higher paying jobs without a degree.

  • career advice
  • March 28, 2019

There's a serious disconnect between the skills students learn in higher education and the real-world needs of today's employers. This is often referred to as a "skills gap," and it's causing many organizations to rethink their approach to hiring. It's also providing a number of new opportunities for those who don't have a college diploma.

In fact, there are even a number of high-paying roles available to those without a degree. And while most of these positions require some level of training and experience, all of them should be well within reach.

Want proof? Here are five roles that pay more than $50,000 annually — and none of them require college degrees.

executive assistant

Today's executive assistant are more than simply an organizational leader's right hand. They're often entrusted to make decisions independently, in the absence of the executive they support, which entails considerable responsibility.

Key traits of successful assistants include keen organizational and communication skills and the ability to delegate and prioritize. You'll need to be able to meet with stakeholders, too, so some appropriate business attire, if not a college degree, is probably essential.

Average hourly wage for an executive assistant to the CEO in 2018: $71,718

payroll supervisor

As the title suggests, payroll supervisors compile and process payroll information — but what you might not have guessed is that this role generally doesn't require a college degree. For most certification programs, like Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) and Certified Payroll Manager training, all that's required is previous experience in the field.

To be successful, you'll need to know the ins and outs of taxes, compensation, wage structures, benefits administration and more. You'll also need to pay attention to details and be able to act with strict confidentiality.

Average annual salary in 2018: $63,861

warehouse manager

Indispensable to day-to-day warehouse productivity, warehouse managers are tasked with overseeing nearly all areas of operations. As trusted leaders, they manage inventory levels, establish safety protocols and coordinate schedules. As such, warehouse managers need to have demonstrated experience successfully managing operations — from overseeing large teams to reporting on performance and delivering on goals. That said, there's no essential accreditation or certification required.

What's more, both demand and annual income for these professionals are on the rise. How much? Randstad's data indicates that average hourly wage for warehouse managers increased nearly six percent between 2017 and 2018 alone. And that growth shows no signs of slowing down in the future.

Average hourly wage in 2018: $71,926

ultrasound technician/sonographer

Healthcare-related occupations are expected to grow by 18 percent by 2026— far faster than the national average — so this is a great space to be in. And the outlook for ultrasound technicians and sonographers is especially rosy, with around 21,100 new jobs expected to be created by 2026.

While it's true that some education is required to succeed in the field, you don't need a four-year college degree. Typically, a two-year associate degree is enough for you to be competitive on the job market. Plus, those with previous experience in a health profession are often able to fast-track their ultrasound certification programs.

Average hourly wage in 2018: $67,828

cybersecurity analyst

There will be an estimated shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals this year, which means that opportunities abound for those with the right skill sets. What's even better for you, though, is that with so much demand, there are also an increasing number of recognized training and accreditation programs that can help non-college grads get a foothold in the field. The Network+, Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker programs are perhaps the best known — and therefore the most likely to land you a job — but other courses can prepare you for professional success, too.

What makes for an effective cybersecurity pro? For starters, you'll need some native technical aptitude in order to, well, hack it. Beyond that, you should be able to work collaboratively in teams and possess core organizational, analytical and communication skills.

Average annual salary in 2018: $98,000

key takeaways

As the hiring landscape continues to transform, new job requirements are diminishing the value of a four-year college degree in the labor market. That means, whatever your level of education, there are a lot of great, high-paying jobs out there waiting for you. So start planning out your professional path today — and partner with Randstad for key support along the way.