Up until now, I still cannot fathom why people who didn’t go to college always think business is the only way forward.

Ok, so you weren’t lucky to go to college; and so what? Is that a reason to become an overnight businessman even though you know you aren’t cut-out to be an entrepreneur?

Even without a college degree, you can still become a professional at something and earn professional titles – if that’s what you want, of course.

To put it simply, I'm saying you can work professionally as an expert in a hospital, as a certified teacher/lecturer, or as a reputed finance advisor even if you don’t have a college degree.

Read on to find out how.

Top 10 high-paying career paths you can follow without a college degree

In the latter part of this article, we’ll point out the things you need to kickstart a professional career without a college degree.

As you’ll see, having the right skills-set is all you need to become a successful professional anywhere.

But before we go into the HOWs, let’s first see the 10 best offers that are there for people who didn’t go to college.

  • Computer security analyst

If you’re a tech person or love anything relating to computers, this is a job you’ll find most interesting. A computer security analyst is someone that helps an organization protect their computer networks and systems.

With the right skills-set, on-the-job experience, and essential certifications, it shouldn’t be too hard finding a company to work for.

Although having a Bachelor’s degree is always a plus, what most companies are really looking for is someone skilled enough for the job.

And according to the 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Security analysts earn close to $99k+ per annum.

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

For those who fancy the idea of imparting knowledge to others, TEFL is a career path that's booming lately. Thanks to the surge in the demand for English teachers worldwide, you don’t even need a college degree to become qualified for a role.

Once you understand the English language up to the point you can teach others, and boast the right Teach English Abroad  certificates (Level 5TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, etc), you’re guaranteed to find a job anywhere in the world.

For those who don’t like the idea of traveling abroad to teach, you have the opportunity to teach English online  to those willing to learn from their homes.

According to the 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook, TEFL teachers earn close to $54k+ per annum.

  • Computer programmer

I’m sure you know about computer programmers before now. But what you probably didn’t know is you don’t need to go to college to be a programmer.

In fact, with the levels of technology we have today, you can learn to be a professional programmer from inside your home.

Depending on how far you’re willing to take your learning, you can learn a variety of computer languages, including Java, Python, HTML, and C++, etc.

Programmers typically earn $80k+ annually.

  • Ultrasound technician

Remember those guys you see in hospitals submitting patients’ ultrasound images to doctors? Well, they’re called diagnostic medical sonographers (or ultrasound technicians for short), and many of them didn't bag a college degree to get there.

If the job interests you, you can get yourself equipped with a one-year certificate program. Typically, you’ll be paid anywhere between $60k and $70k per annum.

  • Customer service delivery analyst

Companies are constantly looking to deliver the best services to their customers. To meet this target, some even go as far as hiring a service delivery analyst.

Someone that ensures customers receive high-quality service. They analyze and monitor how services are being delivered, and how they can be improved.

Glassdoor puts the annual average income of service delivery analysts at $56k+.

  • Radiologic technicians

If you don’t like the idea of ultrasound because of the fact that you’ll be dealing with pregnant people; what about radiology?

It involves performing X-rays and other diagnostic imaging on patients. You'll be working in hospitals, doctor's offices, and laboratories.

Again, according to the 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Radiologic technicians earn, on average, $60k+ (2019) per year.

  • Tool-and-die maker

The job of a Tool-and-die maker involves setting up various mechanical equipment needed for the production of the tools manufacturing companies need for production.

These workers can learn through apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, or technical colleges.

The 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook puts their salary at $45k+ per year.

Other professional career jobs that don't require a college degree include:

In Healthcare:

  • Cardiovascular Technician
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Medical Records and Health Information Technician
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Radiologic Technologists
  • Respiratory Therapists

In IT:

  • Cloud Administrator
  • Computer Systems Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Database Administrators
  • Network Administrator
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Support
  • Technical Sales Assistant


  • Blender/Mixer Operator
  • Manufacturing Machine Operator
  • CAD Drafter
  • Molding/Casting Worker
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator
  • Electrical/Electronics Repairer
  • Machinist
  • Plant Operator
  • Printing Press Operator
  • Production Supervisor
  • Quality Control Inspector
  • Security Manager
  • Warehouse Supervisor
  • Welder/Solderer

How to build a successful pro career without going to college

As earlier mentioned, we’re going to give you a breakdown of all the steps you need to take to pick and start a professional career.

  • Find a field to chase a career in

First things first, you need to figure out a career path to follow. Usually, a career path is that field your heart beats for. Is it tech, media, photography, medicine, law, finance, education, administration, or business?

As it is, there are lots of fields you can dabble in. So, which one do you think best matches your strengths?

You can choose from the list above or try out something different.

If you don’t know what to choose, you can take an online skills test to gauge your professional strengths and aptitudes so that you can know where you’re a good fit.

  • Get training and certifications

Nobody leads a professional career by just sitting down at home. You have to go out there and obtain the right training and certifications.

Once you decide on the career path you’ll like to follow, the next thing is to acquire all the knowledge and certifications you need to reach your goal.

Depending on the field and career path you've chosen, you might be okay with taking online courses and training or you might need to attend in-person training, which is often administered inside classrooms.

Sometimes in some fields, you might even need to sit for professional exams and reach certain pass marks before you're granted the certificates you desire.

Know that the higher the level of certificates you gather, the better your chances of landing a good job offers in that field.

  • Get on-the-job training

On-the- Job Training  (OJT) is a kind of training that is given to someone while they’re engaged in productive work and that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance on the job.

For example, if you’re chasing a professional career in the radiography field, you might get an OJT working as a radiographer in an MRI lab.

  • Get as many internships as possible

Internship opportunities are quite different from on-the-job training in that besides aiding your skills-set, they’ll also boost your resume.

In some fields, nothing matters more than your experience in a role.

  • Find mentors

Mentors are people that guide and help you succeed. In your career path, you can take up mentors from the people you meet in your training, classes, or online learning.

Mentors are there to tell you what next to do, what course to take next, what opportunities are there, what your resume is lacking, and such stuff.