I. taking over this industry. Furthermore, I’d imagine firefighting will give you amazing stories to write about on Medium.

4. Theater Makeup Artist

Average Salary: $75,730

Theater makeup is a $20,000 leap from selling houses or fighting fires.

I’m no broadway aficionado, but theater makeup is the apex of art that hides in plain sight. A good makeup artist’s work is so measured, you may not even notice the complex subtleties involved in their work.

I won’t try to act like I know more about this job than I do, but all I can say is, I’d love to interview a makeup artist sometime. They sound like very interesting people.

3. Navy Seal

Average Salary: $77,472

Joining the Navy Seals is my “break glass in case of emergency” job. I think everyone should have one. If everything fails in my life, if every dream I chase ends up a horrible nightmare, then I know where I’ll go to reset my mind.

Other armed force positions don’t pay as much as Navy Seals, but I do think they’re viable options that you should consider. Keep in mind, you can enlist in the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and other generally non-combative roles as well.

2. Day Trader

Average Salary: $80,081

Sometimes, investing is just riding a tidal wave and raking in the profits. There’s no secret besides: Putting your money where your mouth is. Most people don’t invest because they’re scared of losing money. They’re trapped in a defeatist mindset and don’t instead think, “How much am I going to gain?”

Not everyone can reach the wealth required to make it as a day trader. However, the mere act of aspiring to do so can change your life and pad your pockets.

1. Computer Programmer

Average Salary: $86,500

The barrier for entry on such a high-paying skill has never been lower than it is for computer programming. There are millions of hours of high-quality video tutorials on YouTube teaching you how to code. Moreover, there are very low-cost boot camps that can get you up to speed as well.

Coding seems like the kind of job that could only survive in a university. The fact that this highly lucrative job broke out is a good sign that you do not need a degree to survive. All you need is a relentless passion to push you in the direction of your choice.

Unlike a college degree, passion doesn’t come with any hidden fees.

Comments / 0

Published by

USA Today Reporter and Ultramarathoner. I write about Cryptocurrency, Fitness Hacks, and Greek Philosophy. Also a diehard Trekkie | mccallisaiah@gmail.com

Jersey City, NJ

More from Isaiah McCall

Comments / 0