Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (2024)

While an undergraduate degree from a university is often recommended for many of the best-paying jobs, you might be surprised at just how many roles there are that don't require a degree.

Here, we'll show you some of the jobs and careers with the highest earning potential that don't necessarily require an undergraduate degree.

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Different Types of Qualifications

When we say that a job doesn't require a degree, we certainly don't mean that it doesn't require any formal training at all.

Most jobs are paid based on supply, demand, and the value of the industry. The fewer people there are to do a job, the more they'll get paid.

Jobs that don't require any qualifications or experience don't usually tend to pay very highly as the positions are easily filled.However, for jobs that require very specific skills or don't have many people with said skills to fill the position, you can expect a higher salary.

It's not necessarily about how difficult or easy a job is. If you have a rare set of in-demand skills, you'll likely be able to find work that pays well.

Experience Matters

In addition to your skills and qualifications, high-paying jobs typically come with experience. The more experience you have, the more you can charge versus your inexperienced counterparts.

Over time, most people will see their salaries increase. With experience comes seniority and increased earning potential.It also helps to constantly stay up-to-date in your field, develop new skills, and integrate new technologies where applicable.

The quickest way to reduce your earning potential is by falling behind the competition.Of course, for teenagers looking for good jobs, this can be quite the conundrum.

The Best-Paid Jobs that Don't Require a Degree

Here are just some of the areas you could look to if you don't feel like attending an undergraduate university course is right for you.

Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor

If you enjoy exercising and helping others, a career as a personal trainer or fitness instructor could help.

While the starting pay mightn't be great, especially if you haven't any experience or very few clients, you'll find that you can earn very well if you can get your personal training business off the ground.

Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (20)

People will pay you to help them through sessions at the gym or even come up with and plan fitness routines, diets, etc.

Experience will help as every client is different and there are also courses and possible ways to study and develop new skills.

They typically earn around €30,000 a year, but there's the potential to earn up to €80,000 a year if you get everything right.


The average chef earns €30,000 a year in Ireland, but this includes every type of chef imaginable.

Naturally, very good and private chefs can earn much more for their work providing they're working either for themselves or for the right company or business.

Becoming a successful chef will include managing a kitchen as well as being able to prepare good food that people want to eat.

Specialising in a popular type of cuisine can help.


Plumbing is an industry whose workers have benefitted greatly from so many people being pushed into academia and university rather than learning a vocation or trade.

While plumbers still need training, this is the kind of job that people tend to avoid for one reason or another, despite the earning potential being high.

Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (21)

In fact, in Ireland, the average plumber is reported to earn around €45,000 a year. Again, it's about finding business, making customers happy, and building a reputation in the industry.


Another job that's traditionally considered a “trade”. Electricians can earn a lot of money without ever having to go to university.

Much like with plumbers, they still need to learn how to do their job and this can involve vocational training, apprenticeships, etc.

However, you'll find the training to become an electrician far more hands-on than a university undergraduate degree course and the earning potential is often much better for entry-level roles.

A new electrician can command around €47,500 a year while the average is closer to €52,500 a year.

The most experienced electricians earn closer to €70,000 a year.

Sales Manager

Sales managers are those in charge of sales teams. While business degrees can help applicants, they're not necessary.

At the end of the day, what you need is an aptitude for getting results. If you can keep a sales team happy, set targets, and develop sales strategies, you'll have the chance to earn well.

How much sales managers earn will depend on who they're working for and how much their teams are bringing in, but we've seen reported average salaries of €55,000 a year.

Software Development/Programmers

The tech industry in Ireland tends to pay well. You can always study computer science and software development on a university course, but there are plenty of options outside of university, too.

To earn well in software development, you need to think about in-demand industries, the programming language that's best suited for certain applications, and the skills you need to develop to command a higher salary.

Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (22)

Programmers are said to be paid around €50,000 a year in Ireland.

Digital Marketing

Most businesses and companies need to market their products and nowadays, digital marketing is an essential part of it.

While there are marketing degrees you can do at universities across Ireland, there are also opportunities in digital marketing that don't require an undergraduate degree.

This is also one of the highest-paying jobs you can do online or remotely.

Digital marketing managers earn around €52,500 a year.

Real Estate

Working in real estate doesn't require an undergraduate degree and if you work within the right markets, the earning potential is excellent.

While reports for real estate agent salaries in Ireland vary between €40,000 in County Dublin to some sources saying they earn €80,000, the potential is there.

Real estate agents in Ireland may still have some qualifications to do like the Certificate of Auctioneering and Real Estate or taking PSRA exams.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers don't have to go to university, but there is a lot of training for them to do. To get onto the necessary courses, however, there are screening processes. After that, you have to complete a course.

The average salary for an air traffic controller in Ireland is €72,000.

Construction Managers

Construction managers in Ireland are reported to earn an average of €80,000 a year.

This is another area where there's a lot of money to be made since most students are pushed towards more academic pursuits.

In the end, construction management degrees are now available since universities have started recognising the role's potential, but it's also one you can work your way into without an undergraduate degree.

Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (23)

Typically, you'll need experience within the construction industry as well as other types of vocational training suited to construction.

Get Career Help from a Private Tutor

No matter what you want to do for a career, you can get help from a private tutor. Just search for the skill or subject that you'd like to improve on the Superprof website and you can start comparing tutors.

There are tutors for academic skills and subjects as well as soft skills that would be useful in a wide range of the best-paying jobs or careers.

You'll see that there are three main types of tutoring available and each comes with pros and cons.

Face-to-face tutoring will likely have you paying the most per session, but you'll be paying for the tutor's time, experience, expertise, and perhaps even travel costs.This kind of tutoring tends to work out as the most cost-effective overall since every minute of every session is spent working on you and what you want to learn.

If you can't find any suitable local tutors for what you want to learn, you can broaden your search with online private tutoring.

Online tutoring is usually more affordable as tutors' travel costs aren't a factor. For more academic subjects and skills, online tutoring can be almost as effective as face-to-face tutoring. However, for more hands-on skills, you may need the tutor there with you.

Last but certainly not least, there's group tutoring. This can be delivered in-person or online and comes with the huge advantage of often being much cheaper than one-on-one tutoring. The downside is that you get less one-on-one time with your tutor and the sessions won't be completely tailored to or focused on you.

Fortunately, many of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first session for free so you can always try several different tutors and types of tutoring before deciding which is right for you.

Just search what you want to learn on the Superprof website today!

Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree | Superprof (2024)


How much is 100K a year hourly? ›

$100,000 a year is how much an hour? If you make $100,000 a year, your hourly salary would be $48.08.

Can you make 6 figures without a degree? ›

It's possible to land a six-figure job without a college degree. Fields like data science and software engineering have many high-paying open roles. Although more companies are ditching traditional college requirements to fill talent gaps, they still require candidates to demonstrate their skills and experience.

Can you make a lot of money without a degree? ›

Just because you didn't earn a bachelor's degree doesn't mean you can't earn big. Not all high-paying jobs require a college degree; many look for skills, experience and background knowledge in place of a university education.

Is 200K a year good for a single person? ›

According to the Census Bureau, only 11.5% of U.S. households earned $200,000 or more in 2022. So, if you're earning $200,000 all on your own, you could say you're doing pretty well.

How much can you make a year without a college degree? ›

Employees who graduated high school but did not attend any form of higher education can expect to earn $712 per week or $37,024 per year if they work constantly. Their unemployment rate is 4.6%.

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