13 Fun Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree [2022]

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 a 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?

More: 13 Best Jobs for Moms With No Degree

Fun Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree

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 PayScale, chocolate tasters and consultants earn between $24,000 and $70,000 a year depending on the hiring company and the level of experience needed.

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 ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for LEGO designers in the U.S. is $50,751. The highest-paid can earn as high as $105,000 a year, making this one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree.

It is one of the high-paying careers for creative personalities. Here is a short video interview with LEGO Master Model Builders. Video courtesy: Fox 13 Tampa Bay.

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. However, you can earn as high as $65,000 a year if you opt to become a full-time Netflix tagger.

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 mean annual salary for beer tasters in the U.S. is $33,317 while the highest-paid beer tasters earn more than $55,000 a year.

Related: 13 Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well [2022]

5. Choreographers

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 mean annual wage of choreographers in the U.S. is $52,000 while the highest earners enjoy salaries of more than $101,250 a 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 gumologists, 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 between $67,000 and $103,500 a year. Such wages mean it’s 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

fun jobs that pay well without a degree in America
Photo by Helen Woodward Animal Center

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.

This is one of the unique jobs that pay well in the U.S., with the mean annual salary being $31,000 and the highest-paid earning more than $47,000 a year plus tips.

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 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 ZipRecruiter, DJs make an average salary of $58,370 a year with the top earners getting paid more than $134,000 a year, which makes this one of the best fun jobs that pay well without a degree.

Related: 12 High Paying Jobs With a Sociology Degree [2022]

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
  • Parties

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 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of photographers is $50,290. The top earners enjoy more than $86,850 in annual wages, 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 mean annual wage of massage therapists is $47,350 and the highest earners make more than $79,150 a year.

11. Makeup artists (theatrical & performance)

This is one of the quick certifications that pay well, as high as $100K a 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.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, theatrical and performance makeup artists earn a mean annual wage of $99,990 with the top earners getting more than $157,680 a 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.  It is one of the fun jobs that pay well without a degree where you can earn a mean annual salary of $42,350. The top earners enjoy salaries as high as $73,360.

Related: How Much Do Surgical Interns Make in 2022?

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 mean annual wage of sound engineering technicians is $67,210 while the top paid technicians get more than $119,720 a year.

Conclusion

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 a year as a starting salary with the potential of earning as high as $150,000 a year.

Here’s a great video by Mike Wynn about fun jobs that pay well for those without a degree.

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