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The ways in which you can qualify for high paying careers without a degree depend a great deal on the exact careers you are interested in pursuing. In general, however, you should expect professional experience or on-the-job training to be a major part of these careers. You may, for example, need to start at a lower level within a particular industry, at a low salary, and work your way up through promotions and experience to a level with a higher pay scale. There are also industries in which you can qualify for high paying careers without a degree through any special skills you may have or a willingness to perform duties other people cannot.
While many people pursue college education to obtain careers with high salaries, there are some ways in which you can find high paying careers without a degree. One thing you should keep in mind, however, is that many offers of high salaries that seem too easy, such as some work-at-home positions, can be scams used to separate you from your money. You should be careful of offers that seems too good to be true, as they often are.
Professional experience is one of the best ways to qualify for high paying careers without a degree. If you want to work in retail management, for example, you may be able to gain a position as a district manager for a corporation without a college degree, based on years of sales or managerial experience you may have. Other industries, such as construction and manufacturing, often place experience on an equal or higher level to education. Work experience also has an advantage since you receive compensation for such experience, rather than paying for it as you must pay for education.
There are also fields in which you can find high paying careers without a degree that provide you with on-the-job training instead. Many technical careers, for example, offer this type of training, as well as professions such as air traffic controller and power plant supervisor. These types of careers often require that you pass tests or licensing exams before gaining full employment, however, so you should still expect to have to learn a great deal of information to obtain them.
You may also be able to find high paying careers without a degree simply by being able or willing to do what others cannot. Professional actors and athletes, for example, can make sizable incomes due to their ability to perform at a level that others cannot. Many air traffic controllers are also able to work under far more stress and pressure than other people experience in the workplace, and their ability to handle such stress enables them to make a higher salary than others. You should keep in mind, however, that for every wealthy actor or athlete, there are countless others who were unable to develop a professional career in those fields. It is also worth noting that having a degree can make you a more attractive prospective candidate for jobs that do not require a degree.