You finish high school and you think that naturally, the next step is college or university, even though you might not even know what course to undertake, or worse, you sign up for one just for the sake of doing it.

In today’s world we’re constantly being told that if we want to succeed and have a good salary, then we need to study hard and get a degree, but getting a degree comes at a great cost. Therefore, we take on jobs like waitressing and work ridiculous hours so we can pay for our studies.

Sometimes, it works out, but other times, life has a different plan for us, and we end up working as a waiter or waitress for the rest of our lives. But, today, I am here to tell you that when it comes to finding a career – that’s right, a career, not job – that earns you a good amount of money, there a lot of options that do not necessarily require you to obtain a degree.

With just a high-school diploma, you can approach different career paths that will provide you with specialized training in the respective field of work. Let’s have a look at some of the examples below:

Pursuing A Career In Arbory 

Average Salary:

According to, based on 196 salaries provided by anonymous users, the average total compensation for an arborist at entry-level, i.e. having five years or less experience, is around $37,000. The total compensation includes tips, bonuses, and overtime.

Based on 150 salaries, an arborist with 5 to 10 years of experience can somewhere around $44,000 total compensation and based on 156 salaries, an experienced arborist having between 10 to 20 years of experience can earn an average total compensation of $47,000.

And lastly, based on 77 salaries, have employees with more than 20 years of experience who can earn up to $51,000 in total compensation.

Of course, we also have to keep in mind that the salary will also vary according to location. So, the average salary for an arborist in Canada might be quite different from what an arborist in the U.S. would earn. Moreover, the salary could also vary from state to state or province to province.

What The Job Consists Of: 

If you love spending time in nature and have a knack for climbing trees, then this job might just be for you. Being an arborist means that you have to take care and maintain trees. Tasks involve trimming and pruning trees for safety measures, such as ensuring that they do not interfere with public works like power lines, roadways, and sidewalks. You will also be required to operate equipment. But before you get excited and ready to quit your job, you have to consider both sides of the story.

While being an arborist is extremely rewarding and well-paying, nobody can deny that it is a very arduous job that requires physical and strenuous activity, climbing up sky-high trees, handling heavy ropes and it might also pose some dangers. You definitely have to stay in shape pretty much for your whole life. Then again, whilst this job might not be for everyone, it is certainly something to consider if you’re an outdoor person and are into intense physical activities such as rock-climbing.

Moreover, a lot of people leave their workplace because of lack of job satisfaction. Well, in this case, there is no doubt that embarking on this career is highly rewarding. Knowing that you’re making a difference on a global level, contributing to a healthier life, with less pollution, it’s difficult not to feel like you’re making a big difference. Plus, taking care of trees will always be important and in today’s day and age, so we will always need arborists!

What You Need: 

Whilst you can most definitely choose to get a diploma or degree in Arboriculture at college or university, you don’t necessarily need one in order to become an arborist. In fact, there are several options to choose from. You could find a training body that offers climbing courses, which usually last about eight weeks, or find a company that offers apprenticeship programs.  Then, after you gather years of experience, you can opt to open up your own business and decide what to focus on in more depth, for instance, you could focus on smaller trees.

Becoming A Commercial Pilot

Average Salary:  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a Commercial Pilot is $77,200 per year. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Commercial Pilots earn $39,430 and the highest-paid 10 percent earn more than $147,240 annually. Again, the average salary depends on the type of industry and location as well as the pilot’s experience.

What The Job Consists Of: 

The duties of commercial pilots are more or less the same as those of regular airline pilots. There are some differences, however. For instance, airline pilots work on a fixed schedule for airlines that transport passengers and cargo, whereas commercial pilots are involved in unscheduled flight activities, such as aerial application, charter flights, and aerial tours. Moreover, commercial pilots might have additional non-flight duties such as scheduling flights, making the necessary arrangements for aircraft maintenance etc.

What You Need:

When it comes to education, the requirements for commercial pilots are different from airline pilots. While airline pilots are required to have a bachelor’s degree, along with a commercial pilot license and ATP certificate from the FAA, commercial pilots are only required to have a commercial pilot’s license and a high school diploma. The next step would be to complete a flight training course with flight schools or independent FAA-certified flight instructors.

This is not to say that it is an easy job, which is not the case at all, but it is a good option especially since you can later get a bachelor’s degree and become an airline pilot. Airline pilots still have to start out as commercial pilots to gain experience, so this way, you would have acquired enough experience beforehand and be able yo transition to airline pilot very easily.

Furthermore, unlike airline pilots, commercial pilots cannot become captains since they do not possess a bachelor’s degree, so getting that bachelor’s degree can also help you rise in the ranks.

Working As A Casino Dealer

Average Salary: reports that the average salary for casino dealers is $37,258, the lowest being $17K and the highest $53K. The more experience you have, the bigger your paycheck, however there are other perks that come along with this job. For starters, employees are entitled to free lunch and various employee discounts, but even better, employees get to benefit from health insurance, pension plan, family medical leave and more.

What The Job Consists Of: 

A professional dealer or croupier must be adept in a variety of casino games, be a people’s person, have mathematical abilities and good observational skills. They need to know the rules of the games inside out and be able to detect cheating. Moreover, you could opt to work at a live casino instead of a land casino if you prefer. Live casino is a combination of land and online casino play where dealers basically deal cards in front of cameras and interact with online players virtually in real-time.

The best part about this job though is that you can rise in the ranks and earn more salary as you accumulate more years of experience. And if you decide you don’t want to make a career out of it, you could always do it part-time while you’re studying. In fact, a lot of university students find it is the ideal job to have while you’re reading for your bachelor’s or master’s degree because it has very flexible hours.

What You Need:

Good math skills and a high school diploma or a GED in most cases are all you need to apply for the job. Becoming a casino dealer will require you to complete a dealer course that takes around six weeks, and which is usually provided by the casino itself. In case the casino does not offer training in-house, they will provide training through a vocational school.

That’s pretty much all you need in terms of training, but of course, you will be expected to turn up at work well-dressed and looking sharp. Casinos place a lot of emphasis on dealers’ appearances since, after all, it is a client-facing job, whether it is in front of the cameras or in a land casino.

Bottom Line

The list of careers that you can pursue without the need for a degree goes on. The above-mentioned careers are just some examples to show you that, contrary to what many believe, there are different fields and areas of work that offer people good career opportunities,, not just those that require physical labour. Not to mention, that most of the time, applicants are given specialized training, and are allowed to learn under the guidance of a mentor. The world is your oyster, so next time you feel like you’re stuck, expand your search and think outside the box!