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7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree

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Harvey Day
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7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree

With university fees now higher than they’ve ever been, more and more people are considering other ways of getting educated and finding a job. In fact, a report last year from the Sutton Trust found that the proportion of young people who think they are likely to go to university is at its lowest level in years.

So we’ve spoken to the careers experts at Glassdoor and Monster to find out the jobs that have the highest salaries but don’t require a degree.

The experts agreed that in most cases it would be possible to earn these salaries by the time you reach your 30s as they’re based on experience, not age – but you’ll have to work hard to move up the career ladder quickly.

Is there a new career on the horizon for you? Have a read and find out…

1. Project Manager

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 1

Project managers can work in a variety of different fields and are essentially responsible for making sure the project is successful. Roles include planning, budgeting, overseeing and documenting.

Median Salary: Around £40,000 depending on the area and location.

Education Required: It’s not a requirement to have a degree to become a project manager. However, it is recommended to have some qualifications specific to the industry, such as the Foundation and Practitioner course where you’ll learn the skills needed for the role. 

2. Firefighter

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 2

Firefighters help protect people, their property and the environment from fire. They are called upon to tackle emergency situations every day; it could be anything from putting out a household fire, dealing with road accidents – or even rescuing friendly neighbourhood cats from trees.

Median Salary: Firefighters can earn up to £40,000 per year, depending on their rank.

Education Required: To start, you’ll need to pass written exams and aptitude tests. You have to be fit too – a number of physical exams are included as part of the selection process.

3. Ethical Hacker

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 3

An ethical hacker works on behalf of finance, insurance or IT companies to find potential flaws in computer systems before a hacker does and finds ways to make networks more secure.

Median Salary: £48,250

Education Required: This is a relatively new job on the market, so at the moment there are no strict qualifications required. The most important thing is a passion for computers and a willingness to learn as you will receive a lot of on-the-job training.

4. Police Constable/Sergeant

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 4

As a Police Officer, there are a variety of different roles you can do, and it’s not all about being out on the streets fighting crime directly.

Median Salary: Salaries start at around £20,000 with the potential for growth of £45,000 and upwards for Sergeants. If you move into Inspector territory as your career progresses, you can expect up to £50,000.

Education Required: There are no formal educational requirements for entry to the police service. The recruitment process will normally include the following steps: submission of an application form; a selection assessment day and interview/s; a medical assessment and fitness test; reference and security checks.

5. Train and Tram Drivers

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 5

This one’s pretty obvious: you’ll be driving trains and trams. If you’re really lucky, you might even get to drive one on the London Underground.

Median Salary: Experienced drivers take home up to £50,000. There are some great benefits too, like free and discounted rail travel.

Education Required: Employers will look for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent in subjects like English and maths. To be accepted for training, you’ll need to pass a medical check which will include eyesight, colour vision and hearing.

6. Construction Manager

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 6

Being a construction manager involves having good leadership and communication skills in order to coordinate and supervise projects. Although some of the work can be done from the office, this role also means working on site – in all weather.

Median Salary: Construction managers can earn upwards of £50,000.

Education Required: If you choose not to study for a degree you could opt for a Higher National Certificate in Construction.

7. Air Traffic Controller

7 careers where you can earn more than £40,000 without having a degree 7

Air traffic controllers make sure planes travelling through the UK take off, land safely and are a safe distance apart. They also respond to any emergencies that may arise.

Median Salary: £50,000

Education Required: An air traffic control licence, which you can obtain by completing an approved training course.

Mark Di-Toro, from Glassdoor, told ShortList: “Today’s job market values skills and talents, not just degrees. This year will see AI and automation impact every facet of the UK workforce, bringing to the market a plethora of new opportunities which quite simply didn’t exist ten years ago and don’t require a traditional degree.”

(Images: Daniel Tausis / Unsplash / iStock)