Employment

These are the highest paying jobs you don’t need a degree for

Could air traffic controller, private chauffeur or plumber be your next career pivot?

A university degree isn't required to work as a commerical pilot, with average earnings around £61,000 Image: Unsplash / Nicholas Jeffries

Landing a high paying job doesn’t require years of study or a degree costing you tens of thousands of pounds – but you might need a unique set of skills. 

New analysis from jobs search engine Adzuna has revealed the 25 highest paying jobs advertised in the UK that don’t require a degree, so if you’re considering a career change for 2022, this might be where to start.

Topping the list is scrum master – not of the rugby kind – but a project management role that uses the ‘scrum’ framework to help teams work together, and commands average salaries topping £66,000.

Coming in second is construction manager, taking home an average of £65,200. Demand in the trade and construction sector boomed in 2021, with job ads up 65 per cent compared to the same time last year. 

Ethical hacker, also known as a ‘white hat hacker’ is one of the lesser known roles coming in third place and commanding over £63,000 on average. These are the people who highlight failings in a firm’s security system.

Private chauffeurs also rake in salaries averaging around £60,000, making a switch from gig economy or taxi driving looking that much more appealing. 

The average UK employee earnt around £32,000 in 2021, while earning a salary of £50,000 or more puts employees in the top 13 per cent of Brits according to the Survey of Personal Incomes. 

The airline industry – while less in demand during the pandemic – commands high salaries and favour natural aptitude over academic background, with commercial pilot roles averaging around £60,800, and traffic controllers receiving on average around £50,000.

Trade jobs also appeared on the list, from plumber to carpenter and electrician. With many skilled plumbers having reached retirement age and a lack of funding for apprenticeships, plumbers are in high demand – and with an average salary of almost £38,000, it could be worth retraining

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Job search engine Adzuna analysed over 1.2 million job adverts available in November 2021 to reveal the 25 highest paid positions on offer that don’t require a university degree. 

“2022 is a year of financial opportunity for degreeless jobseekers,” said Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna. 

“Tight labour market conditions mean employers are casting their hiring nets wider than ever before to catch candidates with the right skills – and they’re offering tantalising pay packets as bait. For many roles, self-taught skills are more important than a formal education, particularly in soaring sectors like IT and trade and construction,” he continued. 

The UK is seeing a staffing crisis in industries from prisons to hospitality, the NHS and scaffolding, with a labour shortage or ‘participation gap’ of one million people, as described by Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies. 

This has created a climate where employees are in high demand, prompting many to demand better pay or benefits from their bosses, or hand in their resignation letter for a better job elsewhere. Almost one million workers switched jobs over the summer last year.

There’s never been a better time to think about making a career change

Here’s the full list of 25 jobs that don’t require a degree and their average salary: 

  1. Scrum master, £66,663
  2. Construction manager, £63,172
  3. Ethical hacker, £63,172
  4. Commercial pilot, £60,105
  5. Food safety inspector, £60,105
  6. Private chauffeur, £60,000
  7. Buying manager, £54,690
  8. Casino gaming manager, £52,000
  9. Air traffic controller, £50,136
  10. Games developer, £50,618
  11. Oil rig operative, £47,795
  12. HR manager £45,929
  13. Operations manager £43,475
  14. Army officer, £43,405
  15. Social media manager, £43,325
  16. Security manager, £41,964
  17. Influencer marketing manager £40,677
  18. Mining construction £40,364
  19. Carpenter, £39,949
  20. Estate agent, £38,014
  21. Plumber, £37,989
  22. Electrician, £37,537
  23. Sales executive, £36,554
  24. Executive assistant, £36,263
  25. Hazardous waste management, £36,227

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