These 7 Well-Paying Jobs Actually Don't Require A College Degree, And I Never Would Have Thought Of Them

As a millennial, I think I can speak on behalf of most of my generation when I say that growing up, there was such an important emphasis on getting a college degree to obtain a well-paying job.

the back view of students wearing graduation hats and gowns
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However, in recent years, it seems that the desire to attend college has declined. In 2020, fewer high school graduates attended college compared to previous years and according to a recent survey, college enrollments also dropped by 6.8%. It's possible that the burden of student loan debt is likely a big part of declining interest in college.

Ultimately, deciding to attend college and get a degree is a personal choice as some fields require a degree, while others do not. Here are some career paths that pay well and don't require a college education.

1.Power plant operator, $103,000.

a person reading a meter

Power plant operators are those responsible for reading meters, regulating equipment, and working things like switches, breakers, and valves to ensure that electrical equipment is operating smoothly.

According to Intuit, the average salary of a power plant operator is a little over $100K. A college degree or vocational school degree is recommended but not required.

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2.Elevator mechanic, $99,500.

a person repairing an elevator

Elevator mechanics do exactly what you'd expect — repair, maintain, and even install elevators at times. The average salary for elevator mechanics is just under $100K, and luckily, there are only a few requirements for this job: a high school diploma (or equivalent), a four-year apprenticeship program, and a state license.

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3.Power line technicians, $85,000.

two power line technicians working

A college degree might not be required but an appreciation for heights is. Power line technicians are the ones who repair and install electric power lines. It is considered a dangerous job because those who do it work at very tall heights and deal with high-voltage equipment outside, even in bad weather.

As a result, the average salary of a power line technician is $85K. In lieu of a college degree, power line technicians do need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and go through a three-year apprenticeship.

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4.Video game designer, $80,667.

a person in front of two monitors playing a video game

Video game designers are hired to basically create the ins and outs of your favorite video games. Everything from how the game works, to the characters, to storylines, and more are designed by individuals who get paid a nice salary for it.

While some expertise and experience are required, people looking to step into the world of game design do not need a college degree. According to ELVTR, the average salary for this job is a little over $80K.

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5.Construction manager, $73,500.

a construction manager on the phone

Although a bachelor's degree is recommended, it's not required to get a job as a construction manager. Responsibilities of this role include overseeing and supervising projects, addressing problems, and being in charge of budgets. According to Intuit, the average salary of a construction manager is a little over $73K.

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6.Quality assurance engineer, $73,167.

the back of a person's head on a laptop

A quality assurance engineer is responsible for overseeing every phase of software development. This job is required to make sure software is up to par by finding any potential bugs and providing feedback to make sure customers have the best user experience.

According to ELVTR, certain skills such as attention to detail and an understanding of QA are required — but a college degree? Not so much. The average salary for this job is just shy of $75K.

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7.Aircraft technician, $68,500.

two workers working on a helicopter's engine

If planes always interested you but you don't have any desire to be a pilot, an aircraft technician job might be for you. These are the go-to people who repair the wings, check the brakes, and overall inspect the aircraft to make sure everything is running smoothly.

An associate's degree is often recommended — but not required — in addition to some certifications for this job that pays over $68K.

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What are your thoughts on college degrees these days? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with me in the comments below!

And for more stories about money and careers, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.