Australia’s Top Paying Jobs with No Degree Required
There is a lot of pressure on students to finish Year 12 and move onto university to score a great job in their chosen field – but we’re here to share the highest paid jobs with NO degree required.
While you may require some training to get into one of these careers, it isn’t quite as overwhelming as racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student debt or spending three to four years at university in a degree you felt pushed into.
What is the Highest Paying Job Without a Degree?
The highest-paid job with no degree required pays over $100,000 per year. In fact, construction managers are paid an average annual salary of around $150,000!
Construction managers are responsible for all aspects of construction and building projects – from the initial planning stages through to coordinating labourers, negotiating with developers, organising building inspections, and ensuring the project is finished to legal, safety, and planning specifications.
The 11 highest paying jobs in Australia for 2021
For a long time – likely before you were born – completing a university degree was the way to guarantee you a well-paying job as a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or businessperson.
However, the current job market is much different from what it used to be. With technology rapidly developing over the last few decades, there is a range of tech-based jobs available today that didn’t exist 15-30 years ago.
In addition, there are many alternative ways to achieve a qualification or learn new skills now, such as courses through nationally accredited training organisations, such as TrainSmart Australia (with courses both online and face-to-face), hands-on training for those interested in the trades and resources industries, and free online learning through a range of providers to improve certain skill sets.
#1 Construction Manager
Average salary: $150,000 (payscale.com)
While construction managers don’t need a tertiary degree to work in the construction industry, it does help to have a number of particular skills to do the job well and be respected as a manager, such as:
- Practical experience in building and construction as an entry-level tradie. This will help you to understand the varied issues and problems you may encounter during a project.
- Project management qualifications and experience – such as the Diploma of Project Management (BSB50820) available through TrainSmart Australia.
As the senior staff member in charge, a manager needs to be able to read architectural plans and project plans, but they also need to cope with a diverse number of high-pressure situations, communicate well with their staff, contractors & clients and think both laterally and strategically to achieve the best outcomes.
#2 ICT Manager
Average salary: $103,813 (payscale.com)
Given the reliance on technology in modern workplaces, it’s no surprise that ICT managers are well-paid employees.
ICT managers aren’t just there to fix computer issues – they are responsible for the acquisition, setup, security, and ongoing maintenance of computer systems within an organisation.
You don’t need a Bachelor-level qualification to be an ICT manager – you could get your entry into this industry by studying a Diploma of Information Technology (Advanced Networking) (ICT50220), which can provide insight into e-business integration, cybersecurity, and the installation of networks and systems.
#3 Air Traffic Controller
Average salary: $98,032 (payscale.com)
While holiday travel overseas seems to be a distant dream at the moment, it doesn’t mean that air travel has completed halted. In fact, airports across Australia are still busy hubs, with many planes carrying cargo across the country and the world instead of just passengers.
This means that while the pandemic roles on, air traffic controllers are still critical to ensuring the safety of planes landing, taking off, and flying between Australian towns and cities.
Air traffic controllers need to be able to work well under pressure and take accountability for making quick, accurate decisions that ensure the safety of the planes within their air space.
You don’t need a degree to work as an air traffic controller, but excellent communication skills, spatial awareness, and mathematical skills are an important part of the role.
There are two ways you can get into a high paying job without a degree:
- Join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and complete training through them, or
- Complete a Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control) (AVI50115) with Airservices Australia. To take this path without a degree, you need to have completed year 12 or have obtained a pilot licence in the past 10 years.
#4 Police Detective
Average salary: $94,061 (payscale.com)
It’s easy to assume police work is exactly like you see on TV – a person commits a crime, the crime scene is blocked off, evidence is found, and a team of detectives work with lab technicians to find the perpetrator in less than an hour episode.
However, the pathway to becoming a police detective first involves training to become a police officer. The initial requirements for becoming a police officer differ from state to state in Australia, but in most cases, recruits need to submit an application, undergo fitness testing and interviews, and then complete training just to become a police graduate.
Once a police officer has worked in their role and gained experience, they can look to upskill and become a detective within the police force. As a detective, officers investigate serious crimes, often as part of a specialised unit that focuses on a particular type of crime (gang crime, homicide, terrorism etc).
#5 Commercial Pilot
Average salary: $91,713 (payscale.com)
While studying for a Bachelor of Aviation is one way to become a commercial pilot, there are various pathways available that don’t involve university studies.
Some Australian airlines offer their own education course, academies, or cadetship programs where students can achieve the qualifications necessary to operate commercial aircraft.
Alternatively, students can learn to fly through a flight school – obtaining a private pilot licence before working towards a commercial pilot licence. There is a lot of both theoretical and practical training and examinations involved in order to obtain the necessary qualifications.
#6 Human Resources (HR) Manager
Average salary: $89,849 (payscale.com)
HR managers play an integral role in workforce planning, recruitment, employee relations, and performance management within a business.
If you are a people person who is passionate about helping employees to reach their potential and shaping an organisation through employee management, HR may be the ideal job for you.
There are different options pathways to become an HR Manager, one involves a tertiary degree, one involves studying a Diploma of Human Resources Management (BSB50618) through an accredited and trusted training provider, such as TrainSmart Australia.
#7 Driller Assistant (Offsider) – Mining
Average salary: $88,241 (payscale.com)
If the pandemic is anything to go by, getting a job in the mining industry, particularly in Western Australia, is a smart move. WA Today reported in April this year that the WA mining sector was hired more people in 2020 than at the peak of the mining boom in 2013.
There are a number of jobs available in the mining industry that pay well and require little to no prior knowledge – one of these roles is as a driller offsider.
A driller offsider is a physically demanding role, where the offsider supports the driller to complete general operational duties. This may include moving, setting up & operating drill rigs, and maintaining related equipment.
In many driller offsider roles, employers offer on-the-job training to get you into the workforce – and earning that awesome income – sooner.
#8 Health & Safety Advisor
Average salary: $81,997 (payscale.com)
Workplace health and safety advisors play a critical role in ensuring staff, contractors, and the general public are protected from potential hazards and that employers and managers are doing their part to follow and enforce systems that protect their staff.
Health and safety advisors work across a number of industries, including construction, agriculture, transport, manufacturing, hospitality, and even small businesses.
You can work in this role in Australia without a degree, but you will need qualifications like a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety (BSB41419) or a (Diploma in Work Health and Safety (BSB51319) through your trusted education provider.
#9 Business Development Manager
Average salary: $79,711 (payscale.com)
A business development manager is responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships with clients, negotiating with stakeholders, identifying business opportunities, and generally working to increase the income and growth of the business.
Working in this kind of role doesn’t require a tertiary degree, however, completing a Diploma of Business (BSB50415) through TrainSmart Australia can provide a sound foundation of knowledge for the role.
Other skills that may be helpful to succeed in a business development manager role include communication skills, the ability to negotiate, experience in conflict resolution, and a proven ability to achieve set targets.
#10 Software Developer
Average salary: $69,748 (payscale.com)
Apps and software play a huge part in daily modern life, so it’s no surprise that skills in software development are in high demand. Seek describes software developers as computer science specialists who create computer software and applications
There is a range of courses, tutorials, and learning platforms available online – with some even available for free – which can take you through some basic coding skills and give you the start you need to go for your dream career.
You could also study a Diploma of Information Technology (ICT50220) course through TrainSmart Australia to give you a more broad understanding and skill set in the IT space.
#11 Social Media Manager
Average salary: $62,178 (payscale.com) OR $76,366 per year with 5-9 years experience
Are you TikTok obsessed? Up to date with how to engage a social media audience, work with algorithms, and use trends for your own socials?
Social media manager roles require a sound knowledge of the landscape of social media, as well as an understanding of digital marketing campaign development, execution, and analysis.
This role doesn’t require a formal qualification or certificate, but it may be helpful to study a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication (BSB42415).
Score a Fulfilling, High Paying Job in Australia Without a Degree
If university education isn’t for you, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re barred from working in a high paying job. There are an incredible amount of roles available in Australia without a degree – you can obtain the qualifications or skills you need by taking a course through a registered and trusted education provider.
At TrainSmart Australia, you can learn a range of skills and obtain the right qualifications to start your professional, well-paid job or career path off with confidence.
To find out more about what makes TrainSmart Australia a leading education provider, visit the TrainSmart Australia website today.