With more people choosing to go to University than ever before, the number of graduate scheme applications has increased, reducing the probability of success for each individual. With this in mind, not having a degree can sometimes feel like a deal-breaker when applying for work. However, this is far from the truth. There are a variety of professions that you can enter with no degree and degree attainment on its own no longer guarantees success.

The average salary in the UK is £27,000. We have collated a list of jobs with no degree requirement and that pay more than the national average. No matter why you choose not to go to university, the fact is that it isn’t the right choice for everyone. So, we have featured below a few jobs for you to consider which may help you on your way to achieving career success without higher education.

Recruitment Consultant

With more and more jobs appearing on the market every day, it’s important that there are individuals who have the ability to organise and interpret these positions to people who would best suit them. It is estimated that the recruitment industry is worth £30 billion and this is only likely to increase.

Sales skills are a must for this role, along with a good attitude when dealing with customers. You may be required to work with a whole range of roles, from sourcing educational professionals from overseas to finding tradespeople for a certain project. If you have extensive knowledge about a specific career niche, then you can specialise in that area of recruitment. Expect to start at £38,000, with commission usually on top.

Fire Fighter

no degreeEvery local community has a fire fighting service. The team has many key roles in addition to their life-saving responsibility that they are most renowned for. Firefighters also work with the community to teach them about fire prevention, which is an incredibly valuable role. You should be fit for this role and have the ability to take control of a team when needed. Staying calm in critical and dangerous situations is essential. You could earn anything between £28,000 and £55,000 depending on how far up the ladder you manage to climb.

Air Traffic Controller

No degree is required to be an Air Traffic Controller. However, you will need other training. National Air Traffic Services provide courses, and you can expect up to five months of training, plus up to four years of on the job training before you are fully qualified. An understanding of maths, in addition to good reflexes, are essential qualities to have in the role. This is a job that is vital to keeping our transport networks running smoothly. The importance of the job is reflected in the average salary, which can start from around £80,000.

Digital Marketing

The internet age has brought with it an abundance of jobs, including Search Engine Optimisation roles and Pay Per Click work. You could also work in the field of email marketing, that targets people based on their preferences to encourage them to purchase from specific stores or visit those websites. Experience in this field is crucial to progress up the ladder, but you can expect to earn more than £30,000 if you have a sharp and agile mind.


If you think that you can’t earn money from your hobby and passion for make-up, then think again. Careers in the beauty No degreeindustry are becoming more prevalent than ever, propelled by the availability of stronger advertising via a variety of social media channels. Build up a portfolio and undergo relevant training either at a college or on the job at your local salon. It enables you to use your drive and love of beauty to create a career that you will excel in. You could earn more than £30,000 by opening your own salon or setting up a freelance business.

Fashion Designer

The world of fashion is one where experience is definitely worth more than any qualifications, as your abilities can be seen in the work that you produce. Take the time to hone your talents and produce samples. It’s also a good idea to try and work alongside industry professionals if you get the chance. This will help you to learn about the market. It may take a while to find your break in the industry, but no degree is not a barrier to a huge earning potential.


In a world of non-stop media, there are more opportunities for journalists than ever before – not only in newspapers but also on the television and radio. You will need an NCTJ approved qualification. However, if you have good reporting skills, along with a key knowledge of the area you’d like to write about, then you’re already halfway there. Add to that a drive to succeed, a proactive nature and a hunger for a story, and you may well be on your way to becoming a top journalist. Expect to earn at least £38,000.

Police Officer

Being a Police Officer means that you will be one of the most valued and respected people in your local community. With the role comes a huge responsibility to help people and keep the peace. If you enjoy listening to people, are good at judging situations and acting upon instinct quickly and calmly, then a career in the police force might be perfect for you. Working up the ranks could allow you to earn more than £41,000.

Public Relations

Working in the industry of Public Relations demands that you use your initiative and authority to find opportunities which will aid your campaigns and benefit your clients. Being a team player is a must. Also, the knowledge of the various methods to leverage your projects so that they gain success. The salary that you can expect will depend on your ability, skills, and experience. You may be able to find roles that will pay more than £100,000 for your efforts.


Hairdressers are in high demand. They attain the ability to make others look and feel good. There is an opportunity to develop skills in the industry to make you an even more desirable candidate. A senior stylist could earn more than £30,000. If you choose to open your own salon or find work in the media industry, such as on TV and film sets, your earning potential is higher. You may need to build up your earnings slowly, but the potential is definitely there.

Can’t make your mind up?

Don’t worry if you’re still not sure about the career that you would like to pursue. There is something to suit everybody, even if you may not have found it in the list above. Instead, consider the following tips, which will help you in your search:

  • What interests you? What skills do you have? No matter what hobbies you enjoy, you will always be developing skills that are transferrable to the workplace.
  • When you have identified your key skills, do your research. See the kinds of jobs that people with your skills and no degree are able to do. Also, see how much you might be able to earn, and the training that you would need to undertake, to actually get the job.
  • Remember, that no matter which path you go down, it’s never too late to change your mind and take an entirely different path. No decision is final. It may take time to finally find the job that is perfect for you as an individual.

Get an idea of what’s available for people with your interests and skills.  A careers test could be a good option.

The National Careers Service is a great website to start your research. Here, you can get CV and interview advice and look at lots of different career profiles with no degree requirement.

No degree does not limit your career options. There are over 500,000 job roles in the world of work (only 400 in 1700)! Once you’ve found the right career, it could change your life – so don’t rush your decision. Take your time to consider your options. You will find that the outcome of your deliberations will bring you great rewards in the future.

Thanks to our friend Holly Barry for this post @HJBarry.