25 Best Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

No degree? No problem.

If you’d rather not spend years in college, there are plenty of job opportunities for those without a degree. These include positions open to those with only a high school diploma as well as careers that require some postsecondary education and training. This year, seven of the top 10 jobs on this list are in the health care and social assistance sector, which is second for fastest employment growth in 2023.

Keep reading to see the 25 top jobs for those without a college degree, according to our 100 Best Jobs ranking. All occupational data comes from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

25. Choreographer

Median salary: $42,700

Unemployment rate: n/a

Expected new job openings by 2031: 1,900

Most choreographers begin as dancers. Choreographers coordinate dancers, create dances and choose music to go along with a dance routine. They go through dance moves in rehearsals to show dancers what to do.

Dancers and choreographers may hone their skills at the high school level. They may also pursue postsecondary education, and this is available for many dance styles, including ballet, hip-hop, jazz and plenty of others.

Learn more about choreographers.

24. Taxi Driver

Median salary: $29,310

Unemployment rate: 15.1%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 36,600

Taxi drivers take people from place to place. A high school diploma is not required for this job, but many taxi drivers do have a high school diploma or equivalent. On-the-job training usually lasts one to two weeks, depending on the taxi company. Many states require taxi drivers to get a taxi license. Drivers are usually required to have a clean driving record, and may also need a background check.

Learn more about taxi drivers.

23. Hairdressers

Median salary: $29,670

Unemployment rate: 5.1%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 60,800

Hairdressers must attend barber or cosmetology programs approved by the state, then pass an exam. Some of these programs require high school diplomas or equivalent. All states require hairdressers to be licensed.

Hairdressers wash, cut and style hair, as well as perform other services related toappearance.

Learn more about hairdressers.

22. Ophthalmic Medical Technician

Median salary: $37,180

Unemployment rate: 1.7%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 9,900

Ophthalmic medical technicians must have a high school diploma or equivalent. They must also receive training on the job. Main duties include making prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Learn more about ophthalmic medical technicians.

21. Esthetician and Skincare Specialist

Median salary: $37,300

Unemployment rate: 5.1%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 13,400

Esthetician and skincare specialists may receive vocational training in high school, or they can attend a postsecondary school. Completion of a state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program, and then passing a state exam to receive a license, is required.

Esthetician and skincare specialists evaluate appearance of skin and provide treatments to the face and body to improve skin condition.

Learn more about esthetician and skincare specialists.

20. Medical Secretary

Median salary: $37,450

Unemployment rate: 2.6%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 53,600

Usually, secretaries should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Medical secretaries may need additional training to understand industry-specific standards and terms. Technical schools may also offer training for medical secretaries.

Medical secretaries prepare communications for physicians or medical scientists. They may also process insurance payments, prepare brief medical histories for patients or arrange hospitalization.

Learn more about medical secretaries.

19. Nail Technician

Median salary: $29,210

Unemployment rate: 5%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 36,600

Nail technicians must pass a state exam to be licensed and also complete a cosmetology program approved by the state. They must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Nail technicians perform services related to nail care, including cleaning, trimming or shaping and painting nails.

Learn more about nail technicians.

18. Firefighter

Median salary: $50,700

Unemployment rate: 1%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 13,900

Usually, firefighters must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be trained in emergency medical services. To get the job, they must pass written, physical and drug tests, complete interviews and attend a fire academy for training. Some fire departments may require emergency medical technician certification.

Firefighters respond to calls to put out fires and perform emergency duties to save lives.

Learn more about firefighters.

17. Pharmacy Technician

Median salary: $36,740

Unemployment rate: 1.2%

Expected new job openings by 2031 22,400

Pharmacy technicians must have a high school diploma or equivalent. They can learn while on the job, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. In most states, pharmacy technicians must complete formal education, training or pass an exam.

Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists or other health professionals with filling prescriptions.

Learn more about pharmacy technicians.

16. Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Median salary: $46,470

Unemployment rate: n/a

Expected new job openings by 2031: 4,600

To get this job, there are a few paths you can take. Usually, you need a high school diploma, but it’s also possible to take courses at a community college or technical school. There’s on-the-job training that lasts about one year.

Solar photovoltaic installers set up and maintain rooftop solar panels or other means of converting sunlight into energy.

Learn more about solar photovoltaic installers.

15. Restaurant Cook

Median salary: $30,010

Unemployment rate: 10.8%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 459,900

Restaurant cooks usually create food by individual order. Some order and maintain cooking supplies for the restaurant.

Restaurant cooks do not normally require formal education, though employers may request that applicants have a high school diploma. To become a talented cook, it’s possible to learn through on-the-job training and to also attend a vocational school.

Learn more about restaurant cooks.

14. Patrol Officer

Median salary: $64,610

Unemployment rate: 0.9%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 21,500

Patrol officers must at least have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some police departments or federal agencies may require applicants to have finished college coursework or a degree.

Patrol officers have general law enforcement duties, including going on patrols to promote public safety, and responding to emergency or nonemergency calls. Usually, most police officers must first work as patrol officers for a few years before joining a specialized unit.

Learn more about patrol officers.

13. Recreation and Fitness Worker

Median salary: $30,930

Unemployment rate: 11.8%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 85,800

Recreation and fitness workers need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Recreation workers also receive on-the-job training. For work, they organize and lead activities to help people have fun while staying active and healthy.

Most fitness workers need additional certification in their specialized area of instruction. Fitness workers guide individuals or groups through exercises that may focus on improving strength, flexibility and endurance.

Learn more about recreation and fitness workers.

12. Hearing Aid Specialist

Median salary: $59,500

Unemployment rate: n/a

Expected new job openings by 2031: 1,800

Usually, hearing aid specialists need a high school diploma or equivalent and receive training on the job. Main tasks include administering hearing tests, fitting hearing aids and assessing quality of hearing instruments.

Learn more about hearing aid specialists.

11. Massage Therapist

Median salary: $46,910

Unemployment rate: 5.3%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 29,900

Massage therapists usually undergo a postsecondary education program. Most states do require certification or a license in order to work.

Massage therapists aid in relieving pain, stress and healing injuries by manipulating joints, muscles and other soft tissues of the body. This also aids in relaxation.

Learn more about massage therapists.

10. Electrician

Median salary: $60,040

Unemployment rate: 5.1%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 50,200

Electricians need to be licensed in most states, but they can learn the profession in a technical school or in an apprenticeship. A high school diploma or equivalent is required.

Electricians install and repair electrical power in homes, businesses and other properties. This includes communication systems.

Learn more about electricians.

9. Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse

Median salary: $48,070

Unemployment rate: 2.4%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 41,300

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must complete an approved educational program and obtain a license. These programs are available in technical schools and community colleges, as well as in some high schools and hospitals.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses perform medical care including monitoring patient health, providing basic care such as changing bandages and other duties under the guidance of registered nurses and doctors.

Learn more about licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.

8. Medical Assistant

Median salary: $37,190

Unemployment rate: 5.9%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 117,800

Many medical assistants have a postsecondary education award or certificate. Some medical assistants come into the role with a high school diploma and train on the job.

Medical assistants have duties that vary depending on the medical practice, but they generally perform clinical tasks and administrative work in doctor’s offices, hospitals and medical facilities.

Learn more about medical assistants.

7. Delivery Truck Driver

Median salary: $38,280

Unemployment rate: 4.8%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 110,700

Delivery truck drivers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, but not always. One month or less of on-the-job training, a driver’s license from the state they work in and a clean driving record are also required.

Delivery truck drivers transport packages and shipments in a certain region and may sometimes communicate with customers and distribution centers as part of their work.

Learn more about delivery truck drivers.

6. Personal Care Aide

Median salary: $29,430

Unemployment rate: 6.7%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 924,000

Personal care aides usually have a high school diploma or equivalent. Formal, standardized training is required for those looking to eventually move to higher positions such as home health aides.

Personal care aides provide assistance to people with disabilities or chronic illnesses by helping them with daily living tasks.

Learn more about personal care aides.

5. Home Health Aide

Median salary: $29,430

Unemployment rate: 8%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 924,000

Home health aides usually need a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, home health aides working in certified home health or hospice agencies must undergo formal training and pass a standardized test.

Home health aides provide daily care to people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and reinforce care plans set by health professionals.

Learn more about home health aides.

4. Landscaper and Groundskeeper

Median salary: $34,430

Unemployment rate: 1.7%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 56,900

Landscapers tend to flowers, trees, shrubbery and other flora to create and upgrade outdoor spaces. Some landscapers also install lawns. Other projects may include installing patios walkways, sprinklers or lawn lighting. Landscapers may work on these features at office buildings, homes or other commercial properties.

Groundskeepers maintain property, such as plants, trees, laying sod or mulching. They may also maintain fountains, planters andbenches, keep walkways and parking lots clear, and manage groundskeeping equipment.

Landscapers and groundskeepers are usually trained on the job and start in entry-level grounds maintenance jobs. Employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states may require licensing if a worker deals with pesticides or fertilizers.

Learn more about landscapers and groundskeepers.

3. Community Health Worker

Median salary: $46,590

Unemployment rate: 2.5%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 10,600

To become a community health worker, a high school diploma is usually needed. Community health workers also complete on-the-job training, and there are certification programs in some states.

Community health workers advocate for the health needs of a community by communicating with health care providers and social service organizations. They also educate people about the importance of certain health care services.

Learn more about community health workers.

2. Wind Turbine Technician

Median salary: $56,260

Unemployment rate: n/a

Expected new job openings by 2031: 4,900

Wind turbine technicians, or windtechs, learn on the job after hiring, in addition to attending technical school or community college. You can earn a certificate in wind energy technology or an associate degree.

Windtechs install and maintain wind turbines, large machines that generate electricity using wind energy.

Learn more about wind turbine technicians.

1. Medical Records Technician

Median salary: $46,660

Unemployment rate: 1.5%

Expected new job openings by 2031: 12,300

Medical records technicians or medical records specialists can enter the profession with a high school diploma or equivalent, along with experience working in a health care setting. Some employers prefer a postsecondary certificate, an associate degree or certification.

Medical records technicians manage patient files and access electronic health records.

Learn more about medical records technicians.

Best jobs that don’t require a college degree:

— Medical Records Technician.

— Wind Turbine Technician.

— Community Health Worker.

— Landscaper and Groundskeeper.

— Home Health Aide.

— Personal Care Aide.

— Delivery Truck Driver.

— Medical Assistant.

— Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse.

— Electrician.

See the full list.

More from U.S. News

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25 Best Jobs That Don?t Require a College Degree originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 01/13/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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