In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment hit rates not seen since the Great Depression. Luckily—finally—the economy has begun to recover. But for people without college degrees, more jobs were lost and the rebound has been slower. But the good news is there has been a rebound.
A year into the pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.2% for workers 25 and over without a high school diploma and a rate of 6.7% for those with a high school diploma or equivalency but no college, down from December 2020 rates of 9.8% and 7.8%, respectively.
And those rates will likely continue to drop because there are currently a lot of job openings. In fact, the job search engine Adzuna—which aggregates postings from other sites—found that as of early April 2021, nearly half—or 2.46 million—of the five million U.S. job postings they compiled on their site didn’t require a college degree. The postings ranged widely, representing a variety of roles in a number of different industries, including office managers, software developers, recruiters, truck drivers, and chefs.
Like any report, the methodology isn’t perfect. Adzuna only evaluated the job openings compiled on their own site at a given moment in time, which may not be reflective of the economy as a whole. And just because a title doesn’t traditionally require a college degree doesn’t mean that some individual companies don’t prefer candidates who have them. But the study still gives you a good list of jobs to check out if you’re job searching without a college degree.
17 In-Demand Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree
Here are some of the kinds of roles Adzuna’s report found the most openings for. We’ve included the average salary for each job according to the compensation resource PayScale (note that PayScale’s database is updated nightly; the numbers below reflect the latest information as of April 2021). And if you’re interested in applying for one of these in-demand jobs, you can click on each role to find current openings on The Muse!
Sales and Retail
- Events Manager (Average salary: $54,048)
- Photographer (Average salary: $48,472)
Operations and Logistics
- Delivery Driver (Average salary: $48,249)
- Truck Driver (Average salary for tractor-trailer truck drivers: $56,645)
- Warehouse Worker (Average salary: $34,957)
- Bartender (Average salary: $35,808, not including tips)
- Chef (Average salary for kitchen chefs: $40,372)
Wondering what jobs pay the most without a college degree? Check out these high-paying, no-degree-required jobs.