Just like you can find tens of low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree, you can also find well-paying jobs where you can have fun doing what you love – and get paid to do it. Some of these jobs can pay as high as $150,000 per year.
On top of making good money, most of these jobs also allow you to enjoy a great work-life balance, be happy, and spend quality time with friends and family.
According to the latest data, approximately 56% of Americans aged between 24 to 64 do not have a college degree. That begs the question – are there any fun jobs they can do without a degree and still enjoy good wages?
Below we highlight the best jobs that pay well without the need of getting a college degree.
1. Chocolate Taster
Chocolate manufacturing companies hire experienced chocolate lovers who can differentiate between different flavors and tastes. Their roles include inspecting candies for appropriate sheen or cracks in the chocolate ganache coastings.
Chocolate tasters also sniff on the chocolates to make aroma notes and also get to savor the taste and creaminess of various chocolate brands before they are released into the market.
According to ZipRecruiter, chocolate tasters in the United States of America earn an hourly average salary of $18.
2. LEGO Model Builder
If you’ve ever been to LEGOLAND then you will bear witness to how impressive the models are. There’s no bachelor’s degree specific for being a LEGO model builder, but a degree in a design-related field will make things easy for you.
LEGO model builders invent, model, and create the different characters you see in a LEGOLAND. A master model builder will not only clean, repair, and maintain existing LEGO installations, but also take part in marketing and PR, which include participating in media interviews, creating instructional videos for social media, and leading virtual building classes.
According to GlassDoor, the estimated total salary for LEGO designers in the United States of America is $63,382. The highest-paid can earn as high as $80,000 per year, making this one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree.
If you can’t make it to be a LEGO builder and you love animation, here is a list of 13 high-paying animation jobs you can consider.
3. Netflix Tagger
How about you get paid for all the hours you spend binge-watching your favorite TV show on Netflix? Netflix tagger is a real job – and it pays well too. But what does it involve?
A Netflix tagger watches a movie or TV show on the streaming platform and then tags it with the appropriate words or phrases that describe the movie or the show. The phrases are entered into the company’s database which helps make the platform’s search functions more precise.
If you’re interested in becoming a Netflix tagger, this article in The Washington Post delves deeper into this job. The pay for Netlfix taggers varies depending on one’s effort and other factors. The average salary for a Netflix tagger in the United States of America is $30,126 per year.
4. Beer Taster
If you’re not good with chocolate tasting, maybe you fancy yourself as a beer connoisseur. A beer taster specializes in identifying different aspects of an alcoholic beer, taking notes, and providing feedback.
The aspects they taste include the taste, texture, smell, feel, quality, and look among other details. The comments they provide help beer businesses improve their brands and ensure they achieve the desired flavor.
The average salary for beer tasters in the United States of America is $36,319, while the highest-paid beer tasters earn $62,000 per year.
The primary role of choreographers is to create new dance routines and lead the rehearsal performances. They can also direct and stage presentations.
There’s no formal education requirement to become a choreographer with most starting out as dancers and later rising through the ranks.
Some choreographers, though, choose to pursue post-secondary education and enroll in colleges and universities for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dance.
The average salary for choreographers in the United States of America is $45,045, while the highest earners enjoy salaries of $84,000 per year, making it one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree.
6. Gum Taster
Did you know that the first commercially available gum hit the market in 1848? Since then, the chewing gum industry has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry. This means there are many gum-related jobs you can do, some needing a bachelor’s degree and others not.
One such job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree is being a gum taster. Gum tasters work alongside gum scientists, called gumologist, and spend countless hours trying to perfect the taste of every single flavor before they are released into the market.
Their job involves chewing different gums and providing feedback that helps the gumologists tweak the taste to come up with the best possible flavor.
Gum tasters earn an average salary of $58,000 per year. With such wages, it means that this is one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree. The best-paying companies include the likes of Cadbury’s, Wrigley’s, Trident, and Dentyne.
7. Dog Surfing Instructor
Another fun job that pays well without a degree is being a dog surfing instructor, one of the best animal jobs that pay well. A dog surfing instructor trains dogs to surf.
They start by focusing on the dog’s balance and strength on land and slowly progress to the shallow waters. Once the dog is comfortable in shallow waters, the instructors progress to the deeper waters and train the dog to ride the waves in real time.
8. Music Deejays (Disc Jockeys)
Being a DJ is one of the high-paying jobs you can do without a bachelor’s degree. While radio and TV DJs are required to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, DJs working in nightclubs, weddings, parties, and other events are not required to have similar formal education.
You should have a love for music and entertainment to enjoy working as a DJ. While we cannot say it’s less stressful, you should be willing to work long hours, sometimes overnight.
Estimating how much DJs make is quite tricky because the pay depends on many factors such as the nature of the event and where you will perform. Either way, DJs make anywhere between $45,000 to $200,000 a year.
According to Indeed, disc jockeys make an average salary of $59,140 per year, with the top earners getting paid $149,038 per year, which makes this one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree.
9. Wedding photographer
While you can take photography courses for career reasons, you can still make good money as a freelance wedding photographer without having to pursue a college degree.
The field of photography is a booming industry and the services of those with a creative eye will always be in demand. Apart from weddings, you can also provide photography services for:
- Family portraits
- Baby photos
- School events
It is, however, important to take short courses such as those offered online to sharpen your photography skills and learn advanced skills such as video & photo editing techniques and how to use lighting equipment to enhance the subject’s appearance.
According to GlassDoor, the average salary for wedding photographers in the United States of America is $44,911. The top earners enjoy $80,000 per year, making it one of the best jobs for introverts without a degree.
10. Massage Therapists
Massage therapists provide clients with massage treatments for relaxation and pain relief. They work in serene environments within the relaxing, beautiful confines of spas, fitness centers, franchised clinics, physicians’ offices, or hotels.
Massage therapists often have flexible schedules and can work self-employed where they freelance and attend to their clients from the comfort of their homes.
You do not need a bachelor’s degree to become a massage therapist. However, you must complete a postsecondary education program to get the legal certifications necessary to work as a licensed massage therapist.
This is one of the low-stress jobs that pay well without a degree and you get to have fun doing what you love. The average salary for massage therapists in the United States of America is $55,224, and the highest earners make $96,854 per year.
11. Makeup artists (theatrical & performance)
This is one of the quick certifications that pay well, as high as $100K per year. The role of makeup artists working in the field of theatre and performance is to apply makeup to performers to reflect the setting, period, and situation of the roles they are set to play.
As a makeup artist, you can work with video and motion picture companies, performing art companies, and personal care service providers.
The average salary for theatrical and performance makeup artists in the United States of America is $64,760, with the top earners getting $132,420 per year.
Such salaries make massage therapy one of the fun jobs that pay well without a degree and with less stress.
12. Travel Agent
You do not need a college degree to become a travel agent unless an employer prefers to go with someone with additional formal training.
In order to become a travel agent, you need a high school diploma and should have good computer and communication skills.
The roles of travel agents include planning and selling transportation and accommodation to customers. They are also involved in determining travel destinations, dates, modes of transport, costs, and accommodations needed.
You will also describe, plan, and arrange itineraries and sell tour packages to travel clients. Travel agent is one of the fun jobs that pay well without a degree where you can earn an average salary of $53,228. The top earners enjoy salaries as high as $96,152 per year.
Related: How Much Do Surgical Interns Make?
13. Sound Engineering Technicians
There can never be a successful “showbiz” event without the invaluable skills of sound engineering technicians. Whether it’s a Broadway performance or a political event, these experts play an invaluable role to ensure the event is successful.
They set up audio equipment, ensure microphones work and will monitor and operate the equipment during live performances or events.
You can become a sound engineering technician with a high school diploma or choose to pursue a college degree depending on the job you seek and where you aspire to work.
There are a few postsecondary sound engineering technician programs that take a few months to complete and associate degree programs that take two years.
The average salary for sound engineering technicians is $41,317, while the top-paid technicians get more than $50,000 per year.
As you can see, finding fun jobs that pay well without a degree isn’t such a hard task. Most of these jobs pay more than $30,000 per year as a starting salary with the potential of earning as high as $150,000 per year.
Here’s a great video by Mike Wynn about fun jobs that pay well for those without a degree.