The Top 25 Paying Jobs Without Degrees

3 May 2023
Senior Care Worker taking care of an elderly with a smile on her face

Looking to earn a high salary but don’t have a university education? Think that might be an impossible dream? Think again.

Here are 25 jobs that pay top dollar and don’t require a degree.

Real estate agent

Pay – the average real estate agent salary is $67,500 per annum. This salary varies across states and will increase with the commission made on sales.

Real estate agents work on behalf of clients to sell their property. From marketing and home presentation to negotiating and contract signing, agents reap what they sow. The more they sell, the more they earn.

Qualifications – completion of a Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice to obtain a real estate licence or registration.

Fitness Trainer

Pay – the average fitness trainer salary is $70,707 per annum rising to as much as $97,500 with experience.

Wellness is a booming industry with increasing numbers of people jumping on the fitness bandwagon. The race to be healthy shows no sign of slowing, so fitness trainers are in demand.

Qualifications – completion of a Certification III and Certificate IV in Fitness.


Pay – the average carpenter salary is $75,096 per annum.

Want to combine technical skills with creativity? Carpentry might be for you. Whether it’s installing a fence, designing bespoke furniture or constructing wooden framework, carpentry is a solid career with a salary to match.

Qualifications - completion of an apprenticeship to qualify for work in a variety of sectors or as a business owner.

Train driver

Pay – the average train driver salary is $76,419 per annum. However, overtime and shift allowances, can increase this up to $200,000.

Whether it’s for work or pleasure, many people rely on trains to travel. Providing an all-year-round service means train drivers are always on the go and rarely out of work.

Qualifications – completion of a Certificate IV in Train Driving which may be completed as part of a traineeship with the major rail operator in your state.


Pay – the average real estate agent salary is $77,630 annum.

From fixing leaky taps and blocked drains to installing water tanks and domestic appliances, a plumber’s pipeline of work is always flowing. Whether residential, industrial or commercial, a qualified plumber will have a job for life.

Qualifications - completion of an apprenticeship to qualify for work in a variety of sectors or as a business owner.

Office Manager

Pay – the average office manager salary is $85,000 per annum.

If you pride yourself on organisation, leadership and communication, office management might be for you. Being responsible for the smooth running of the office means no two days are ever the same.

Qualifications – completion of Certificate III in Business Administration or Certification IV in Business Administration. Further study may also include diplomas in leadership and management or operations.


Pay – the average electrician’s salary is $86,731 per annum.

We use electricity daily and don’t even think about it –making our morning coffee, drying our hair or relaxing in front of the TV. So, when things stop working, we need them fixed fast. Who should you call? An electrician.

Qualifications – completion of an apprenticeship to qualify for work in a variety of sectors or as a business owner.

Power plant operators

Pay – the average salary of a plant operator is $87,750 per annum. However, this can increase up to and beyond $107,250 depending on experience and shift allowances.

Oil rigs, power plants and chemical factories all require operators to keep things powering on. Machinery maintenance, production processes and chemical testing. It’s all in a day’s work.

Qualifications - completion of a relevant Certificate III in plant operations with on-the-job training and several years’ experience.

Social Media Manager

Pay – the average salary for a social media manager is $90,000 per annum.

Consider yourself a whizz at social media? Love creative licence? Social media management could be for you. Creating content that engages audiences, generates brand awareness and increases sales and followings. What’s not to like?

Qualifications – completion of a Diploma of Social Media Marketing /Diploma of Marketing and Communication or a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication.


Pay – the average salary for a builder is $95,000 per annum.

Builders quite literally love getting their hands dirty and it’s not hard to see why. Being in such high demand means they have a choice of work options, including self-employment, and receive pay rate that can rise as quickly as their projects.

Qualifications- completion of a traineeship and a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building).

Software developers

Pay – the average software developer salary is $93,993 per annum.

Software developers are the clever creators behind so many things that we use daily. Phone apps, business software, web apps and games. Software developers can specialise in analytics, engineering or testing.

Qualifications – practical experience and a VET level or programming languages certification is a good stepping stone.

Senior Care Worker

Pay – the average salary for a senior care worker is $99,500 per annum.

Australia’s ageing population is on the rise, with increasing demand for senior care workers to oversee operations in care facilities and hospitals and manage other staff.

Qualifications – completion of a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) as well as several years work experience and/or traineeship.

Digital marketing manager

Pay – the average digital marketing manager salary is $104,748 per annum

Digital marketing is a must-have for all businesses wanting to widen their reach and increase their sales. A good digital marketing manager can take a business from go to woah!

Qualifications – completion of a Diploma of Digital Marketing and on the job training and experience.

Specialist accommodation and hospitality managers

Pay – the average hospitality manager salary is $79,136 per annum.

Traditionally, the hospitality industry is associated with poor pay and minimal progression. But, no more. From b&bs, to hotels, to receptions, to retirement villages, hospitality managers are climbing the ladder and earning 5 star salaries.

Qualifications – completion of a Diploma of Hospitality Management combined with several years of experience and further diploma study.


Pay – the average pilot salary is $104,748 per annum.

Without a degree, becoming a pilot might seem like a sky high dream. But think again. While serious training and skills are required to take off in this career, a degree is not.

Qualifications – pilots are required to undergo rigorous training and obtain a licence through the Civil Safety Authority.

ICT business and systems analysts

Pay – the average ICT business and systems analyst salary is $107,963 per annum.

Every business needs an IT expert and with the right skills it could be you. Designing, setting up and maintaining systems you will be responsible for helping organisations run efficiently.

Qualifications – completion of a certificate or diploma qualification in IT with work experience and on the job training.

ICT sales professionals marketing managers

Pay – the average marketing manager’s salary is $110,000 per annum.

A marketing manager is integral to a business and the way that they’re represented or promoted. A marketing manager role can include advertising, PR, communications and digital media duties.

Qualifications – completion of a Certificate IV in marketing or a Diploma level marketing qualification.

ICT sales professionals

Pay – the average salary of an ICT professional is $108,724 per annum.

Account management, business management and sales representation. ICT sales professionals handle IT projects and relationships to help businesses grow.

Qualifications – completion of business administration, sales or management courses and several years’ experience.

Mining roles

Pay – the average mining salary ranges from around $110,000-$300,000 per annum depending on the role and its seniority and responsibility.

Truck operators, underground miners, service crew and managers. The mining industry has multiple career opportunities starting from the ground up. The best bit? Degrees aren’t necessary to enter the industry.

Qualifications – on the job training is provided for entry level roles and career progression within the industry can stem from experience.

Air traffic controller

Pay – the average air traffic controller salary is $112,863.

It’s no surprise that a job with such big responsibility has a salary package to match. Managing air traffic is no easy task. The daily comings and goings of aircraft are, quite literally, in your hands.

Qualifications – completion of rigorous ability and skills testing and intense on-the-job training.

Information security analysts

Pay – the average IT security analyst salary is $120,000.

Keen to protect organisations against digital attacks? Have a desire to help them set up appropriate IT security and backups? Read on. IT and security systems are constantly evolving so a degree isn’t necessary.

Qualifications – a relevant Certificate IV or Diploma in IT can help you gain initial entry level roles and further work experience.

Project Managers

Pay – the average project manager salary is $125,000 per annum.

Pride yourself on your organisational skills? Love managing tasks, timelines and people? Get a kick out of meeting a deadline? Think about project management as a career.

Qualifications – Completion of a Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, a Diploma of Project Management or an industry-recognised certification such as the project management professional certification.

ICT Manager

Pay – the average salary for an ICT manager is $129,500 per annum.

Information and communications technology managers are integral to the smooth running of a business. They’re behind the scenes ensuring the show goes on.

Qualifications – completion of a Diploma of Information Technology and practical experience is valued by employers in the ever changing world of IT.

Construction managers

Pay – the average construction manager’s salary is $130,000per annum.

Construction managers are responsible for overseeing building projects. From the first brick laid on a house to the final lock up of an industrial site, construction managers continue to be in demand.

Qualificationscompletion of a Diploma of Project Management (Construction) or a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Site Management) plus on the job training and experience.

Human resource managers

Pay – the average human resource manager salary is $120,220 per annum.

Human resource managers are the people who look after the people. They juggle everything from workplace relations, recruitment, professional development, dispute management and more.

Qualifications – completion of a Diploma of Human Resources Management and several years’ experience.

Your earning capacity and career progression is not limited because you don’t have a degree. In fact, a good attitude and commitment is something all employers will top dollar pay for.