Highest paying jobs without a degree

Published by MAXSolutions on February 13, 2022
Highest paying jobs without a degree

While more people than ever now have a university qualification you might be surprised at how much you can earn in the highest paying jobs without a degree.

As employers have struggled to fill jobs in vocational trades, pay for those that have completed apprenticeships seem to be on the increase.

When you consider that while you are learning your trade you are also getting paid it, it might be worth considering a trade instead of a degree.


The highest paying jobs without a degree


OccupationAnnual income
Social Media Marketing80,000
Web Developer100,000



Plumbers are in high demand with employers needing qualified or apprentice plumbers countrywide.

Starting on as an apprentice once you are qualified you could be earning over 90,000 a year and have very secure employment.

You will find plumbing can vary the most day to day of all the trades depending on what your project is and you will frequently work with other tradesmen to get the job done.



For those that love to get a sweat on there isn’t much else that will give the same financial rewards for getting in a workout! To be successful as a concreter endurance and physical fitness are key.

You will be tasked with literally laying the foundations of businesses, infrastructure and homes. You could be building a bridge one month and the next new driveways

Earning on average over 80,000 and if willing to travel you could earn over 100k. Not bad for a two-year apprenticeship!



Tilling is another highly paid profession that does not require a degree. You earn while you learn through your 4-year apprenticeship and once qualified can earn over $80,000 a year.

Many tilers also start their own business once qualified and can then earn even more.

While this job may be somewhat physically demanding, you are most often working inside and protected from the elements.

You will still be getting your hands dirty and have to be detail-oriented and able to keep up with the physical demands of the job.



Once they have completed their apprenticeship carpenters are also well paid for their work, earning up to $90,000 a year . The industry is also showing significant demand for workers within the industry.

Carpentry as a trade can be very varied and you can specialise in a range of fields such as shopfitting, formwork or more creative avenues such as furniture making.

If you are looking to work as a ‘chippie’ you will need to have a keen eye for detail and a methodical, measure twice, cut once approach.



A brick-laying apprenticeship only takes 3 years and then you will be on track to earn over $80,000 a year. It is also one of only two apprenticeships that serve as a pathway to becoming a registered builder.

This trade will get you buff as it can be very physically demanding as you will be working with clay, concrete or stone for much of your day.

There is more to the job than just laying brick all day as you will at times be operating brick cutting machines and maintaining brick related structures.



A four-year apprenticeship will give you some of the strongest employment opportunities and income approaching $100,000 as a ‘sparky’.

You could work in a range of domestic, commercial, or industrial sites either installing new electrical equipment or maintaining existing appliances.

There can be a lot of variance in your job depending on your specialisation. You could follow passion areas and find yourself working on automotive or boating electrical.

You could also develop your skills into growth areas like solar and grow your income even larger!




Builders can earn comfortably into $100,000, particularly if they own their own business. While you don’t need a degree, you will need experience and a certificate IV in Construction.

Any of the trades listed above can eventually lead to becoming a builder however the quickest way is to start out as a carpenter or a bricklayer.

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a registered builder, but if you have progressed in your career where you want to step away from the tools it could be the perfect job for you.


Social media marketing

With Social Media still somewhat of an emerging field, it can be easy to get into without qualifications.

If you are talented and open to learning along the way it can be one of the highest paying jobs without a degree with many skilled social media marketers earning between $80,000 - $90,000 if not more.

It is also a job that you can get really passionate about depending on what your company sells.

The skillsets can vary too. You may be tasked with researching and writing articles, designing graphics or creating video content.


Web Developer

This is another job that while a degree might help, it isn’t required to get a job to begin with or to progress up the pay scale.

Unlike many of the trade-based jobs discussed previously you won’t get paid to learn the ropes however, there are many free resources out there to help you build your skills and portfolio.

You can learn a variety of programming languages to create the rapidly growing online world. Some particular ones, however, like Python, can command salaries of close to 150,000 once you are skilled enough.



We haven’t specified an industry for this occupation because you can get to this level in most industries. In bigger industries like hospitality and retail, it is very common to see Management having started on the shop floor.

There are of course many entry-level jobs you could start out in as well. Broadly speaking, management jobs would have you set to be earning at least $70,000 but quite commonly you could be taking home higher salaries with 6 figures.

Management jobs don’t just require a deep understanding of your chosen industry but the ability to communicate, problem-solve and organise a team.

There are many paths to earning a great wage but sometimes working out how to get started can be tricky.

If you need some guidance, reach out to one of our consultants and they will work out how to best assist you.


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