10 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s to get these high-paying jobs.

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A bachelor’s degree takes time and money—valuable resources that impact everyone differently. Whether you want to bypass college to get a head start in the workforce or have responsibilities that make such an investment too costly, getting a high-paying job without a degree is possible. The reality is that most Indians don’t have a degree [1].

In this article, you will find 10 jobs that pay higher than the national average income in India and have entry-level requirements that do not include a degree. While some jobs on this list might require additional training or certification, the time and money it takes to achieve them are often much less than earning a bachelor’s degree.  

You can learn what you need to do to get started in each one and find ways to get job-ready with in-demand skills. Whether you like to work with your hands or on a computer, alone or in a team, in an office or on the air, you will likely find a job on this list that appeals to you. 

10 top-paying jobs that don’t require a degree

According to Time Doctor, the average income for individuals in 2023 was ₹31,900 per month or ₹3,83,000 per year [2]. Each of the jobs listed below doesn’t typically require a degree. Each also has an annual salary exceeding the national average individual income, and experts anticipate it will grow over the next decade. 

Rather than simply considering income level, you should also consider what jobs fit your unique personality, interests, and skill set. 

These are some of the highest-paid jobs that don’t require a degree for entry-level positions: 

  • Commercial pilot: ₹24,00,000 annually

  • Dog trainer: ₹7,20,000 annually

  • Makeup artist: ₹20,88,000 annually

  • Investment advisor: ₹49,07,364 annually 

  • Project coordinator: ₹6,32,604 annually

  • Flight attendant: ₹19,20,000 annually

  • Chef or head cook: ₹44,80,476 annually

  • Caterer: ₹6,15,600 annually

  • Ethical hacker: ₹38,40,000 annually

  • Wedding planner: ₹17,44,476 annually

*All data is taken from Glassdoor in India unless otherwise noted.

1. Commercial pilot

Commercial pilots fly aircraft like passenger airplanes, helicopters, and cargo planes. To become a commercial pilot, you must have a high school diploma and receive a commercial pilot licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. 

If you enjoy travelling, flying, and careers where constant tests of skills are a professional responsibility, then becoming a commercial pilot might appeal to you.

Commercial pilot
Average annual wage₹24,00,000
Job outlookExcellent—India has a shortage of commercial pilots
QualificationHS diploma or equivalent + Commercial Pilot’s Licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

2. Dog trainers

Dog and pet trainers work with pets to teach them how to behave at home or become service animals. Trainers work with dogs for specific issues such as anxiety and need to understand how dogs or other animals think and communicate. You do not need a degree to work as a dog trainer; you need expertise in the work. 

If you have expertise working with animals, consider a career as a dog trainer. 

Dog Trainer
Average annual wage₹7,20,000
QualificationNo requirements

3. Makeup artist

Makeup artists work in television and the arts, as well as at weddings and other occasions. Working as a makeup artist, you won’t need formal education. You only need to be good at making people look great in makeup. Although your salary will vary depending on the clients you serve and where you work, such as in your salon or a television studio, makeup artists make an average salary that brushes the national average.

If you are someone who enjoys makeup, then consider working as a makeup artist. 

Makeup artist
Average annual wage₹20,88,000
Job outlookGood—14 per cent anticipated growth from 2020 to 2030
QualificationNo requirements

4. Investment advisor

Although you will have to take exams to become an investment advisor, the industry has no specific requirements for taking those exams. Investment advisors can manage their clients' money directly or offer advice to help people select suitable investments and earn a profit. 

You can learn the skills you need to pass your exams and get licensed through the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with a diploma or certificate programme. 

Investment advisor
Average annual wage₹47,09,364
QualificationCertification exams and registration with the SEBI

5. Project coordinator

Project coordinators organise the various parts of a project and ensure they run efficiently. To become a project coordinator, you should have some prior experience in the general field in which you would be coordinating. Although you do not need specific credentials, some employers prefer candidates with either a Professional Certificate or a relevant degree.

The project coordinator role requires big-picture thinking, attention to detail, and creative problem-solving. If these sound like skills you exemplify, consider this career path. 

Project coordinator
Average annual wage₹6,32,610
Job outlookGood—India will add seven million project managers over the next 10 years
QualificationNone, certification may be required

6. Air hostess (host) 

Air hostesses run an airplane’s onboard service and ensure passenger safety during flights. To be hired as an air hostess, you don’t need any specific degree, but you will likely need some prior experience in customer service.

Before working on a plane, air hostesses must undergo training through their employer or complete a certification or diploma programme. If you want to work on international flights, you will likely be required to speak more than one language.

Becoming an air hostess might appeal to those who enjoy travel, interfacing with customers, and working in professional team environments. 

Air hostess
Average annual wage₹32,70,000
Job outlookGood—the Indian aviation industry is growing
Qualification10+2 or equivalent

7. Chef or head cook

Chefs and head cooks oversee the preparation of meals in restaurants, private homes, and other dining establishments. To become a chef or head cook, you will typically need at least five years of prior experience, usually working in a professional kitchen as a cook or sous chef.

Although some chefs receive formal training through culinary programmes, many others gain the required knowledge through apprenticeships or on-the-job training. Some entry-level positions within the food industry include prep cook and line cook. 

Becoming a chef or head cook requires dedication to cooking, attention to detail, organisation, and teamwork in a high-pressure environment. 

Chef or head cook
Average annual wage₹44,80,476
Job outlookModerate—growth in this sector is slow but steady
QualificationNo requirements expect demonstrable skill

8. Caterer

Caterers are similar to chefs or head chefs. The essential difference is in the venue where you prepare the food. Instead of a dedicated kitchen and dining rooms, caterers prepare and serve food on location. The requirements to become a caterer are similar to that of a chef. Experience can be enough to get a job in this field without a formal degree. 

Catering might be a good career path if you enjoy cooking and want to work in an ever-changing location.

Average annual wage₹6,15,600
QualificationNo requirements except demonstrable skill

9. Ethical hacker

Ethical hackers look for weaknesses in cybersecurity systems by attempting to break through them. You’ll need a certificate or certification to become an ethical hacker. Still, the entry requirements do not include a degree, allowing you to get started in this career relatively quickly. Do you have computer skills you’d like to use for good instead of evil? Consider becoming an ethical hacker.

Ethical hacker
Average annual wage₹38,40,000
Job outlookVery good—ethical hackers are in demand worldwide
QualificationHS diploma or equivalent

10. Wedding planner

Weddings are a reliable industry, and wedding planners will always be in need. You don't need a degree to get started in this industry. Instead, you’ll need to know how to plan a great wedding. Having networking skills will also be helpful because wedding planning revolves around who you know. 

Wedding planner
Average annual wage₹17,44,476
QualificationNo requirements

Job resources for a changing job landscape

Although many employers ask for degrees, not all do. A growing trend has recently seen many companies broaden their hiring scope to include those without degrees. Some companies, such as Google, IBM, and Apple, have publicly done away with degree requirements altogether for entry-level positions [3].

Get job-ready 

Whatever career path you choose, you can benefit from honing your technical and transferable skills. Whether you want to learn how to manage projects better or troubleshoot technology, consider a Professional Certificate to build the skills companies seek. 

Much like your next job, the best educational programme is the one that best fits your unique personality, interests, and goals. The choice is yours.

Article sources


NDTV. “Only 4.5% Population in India is Graduate or Above: Census, https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/only-4-5-population-in-india-is-graduate-or-above-census-1240996.” Accessed March 15, 2024.

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