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Careers that Don’t Require Getting into Debt

Did you go to an expensive private school for marketing or art history and now find yourself with a massive student loan payment each month? If you could turn back time, maybe you would consider careers that didn’t require getting a college degree. Unless you’re able to pay back your student loan debt with a high-paying salary, it may not be worth going to a college with high tuition. Here are five careers that don’t require a college degree or getting into too much debt!

There's no shortage of careers out there - which one will you pick?

There’s no shortage of careers out there – which one will you pick?

5 High-Paying Careers that Don’t Require a Degree

  1. Real Estate Agent: Although you will need to get a real estate license, this is a nominal fee compared to the thousands of dollars you’ll pay for college. In fact, you can get your first position with just a high school diploma. As a realtor, you can help people with the process of buying a home! You may not see huge gains initially, but can make over $180k per year once you hit your stride. In addition, different areas of real estate are more lucrative than others. For instance, commercial realtors can make substantially more than residential realtors. Real estate can be competitive, but it all depends on the effort you put in and the motivation you have!
  2. Small Business Owner: Starting your own business doesn’t require a degree, but it definitely requires passion, a hard work-ethic, and possibly some funds. You may need to take out a business loan, but this is certainly not the case. And if you can weather through the early stages of low profit margins, you can have a successful business on your hands and be your own boss! Sky’s the limit, and if business is booming, you may be able to complete debt management and more!
  3. Pilot. If you decide to become a commercial pilot, you only need a high school degree, training, and a commercial pilot’s license. Similar to real estate, different types of pilots make more money than others. Commercial pilots in the manufacturing sectors make the most, with a median pay rate of over $99,000. You may even consider wanting to be an air traffic controller. Even though you need an associate’s degree for this, being an air traffic controller pays very well—just under $160k annually!
  4. Logistics Manager: So many companies not only want to save money on transportation, but also have their goods and products delivered on time the right way. Therefore, there is a huge need for distribution managers. In return for keeping the wheels of commerce moving, logistics managers can make anywhere from $92,460 to $121,000 1per year. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level jobs only need a college degree.
  5. Court Reporter: Do you like to write but never though you could make a living at it? Wrong! Transcribing, perfect grammar, and meticulous attention to detail are all part of the job description. Hopefully you have an interest in the law, and you may even learn practical applications to your everyday life, such as how to cancel a purchase. Being a court reporter can pay off handsomely—up to $104k! So put those writing skills to good use by taking a few classes in transcription!

Although you studied (or want to study) something you liked, consider the ramifications of going to school for this major. Ask yourself a few questions beforehand. Are there are many jobs in your field of study? How much do they pay? Do you need several years of experience before getting started? Remember, living debt-free is key to your financial future!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 



Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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