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Getting a job without a degree can be done through several avenues, such as gaining relevant entry-level job skills, completing industry certifications, and networking with others who are already working in the same field. Several opportunities exist for high-paying jobs without a degree, and the keys to landing one of them include choosing the field that best matches your interests and gaining as much relevant experience as possible. Job experience in the absence of a degree should ideally demonstrate to hiring managers that you have skills and knowledge to contribute to their company.
Occupations that do not require a four-year degree include technical trades, such as electrical and plumbing maintenance, as well as various building trades such as carpentry, painting, and faux-finishing. Reliable workers who can learn quickly and who are skilled with tools are frequently in demand for these trades. While some of these occupations may require completion of trade school courses, many prefer to train new employees through apprenticeships that pay an entry-level wage while training new apprentices in every aspect of the trade. Many experienced workers in these occupations earn salaries that are as high as those of college graduates. Apprenticeship programs typically require that an applicant is at least 18 years old and has completed high school.
Making money without a degree is also possible in creative fields such as graphic design and website building. An eye for aesthetics and design principles can be helpful, although mastery of industry-standard software and completion of associated certifications are often just as likely to catch hiring managers' interest as a college degree. Keys to success without a degree typically entail the drive to keep learning and the entrepreneurial ability to market yourself. Once you have gained the requisite certifications, a common route to landing paying work is to offer your services at a local temporary employment agency. While many of these temporary jobs that involve computer work entail tasks such as data entry, they also present valuable opportunities to network face-to-face with professionals who could possibly become future contacts for permanent positions.
Foreign language skills also help in finding high-paying jobs without a degree. Teaching a second language can be a good way to earn a living either at home or abroad as many countries have consistent needs for skilled language instructors. Translation services are another occupational possibility for the vast amount of electronic information that needs to become available on the Internet in well-written versions of various languages.