There is no doubt that higher education can lead to higher incomes. After all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that those with a bachelor’s degree have median wages that are $525 per week more than those with only a high school diploma and no college experience.
Still, college isn’t right for everyone, and not every good job requires a degree. Employment website Indeed analyzed its database to locate the job titles that offer the best salary, growth and availability to those without college degrees and zero to three years of experience.
Here’s a look at the top entry-level jobs that don’t require a degree, with salary figures from Indeed.
10. Transportation/logistics coordinator
Average salary for people with this job title: $62,500 per year
Given the supply chain issues of recent years, transportation and logistics coordinators may have their work cut out for them. These professionals are responsible for keeping lines of communication open between suppliers and clients while getting items from point A to point B.
9. Catering manager
Average salary for people with this job title: $47,500 per year
Catering managers are a subset of food service managers and oversee the delivery, set-up and distribution of food at off-site locations such as conferences, meetings and other events. A high school diploma is usually sufficient for workers in this field.
8. Aircraft maintenance technician
Average salary for people with this job title: $57,500 per year
You may not need a college degree to become an aircraft maintenance technician, but you will likely need some specialized schooling. The Federal Aviation Administration says graduation from an FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS) is one path to being certified as a technician. Other options include a military training course or 18-30 months of related work experience.
7. Sheet metal mechanic
Average salary for people with this job title: $62,140 per year
These aren’t mechanics who fix broken machines. Instead, they are professionals who mold metal sheets for a variety of construction and shipping projects. Workers may complete an apprenticeship or technical classes to learn skills such as cutting, altering and welding sheet metal.
6. Business analyst
Average salary for people with this job title: $72,500 per year
Job duties for business analysts can vary, and they may work as part of a team to identify a solution to a problem faced by an organization. While many workers in this field have bachelor’s degrees, Indeed says these positions can also be open to those without a degree.
5. Drafting technician
Average salary for people with this job title: $50,000 per year
Drafting technicians used computer-aided design software to create drawings of architectural or engineering plans. While about half of drafting technicians have an associate degree, you can learn to use the software without going to college.
4. Salon manager
Average salary for people with this job title: $41,000 per year
As their name suggests, these workers manage all aspects of daily operations at salons. They may hire workers, set schedules and address customer concerns.
3. Environmental health and safety specialist
Average salary for people with this job title: $65,000 per year
Also known as occupational health and safety specialists, these workers typically have either on-the-job training or some postsecondary education such as a certificate. Typical duties involve inspecting a workplace for environmental concerns that could impact worker health, safety and comfort.
2. Auto body technician
Average salary for people with this job title: $82,500 per year
As the workers with the highest average salary on this list, auto body technicians repair structural damage to vehicles. Some employers hire workers with no experience while others prefer job applicants who have completed a short-term course in collision repair.
1. Inventory manager
Average salary for people with this job title: $59,000 per year
According to Indeed, inventory managers have seen a 189% increase in job share based on listings from September 2022 to February 2023 as compared with the same period a year earlier. Businesses rely on inventory managers to receive shipments and record details about product stock.