July 5 (The Telegraph) – A university degree has traditionally led to better earnings, but a tight labour market means employers are offering increasingly generous pay packets to non-graduates.
Graduates still earn more on average than those who never went to university, typically taking home £35,000 a year versus £25,500 for those without a degree, according to data firm Statista.
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But some careers that require no degree can be incredibly lucrative. Non-graduates can often end up earning tens of thousands of pounds more than their graduate peers, without ever having to take on a pound in student debt.
If you're interested in earning a high figure but aren't set on university, there are a selection of jobs which can ensure you earn a better pay. We look at the highest paid jobs without having a degree – as well as what degrees can limit your salary expectations.
What are the highest paid non-graduate jobs in 2022?
“Scrum Master” is the best-paying role available for workers without a degree, with advertised jobs paying £71,207 on average, according to jobs website Adzuna.
This tech job involves mentoring teams known as“scrum” teams. The majority of these roles advertised require skills and experience over formal education and qualifications.
Casino gaming managers earn the second most, with an average salary of £70,000, but these roles are few and far between with only four currently advertised on Adzuna.
The best-paying jobs for non-graduates
PositionJob TitleAverage Advertised Salary, March 2022Advertised Vacancies on Adzuna
| 1 || Scrum Master || £71,207 || 632 |
| 2 || Casino Gaming Manager || £70,000 || 4 |
| 3 || Buying Manager || £66,503 || 63 |
| 4 || Commercial Pilot || £60,796 || N/A |
| 5 || Construction Manager || £60,491 || 451 |
| 6 || Project Manager || £57,521 || 12,767 |
| 7 || Ethical Hacker || £55,874 || 122 |
| 8 || Oil Rig Operative || £53,000 || 3 |
| 9 || Games Developer || £51,078 || 141 |
| 10 || Massage Therapist || £48,566 || 50 |
| 11 || HR Manager || £48,387 || 1,355 |
| 12 || Food Safety Inspector || £48,003 || 19 |
| 13 || Air Traffic Controller || £45,000 || 5 |
| 14 || Training Manager || £44,133 || 882 |
| 15 || Army Officer || £43,552 || N/A |
| 16 || Accountant || £43,535 || 2,541 |
| 17 || Operations Manager || £43,172 || 3,416 |
| 18 || Security Manager || £40,923 || 444 |
| 19 || Photographer || £39,944 || 205 |
| 20 || Electrician || £39,838 || 3,000 |
Another top paying job not requiring a degree is ethical hacker, a position involving probing a company's cyber security framework. Project manager and oil rig operative roles can also offer tens of thousands of pounds more than graduate roles.
Commercial pilot apprenticeships are available for those without a degree and can lead to lucrative careers, Adzuna said, though the substantial flight school costs needed for this career may rule this out for many.
Meanwhile food safety inspector roles command average salaries of £48,003. While they require specialist food safety certifications, they do not necessarily require a degree.
Adzuna's Andrew Hunter said:“This is a year of financial opportunity for degree-less jobseekers. For many roles, self-taught skills are more important than a formal education, particularly in soaring sectors like IT and trade and construction.
“As more high paying careers open up to school-leavers, the hefty price tag that comes with further education is weighing heavier and we expect more jobseekers to choose the non-academic route. Degree-less workers are a vital segment of the labour market that more employers are looking to utilise.”
As reported by Telegraph Money , it is not only having a degree that usually boosts earnings. The type of degree and the grade can have a big effect.A fashion degree gives you the least earning potential; graduates earn just £23,832, some £1,168 less than the average non-graduate salary, according to jobs website Adzuna. Graduates with film degrees earn £24,878 on average, philosophy graduates £25,428, English language graduates £26,143 and criminology graduates £26,311.
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What high-paying careers for non-graduates would you recommend? Tell us in the comments below.
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