20 Highest-Paying Jobs Without a Degree in 2024

You don't need a four-year degree to land one of the highest-paying jobs, such as special effects artist, security analyst or airline pilot.

An airline pilot stands in the aisle of a plane.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In certain industries, relevant work experience, internships, training and certifications are just as important, if not more important, than graduating with a four-year degree. 

Job applications usually have a minimum educational requirement — some college, an associate degree or a bachelor’s or master’s degree. But with student loan debt topping $1.77 trillion (an increase of 66% over the past 10 years), according to the Federal Reserve, you may ask if a four-year college degree is worth it. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.

With contributions from