Advertisement
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?

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.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

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. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
The Big Issue Jobs

Looking for work?

There are 1 million new opportunities available at Big Issue Jobs.

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

Article continues below

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
Advertisement

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Recommended for you

Read All
Government has made 'scant progress' towards gender equality in Westminster
Gender Equality

Government has made 'scant progress' towards gender equality in Westminster

How to get mental health support at work as workloads swell and burnout hits
Employment

How to get mental health support at work as workloads swell and burnout hits

What is the four-day working week and why are UK campaigners calling for it?
Four day week

What is the four-day working week and why are UK campaigners calling for it?

Four-day work week trial sparks interest from 'hundreds' of businesses
Four-day work week

Four-day work week trial sparks interest from 'hundreds' of businesses

Most Popular

Read All
Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am
1.

Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am

What are the Kill the Bill protests?
2.

What are the Kill the Bill protests?

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'
3.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party
4.

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party