Do you really need a college degree to land a good job that pays well? Definitely not—just ask Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg! But even if you’re not about to start the next Microsoft or Facebook, there are plenty of solid, high-paying jobs you can get without a degree. 

Here are 10 of the best options—take a look and see which ones might be a good fit for you.

1. Real estate agent

Think selling houses is just about a charming smile and a good sales pitch? Think again! Real estate agents are skilled at helping people buy and sell property, and they can earn a really good living doing it. With just a high school diploma and a real estate license, you could be closing deals and cashing in on big commissions. 

If you want to raise your earnings even more, you can get your broker’s license after you’ve worked as a realtor for a few years. (The requirements vary by state.)

As a real estate agent, you’re likely to earn between $60,000 and $150,000 in your first few years. That number varies depending on where you live and how many houses you sell each year.

2. Airline pilot

Do you love to fly, and enjoy traveling? As a commercial pilot, you could be flying high in terms of both altitude and your bank balance. Sure, you’ll need specialized training and certifications, but a college degree isn’t on the list of requirements.

As a commercial airline pilot, you can expect to make somewhere between $110,000 and $180,000 in your first few years, depending on which types of planes you’re certified on and the routes you fly. You can of course earn more as you gain more years of experience.

3. Web developer

If you’re tech savvy, the digital world can be your oyster as a web developer. With coding chops and a keen eye for design, you’ll build websites that dazzle and drum up business. The best part? A lot of web developers are self-taught or have completed online coding bootcamps, no degree required.

Web developers usually earn between $60,000 and $110,000 in their first few years, but it’s possible to earn a lot more as you gain experience and take on more complex projects.

4. Radiation therapist

Here’s a noble profession that pays well. Radiation therapists play a central role in treating cancer patients, and they earn a generous salary doing it. While you’ll need a certification, a four-year degree isn’t mandatory. It’s a career that’s rewarding both financially and emotionally.

Radiation therapists usually make $65,000 – $110,000 their first few years, but there’s plenty of opportunity to earn more as you gain experience and/or take on managerial responsibilities.

5. Firefighter 

As a firefighter, you’re in for both exciting work and a solid paycheck. It’s a physically demanding job, and it requires training and certifications, but a college degree isn’t required. Many departments have schedules that leave you with several open days per week, so you may have flexibility to take on a side business as well.

Firefighter salaries vary significantly depending on where you live and the agency you work for, but the range is usually between $45,000 – $80,000 the first few years. There’s often a lot of opportunity for overtime, so you can make more by working extra hours. Additionally, your salary can increase a lot if you ascend the ranks and/or add specialized training and certifications.

6. Nuclear power reactor operator

Nuclear power isn’t just about things that glow in the dark; it’s also about glowing job prospects. As a reactor operator, you’ll oversee the systems that generate nuclear energy. It’s a lot of responsibility, but the pay reflects that. It’s also likely to make you the most interesting person at any given party.

The salary range for a nuclear power reactor operator is generally $75,000 – $100,000, with opportunities to earn more as you gain seniority.

7. Transportation, storage, and distribution manager

Logistics are at the core of just about everything, and keeping track of all those goods as they move around the country is no small feat. If you’ve got organization and leadership skills, this could be your calling. Logistics managers earn a handsome salary for their important work.

Logistics manager salaries are usually $56,000 – $110,000, and you can earn substantially more if you take on managerial responsibilities.

8. Elevator installer and repair person

Going up? Elevators are more than just a way to avoid stairs; they can be a path to a lucrative career. With nothing more than on-the-job training, you could be installing and fixing these vertical transports in a matter of months.

The typical salary range for an elevator installer and repair technician is $50,000 – $100,000, and you can potentially earn even more if you become a supervisor.

9. Detective and criminal investigator

Do you love to watch detective shows? Ever thought about pursuing criminals and solving cases in real life?

As a detective or criminal investigator, you can have an exciting crime-solving career without a college degree. Experience in law enforcement is usually the key to breaking into it, so you’ll likely start out as a uniformed police officer (a rewarding job in itself) and work your way up.

Detective pay varies a lot depending on the town or city you work for, but the national range is $65,000 – $110,000. And of course, there’s potential to earn more if you achieve higher ranks within your department.

10. Power plant operator

Powering cities and towns is no small task, and as a power plant operator, you’re making it all happen. It’s a job that comes with a lot of responsibility, but usually only requires on-the-job training. The salary? It can be electrifying!

As a power plant operator, you can expect to earn a salary in the range of $60,000 – $128,000.

The bottom line

There you have it—10 interesting jobs that offer great pay without a college degree. Whether you’re looking to switch careers or you’re just starting out, the traditional college route isn’t the only path to success. Your dream job might be right here on this list. Go get it!