24 Legit Jobs That Pay $50K a Year in 2024 (Without a Degree)

Written by
jobs that pay $50k a year

While it’s very easy to find jobs that pay 50k a year with a degree, welcome to a world where a college degree is no longer the golden ticket to a well-paying job. In 2024, more than 24 jobs will pay you a cool $50,000 per year or more — no degree required. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best options.

While a college degree was once the path to stable employment, that’s not the case today. Some of the wealthiest people in the world, including Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft Corp. Co-Founder Bill Gates and the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, are all college dropouts who became highly successful entrepreneurs.

Many major names in the music industry also don’t have a formal college education, from Taylor Swift to Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Elton John, and The Beatles. 

While that is a list of superstars, many average people can make an above-average salary without a college degree. Below are jobs that pay $50k a year without a degree to help you launch a career without years of education or major debt. 

24 jobs that pay $50K a year without a degree

Getting a good job without a degree is like making a soufflé — it takes some serious effort and skill, but with the right ingredients and a bit of practice, you can whip up something truly impressive. It’s totally possible to land a great job without a degree, but it doesn’t automatically happen. 

You’ll have to put in hard work, develop the necessary skills, and show employers you’re worth hiring. You may also need to start with a lower salary before working your way up. But with a bit of perseverance and determination, you can rise to the top and achieve your career goals. Without further ado, take a look at how you can make $50,000 per year without a degree!

Find side gigs designed around your time. 

1. Warehouse manager

A warehouse manager oversees the process of receiving and shipping products for numerous businesses. You’ll be responsible for managing employees, handling inventory, and operating equipment. 

In most cases, you don’t need any certifications to become a warehouse manager. But if you have qualifications, they can certainly be helpful. You can learn more about the industry by taking a professional course in distribution and warehousing. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or general education development (GED) and two years of warehouse experience. 

Salary: $43,000-$85,000

2. Police officer

As a police officer, you’ll enforce laws and keep the public safe. Police officers are responsible for responding to complaints and calls reported to the police department. They also take on the responsibility of detaining those who break the law. 

You’ll be in charge of making sure people follow traffic laws and filing detailed reports in cases where people don’t abide by the rules of the road. While becoming a police officer can be a high-stress and highly demanding profession, there are also opportunities for advancement. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED and completion of police academy training. 

Salary: $41,000-$102,000

3. Property manager

When it comes to managing property, you have many responsibilities. You’ll also be expected to oversee moving inspections, process payments, screen new applicants, and coordinate maintenance requests and repairs. In addition, your main job is to provide customer service to tenants and potential renters. 

Experience needed: A high school diploma or GED, and most states require you to pass your state’s real estate licensing exam. 

Salary: $36,000-$81,000 ($55,000 median salary)

4. Pipe welder

As a pipe welder, your job is centered around the construction and preparation of piping systems that involve welding equipment. You’ll be responsible for measuring, cutting, and welding materials for repairs and working on new projects. You’ll need extreme attention to detail as well as an understanding of how to follow safety precautions. YouTube is a great resource if you’re wondering how to get your foot in the door and become a pipe welder. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED, two years of welding experience; some companies require pipe welders to have a certification in welding.

Salary: $39,200-$88,860

5. Pilot

Becoming a pilot means learning to fly airplanes, helicopters, and other forms of aircraft. Depending on your area of expertise, you’ll transport people or cargo to various locations. 

You can make a significant salary by being a private pilot or working for a commercial airline but requires additional certifications and training. You need flying experience to complete the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. 

Experience needed: Private pilot certificate, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), commercial pilot certificate, certificated flight instructor (CFI), multi-engine rating, and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.

Salary: $53,000-$258,000

6. Claims adjuster

As an adjuster, you inspect property damage and personal injury claims and determine the insurance company’s payment to cover the losses. 

As a claims adjuster, you’ll interview clients filing claims and witnesses who need to make statements. You can also expect to be in charge of inspecting the property and reviewing police reports. 

To get started, you need only pass your state’s licensing exam. You can take courses online to prepare for your adjuster exam.

Experience needed: Pass the insurance adjuster exam.

Salary: $46,000-$84,000

7. Flight attendant 

If you’re a jet setter, you can take to the sky and become a flight attendant. Flight attendants are responsible for keeping airplane passengers safe and comfortable. You’ll provide food, offer drinks, report suspicious activity, inspect safety equipment, and explain safety procedures to passengers. You can work on private planes or commercial airlines. 

Experience needed: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency and flight attendant certificate course.

Salary: $36,100-$141,700

8. Construction Superintendent 

As a construction superintendent, you oversee construction and renovation projects for nearby buildings. You maintain top-tier quality control at construction sites and work with subcontractors. You also must schedule deadlines and allocate your budget appropriately.

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED, five years of experience in the construction industry, and completion of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30 certification.

Salary: $54,000-$121,000

9. Plumber

Although it’s not the most glamorous job, you can make some serious cash as a plumber. Plumbers install equipment, repair water damage, tend to gas leaks, and fix broken pipes, among many other tasks. You’ll need to know how to install plumbing fixtures like bathtubs and toilets as well as appliances like dishwashers. 

You can enroll in an apprenticeship to learn the skills you need from companies like Roto-Rooter, or you can attend a local trade school. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED and completion of an apprenticeship or training at a local trade school; some states require proof of licensing.

Salary: $33,020-$78,220

10. Insurance agent

Insurance agents sell different types of insurance. They help their clients prepare to have protections in place when life happens. As an agent, you can either work for insurance companies, refer clients to independent brokers, or become an independent broker. You can also choose a home, auto, life, health, travel or other types of insurance. Many insurance providers offer training programs for new hires, such as State Farm’s training program to become an independent contractor.

Experience needed: Complete the pre-licensing course and pass the state exam. 

Salary: $30,000-$71,000

11. Commercial truck driver

Love to drive? Consider commercial truck driving, which pays well and requires only a short training. You’ll be responsible for operating tractor-trailers and many other types of large vehicles that you’ll use to transport goods to various locations. 

Some jobs are local gigs where you make deliveries to nearby businesses or drive within the state. Other jobs require you to travel long distances. Truck driving offers a flexible schedule with either part-time or full-time work available, but can also mean you’re away from home for days at a time. 

To get started, you can check out TransForce to find out more about truck driving or learn more at FreightWaves. 

Experience needed: Must be at least 21 years old and have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) Class B.

Salary: $34,960-$60,240

12. Electrician 

Electricians install electrical systems in homes and businesses. You’ll be responsible for rewiring equipment, inspecting electrical service panels, checking fuse boxes for safety issues, and identifying sources of power outages, as well as installing new electrical systems in homes or commercial buildings. You can work as an employee for a company or find work as an independent contractor. Indeed.com can help you find work right away. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED, completion of an electrician apprenticeship, and proof of passing the state electrician exam.

Salary: $34,000-$85,000

13. Food service manager 

As a food service manager, your job is to oversee the daily operations of a restaurant. You’ll learn how to order inventory, hire employees, and train the new hires as well as manage budgets and take care of payroll. You are also responsible for making sure customers are satisfied, and if they’re not, you must handle any issues or complaints that arise. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED and two years of work experience in the food service industry.

Salary: $27,000-$65,000

14. Firefighter EMT

Although it’s no easy task, becoming a firefighter can be extremely rewarding. As a firefighter, you’re responsible for putting out fires, finding missing people, and rescuing victims who are trapped inside burning buildings. You’ll also perform emergency or life-saving medical treatments before patients can be transferred to a hospital. 

You’ll also be involved in other emergencies centered around helping the public. You must be comfortable driving vehicles because you’ll be responsible for operating fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. 

Firefighters have physically and mentally demanding jobs. They also work long shifts that can last up to 24 hours each. However, you could also have more flexible shifts to spend time with family. You’ll be expected to work at least ten days out of the month.

Experience needed: Pass a written exam, psychological and physical evaluations, and graduate from the fire academy; some departments may require an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification

Salary: $36,000-$94,000

15. Real estate agent

If you love helping people and you have great customer service skills, becoming a real estate agent might be perfect for you. Helping people find their new homes is both exciting and rewarding. The hours are flexible, and you can often set your own schedule. You’ll show potential buyers properties for sale while helping other customers sell them. 

Experience needed: Complete the appropriate pre-licensing education for your state and pass your state’s real estate license examination.

Salary: $29,000-$150,000

16. Personal trainer

If you love fitness and want to help people transform their lives, personal training could be a fulfilling profession. It’s an industry that offers more flexibility than ever before. You can work virtually, in person with clients at a nearby gym, or with sports teams. As you build a reputation, you can also offer courses online.

As a trainer, you will be putting together workouts and writing nutrition programs for your clients as a way of helping them both look and feel their best. It’s important to be a great listener and know how to personalize a fitness plan that meets your client’s needs. You can expand your clientele through continuing education certificates through organizations like the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Experience needed: Personal training certification from an accredited organization like NASM.

Salary: $26,000-$106,000

17. Solar sales rep

Solar sales are a great way to help the environment while generating an income stream. Your job would be to help sell solar energy systems. As interest in renewable energy rises and government incentives are in place to help defray costs, it’s a good time to enter the industry. As a solar sales rep, you’ll assist clients, write reports, and develop sales strategies.

Good communication skills are important for this gig. Prior customer service or sales experience will also give you a leg up. 

Experience needed: Requirements vary by company. None is required, but one year of sales experience can help you get your first job.

Salary: $36,000-$188,000

18. Cable installation tech

If you pay close attention to detail and are a good problem solver, you might be a good fit for a cable tech position. Your responsibilities will include installing, repairing, and maintaining all things cable-related. This job also includes feeding cable lines, laying cable, and setting up equipment in homes and businesses. 

While employers often look for people with experience in the field, some companies will train you on the spot. 

Experience needed: Complete a telecommunications program and an apprenticeship program. 

Salary: $31,000-$68,000

19. Travel agent

Love to travel? Have great customer service skills? Being a travel agent might be the job for you! 

As a travel agent, you’ll be responsible for helping people book trips. You’ll also work with families, individuals, and businesses to book flights, schedule hotel stays, plan transportation, book activities, make dining reservations, and much more. As a travel agent, you’ll plan other people’s trips based on their needs, wants, and desires. 

Some companies will hire you without experience and train you in the job duties. Other jobs require you to know everything before you’re hired, but there are courses you can take online, such as those offered through The Travel Institute, that can help you expand your knowledge and make more money. 

Experience needed: High school diploma or GED, one year of sales experience, and one year of customer service experience.

Salary: $30,000-$61,000

20. Loan officer

As a loan officer, you’ll work for a bank or independent lender to help people apply for loans. You’ll check credit, fill out applications, and work one-on-one with clients to assist them with the financial help they need. 

Experience needed: Register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education courses approved by the NMLS, and pass the NMLS mortgage licensing exam.

Salary: $34,000-$84,000

21. Software Developer

Software developers can make a lot of money without having a degree. As a software developer, you’ll design, develop, and test software. This career path can be beneficial to those who are technically minded but do not have the financial means or time to obtain a college degree. 

Software developers typically have strong analytical and creative problem-solving skills, as they must be able to rapidly develop solutions for technical challenges. 

Experience needed: Superior programming knowledge, including at least one programming language. Proficiency in languages such as C++, Java, JavaScript, and Python is a plus; proficiency in HTML and CSS for front-end development; technical school or coding boot camp is preferred, but not required. 

Salary: $54,000-$119,000

22. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are among the most well-paid and in-demand healthcare professionals who do not require a college degree for their careers. Many employers and professional organizations provide classes, webinars, and seminars to help new practitioners learn the skills required for success in this growing field. 

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) provides resources such as information about registration requirements, continuing education opportunities, and more so that you can stay current on industry trends. 

Experience needed: Certification from the state or local board of dental examiners after completing an approved educational program in most states. 

Salary: $61,000-$100,000

23. Chef

Chefs are skilled culinary professionals who create delicious and visually appealing dishes for restaurants, hotels, and other food-service establishments. While some chefs have a culinary arts degree, becoming a successful chef without one is possible. Many of the world’s top chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck, didn’t attend culinary school. 

Chefs need a wide range of skills, including creativity, culinary expertise, and knowledge of food safety, nutrition, and sanitation. They should also have excellent organizational skills to ensure that all food is prepared correctly, on time, and up to high standards. Chefs also need the ability to multitask and handle pressure in the kitchen. 

Communication skills are essential for coordinating activities in the kitchen with other staff members and dealing with customers. Chefs must be detail-oriented to consistently create quality dishes that meet customer expectations.

Experience needed: Experience in a culinary role is usually required. Many chefs start their careers as line cooks, kitchen assistants, or apprentices in restaurants, hotels, or catering companies.

Salary: $31,000-$71,000

24. Land surveyor

If you love being outdoors or want to set your own hours, consider becoming a land surveyor. Land surveyors work with sophisticated field equipment such as high-order GPS, and aerial and terrestrial scanners to identify and document property boundaries or other key characteristics.

You could learn to use auto-CAD software to map, plan and draft measurements. You can start becoming a land surveyor through an entry-level role or apprenticeship. Some companies will support your state certification exam for licensing.

Experience needed: While some states require either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, many do not. You may need four years experience of working under a licensed surveyor before becoming eligible to take the licensure exam to work as a surveyor. You’ll need to pass the principles and practice of surveying exam

Salary: $33,000-$92,000

Building careers that pay 50k a year

Building a career without a degree is more doable than ever. From coding to cooking, plenty of opportunities exist for those willing to work hard and learn new skills. The list above includes 24 high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree, but there are many more out there! Whether you’re a natural-born salesperson, a creative genius, or a master of all things analytical, there’s a job out there you can do without a degree. 

A degree can be a valuable asset, but it’s not the only path to success. You can also check out weekend side hustles, side hustles for women, or flexible side jobs to supplement your primary career.  With some planning and dedication, you can work to gain the skills to land that dream job or build your customized career.


What are the most common jobs that pay $50k a year?

Software developers, accountants, nurses, web developers, commercial truck drivers, and project managers are common jobs that pay $50K or more annually.

How can I find jobs that pay $50k a year?

The first question is what jobs pay 50k a year? You can start your $50k job search by looking through job postings on websites such as Indeed.com or LinkedIn where average salaries are typically listed. You can also contact staffing agencies known for placing workers in high-paying positions or look on specialized sites for your desired profession and ask around for $50k salary jobs in your chosen profession.

How can I increase my chances of getting a job that pays $50k a year?

To increase your chances of getting a job that pays $50K or more, you should focus on developing your skills and experience in the field, attending networking events to connect with potential employers, and researching employers that offer salaries in this range. You can also consider building multiple income streams to supplement your main salary while you grow experience and earning potential. 

What industries offer jobs with a salary of $50,000 or more annually?

Many industries offer jobs with a salary of $50,000 or more annually, including tech, solar power, healthcare, construction, and sales. Careers as diverse as a warehouse manager, personal trainer, electrician, or loan officer can all pay more than $50k annually. Consider your skills, aptitude, interest and existing experience to choose a high-paying career without a degree. You can also look for short-term training programs to prepare you for a new career, such as earning your CDL or insurance adjuster’s license. 

What are some entry-level positions that typically pay around $50k per year?

Many entry-level positions pay around $50k per year. Some of the positions on the list above could pay around $50k per year as a starting salary, and there are many jobs that pay 50k a year with a degree. Careers with entry-level positions that pay around $50k annually include FBI special agent, accountant, account manager, program manager, sales representative, customer service representative, or sales advisor. However, entry-level salaries will vary by company and individual qualifications. You can also check out side hustles to make up to $2,000 a month in supplemental income here. 

Sign Up
Sign Up

Build your credit and save

Join Credit Builder Plus to get a loan up to $1,000, credit monitoring, exclusive rewards, access to 0% APR cash advances, and more. Over half of members raise their credit over 27 points within 60 days!

Sign Up