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11 High-Paying Jobs for College Dropouts

Dropping out from college doesn’t signal the end of someone’s life, many prominent personalities that have impacted the world also dropped out from college to focus on a business and skill. People like Mark Zukerburg who owns Facebook and Steve Jobs of Apple dropped out of school to establish their SaaS companies that have grown to become one of the largest tech hubs in the world.

There are many reasons that could see someone harbor the thought of dropping out of college, maybe lack of finance, poor results or lack of zeal to complete school. We would be listing out some of the high-paying jobs for college dropouts, these are among jobs that you can do without a college certificate. 

11 High-Paying Jobs for College Dropouts

Below are some of the jobs for college dropouts that don’t require a certificate.

1. Computer Programming 

Computer programming is one of the highest paying jobs for college dropouts, you don’t need a certificate to become a bad-ass programmer and get employed by top tech firms, you only need to know at least one programming language and be crafty with your skills.

You can use YouTube to develop your programming skills or buy e-books that would guide you through the process.

Also Read: 10 Best Free Online Python Course For Beginners To Learn Programming

2. Firefighter

Firefighting is also a nice job for college dropouts, you get paid nicely if you join a high-paying fire department. 

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As a firefighter you help put off fire, and also help if any natural disaster occurs.

As a firefighter when a fire outbreak occurs instead of you running out you run in trying to save lives and properties, so to excel in firefighting you have to have the desire to help others.

Truthfully speaking firefighting is a nice job for college dropouts, the only disadvantage here is you don’t get promoted above the cardinal level, which means your career as a firefighter without a degree is limited. All that is needed to join the fire service is a high school diploma.

If you’ve decided to tryout a career in firefighting you can checkout the highest paying firefighting department.

3. Truck Driver

Truck driving is another high paying job for college dropouts, you only need to pass the required driving tests and obtain your driver’s license to be able to secure a truck driving job.

As a truck driver you would be assigned a truck and transport goods from one place to another.

4. Automotive Mechanic

Automotive or Automobile mechanic is also another job which students without college certificates can indulge in, the job of an automotive mechanic is to examine the engine of a car and carry out maintenance or repairs when necessary.

Also Read: Easiest Engineering Degree That Pay Very Well

To become an automotive mechanic without a degree, you have to enroll as an apprentice under an established automobile mechanic and learn the skills required to excel in this trade.

After a few years of learning you can own your own mechanic workshop, to excel quickly in this field you would need to specialize in repairing one vehicle.

You can also attend workshops to broaden your mechanic skills.

5. Waste Disposal Personnel

These are persons who are in charge of collecting and properly disposing waste off, they may work in recycling facilities, offer remediation services, conduct septic pumping, or carry out other trash removal-related tasks.

You don’t need a college degree to have a career here, Waste disposal personnel can advance in this profession by learning the latest technologies and methods in waste management.

6. Insurance Agent

Insurance agents are people who are in charge of bringing new clients to partner with an insurance firm. They go from place to place revealing different plans of an insurance company to different categories of people.

Insurance agents are usually paid by commissions depending on the number of people they convince to partner, you only need a highschool diploma to become an insurance agent.

7. Real Estate Broker

Real estate broker is also a nice job for college dropouts, you would open your own agency and assist clients in buying, selling, leasing, and purchasing residential and commercial properties. 

Real estate brokers can also act as the buyers or sellers representatives during negotiations.

As a real estate broker you have to be familiar with laws guiding leasing and renting properties of the state you operate, the minimum educational qualification needed for real estate brokering is a high school diploma and the state license of operation.

8. Plumber

A plumber is a skilled man that fixes leaked or broken pipes, they also replace old or outdated pipes. A plumber can also be contracted to install piping and plumbing systems (such as dishwashers, toilet seaters, showers etc) in a new structure such as hotels, homes, banks and recreational parks.

As a plumber you would only need to possess the required skill needed to excel in your jobs, you need do be physically strong because the plumbing job requires labor.

9. Sommelier

A sommelier is a wine steward who serves wine in top restaurants, bars or hotels. Sommeliers assist you in selecting the ideal wine that suits your mood, meal or occasion.

Sommeliers are also trained in wine tasting, wine selecting, and knowledge of the food.

You don’t need a college degree for this Job, you only need to be passionate about the wines and the hospitality industries at large.

10. Massage Therapist

Massage therapists are specialists who make use of their hands or special instruments to manipulate the muscles or other soft tissues of the body. They relieve body pains of their clients and also help in setting dislocated bones.

This is one of the most lucrative jobs which college dropouts can engage themselves in.

This high-paying job does not require a college degree, you only need to be an excellent listener and communicator so you can understand the client’s needs. 

11. Esthetician / Beauty Specialist

This is another high-paying job for college dropouts, estheticians are beauty specialists who focus on improving the skin of a client. It is one of the most in-demand jobs presently as most people are fond of wanting to make one or two changes to their looks.

If you are interested in becoming an esthetician, we’ve written a detailed article on how to become a licensed esthetician you can click and follow our guidelines.

Estheticians do not need college degrees, you only require a high school diploma, a certificate from an accredited esthetician school and a license from your state to practice.

Also Read: Cheap Online Esthetician Schools

12. Sales Representative

Sales representatives are people who sell or market a company’s product to the final consumers, they are always in constant contact with buyers of a particular product.

This job might not pay you as others listed above but you can still make a fortune from it if you are lucky to work for a top organization.

 You don’t need a college degree to become a sales representative, Only a high school diploma or its equivalent is needed.

13.  Photography

Photography is also a high-paying job for individuals without college degrees, it only takes passion, skills and a good camera to excel as a photographer.

As a photographer your weekends would be prettily occupied as you would be booked to cover wedding occasions and other celebrations.

With the advancement of high end smartphones you may not need a digital camera to begin photography, you can use your phones and learn some basic editing skills to start your career as a photographer.

14. Freelancer 

A freelancer is someone that does different remote jobs for clients over the internet.

Jobs can range from writing, web design, filling surveys, WordPress development and other internet jobs.

Freelancers use websites like fiverr and upwork to source for jobs.

One benefit of being a freelancer is that you can work for different clients at the same time. It is one of the easiest jobs college students or dropouts can do to make cash.

Recap On Jobs for College Dropouts

  1. Computer programing
  2. Firefighter
  3. Truck Driver
  4. Automotive Mechanic
  5. Waste Disposal Personnel
  6. Insurance Agent 
  7. Real Estate Broker
  8. Plumber
  9. Sommelier
  10. Massage Therapist
  11. Esthetician / Beauty specialist
  12. Sales Representative
  13. Photography
  14. Freelancer

What Is The Highest Paying Job For A Dropout?

The highest paying job for college dropouts is computer programming. This job can change your life if you know your onions, Mark Zukerburg of Facebook is a perfect example.

You can earn more than $10,000 monthly with this job.

What Can I Work As A College Dropout?

As a college dropout you can work in any of the following jobs mentioned below.

  1. Firefighter
  2. Truck Driver
  3. Automotive Mechanic
  4. Waste Disposal Personnel
  5. Insurance Agent 
  6. Real Estate Broker
  7. Plumber
  8. Sommelier
  9. Massage Therapist
  10. Esthetician / Beauty specialist
  11. Sales Representative

Can You Get A Good Job If You Drop Out Of College?

Yes, you can get a good and decent job if you drop out of college, you only need to master a particular skill and be good at what you do.


There are still thousands of jobs which dropouts can still use to make a decent living, but these are the high-paying jobs for college dropouts.

As a college dropout without a certificate you have to be really passionate about your job and attend workshops, seminars and conferences so you would be exposed to the latest happenings in the industry.

References – jobs for college dropouts – well paying jobs for college dropouts

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