Jobs That Make $40,000 Per Year Without a Degree

Jobs That Make $40,000 Per Year Without a Degree

Are you looking for high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree? You’re in luck! There are plenty of well-paid careers out there that offer a salary of $40,000 per year or more, all without the need for formal education. Whether you’re interested in working as a janitorial manager, shop service manager, or aircraft mechanic, there are opportunities available across various industries.

According to recent data analysis by Monster, some of the highest-paying jobs without a degree in the United States pay more than $55,000 per year. In fact, janitorial managers and service shop managers top the list, with salaries close to six figures annually. However, it’s important to note that salary can also vary depending on your specialty and location.

For example, a maintenance supervisor in Bedford, Pennsylvania, earns 6% higher than the national median salary. Similarly, a surveying/mapping technician in Webster, New York, makes 5% higher than the national median. Even a hotel manager in Ama, Louisiana, enjoys a 2% higher salary compared to the national median.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are numerous high-paying jobs available without a college degree.
  • Some of the top-paying jobs without a degree include janitorial managers, shop service managers, and aircraft mechanics.
  • Salary can vary depending on your specialty and location.
  • Gaining relevant experience and certifications can help advance your career in these non-degree jobs.
  • With determination and hard work, you can secure a well-compensated job that pays $40,000 per year or more.

Janitorial Manager

A janitorial manager is responsible for overseeing tasks related to the maintenance of buildings and grounds. Their role includes cleaning floors and fixtures, removing trash or debris, and ensuring proper lawn care. While formal education requirements for this position typically include a high school diploma, experience plays a significant role in job qualifications.

The average salary for a janitorial manager is $93,500 per year. This makes it one of the high-paying janitorial jobs available in the industry. With six or more years of experience, janitorial managers can earn a competitive salary while enjoying the satisfaction of maintaining clean and well-maintained environments.

Responsibilities of a Janitorial Manager:

  • Overseeing the cleaning and maintenance of buildings and grounds
  • Managing a team of janitorial staff
  • Developing and implementing cleaning schedules and procedures
  • Ordering and managing cleaning supplies and equipment
  • Ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations
  • Handling customer inquiries or complaints

“Being a janitorial manager requires more than just cleaning skills. It demands strong organizational and leadership abilities, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with both staff and clients. It’s a role that offers a competitive salary and the opportunity to make a difference in the cleanliness and maintenance of various environments.”

The janitorial manager position is a vital role in maintaining clean and functional spaces, whether in commercial buildings, educational institutions, or healthcare facilities. With the right experience and skills, individuals can excel as janitorial managers and enjoy a rewarding career.

Responsibilities Average Salary
Overseeing cleaning and maintenance $93,500 per year
Managing a team of janitorial staff
Developing and implementing cleaning schedules and procedures
Ordering and managing cleaning supplies and equipment
Ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations
Handling customer inquiries or complaints

Shop Service Manager

A shop service manager plays a crucial role in the automotive and equipment repair industry. They oversee a team of skilled technicians and mechanics, ensuring that work orders are assigned and completed efficiently. This position requires a high school diploma and a minimum of six years of experience in the field. As a shop service manager, you can expect a competitive salary that reflects your expertise and leadership skills.

Responsibilities of a Shop Service Manager

As a shop service manager, your primary responsibility is to coordinate and supervise all repair and maintenance activities in the shop. Some key tasks include:

  • Assigning work orders to technicians based on their skill sets and availability
  • Coordinating with customers to understand their repair needs and providing accurate cost estimates
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of industry standards, regulations, and best practices
  • Ensuring that all repairs and services are completed on time and meet quality standards
  • Managing inventory and ordering parts and supplies as needed
  • Monitoring technician performance and providing feedback, training, and mentoring as necessary

Salary and Benefits

A shop service manager is a well-compensated position, with the average annual salary reaching $93,400. However, salary can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the size of the repair shop. In addition to a competitive salary, shop service managers often receive benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. This rewarding career path allows you to combine your passion for automobiles and leadership skills, offering stability and growth opportunities within the industry.

Aircraft Mechanic III

Aircraft mechanics play a vital role in ensuring the safety and functionality of airplanes. They are responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing the avionic and mechanical components of aircraft. From commercial airlines to private aviation, the demand for skilled aircraft mechanics remains strong, offering excellent career opportunities.

Job Responsibilities

  • Conducting regular inspections of aircraft to identify any potential issues or malfunctions
  • Performing maintenance tasks, such as replacing parts, repairing electrical systems, and troubleshooting mechanical problems
  • Following aviation regulations and safety protocols to ensure compliance
  • Collaborating with other aviation professionals to provide efficient and effective maintenance services
  • Keeping detailed records of maintenance activities and completed repairs

The aircraft mechanic role requires a high level of technical expertise and attention to detail. They must have a solid understanding of aircraft systems and be able to diagnose and resolve complex mechanical and electrical issues.

Quote: “Being an aircraft mechanic allows me to combine my passion for aviation with my mechanical skills. It’s a rewarding career where precision and attention to detail are crucial.” – John, Aircraft Mechanic

Salary and Career Outlook

The average salary for an aircraft mechanic is $85,200 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of aircraft worked on. With additional certifications and experience, aircraft mechanics can advance to supervisory roles or specialize in specific areas, such as avionics or engine maintenance.

Experience Level Annual Salary
Entry Level $50,000 – $70,000
Mid-Career $70,000 – $100,000
Experienced $100,000+

The job outlook for aircraft mechanics is positive, with a projected growth rate of 5% over the next decade. The aviation industry continues to expand, creating a steady demand for skilled professionals to maintain and repair aircraft.

Grinder III

Grinders play a crucial role in the assembly and manufacturing process by operating grinding machines to perform precision smoothing, polishing, or grinding. They are skilled in selecting, calibrating, and using a variety of grinding machine equipment to achieve the desired results. Grinders typically require a high school diploma and four to six years of experience to excel in their role.

With their expertise, grinders contribute to the production of high-quality finished products across various industries. Their attention to detail and precision ensure that materials are prepared to meet the required specifications. Grinders’ ability to smooth and shape surfaces with accuracy is essential for creating components that fit perfectly into the assembly process.

Job Title Education Experience Average Salary
Grinder III High School Diploma 4-6 years $69,500 per year
Grinder II High School Diploma 2-4 years $60,200 per year
Grinder I High School Diploma 0-2 years $52,800 per year

Why Grinders Are in Demand

Grinders are highly sought after in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and metalworking. Their expertise in operating grinding machines is invaluable for producing components with precision. As companies strive for efficiency and quality, the demand for skilled grinders continues to grow.

  • High precision: Grinders possess the skills to achieve precise measurements and smooth finishes, ensuring that components fit together seamlessly.
  • Quality assurance: Their attention to detail helps maintain consistent quality throughout the production process, reducing errors and enhancing the overall product.
  • Productivity enhancement: By utilizing their expertise in grinding operations, grinders contribute to improving productivity and reducing downtime.

“Grinders play a vital role in shaping and refining materials, turning raw components into finished products with precision and accuracy.” – Industry Expert

Aspiring grinders can enhance their career prospects by gaining additional certifications and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in grinding technology. By doing so, they can achieve higher levels of expertise and potentially advance to higher-paying positions within the industry.

Instrument Technician III

Instrument technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the proper functioning and maintenance of plant production and process equipment. They are responsible for testing, calibrating, installing, repairing, and inspecting monitoring devices to measure various parameters like temperature, pressure, flow, and level. With their expertise in using scientific and analytical computer software, voltage meters, and electronic probes, they diagnose faults in circuitry and troubleshoot issues to ensure optimal performance.

To excel as an instrument technician, individuals typically need to have an associate degree in a related field and accumulate four to six years of relevant experience. This combination allows them to develop the necessary technical skills and knowledge required to excel in this role. Additionally, staying updated with advancements in technology and industry best practices is crucial to ensure the efficient and accurate operation of monitoring devices.

The average salary for an instrument technician is $69,200 per year, making it a high-paying job without the need for a college degree. With opportunities available in various industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and utilities, instrument technicians can find fulfilling careers with competitive compensation. The demand for skilled instrument technicians remains strong, making it a promising career path for individuals seeking well-paid jobs without formal education.

Skills and Responsibilities of Instrument Technicians

  • Testing, calibrating, and configuring instruments and control systems.
  • Installing, troubleshooting, and repairing monitoring devices.
  • Inspecting and maintaining plant production and process equipment.
  • Using scientific and analytical computer software, voltage meters, and electronic probes.
  • Diagnosing faults in circuitry and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
  • Collaborating with engineers and other team members for effective problem-solving.

“Being an instrument technician allows me to constantly learn and apply new technologies. The job satisfaction that comes from troubleshooting and resolving complex technical issues is immense. Plus, the competitive salary is definitely a bonus!” – John, Instrument Technician

Skills Salary
Technical proficiency in instrument calibration and repair. $69,200 per year
Knowledge of scientific and analytical computer software.
Ability to diagnose faults in circuitry accurately.
Understanding of safety regulations and compliance.

Land Surveyor III

Land surveyors play a vital role in the measurement and mapping of land surfaces. They utilize advanced equipment and techniques to collect data and create precise surveys. This profession offers excellent career prospects with competitive salaries for individuals passionate about geography, mathematics, and technology.

The Role of a Land Surveyor

As a land surveyor, your primary responsibility is to assist surveyors and mapmakers in collecting data necessary for measuring land surfaces. You will use electronic distance measuring equipment to measure angles, elevations, points, and contours accurately. A meticulous attention to detail is crucial in this role, as even the smallest miscalculations can have significant consequences.

Education and Experience

To become a land surveyor, you typically need to earn an associate degree in surveying or a related field. Additionally, acquiring four to six years of hands-on experience is essential for developing the necessary skills and knowledge in land surveying. This experience will help you master the use of surveying instruments, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Skills and Qualifications Average Salary
Associate degree in surveying or related field $66,600 per year
Familiarity with surveying instruments
Proficiency in CAD software and GIS
Strong mathematical and analytical skills
Attention to detail

With the right combination of education, experience, and skills, a land surveyor can earn an average salary of $66,600 per year. This profession offers a fulfilling and rewarding career path for individuals who enjoy working outdoors, have a passion for precision, and appreciate the importance of accurate land measurements.

Tool and Die Maker III

Tool and die makers play a crucial role in the manufacturing industry, building and modifying tools, dies, jigs, molds, and fixtures. With their expertise in precision bench and machining operations, they ensure the accurate creation of components used in various products and machinery. Tool and die makers are highly skilled professionals who possess a deep understanding of engineering principles, materials, and machining techniques.

With a high school diploma and four to six years of experience, tool and die makers command a respectable average salary of $65,800 per year. Their extensive knowledge and proficiency in working with a wide range of tools and equipment make them essential assets in the manufacturing sector. From cutting and shaping blocks to grinding parts, tool and die makers meticulously craft the necessary components that enable the production of high-quality goods.

Advanced Skills and Technologies

As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve and embrace advanced technologies, tool and die makers must stay updated with the latest advancements. This includes familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) software, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, and other automated systems. These tools enhance precision and efficiency, allowing tool and die makers to produce intricate components with utmost accuracy.

Additionally, tool and die makers must possess strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail. They meticulously analyze blueprints, specifications, and other technical documents to ensure that the components they create meet precise measurements and tolerances. Dedication to quality and the ability to troubleshoot and rectify issues are qualities that set top-notch tool and die makers apart from the rest.

Skills required Salary
Precision bench and machining operations $65,800 per year
Knowledge of CAD software and CNC machines
Strong problem-solving and attention to detail

Tool and die makers are the unsung heroes of the manufacturing industry, crafting the intricate components that power a wide range of products. With their expertise and precision, they contribute to the creation of high-quality goods and ensure the smooth operation of manufacturing processes.

Sanitation Supervisor

If you are looking for a high-paying job without a college degree, consider becoming a sanitation supervisor. In this role, you will oversee and maintain the cleanliness of production areas and machinery in facilities. Your responsibilities will include supervising the breakdown of equipment, managing cleaning systems, ensuring proper chemical usage, and conducting facility inspections.

To excel as a sanitation supervisor, a high school diploma is typically required, along with at least four years of experience in the field. It is also essential to have a strong knowledge of Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). By demonstrating your expertise in maintaining a clean and safe environment, you can earn a competitive salary.

According to recent data, the average salary for a sanitation supervisor is $62,700 per year. This high-paying job offers a stable and lucrative career path, providing opportunities for growth and advancement within the industry. With the increasing demand for cleanliness and sanitation in various sectors, such as food processing and manufacturing, there is a constant need for skilled sanitation supervisors.

Key Responsibilities of a Sanitation Supervisor:

  • Overseeing the cleanliness of production areas and machinery
  • Supervising the breakdown of equipment and cleaning systems
  • Ensuring proper chemical usage and conducting facility inspections
  • Maintaining compliance with Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)

If you are detail-oriented, have strong organizational and leadership skills, and enjoy maintaining a clean and safe environment, a career as a sanitation supervisor may be the right fit for you. With the potential for high earnings and job stability, this is an excellent opportunity for individuals who are seeking well-paying jobs without a college degree.

Job Title Average Salary
Sanitation Supervisor $62,700 per year

Jobs Without a Degree: Title Examiner III

When it comes to high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, one often overlooked profession is that of a Title Examiner III. Title examiners play a crucial role in the real estate industry, ensuring the accuracy and legality of property titles. With an average salary of $60,400 per year, this position offers a lucrative opportunity for individuals seeking a well-compensated career without a degree.

As a Title Examiner III, your main responsibility is to review documents and public records to determine the status of property titles. This involves examining the chain of title, identifying any assessments against the property, and ensuring the accuracy of all property details. Attention to detail, research skills, and a deep understanding of legal and real estate terminology are essential for success in this role.

While a college degree is not required, a high school diploma is typically necessary to qualify for this position. Additionally, four to six years of experience in the field are often expected. It’s important to note that the requirements may vary depending on the employer and the jurisdiction in which you work. Gaining relevant experience and certifications in real estate and title examination can significantly enhance your prospects in this field.

Job Outlook and Advancement Opportunities

The demand for title examiners is expected to remain steady in the coming years. As the real estate market continues to grow, so does the need for professionals who can ensure the legitimacy and accuracy of property titles. With experience and expertise, you can advance to higher-level positions such as Senior Title Examiner or Title Supervisor, which offer even higher salaries and increased responsibilities.

Overall, a career as a Title Examiner III is a viable option for those seeking a high-paying job without a college degree. The combination of specialized knowledge, attention to detail, and experience in the field can lead to a rewarding and well-compensated career in the real estate industry.


In today’s job market, there are numerous high-paying opportunities available for individuals without a college degree. These well-compensated jobs offer a salary of $40,000 per year or more, providing a fulfilling career path without the need for formal education.

From janitorial managers to aircraft mechanics, there is a wide range of options in various industries. By focusing on gaining relevant experience and acquiring necessary certifications, individuals can excel in these roles and secure a stable and lucrative career.

It’s important to note that while a degree may not be required, dedication and continuous learning are key. By staying updated with industry trends and honing their skills, professionals in these fields can position themselves for growth and advancement.

So, whether you’re considering a career change or starting out fresh, remember that there are plenty of high-paying jobs that do not require a college diploma. By seizing these opportunities and investing in your own development, you can build a successful and fulfilling career without the burden of student debt or lengthy academic pursuits.


Are these jobs available nationwide?

Yes, these jobs are available throughout the United States.

Do these jobs require a college degree?

No, these jobs do not require a college degree.

How much experience is typically required for these jobs?

These jobs generally require four to six years of experience.

Are there opportunities for career advancement in these roles?

Yes, many of these roles offer opportunities for career advancement.

Can I earn a salary of $40,000 per year or more in these jobs?

Yes, all of these jobs offer a salary of $40,000 per year or more.

What certifications or training might be required for these roles?

The specific certifications or training required may vary depending on the job, but in general, relevant experience and an associate degree are beneficial.

Are these jobs in high demand?

The demand for these jobs may vary depending on the location and industry, but many of these roles are essential in various sectors.

Can I apply for these jobs without any prior experience?

While prior experience is typically preferred, some entry-level positions may be available for those without prior experience.

How can I improve my chances of getting hired for these roles?

Gaining relevant experience, obtaining certifications, and showcasing your skills and knowledge in the field can help improve your chances of getting hired.

Are there opportunities for professional development in these jobs?

Yes, many of these jobs offer opportunities for professional development and continued learning.

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