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10 high-paying jobs without a degree in New York 

New York, renowned for its rich history, culture, and vibrant economy, presents numerous job opportunities for individuals with diverse sets of skills and qualifications. Over the years, it has become a commonly accepted myth that high-paying jobs are exclusive to those who possess a degree. However, the changing dynamics of the workforce, coupled with the digital transformation of the economy, has opened up many lucrative opportunities for individuals without a degree.

high-paying jobs without a degree in New York 

Today, we will be breaking down that stereotype and listing the top 10 high-paying jobs in New York that don’t require a degree. Whether you are just starting, looking for a career shift, or seeking a side hustle, this list might just have the perfect fit for you.

10 high-paying jobs without a degree in New York 

Real Estate Broker

One of the most lucrative professions in New York is that of a real estate broker. With the city’s vibrant real estate market, brokers can earn a substantial income through commissions. A high school diploma, along with the successful completion of a pre-licensing course, is all it takes to start this career. To excel, you will need strong negotiation skills, excellent communication, and an understanding of the real estate market.

Web Developer

In the digital age, the demand for web developers is soaring. Web development is a field where practical skills often outweigh formal education. As a web developer, you would be responsible for designing and managing websites. There are various online platforms where you can learn these skills for free or at a low cost. A portfolio showcasing your work can often be more persuasive to employers than a formal degree.

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Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers play a crucial role in the aviation industry, guiding aircraft through safe routes. While this job requires specialized training, it does not necessitate a degree. The FAA provides the necessary training once you pass a pre-employment test. This job requires a high level of responsibility and stress management, but it also comes with high financial rewards.

Elevator Installer and Repairer

Elevator installers and repairers are indispensable in a city renowned for its towering skyscrapers. This job involves installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, escalators, and similar equipment. It requires a high school diploma, followed by an apprenticeship program. Given the complexity and necessity of the job, it’s one of the most well-paid professions that do not require a degree.

Commercial Pilot

Commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes or helicopters for airlines that transport passengers and cargo on a fixed schedule. Although a bachelor’s degree is not required, pilots must have a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A keen interest in aviation, physical health, and excellent navigational skills are essential to become a successful commercial pilot.

Personal Trainer

New York, being one of the fitness capitals of the world, offers many opportunities for personal trainers. The demand for personalized fitness regimes has escalated over the years, making personal training a lucrative career choice. To get started, you need a high school diploma, a personal training certification, and a passion for fitness.

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Medical transcriptionists, in particular, are in high demand. They listen to voice recordings from doctors and convert them into written reports. Though it requires specialized skills and knowledge, many institutions offer certification courses that can be completed in less than a year. As a transcriptionist, you can also have the flexibility to work from home, a significant advantage for many.

Film and Video Editors

The film and entertainment industry in New York is thriving. Film and video editors, who manipulate footage to create entertaining or informative videos, are well-compensated for their skills. While a degree can be beneficial, many editors start their careers based on their practical editing skills and understanding of video software.

Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist cleans teeth, examines patients for oral diseases, and provides preventative dental care. This role requires an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, which typically takes two years. With a rising focus on oral health, dental hygienists have found a high demand for their skills, leading to generous compensation.

Construction Manager

Construction managers oversee projects from inception to completion. They plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects. Although many construction managers have a degree, plenty of them works their way up from trade positions, learning on the job and proving their competencies over time.


In an evolving economy, there are a multitude of paths leading to financial success. For many, this means bypassing the traditional route of obtaining a degree. The 10 high-paying jobs listed above are evidence that with passion, skill, and dedication, a lucrative career in New York City is well within reach, even without a degree.

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