23 Jobs That Pay $30 an Hour Without a Degree

You don't need a college diploma to earn a respectable wage. These jobs pay at least $30 per hour without requiring you to go to college.

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Key takeaways
  • Earning $30 per hour places you right around the U.S. national average in terms of income.
  • Attending college is often beneficial to those seeking to enter these jobs. But it’s not the only way and the cost-to-benefit ratio of a college degree isn’t always favorable.
  • Jobs on this list come from all walks of life, from creative professions to software engineering.
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Jobs that pay $30 per hour fall right into the United States national average of $31.75 per hour. And, if you consider that the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, a salary of $30 per hour already sounds very impressive: you’d be earning more than four times the minimum wage.

Also, it’s worth noting that many of the jobs on this list hold opportunities for moving up the career ladder. With some experience and a few extra qualifications, it’s not uncommon for positions that start at $30 per hour to lead to salaries of $50 or more per hour.

Whether or not you went to college is irrelevant if you plan your career well and focus on in-demand positions that don’t require a degree. The key is identifying the jobs that are flexible in educational requirements, and that fit your skillset, interests, and goals. To help you get started, I put together this list of jobs that pay $30 per hour without a degree.

Here are jobs that will pay you $30 an hour without a degree:


Median pay: $30.00 per hour

Chaplains are professionals who are responsible for providing spiritual guidance and support to people who are going through a difficult time. Chaplains are often called the “spiritual first responders” because they are trained to provide emotional and spiritual support during crises. These professionals work in various settings, including hospitals, prisons, the military, and schools.

While a degree is required to get certified by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification (BCCI), there are still open job availabilities for people with only a high school diploma. However, in the end, you’ll need some education, so consider training programs like the one offered by the International Fellowship of Chaplains as a substitute for a degree. These types of programs will teach aspiring chaplains everything that they need to know about doing spiritual work with people in crisis.

E-commerce coordinator

Median pay: $30.00 per hour

E-commerce coordinators manage all aspects of e-commerce stores. This may include updating product listings, running sales and marketing campaigns, optimizing conversion rates, setting up e-commerce analytics, and more. E-commerce coordinators must also have a solid understanding of using various e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce.

While most e-commerce coordinators have a bachelor’s degree, employers tend to value skills over degrees and if you can prove that you have the skills needed to manage an e-commerce store, you will be able to get hired without a problem. The best way to do this is by taking online courses and getting certified in e-commerce platforms and marketing tools. For instance, Shopify offers online courses to teach people how to run a successful online store.

News anchor

Median pay: $30.00 per hour

News anchors are the public face of their news stations. They are responsible for reading the news during broadcasts, conducting interviews, and often reporting live from the scene of breaking news stories. Sometimes, news anchors are tasked with creating a newscast and choosing which stories will be featured.

News anchors need to have a strong understanding of current events and be able to think on their feet. In addition, they must be comfortable speaking in front of a camera and have excellent communication skills. To carve a career as a news anchor without a degree, the best pathway would be to find an internship at a media corporation and work your way up. It is common for news anchors to start as interns and assistants and get promoted to on-air roles over time.

Financial analyst

Median pay: $30.00 per hour

Financial analysts provide insights and recommendations to their clients or employers about financial decisions. They use their skills in mathematics, statistics, and financial modeling to evaluate data and make recommendations about investments, tax laws, and other financial decisions.

As for the requirements, financial analysts seeking high-paying positions usually aim for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Without having a bachelor’s degree, however, you will need a considerable amount of prior working experience to be eligible to sit for the exam. To get experience, practice with financial modeling programs first to get your feet wet. With a combination of industry-acknowledged finance courses and practical modeling experience, you should be able to start opening doors to internships. From there, it is a matter of excelling in your role to win a full-time job offer.

Political campaign manager

Median pay: $30.00 per hour

Political campaign managers oversee all aspects of a political campaign, from developing a strategy to fundraising to cultivating support from voters. In many cases, they also play a key role in crafting the candidate’s message and image.

There are no official educational requirements for becoming a political campaign manager. Many political campaign managers start as volunteers and eventually work up to paid positions. However, if you want to fast-track your career in this field, then I suggest looking into credentials offered by the American Association of Political Consultants. In some cases, political parties also offer training programs for their campaign staff – for example, National Democratic Training Committee offers both online and in-person training regularly.

General contractor

Median pay: $30.09 per hour

General contractors oversee the construction of buildings and homes. They work with a team of subcontractors to ensure that all aspects of the project are on schedule and within budget. In addition, they also have to obtain the necessary permits and licenses required for completing the project.

Different states have different requirements for general contractors. In most cases, these professionals need to have a state license and be officially registered. Regarding career paths, general contractors usually start as construction laborers and eventually work their way up the ladder. Entry-level experience in this field can be considered crucial because it gives a general contractor a clear understanding of the nuts and bolts of the entire construction process.


Median pay: $30.48 per hour

Editors are responsible for reviewing and editing content for publication. This can include anything from online content and books to magazines and newspapers. To do this job well, professional editors must have an excellent command of grammar, style, and syntax. In addition, they must be able to work within strict deadlines and work with multiple projects simultaneously.

To become an editor, focus on honing your writing, editing, and fact-checking skills. While a degree in English, journalism or communications would be helpful, it is unnecessary. Especially if you aim to get a job as an editor for online content. Employers for remote editors typically focus more on trustworthiness, work ethic, and a portfolio of previous work rather than academic credentials. That said, a credential from a reliable institution can never hurt. Thus, you may also consider investing in programs like the editing certificate from The University of Chicago.

Loan officer

Median pay: $30.75 per hour

Loan officers handle the process of approving or denying loan applications for individuals and businesses. They review the applicant’s financial information, such as credit reports and bank statements, to assess whether or not they are a good fit for the loan. In addition, loan officers guide applicants on how they can improve their chances of getting approved for a loan.

While this job has no educational requirements besides a high school diploma, most states require an MLO license for loan officers. The requirements for the licenses vary from state to state. But, getting MLO licensed always involves passing an exam and completing a specific amount of educational hours from NMLS-approved course providers.

Related: Guide to Becoming a Loan Officer Without a Degree

Park ranger

Median pay: $30.78 per hour

Park rangers are responsible for the safety and upkeep of state and national parks. Their duties include leading tours and giving educational programs to maintain the trails, and cleaning up the trash. In addition, park rangers also have to deal with emergencies, such as rescuing lost hikers, fighting fires, or dealing with damages caused by flooding.

If you want to become a park ranger without a degree, your best bet would be to find volunteering or internship opportunities with the U.S. National Park Service. Once you have secured a position, make the most out of it by learning as much as you can about the day-to-day duties of a park ranger. When you show yourself in a good light and get at least a year of in-field experience, you will have a good shot at being hired as a full-time park ranger even if you didn’t go to college.


Median pay: $31.00 per hour

Job duties: Screenwriters are responsible for writing the scripts for movies, TV shows, and video games. This involves coming up with the story, developing the characters, and writing the dialogue. In addition, screenwriters often work closely with directors, producers, and actors to ensure that the script is being interpreted correctly and brought to life in the best way possible.

Regarding education, many successful screenwriters do not have a formal degree. As long as you have the creativity, the passion, and the drive to write a great script, you have what it takes to succeed in this field. However, some online screenwriting programs, such as the one offered by UCLA, can give you a leg up by teaching you the ins and outs of screenwriting and even connect you with some industry professionals.


Median pay: $31.31 per hour

Actors are responsible for performing in plays, movies, TV shows, and other productions. The acting process involves memorizing lines, studying the character’s motivation, and working with the director to bring the character to life.

There are no official educational requirements for becoming an actor. However, it is rare for someone to enter this field without professional training. While some budding actors attend college programs, others take classes at acting studios or participate in community theater. There are an infinite number of ways to gain acting experience, so it is important to find the path that works best for you.


Median pay: $31.54 per hour

Surveyors are responsible for measuring and mapping the land of the client. This involves setting up the surveying equipment, taking measurements, and recording the data. In addition, surveyors often have to deal with property owners, developers, and other interested parties.

The job of a surveyor is becoming increasingly technical. Thus, surveyors are expected to have excellent math skills and be proficient in using GPS and other surveying equipment. Further, most states require surveyors to be licensed by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Surveyors also must complete an apprenticeship and serve as assistants to another licensed surveyor before being able to take the licensure exam.


Median pay: $31.79 per hour

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators help settle disputes between parties. This can involve divorce cases and employment disagreements, contract negotiations, and property damage claims. In some cases, arbitrators also work in business takeovers and merging processes.

Although arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators do not need a formal degree, they must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. In addition, many arbitrators hold degrees in law since they need to understand complex legal jargon and procedures. If you want to enter this field without a degree, the most effective starting path would be to enroll in training programs offered by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. These programs will give you a fundamental understanding of dispute resolution and the various techniques used to mediate conflicts.

Game developer

Median pay: $32.00 per hour

Game developers are responsible for the creation of video games. This process involves everything from coming up with the initial concept and design to programming the game and overseeing its development. In addition, game developers also sometimes take on the role of the game tester and are involved in the testing process of the game. This is to ensure that the game is free of bugs and is enjoyable to play.

While a degree in computer science or a similar field can be helpful, it is not a strict requirement in most cases. Many game developers are self-taught, especially in the indie game development community, and what’s most important is having a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and understanding of languages such as C++, C#, and JavaScript.

Related: Guide to Becoming a Game Developer Without a Degree

Options trader

Median pay: $32.00 per hour

Options traders buy and sell options contracts: agreements that give the holder the right to buy or sell an asset at a later date at a set price. Call options give the holder the right to buy an asset, while put options give the holder the right to sell an asset. To do this successfully, options traders must have a deep understanding of financial markets and be able to assess risks and make decisions under pressure quickly.

While you don’t need a degree to be an options trader, most firms require you to have trading experience and/or in-depth knowledge of the financial markets. You’re unlikely to land a full-time job as an options trader without a college degree or experience, so consider applying for internships within the trading department of a financial institution to get your career going.


Median pay: $32.00 per hour

Nutritionists help people make healthy dietary choices. They advise on portions size, the best foods to eat for a balanced diet, and how to overcome obstacles such as cravings. Nutritionists also often have to work with specific dietary needs, such as those with allergies or diabetes.

While anyone can work as a nutritionist, regardless of whether they have graduated from college, some certifications prohibit degreeless candidates from taking exams. Namely, the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) requires you to have a bachelor’s degree to sit for their exam. But, without a degree, you do have alternatives available to you. Consider licenses such as the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and the sports nutritionist license from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).


Median pay: $32.27 per hour

Professional writers create written content that is both interesting and accurate. This can include anything from news articles and blog posts to traditional books and marketing materials. To do this successfully, writers must have great research skills and the ability to write engagingly and compellingly. Plus, an excellent command of the working language is a must.

The requirements for becoming a writer come down to your specialization. For example, working as a novelist will have very few eligibility criteria, while working as an academic writer will require you to have a degree in the field you wish to write about. That being said, most professional writing can be learned on the job, so this is one of the best career paths to pursue as someone without a college degree.

Police officer

Median pay: $32.35 per hour

Police officers are responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public order, and protecting the public. They do this by patrolling their assigned areas, responding to 911 calls, conducting traffic stops, and making arrests when needed.

The work of a police offer requires great physical shape, stress tolerance, and quick decision-making skills. To become a police officer in the United States, you must also be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, and meet the minimum training requirements determined by your state. For example, in California, the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requires entry-level police officers to have a minimum of 888 hours of training.

Systems administrator

Median pay: $33.00 per hour

A system administrator (sysadmin) is responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems in a given organization. This includes servers, storage systems, networks, security systems, and software applications.

Employers do not always require a degree in computer science from sysadmins, and these days it is possible to get hired as a sysadmin by emphasizing your practical skills and certifications instead of a traditional degree. Red Hat Certified System Administrator, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, and the CompTIA Server+ certifications are some of the examples of certifications that typical employers of systems administrators value. But, an online certificate will only go so far in helping you. Ultimately, you need to get practical experience to be successful in this profession.

Media buyer

Median pay: $33.00 per hour

A media buyer is responsible for planning and executing advertising campaigns for their employer. This involves negotiating rates with media outlets, managing budgets, and dealing with clients.

There are no formal educational requirements for becoming a media buyer. However, a strong understanding of advertising principles, as well as sales and negotiation skills are a must. Most employers in this field will also look for prior experience in advertising. To start a career as a media buyer, focus on learning the fundamentals of marketing and advertising first. There is a wealth of high-quality content on marketing available online, so make use of this opportunity and learn as much as possible. Find certifications, experiment with ad buying, and once you have some experience, start applying for jobs and/or internships in advertising agencies.

Heavy equipment operator

Median pay: $33.00 per hour

Heavy equipment operators are responsible for operating and maintaining various heavy machinery. This heavy machinery can include excavators, bulldozers, and cranes, among other heavy-duty vehicles. Heavy equipment operators typically work in construction and demolition, but they can also work in mining, forestry, and landfills. The job outlook for heavy equipment operators is excellent, with 12% growth being projected.

Heavy equipment operators must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). Obtaining a CDL is more difficult than a typical driver’s license and the exams consist of both a written and driving test. The written test covers the road rules specific to commercial vehicles, while the driving test assesses your ability to operate the vehicle safely. Once you obtain your CDL, you will need on-the-job training to operate the specific heavy machinery you will be using.

Project manager

Median pay: $33.00 per hour

Project managers are professionals hired to oversee specific organizational projects. The job duties of a project manager typically include developing project plans, coordinating with different teams working on the project, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. Further, project managers are sometimes responsible for managing the human resources allocated to a project.

The educational requirements for a project manager can vary depending on the specific industry they work in. However, a college degree is less important than relevant experience and certifications. According to our research, the majority of open project manager positions in the world do not require a degree, and obtaining both CAPM and PMP certification from the Project Management Institute is possible without having a bachelor’s degree.

Related: Guide to Becoming a Project Manager Without a Degree

Commercial diver

Median pay: $34.53 per hour

Commercial divers can find work in various fields. The only common denominator is that their job will involve underwater work. Divers may be responsible for repairing pipelines, conducting inspections, or installing equipment. In addition, some commercial divers are hired to do people-related tasks in emergencies – such as search and rescue missions involving underwater accidents.

The minimum requirement for becoming a commercial diver is generally a high school diploma. However, all professionals in this field are expected to complete a training program at a commercial diving school. These programs teach aspiring commercial divers anything from safety procedures to underwater welding. It is also worth noting that scuba diving training does not prepare you for a career as a commercial diver – these two fields are completely different.

Sander Tamm

Sander Tamm

Founder @ Degreeless. I write about online education, self-teaching, and the job market. Last year, my articles were read by over 1 million people and my writing has been featured by Neil Patel, AOL, HackerNoon, The Baltimore Sun, Independent Australia among others.