High Paying Jobs (With Little to No Formal Education)

High Paying Jobs (With Little to No Formal Education)

Will Zimmerman

Everyone wants to earn more, and one of the best ways to earn more is to attend college or get some other form of higher education.

But unfortunately, not everyone can afford this luxury.  

Fortunately, not all is lost, there are tons of high paying jobs that don’t require formal education and may require little to no experience.  These jobs can allow you to pay the bills or save up so you can get a formal education in the future!

Since you’re probably curious by now what these jobs are, let’s get started!


Although bartending does require some skills (mixing drink) it is a relatively low experience job and requires no formal education.

However, if you’re working at the right bar and on a busy night, you can earn a serious amount of money bartending. 

Many bartenders report earning between $20 and $40 per hour which is more than many college graduates will earn per hour.

In fact, some bartenders, in larger cities like New York, report earning more than $100,000 per year bartending between salary and tips.  

On top of great pay, bartending is often a great lifestyle job. Working at night will allow you to save the days for whatever activities you're into doing.  


Another great way to earn money with no formal education is through construction.  Although construction can be tough, physical work, it makes up for it by paying well.

Construction workers easily make $15 per hour and many make $30 per hour or more.  If you stick around for a little while and get promoted, you can earn even more.  

You can find construction jobs on specialized job boards such as the CareerCast Construction Network

Mail Delivery

You probably never guessed that one of the highest paying careers you can find without any formal education is with your local post office.  Even the base level positions at the post office start at around $20 or $21 per hour and with a few years experience, you can become a postmaster earning $70,000 per year or potentially more.  

To get started, simply contact the United States Postal Service to apply to open positions.  

Power Plant Operators

You probably have also never considered working at a power plant.  However, almost every city has one near by and they offer extremely high paying jobs for workers without formal degrees.  

These operators control, operate, and maintain machinery that keeps the lights for thousands of people on.  And, the median wage for a power plant operator is just shy of $75,000 per year.  

You also need no experience to become a power plant operator and will likely be able to stick around for a while since people will need electricity for the foreseeable future.  


Although you don’t need a college degree, you will need some experience flying and some certifications before you can become a career pilot.  

To learn more about the process, check out this guide to becoming a pilot.  

However, once you obtain your certification, you can find employment either with a commercial airline, private company (skydiving anyone), or for a private individual.  

Aside from being able to fly regularly, you’ll also be paid well.  Pilots earn around $70,000 on average but pay can be significantly more depending on where you work.  

Commercial Fishing

If you really want to earn a lot, like a little danger, and enjoy the ocean, commercial fishing could be for you.  

In fact, commercial fishing especially for crab is still dangerous but has become safer in recent years due to changes with how the quotas work and due to larger boats.  

Fishermen can earn between $15,000 and $20,000 per month during the 3 month season and captains can earn more than $200,000 per year.  


In conclusion, just because you don’t have a formal education doesn’t mean you can’t find a high paying job.  These are just a few of the many options out there for high paying, and rewarding jobs for people without formal educations.


If you know of any other high paying positions we should know about, let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you!

Will Zimmerman is a content marketer for Proven, the small business hiring tool. From Boulder, Colorado, Will enjoys all things outdoors including but certainly not limited to skiing, camping, hiking, and surfing.

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