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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Great Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A 4-Year Degree

heating engineer repairman in boiler room
January 15th, 2015

Despite what you’ve always been told, you don’t necessarily need a college degree to do well in the world. Yes in general people with college degrees on average tend to earn more than those without one, but it’s not the only factor in determining whether you will succeed or not. In fact there are plenty of great paying jobs that don’t require a 4 year degree. The trick is finding out what’s out there and what kind of education is required!

We’ve dug around a bit, and here are a few good jobs that you may be unaware of but still make good money.

Engineering Technician

Even though this field may sound intimidating and difficult, it’s not what you might expect. Your job is to work with engineers in design and research functions. But even though you have the word “engineer” in your name, you aren’t doing the heavy lifting when it comes to math! You have to know some, but the requirement for this field is an Associate’s Degree, so it’s much less math than a full engineering bachelor’s.

In 2012, the median salary of engineering techs was about $60,000. Don’t expect that as soon as you get your Associate’s, but it’s not a bad salary considering it will only take you a few years to reach that point.

Subway Operators

You know that nice guy that waves and smiles to you every time you get on the subway train?

…of course you don’t. That’s because when you’re riding on a huge train, you’ll almost never see the operator unless you go to the very front.

But would you believe that these folks- who only require a high school degree to make a train go back and forth on a track- make over $62K a year? That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. And since you don’t even need an Associate’s degree, you can get started at just 18 years old.

Gaming Managers

If you’re a gambling addict, this job probably isn’t the best choice. But if you can step into a casino without losing your shirt, this might go well for you.

And if you love the atmosphere of a casino, this will really be up your alley.

Did you know that the people who help manage and run casinos make pretty good money? Granted- the amount of money they see every day is probably staggering. But because they have so much responsibility, it makes sense that the median income for gaming managers is about $65K.

And no- no Associate’s degree is required. It certainly doesn’t hurt, though.


Being a farmer isn’t what it used to be. Unless you’re managing an organic, all-natural farm, you aren’t going to be out there doing everything by hand anymore. There are huge pieces of machinery for just about every step of the way to do that stuff for you.

So here’s the deal- you get to drive big machinery, make about $69K per year, and you don’t even need a high school diploma. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Air Traffic Controller

If you want to be the cream-of-the-crop, you can become an air traffic controller. The median income for these folks is about $122K! That’s insane, since it’s almost double the rate of the other careers mentioned.

The problem? Air traffic control is also the most stressful job in the world. Due to the huge amount of responsibility, most people aren’t able to do it for an entire career. It’s not uncommon for them to burn out due to the high stress load.

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