The highest paying entry level jobs that you don’t need a degree for – and you can earn over £36,000


IT’S not just university graduates who can get a decent first salary, workers without a degree can earn more than £36,000 a year.

From apprenticeships to making a hobby your new profession, there are lots of first jobs that pay well.

It’s not just university graduates who can get a decent first salary

In the UK, all workers over the age of 23 must receive the national living wage.

It’s currently £10.42 an hour – just over £19,600 a year for those in full-time employment.

Figures from the Department of Education show that students graduating last year will typically earn an average salary of £34,000 over their careers.

By contrast, those without a degree are likely to earn around £25,000 a year during their working lives.

But with the cost of a university education amounting to around £57,000, it’s a big financial commitment.

Last year the number of students applying to university dropped for the first time since 2012, according to figures from dataHE.

It shows that more and more youngsters are choosing to skip the studying and head straight into work.

You can earn a good wage from day one

A degree isn’t the only way to get a high salary, according to James Neave, head of data science at jobs site Adzuna.

“University is no longer the only path that leads to a well-paid first job,” he said.

“There is a myriad of lucrative entry-level jobs for those who decide not to pursue higher education.”

Plus, with an entry-level position, you can climb the career ladder and potentially earn more as you progress.

Where to look for your first job

Job site Adzuna has rounded up the 15 top-paying entry-level roles that that don’t require a university education.

James recommends looking for trainee and apprentice roles to start with because most employers have scrapped degrees as a requirement for these jobs.

And jobseekers with an artistic or athletic talent could always turn a hobby into a full-time position.

For example, personal trainers earn more than £36,000 on average while pottery tutors take home close to £30,000 per year.

Yoga instructors, junior estate agents and trainee plumbers are also among the jobs that can fetch you more than £30,000 a year.

You may still need to qualify

While an academic degree isn’t needed for many careers, there may be other requirements or qualifications.

Becoming a personal trainer for example requires qualifications, such as a level 2 in fitness instruction and then completing a level 3 personal training course.

Plumbers, electricians and accountants all need in depth training before being let loose on their own.

Eight entry-level roles don’t require a degree, and they can earn salaries between £30,000 and £36,300 a year:

  • Personal trainer
  • Yoga instructor
  • Junior estate agent
  • Trainee recruitment consultant
  • Trainee plumber
  • Trainee firefighter
  • Trainee accountant
  • Secretary

Seven other jobs pay workers without formal education salaries between £21,000 and £29,500 a year:

  • Electrician
  • Pottery tutor
  • Luxury retail sales associate
  • Editorial assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Train driver
  • Trainee merchandiser

Top jobs for the self-made

There are also plenty of very high-paying jobs where you don’t need a degree – and you could earn up to £90,000 a year.

If you’re looking for more flexible hours, these are the jobs that can get you up to £70K – and some don’t need qualifications.

If you’re looking for extra cash instead, we’ve also listed nine easy ways to make money online from home.

Plus, here are 20 side hustles – from being paid to watch movies to recycling old till receipts – could see you make hundreds of pounds each year alongside your usual work.

One woman has revealed how she turned her small side hustle into a business bringing in an average of £1,400 a month.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]