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8 Fulfilling Careers That Don’t Require A College Degree

  • March 23, 2021

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careers that don't require college

Wary to take on the burden of student loans in this uncertain economy? Does the idea of exploring a trade sound more compelling than sitting through 4+ additional years of school? The good news is that there are many paths to an exciting and lucrative career that don't require a college degree. 

Let’s explore 8 wonderful careers that don't require a college degree. 


The first career that does not require a college degree is a firefighter. A heroic profession, the firefighter is responsible for rescuing people and animals in the midst of floods, fires, or accidents. If you have a heart for serving others and the constitution to handle the dangers of the job, this is a career that has the potential to be extremely rewarding. While it does not require a college degree, you must pass exams, endure physical trials, and potentially invest in medical training as well. 

Fitness Instructor

If you are constantly in the gym working on your fitness, why not make a career out of it? Fitness instructors and personal trainers are in constant demand, and this career has the potential to be both lucrative and fun. Focus on your favorite way to sweat in the gym (yoga, barre, HIIT, etc.) and research how to get certified in the area of your choice. Open your own studio, start teaching at your local gym, or connect with a fitness community online.  This career is great because it does not require a college degree! 

General Contractor

If you are a business-minded individual who has a passion for communicating with others to get the job done, consider becoming a general contractor and working in the construction industry. If you’re interested in obtaining your contractor license and getting started in this exciting career, you will need to take an exam in your state. Then, the sky is the limit (literally) as you collaborate with others to build skyscrapers, renovate homes, and expand businesses in your community.


If you don't want a career that requires a college degree but makes a lot of money, a career in plumbing is perfect.  A career in plumbing calls for someone who is cool under pressure with excellent customer service and problem-solving skills. As a plumber, you’ll be doing much more than fixing leaky faucets and investigating pipe bursts; you’ll use your critical eye to create blueprints for what the pipe layouts will look like in homes and offices throughout your community. Consider looking into training and apprenticeships in your area to further your education in plumbing.

Dental Assistant

This is a great career option for someone who wants to work in a dentist’s office without years of extra schooling. Not to be confused with a dentist or dental hygienist, the dental assistant assists with procedures but does not perform them. Preparing patients for routine cleaning, maintaining equipment, and processing x-rays are some of the tasks you can expect to perform as a dental assistant. 

Pest Control

Keep pesky intruders like rodents, insects, and more out of homes in your community! With some training on the job, you will be ready for a career as an exterminator. Work for a local company, or grow your own business and be your own boss. Keep in mind you will need a permit to handle certain chemicals used for extermination, and the laws vary state by state. 

Medical Records Technician

Someone has to keep track of all those records! If you are an organized individual with a heart for helping others, this is a great career to get involved in healthcare without delivering painful diagnoses or attending medical school. Especially in these unprecedented times, the healthcare industry is expanding, and becoming a medical records technician is a helpful skill.   This is a great career that doesn't require a college degree. 

Patrol Officer

If you enjoy keeping meticulous records, writing reports, and helping your community, consider a career as a patrol officer. If you have a calling to public service and the tolerance for long and sometimes tedious work hours, working as a patrol officer can be very rewarding. 

Whether you are planning a degree-free career pivot, looking to start a new business, or simply don’t want to spend your 20s in school, finding careers that don't require a college degree is possible!