8 Terrific Jobs that Don't Require a Degree to Get in the Door

8 Terrific Jobs that Don't Require a Degree to Get in the Door

It can be incredibly overwhelming to investigate different career possibilities only to discover they require a two- or four-year degree. If earning a degree was as easy as snapping your fingers, you’d already have one. Unfortunately, life can get in the way of an education — but that doesn’t have to hold back your career dreams. You can land an awesome job without the commitment of getting a degree.

Want us to prove it? We rounded up a list of jobs that can be landed with only a diploma or certificate, which could save you time and money compared to a traditional degree. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these 9 promising jobs that don’t require a degree to get in the door.

1. Bookkeeper

What they do: Bookkeepers produce financial records for the organizations they work for. Bookkeepers can be responsible for some or all of an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits and credits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary: $37,250

Job Outlook: The need for bookkeepers is expected to decline by 8 percent through 2024.

Education needed: High school diploma or bookkeeping certification

2. Preschool teacher

What they do: Preschool teachers and other early childhood education (ECE) teachers instruct young children to prepare them for kindergarten. They focus on the social, physical and intellectual growth of the children, and they work in preschools, daycare centers or other child development facilities.

Salary: $28,570

Job outlook: The need for preschool teachers is expected to grow by 7 percent through 2024.

Education needed: High school diploma or certificate

3. Pharmacy technician

What they do: Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists measure and dispense prescriptions for customers. They may take the information needed to fill a prescription from customers and organize the inventory. They can work in retail pharmacies or hospitals.

Salary: $30,410

Job outlook: Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow by 9 percent through 2024.

Education needed: High school diploma and on-the-job training or a pharmacy technician certificate

4. Tax preparer

What they do: While it may seem obvious that a tax preparer’s main job is to prepare tax returns for individuals and small businesses, they also spend time interacting with clients and obtaining financial information. Tax preparers compute taxes and returns by addressing things like adjustments, deductions and credits to keep clients' tax burdens to a minimum.

Salary: $36,450*

Job outlook: Tax preparers can expect to see their job outlook increase between two and four percent through 2024.

Education needed: High school diploma and accounting certificate or diploma

5. Medical administrative assistant

What they do: Medical administrative assistants, or medical secretaries, are responsible for a wide range of administrative tasks to ensure their office functions smoothly. Their tasks vary but can include checking in patients at the front desk, answering the phone, scheduling patients for appointments and compiling medical records.

Salary: $33,040

Job outlook: Employment for medical administrative assistants is projected to grow by 14 percent or more through 2024.

Education needed: High school diploma and medical administrative assistant certificate

6. Medical coder

What they do: Medical coders are responsible for compiling, processing and maintaining medical records for the health care system. They make sure that medical records are protected and confidential. Medical coders review records for completeness, accuracy and compliance with different medical, ethical and legal requirements.

Salary: $37,110

Job outlook: Medical coding jobs are projected to grow by 14 percent or higher through 2024, which is much faster than average.

Education needed: High school diploma and medical billing and coding certificate

7. Licensed practical nurse

What they do: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are medical professionals who provide basic medical care under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and doctors. LPNs are typically responsible for monitoring a patient’s health by performing routine care, such as checking blood pressure or applying bandages, while discussing with patients the care they are providing.

Salary: $43,170

Job outlook: The need for LPNs is projected to increase by 16 percent through 2024, which is much faster than average.

Education needed: High school diploma and LPN certificate or diploma

8. Medical assistant

What they do: Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks in physicians’ offices and the offices of other healthcare practitioners, according to the BLS. Under the direction of a physician, a medical assistant will record patient history and personal information, measure vital signs, help with patient examinations and give injections.

Salary: $30,590

Job outlook: Employment for medical assistants is projected to grow by 23 percent through 2024, which is much faster than average.

Education needed: High school diploma and medical assisting diploma

Which career will you pursue?

You don’t need to spend years and years working on a degree to get in the workforce. There are plenty of options that let you get your feet wet sooner! Now that you know about these jobs that don’t require a degree, you may be considering earning a certificate or diploma to launch your career.

The only question is, how do you decide which of these careers is right for you?

Take our career aptitude test to help you narrow it down!


*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

About the author

Aaron Lawrence

Aaron is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. His interest in writing articles for students stems from his passion for poetry and fiction and the belief that all words can educate.

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