- This list only includes no-degree jobs with a median hourly wage of $15 to $19 in the United States.
- In the United States, an income of $15.00 per hour is around double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
- In this wage bracket, you will find several jobs with many additional perks and great opportunities for career advancement.
With the U.S. national average wage at around $31.75 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labour Services (BLS), a wage of $15 per hour may not seem impressive initially. However, the jobs on this list have a few things in common: they’re all entry-level positions that don’t require a college degree, and many of them offer opportunities for career advancement.
Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up. Even billionaires like Giorgio Armani and Jeff Bezos started their careers with humble beginnings, working for minimum wage. In fact, if you start a career in any of the professions on this list, you’re already doing comfortably better than their beginnings: you’re earning more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
In this post, I’ll be showing you 29 career paths that don’t require you to go to college, together with any educational requirements they have, what skills they demand, and what you can expect to earn. The salary data has been taken only from reliable sources such as BLS.gov, PayScale.com, and Salary.com.
These are jobs that pay $15 an hour without a degree:
- Dog walker
- Wedding coordinator
- Game tester
- Crime scene cleaner
- Bank teller
- Psychiatric aide
- Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
- Freight broker agent
- Virtual assistant
- Delivery driver
- Registered behavior technician (RBT)
- Medical biller
- Social service assistant
- Skincare specialist
- Life coach
- Emergency medical technician (EMT)
- Psychiatric technician
- Influencer marketer
- Video editor
- Fitness trainer
- Dental assistant
Median pay: $15.00 per hour
As the name suggests, dog walkers are professionals responsible for walking dogs. This job is often seen as a great gig for college students or anyone looking for a flexible outdoor job. Dog walkers typically work with a handful of clients and may be responsible for walking multiple dogs at once. In rare cases, dog walkers also have additional tasks such as feeding and bathing the animals.
There are no formal education requirements for dog walkers. In this job, only a love of physical activity and affection for dogs is needed. However, if you are serious about this career and are thinking about creating your dog walking company, you may consider investing in certifications such as the Certification for Professional Pet Sitters from Pet Sitters International (PSI) or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) Certification.
Median pay: $15.34 per hour
Models are responsible for modeling clothing and other products for print ads, commercials, runway shows, and other events. A model must represent the brand in a positive light and must be able to capture the attention of the target audience.
There are no formal education requirements for models, although some aspiring models may choose to study modeling or fashion design to learn more about the industry. Regarding physical requirements, most modeling agencies traditionally have strict height, weight, and size requirements. However, in recent years, the industry has become more inclusive of a wider range of body types. To become a model, focus on learning about the industry and find a photographer who can help you create a strong portfolio of modeling work. Then, try to get your foot in the door by contacting local modeling agencies and attending open casting calls.
Median pay: $15.37 per hour
Transcribers are responsible for converting audio into written text. This is a great job for people who have excellent typing skills and superior attention to detail. Transcription work is often done remotely, which allows these professionals to work from home.
A high school diploma is generally the only formal requirement for becoming a transcriber. Plus, knowledge of common office software such as Microsoft Word and Excel is normally expected. The employer of these professionals usually provides training for specific transcribing software such as Express Scribe or Rev.
Median pay: $15.39 per hour
Wedding coordinators are responsible for helping couples plan their wedding day. This includes booking vendors, guest entertainment, budget management, and wedding day timeline creation. Wedding coordinators must be communicative, organized, detail-oriented, and creative to succeed in this role.
While a degree in hospitality and tourism management could be beneficial for kickstarting your career as a wedding coordinator, it’s by no means necessary. Nowadays, many wedding coordinators start by working as wedding planner assistants. From there, they learn the ropes and gain the necessary experience to become a full-time wedding coordinator, either by working for a wedding agency or starting their own business.
Median pay: $15.48 per hour
Game testers are tasked with playing video games to identify bugs and other problems. These professionals must be very detail-oriented because they are employed to pay attention to even the tiniest glitches and bugs in the gameplay. In many cases, game testers are also responsible for providing feedback on the general feel and flow of the game.
First and foremost, you need to be passionate about gaming to become a video game tester. Remember that this job is more than casually playing the latest releases; you will be expected to devote long hours to playing the game and providing detailed reports. That being said, there are no specific education requirements for this job and you can sign up for this job online at sites such as gametester.gg. And, once you become proficient enough as a game tester, you could learn some coding on the side and consider becoming a game developer instead.
Related: Guide to Becoming a Game Developer Without a Degree
Crime scene cleaner
Median pay: $15.53 per hour
Job duties: Crime scene cleaners ensure that a crime scene is properly cleaned and disinfected. This job is critical to preventing the spread of disease and restoring the property to its original condition.
While there are no formal education or degree requirements for crime scene cleaners, they must be able to work quickly and effectively while maintaining a high level of cleanliness. On-the-job training programs are provided by the employers of the crime scene cleaners and will mostly involve learning the proper methods to deal with potentially hazardous materials such as blood and other bodily fluids. In addition, the training for crime scene cleaners can also cover topics such as equipment maintenance and dealing with the emotional trauma often associated with this job.
Median pay: $15.68 per hour
The job of a bank teller involves carrying out various financial transactions for customers and includes tasks such as cashing checks, processing deposits, and issuing loans. In addition, bank tellers must provide excellent customer service and efficiently resolve customer complaints or concerns.
Since the job of a bank teller does not require a formal degree, this profession is considered a superb entry point to a career in finance. To become a bank teller, you must be good with details, enjoy daily contact with customers, and stay calm under pressure. In addition, you will also need to have basic math skills and pass a background check. While official certifications are generally not a requirement for this job, they can be very useful. Industry-acknowledged certifications (such as the Bank Teller Certificate from American Bankers Association or the Certified Bank Teller) can help you stand out from the competition and command a higher salary.
Median pay: $15.93 per hour
Psychiatric aides are responsible for providing support to patients who have mental health disorders. This includes tasks such as monitoring patients, helping them with activities of daily living, and providing emotional support. Psychiatric aides must be able to maintain a high level of professionalism and empathy while also remaining calm in physically and mentally demanding situations.
The educational requirements for becoming a psychiatric aide vary from state to state. However, a high school diploma is the general minimum requirement for this job. In addition, most states require psychiatric aides to have either an official nurse assistant certification or at least a year of work experience in patient care settings such as hospitals or nursing homes.
Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
Median pay: $16.00 per hour
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an entry-level healthcare professional typically responsible for providing basic patient care, such as bathing, feeding, and transferring patients. Further, these professionals may also be involved in minor medical procedures such as taking vital signs or assisting other healthcare professionals in setting up medical equipment. CNAs work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Some states allow CNAs to work in home health settings as well.
While a medical degree is not needed to work as a CNA, all nursing assistants must complete a state-specific CNA training program. After completing their mandatory training, students also have to pass a competency exam. Once certified, CNAs are officially allowed to work in their respective states. Working as a CNA is one of the best ways to break into the medical industry without having a degree.
Freight broker agent
Median pay: $16.00 per hour
Freight broker agents are responsible for coordinating the transportation of goods and materials. This includes tasks such as arranging for the pick-up, delivery, and storage of shipments. Freight broker agents must be able to effectively communicate with both customers and truck drivers to ensure that all shipments are delivered on time and without incident.
Freight broker agents are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, these professionals go through a training program their employer usually provides. The training program for freight broker agents covers transportation laws, customer service, and shipment tracking. People who want to start their freight brokerage also often invest in freight broker certification programs such as the freight broker training program from Georgia Southern University. Programs like this teach the logistics of starting and running your freight brokerage, as well as the necessary skills for brokers such as sales techniques and transportation regulations.
Median pay: $16.03 per hour
Virtual assistants take care of a variety of administrative tasks for their clients. This can include almost anything such as scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, operating websites, or managing social media accounts. Above all, virtual assistants must effectively communicate with their clients to understand their needs and requirements. They must also be highly organized and efficient to manage their time and complete all tasks within the agreed-upon deadline.
Most virtual assistants work as freelancers that offer their services on popular job platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. As such, there are no formal education requirements for this job. However, to quickly build a solid client portfolio and charge higher rates, many virtual assistants choose to invest in credentials that prove their proficiency as virtual assistants. Virtual Assistant Advanced Certificate from Delta University and the Certified Professional Virtual Assistant from ACGP are two reputable certifications worth considering, although not strictly required to work as a virtual assistant.
Median pay: $16.51 per hour
Delivery drivers transport goods and materials from one location to another. This can include everything from food deliveries to package deliveries. To ensure timely and efficient deliveries, delivery drivers must be familiar with the area in which they are working. They must also be able to follow instructions and maps to reach their destination quickly without getting lost.
First and foremost, a driving license is required to become a delivery driver. For drivers who work with trucks, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is also required. In addition, most employers prefer to hire delivery drivers who have experience driving in the city and are familiar with the local area.
Median pay: $16.78 per hour
Gunsmiths are responsible for the maintenance and repair of firearms. This can include cleaning the weapons to fixing or replacing broken parts. Gunsmiths must have a strong knowledge of firearms to troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise effectively. They must also be able to follow instructions and diagrams to complete repairs correctly.
While there are no educational requirements for this job, professional gunsmiths must hold a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL). Since these professionals work with firearms regularly, they also have to pass a background check to find local apprenticeships in this field. After completing a hands-on apprenticeship, you can opt to further your education with certification programs such as the Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree from Sonoran Desert Institute.
Registered behavior technician (RBT)
Median pay: $16.97 per hour
Registered behavior technicians work with individuals who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to help them develop the skills they need to function independently. This can include anything from teaching them how to communicate properly to helping them learn how to take care of their own physical and mental needs. This job also requires a certain set of personality traits such as patience, compassion, and understanding.
To become a registered behavior technician, you must first complete a certification program that is accredited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Once you have completed the certification program and passed the required exams, you must apply for state licensure to practice legally. While a degree is not required to become an RBT, passing the BACB is crucial and you should make that your focus if you want to pursue this career.
Median pay: $17.04 per hour
Medical billers are responsible for billing patients and insurance companies for the medical services that they have received. This can include everything from submitting claims to processing payments. Medical billers must have a strong understanding of medical coding standards to code the procedures and diagnoses correctly. They must also be able to effectively communicate with both patients and insurance companies to resolve any billing issues that may arise.
To work in this profession, medical billers are required to undergo specific training. There are many different ways to receive this training, such as online courses, community college programs, and certification programs. Once you have completed the necessary training, you must obtain a certification from the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA).
Social service assistant
Median pay: $17.29 per hour
Social service assistants work with individuals and families dealing with social, economic, and emotional problems. This can include anything from providing them with referrals to helping them fill out paperwork. Social service assistants must have excellent communication and organizational skills to help those in need effectively. They must also maintain a high level of confidentiality to protect the privacy of their clients.
To work as a social service assistant, you must have a high school diploma. However, since this job comes with a lot of responsibility, most employers expect you to have some related credentials to your name. The Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is perhaps the most popular certification for social service assistants. The credential mentioned above is usually enough for most employers in this field. After getting hired, you will also be provided on-the-job training that will further teach you some of the specifics of the job of a social service assistant.
Median pay: $17.46 per hour
Phlebotomists are responsible for collecting blood samples from patients. This can be done through various methods, such as venipuncture or finger prick. Phlebotomists need excellent manual dexterity to collect blood samples accurately. They must also be able to effectively communicate with patients to put them at ease during the procedure.
To work as a phlebotomist, you must complete a certification program from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Once you have completed the certification program and passed the required exams, you must apply for state licensure to practice legally.
Median pay: $17.55 per hour
Skincare specialists provide cosmetic treatments to the skin, such as facials, massages, and waxing. They must be able to identify different skin types to provide the best possible treatment. Skincare specialists must also have excellent customer service skills to build a good rapport with their clients.
After getting their high school diplomas, aspiring skincare specialists must complete a state-approved esthetician or cosmetology program. Once they have completed their program, they will then need to obtain a license from the state in which they wish to practice. If the skincare specialist wants to work at a salon instead of creating their practice, they are also usually provided with intense on-the-job training to learn the specific policies and procedures of the individual salon.
Median pay: $17.61 per hour
Jewelers are responsible for creating, repairing, and inspecting jewelry. They must have excellent manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and a high level of creativity to accurately create or repair the jewelry. Jewelers must communicate effectively with customers to understand their specific needs and desires.
There are no formal educational requirements for jewelers, as most of the skills needed for the job are acquired through on-the-job training or apprenticeships. However, some jewelers may choose to complete formal training programs at technical schools or a specialized jewelry education institution. Formal training programs allow these professionals to learn from the ground up, which can give them a significant advantage over those who are completely self-taught. After a jeweler has acquired the necessary practical training, they must also obtain a license to repair, create, and sell jewelry in a state they operate in.
Median pay: $18.00 per hour
Life coaches work with clients to help them achieve personal and professional goals. They help their clients identify their areas of improvement and work with them to create actionable plans to help them achieve their desired results. Life coaches also provide ongoing support and accountability to ensure that their clients are making legitimate progress towards their goals. Some life coaches also sell products such as courses, books, or other resources that they believe will be helpful to their clients.
This profession has no strict degree requirements, and most life coaches are self-employed. Depending on the industry you’re coaching, however, the people you’re coaching will have different expectations. For example, in the health and wellness coaching space, you’ll need to have some demonstrable education to back up your claims. This does not necessarily mean obtaining a medical degree but could be a wellness certification from an accredited institution.
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
Median pay: $18.00 per hour
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are first responders who care for patients experiencing a medical emergency. They assess the patient’s condition and provide treatments such as CPR or administering oxygen. EMTs also transport patients to the hospital for further medical care if necessary.
All EMTs must obtain a CPR certification and complete a state-approved EMT training program. After this, some EMTs may also choose to complete an advanced training program to become a paramedic. Paramedics can provide more advanced medical care, such as administering IV fluids or medications.
Median pay: $18.00 per hour
Piercers are responsible for performing body piercings. They must consult with clients to determine the placement of the piercing, select the appropriate type of jewelry, and sterilize both the piercing site and their equipment. Piercers must have excellent manual dexterity and a high level of precision to accurately pierce the skin without causing any unnecessary pain or damage. In addition, piercers must have great communication skills because they often have to deal with clients who are nervous or have anxiety about the procedure.
There are no formal educational requirements for piercers, but most complete a training program offered by a professional body piercing studio. These programs cover anatomy, safety and sterilization procedures, infection control, and jewelry selection. After completing a training program, piercers must obtain a license to practice their profession.
Median pay: $18.27 per hour
Psychiatric technicians provide care to patients who are dealing with mental illness or psychological distress. They work closely with patients to help them cope with their symptoms and manage their condition. Psychiatric technicians also observe patients and record changes in their behavior or mood. In addition, they may also administer medication to patients as prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist.
The exact requirements for becoming a psychiatric technician vary by state. However, most states require psychiatric technicians to have at least a high school diploma and complete an accredited training program such as the ones offered by the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians (AAPT). After completing the training program and getting a certification, some states also require psychiatric technicians to be licensed.
Median pay: $18.74 per hour
Influencer marketers are responsible for identifying and working with social media influencers. They work with influencers to promote a brand or product through social media channels. To do this effectively, influencer marketers must have a good understanding of the target audience and identify which influencers would be the most effective at reaching them. In addition, influencer marketers must be able to negotiate deals with influencers and track the performance of their campaigns.
A good communicator with a deep interest in marketing can take on the role of an influencer marketer. These professionals are often self-taught and have built their brand from scratch. However, be aware that to build a solid foundation for this career, it would be very helpful to invest in reliable online digital marketing resources.
Median pay: $19.00 per hour
Video editors work on filmed or animated content and are responsible for assembling raw footage, adding effects and transitions, and generally putting everything together to create a finished product. They often work with directors and producers to ensure that the final product meets all creative requirements.
Traditionally, video editors learned their craft at film schools. However, with the advent of the digital era, the tools and the learning materials used by video editors are accessible to anyone. This means that it is a career that anyone with the interest and motivation can pursue to learn and with the popularization of platforms such as YouTube, the need for video editors is on the rise.
Median pay: $19.00 per hour
A notary is an individual who is authorized by the state to witness the signing of documents and administer oaths. These professionals are also tasked with verifying the identity of the person signing the document. Notaries are also often used when the parties involved cannot meet in person, such as when one party is out of state or overseas. Notaries commonly work in banks, law firms, real estate offices, and similar establishments where official documents are regularly signed.
The requirements for becoming a notary vary by state. However, most states require that notaries be at least 18 years of age and have a clean criminal record. In addition, notaries must complete a state-approved training program and pass an exam demonstrating their knowledge of the role and its many responsibilities. While there are no federal requirements that demand notaries have a degree, breaking into the field without one may be challenging, so keep that in mind when pursuing this career.
Median pay: $19.48 per hour
Fitness trainers work with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. This may involve designing and leading workouts, providing motivation and support, monitoring progress, and offer advice on diet and nutrition. These professionals work with both individuals and larger groups of people. In some cases, fitness trainers may also be responsible for managing a fitness facility or team of trainers.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the requirements can vary depending on the employer. Many employers only hire candidates who have completed a personal training certification program from an accredited organization such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In many cases, a fitness trainer is also required to have a CPR/AED certification to help their clients in case of an emergency.
Median pay: $19.80 per hour
Dental assistants work alongside dentists and other dental professionals to provide patient care. Their duties may include taking x-rays, preparing patients for procedures, sterilizing equipment, and providing instructions to patients on how to care for their teeth. In some states, dental assistants may also be allowed to perform easier medical tasks such as placing fillings and removing sutures.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is responsible for evaluating the educational programs for dental assistance. To become a dental assistant, you must graduate from a program accredited by CODA and pass the relevant Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam.
Median pay: $19.85 per hour
Photographers use their artistic skills to capture images that tell a story or convey a message. These professionals may find work in a large variety of settings, including studios, weddings, corporate events, and news organizations. Photographers typically use cameras, but they may also use other imaging equipment such as drones and telescopes. In addition to taking pictures, photographers are also responsible for developing and editing their photos.
There are virtually no formal requirements for becoming a photographer. In theory, anyone with a camera, a smartphone, or any other imaging device can technically call themselves a photographer. However, most professional photographers have at least some formal photography training, whether from a trade school, community college, or an online resource. In addition, many photographers choose to specialize in a certain field, such as wedding photography, because that will make your photography portfolio much more appealing to potential clients in the same field.