10 Highest Paying Jobs in the UK Without Degree (2024)

Victor O.Clev

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You have probably been wondering whether you can choose to work in the UK without having a degree. The big answer is yes; there are high-paying jobs in the UK without a degree.

But you have to choose a job that you will be passionate about and one that gets you out of bed on a Monday morning.


However, let’s not beat around. We would all like a job that pays well so we can support our hobbies, lifestyle, and personal lives without worrying about money. But does that require earning a university degree first?

Well, you don’t always have to go to university to land a lucrative job. With more different options available at this age than ever before, you might be more interested in hearing about the highest-paying jobs in the UK without a degree.


Average Salary for Jobs in the UK

A person working in the United Kingdom typically earns around 71,000 GBP per year. Salaries range from 18,000 GBP (the lowest average) to 317,000 GBP (the highest average); the actual maximum salary is higher.

This is the average yearly salary, including housing, transportation, and other benefits. Salaries vary drastically between different careers.

The median salary is 68,100 GBP per year, which means that half (50%) of the population is earning less than 68,100 GBP while the other half is earning more than 68,100 GBP.

The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph, with the group earning more than the median salary.


Highest Paying Jobs in the UK without Degree

Below are the top-paying jobs in the UK without degrees:

  • Air traffic controller
  • Digital Marketing
  • SEO expert
  • White-hat hacker
  • Firefighter
  • Offshore energy jobs
  • Game developer
  • Translator
  • Police constable
  • Become an entrepreneur

1) Air traffic controller

Air traffic control is a serious job with a lot of pressure. This can make it a job for you or absolutely not.

It requires you to be alert and communicate with pilots to arrange landings and departures, as well as give permission for planes to change altitude. The overall aim is to keep everyone safe and avoid aviation crashes.

If you can handle the pressure and have the right personality, this is a job that doesn’t require a university degree. However, you will need to complete three years of training.


You’ll earn £17,000 annually during the training period, but you can expect this to shoot up to roughly £40,000 once you complete training. Senior controllers can expect to earn £100,000.

2) Digital Marketing

Lots of marketing professionals do have a degree, but there are also thousands working within a digital marketing company who do not.

They either learned on the job, came from other related disciplines, or acquired the right skills through digital marketing courses online. One of the best things about getting into digital marketing is that your days come with completely different tasks.

One day you may be working on a Facebook marketing campaign for a cat café in London, and the next you could be creating visuals for a fashion brand’s website. People working these fun and exciting jobs will earn between £25,000 and £45,000 per year on average.


This is definitely qualified to be among the highest-paying jobs in the UK without a degree, don’t you think?

3) SEO expert

SEO is probably something you’ve never heard of unless you’re involved in it. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and revolves around getting businesses’ websites onto the first page of Google to find more customers.

This can be done in many ways, and one of the most common is researching what everyone is typing into Google and then applying those words to the content of websites.

They also help with the technical aspects of a website. It can be a very interesting and rewarding job to help a business reach the top and succeed, and you will not need a university degree to do it.


You will, however, need to sign up for SEO courses and do your own research into the latest tricks and tips. You’ll then be able to get a job with an SEO or marketing agency, paying anything from £25,000 to £50,000 annually.

Be ready to earn around £20,000 per year when you first start out, but remember that freelancers have the potential to earn a very high amount when they have experience.

4) A white-hat hacker

In the old cowboy films, the good guys would wear white hats and the bad guys would wear black hats. That image has now been used to describe different types of cyberhackers.

The black-hat hacker will try to steal data and commit crimes by breaching websites, whereas the white-hat hacker will also try to breach website cybersecurity, but they do this to expose flaws and then improve these issues rather than steal.


Some of the best white-hat hackers work for global companies that need to keep their online presence and their customer’s data secure. Many of their skills have been self-taught from a passion for computer science, and some do have computer-related degrees.

Yet, many of them have gotten into the industry through online cybersecurity courses.

A respected ethical hacker can earn just short of £30,000 from the outset but can expect to earn about £50,000 with more experience. Some work freelance and charge per day, starting at around £400 in most cases.

Imagine enjoying coding while doing one of the highest-paying jobs in the UK without a degree. Isn’t that true fun?


5) Firefighter

Becoming a firefighter in the UK is no easy task, which is why those that make it earn between £30,000 and £50,000+ each year, depending on their rank.

Expect to earn around £23,000 as a trainee firefighter, however. The selection process includes a range of aptitude tests and lots of physical assessments. This could be the perfect job for you if you are into fitness and want to help people.

6) Offshore Energy Jobs

Offshore jobs based at sea are well-known to pay a lot of money because the worker has to give up time with their families and home comforts. But this makes it perfect for younger people without such commitments.

The offshore renewable energy industry is booming in line with the UK Government’s zero emissions target, and it has already proven to help people get great jobs.


The current UK energy project is to create more than 5,000 jobs off the east coast over the next 20 years. You can learn more about how energy can help secure a sustainable future in our sustainable energy transition course.

7) Game developer

If you like playing games or browsing apps, have you ever thought about the people who make them? They probably have a flashy university degree that enables them to do that, right? Well, not exactly.

There are an array of online courses that can teach you how to become a game or app developer.

These game developer courses are often much cheaper than a university degree, quicker to complete, and helpful to get you straight into the industry. Many of them are even available online and were created by respected UK universities.


But let’s talk money. How much will you make as a game developer performing one of the highest-paying jobs in the UK without a degree?

When you first start out, your salary will be around £20,000, but that can increase with experience and improved developer skills to between £35,000 and £50,000. Some developers in senior positions can make as much as £75,000 per year.

8) Translator

Translator jobs can be very lucrative, and they are in demand because of globalization and the way modern businesses trade. They need translators to be able to help with cross-border negotiations, marketing, and much more.

Some of the best translators have been recognized with a degree. Others have been recognized by taking official language tests outside of the university.


The bottom line is that if you learn to speak another language fluently, you can become a well-paid translator, whether you have a university degree or not. Learning a language is not easy, which is why accredited translators can easily earn £20,000–£45,000 per year.

If you don’t know what language to learn to boost your career, you may want to consider learning Spanish, as it is the second-most spoken language in the world and may be more useful in the business world.

9) Police constable

If fighting fires is not for you, but you still want to do a job that contributes to society, becoming a police officer is another fantastic option. Working for the police can be challenging but a satisfying job, especially when you see the difference you make in the local community.

It can get even more exciting if you progress up the ranks and make it to become an inspector, work for a special crime unit, or join counter-terrorism teams.


The starting salary of a police officer is around £20,000, but this can more than double if you climb the ladder, and there are opportunities for bonuses. Inspectors can earn upwards of £50,000 annually.

10) Become an Entrepreneur

Generation Z and millennials have been some of the most innovative and dedicated to making their hobbies and skills into flourishing online businesses. They have been helped by exceptional developments in technology, enabling them to sell products and services across the globe easily. 

You may want to turn your passion and skills into a business, just like others have proven possible. This means freelancing your skills on a project basis or setting up your own agency. You could sell your skills in:

  • Illustration
  • Website development
  • Logo design
  • Content writing/SEO copywriting
  • Social media management
  • And much more!

Setting up your own business can be a scary step, but these types of businesses are low-risk, and you can learn the basics and get it right with the help of an entrepreneurial thinking course.

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