9 jobs that pay over $50,000 a year you can get without a bachelor's degree

Web developers and occupational therapy assistants are two jobs you can get without a bachelor’s degree that pay over $50,000 a year.


The U.S. unemployment rate continues to fall: In August, it was 8.4%, down from its April high of 14.7% at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. And millions of people are still seeking jobs.

If you're in search of a new line of work but aren't sure you have the credentials to make a career pivot, you could consider professions that don't require years of schooling. Here are nine jobs that pay $50,000 a year or more and don't require a bachelor's degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Insurance sales agent

Insurance agents sell various types of insurance coverage, including auto, life, and home policies. Almost 20% of agents are self-employed, according to U.S. News, and commission is a key source of income.

Median salary: $50,940 per year


Paralegals help lawyers by gathering facts and evidence for cases, conducting research on laws and regulations, organizing materials, and writing summary reports to prepare for trials. While these positions typically don't require a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree is necessary.

Median salary: $51,740 per year

Wind turbine technician

Wind turbine technicians inspect and maintain wind turbines. As many as 3,000 wind turbines are built in the U.S. every year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Most wind turbine technicians complete certificates in wind energy technology at technical school or community college.

Median salary: $52,910 per year

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Electricians work in private homes and businesses installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical power, lighting, and control systems. They inspect circuit breakers, replace wiring, and identify electrical problems. States typically require electricians to be licensed.

Median salary: $56,180 per year

Fire inspector

Fire inspectors go through buildings to ensure they comply with fire codes and to detect fire hazards. They test alarms and sprinklers, review building and evacuation plans, and conduct safety education programs.

Median salary: $60,230 per year

Executive assistant

Executive assistants provide support for bosses in a wide range of fields, including entertainment, real estate, and tech. They are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks like scheduling travel, doing research, and taking notes at meetings.

Median salary: $60,890 per year

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Occupational therapy assistant

Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists. They help patients with activities such as stretching or activities for coordination and socialization, teach patients how to use equipment to ease the burden of daily life, and keep tabs on patients' progress. Occupational therapy assistants do need an associate's degree.

Median salary: $61,510 per year

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representative

These sales representatives sell goods like medicine, office supplies, or beverages to wholesalers, manufacturers, and businesses, rather than directly to consumers. They also often handle administrative duties related to the job. Although many sales representatives only need a high school diploma, if the products they're selling are scientific or technical, they may need a bachelor's degree.

Median salary: $63,000 per year

Web developer

Web developers work with clients to build their websites. They write code and manage a site's technical aspects, help determine the website's layout and look (often with the help of a graphic designer) and monitor its traffic. Generally, web developers need knowledge of programming and some graphic design, and they may also need an associate's degree.

Median salary: $73,760 per year

Apply for these jobs on sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, or Monster. If you're concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus on the job, ask your prospective employer what kinds of precautions they're taking to lower workers' risks.

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