The common notion that earning a college degree is a must to land a well-paying career isn’t entirely true. While a college degree increases your chances of getting a high-paying job, you can get well-paying careers without a college degree. Most companies and employers have eliminated the standard degree requirement and instead focused on potential candidate’s skills.

Employers have also toned down on other educational requirements, especially for middle-skill positions. These positions require post-secondary training but not a bachelor’s degree. Below are four well-paying careers that don’t need a four-year degree.

1. Environmental Science and Protection Technician

The increasing awareness of environmental sustainability has increased the demand for professionals in this field. Fortunately, donors have come on board to facilitate environmental studies. These technicians are tasked with monitoring and implementing steps to address various environmental issues.

Environmental science technicians primarily protect natural resources, including plants, water, and air quality. They spend most of their time in the field inspecting and collecting samples for testing.

2. Medical Assistant

  • Average salary: $37,190
  • Recommended degree: Associate degree in Medical Assisting
  • Study period: Two years

Most high-paying careers are in the medical and engineering fields. However, you can join this league without enduring the lengthy six years of studying medicine at the university. A certificate or associate degree in medical assisting allows you to work in the medical field in various positions, ranging from administrative roles to eye care assistance.

Medical assistants can work in hospitals, outpatient care facilities, or a doctor’s office. They interact with patients directly, which makes it necessary to have good interpersonal skills. Common tasks assigned to medical assistants include administering medications, updating medical records, and measuring vital signs, depending on where they work.

Most people use this opportunity as a stepping stone to other better-paying two-year degree careers in the medical field. You can advance from a medical assistant to a sonographer, MRI technologist, or radiation therapist.

3. Web Developer

  • Average salary: $77,100
  • Recommended degree: A.A.S in Data Analytics
  • Study period: Two years

With the demand for tech jobs increasing steadily, you don’t need four years to acquire some of the most sought-after skills in the job market. A two-year degree or certification in data analytics and web development is enough to kickstart a rewarding career in tech.

Web developers can work in nearly all sectors. You can work remotely to develop websites for clients across the world or choose employment from established companies and NGOs. Most web developers prefer self-employment, as it allows them to work flexibly and choose projects that interest them.

4. Veterinary Technician

  • Average salary: $36,850
  • Recommended degree: A.A.S in Veterinary Technology
  • Study period: Two years

If you love animals, a veterinary technician is an excellent career opportunity that requires a two-year degree. While some positions in this field, like Wildlife Biologist, require a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree is enough for you to qualify as a vet tech. Veterinary technicians work in animal hospitals and clinics under veterinarians. Like medical assistants, they assist in administering treatment, vaccines, and surgeries.


There are endless careers that don’t require a four-year degree, ranging from office and tech jobs to working in the field to conserve the environment. Surprisingly, most of these careers are in high demand and are projected to continue being in demand for the next decade.