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How to find good jobs (that pay well!) without a college degree

How to find good jobs (that pay well!) without a college degree

(Zadorozhna Natalia/

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Walt Disney. Bill Gates. Taylor Swift. The list of people without four-year degrees who still have successful careers is quite possibly longer than Mike Powell's world-record jump. While education is important, a degree doesn't dictate success. Anything is possible if you have the drive. Even Elon Musk says a college degree isn't a job requirement at Tesla. Use these job search tips from KSL Jobs to find some of the best paying jobs, no college degree required.

Search the right categories

You're not going to get a job as a nurse practitioner without graduating from an accredited nursing program. But if you are interested in a job helping others, you can search for healthcare-adjacent jobs in different categories that don't require degrees. For instance, you might find a Special Needs Caregiver position listed in Child Care & Elder Care, or a Patient Representative position in the Customer Service Category.

Several of the most popular categories on KSL Jobs have plenty of job listings that do not require a college degree.

Hospitality & Travel


Construction & Skilled Trades



Law Enforcement

Real Estate

Customer Service.

Approach your job search from a different angle and you'll discover opportunities you may not have known existed, with surprisingly competitive wages.

How to find good jobs (that pay well!) without a college degree
Photo: rocharibeiro/

Consider career advancement

As you are reading job descriptions, look for employers that offer on-the-job training and promote from within. Even an entry-level position can quickly lead to more lucrative positions without starting your job search all over again.

If you are interested in furthering your education, you can also filter your search on KSL Jobs by checking Tuition Reimbursement in the Company Perks field. Taking college courses related to your industry can increase your chances of getting promoted to a higher paying position.

Another Company Perk you may want to narrow your search by is startup. With the explosion of jobs in the Silicon Slopes area, many tech employers are hiring "new-collar" applicants who don't have four-year degrees, but have completed coding boot camps, earned technical certifications and/or proved their passion for technology in other ways. As the startup grows, so do your career and your earnings. If the company offers stock options (another searchable Company Perk on KSL Jobs) working for a startup can be even more lucrative.

Follow instructions carefully

Hiring managers aren't just looking for someone who has checked every qualification box. Many employers are also screening applicants based on their attention to detail and ability to follow directions. This is your chance to wow them.

Before you click the Apply Now button on KSL Jobs and send a generic resume, take the time to customize your resume for the job. Highlight your accomplishments specific to the job as well as any equivalent experience you have. Did you spend a summer helping your uncle restore a classic car? Even though this isn't "professional" experience, it can set you apart from other candidates applying for a Collision Repair or another position in the Automotive category. Equivalent experience can often help you negotiate a higher starting wage as well.

Be sure to include any additional documentation requested. And declare your own personal war on errorism — proofread everything before submitting.

How to find good jobs (that pay well!) without a college degree
Photo: Asada Nami/

Play up your strengths

Once you've landed an interview, do more research. What is the company's vision? Think about how you could help the company achieve goals related to its vision. Is the culture relaxed or formal? Be prepared to discuss how you could contribute to the overall company culture. Ask the people in the room questions. Listen to their answers and read their body language. Respond in a way that shows how your personality traits mesh well with theirs. Hiring decisions are often as much about finding a person who is a good fit for the team as the applicant's actual skillset.

Every career path starts with a single step. Move forward by searching KSL Jobs to find good jobs without a college degree.

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