Now that the cost of higher education is an average of at least $10,000 annually, and rises to $30,000 for private universities, the likelihood of getting a return of investment from attending college is very unlikely during the first few years after graduating. Adding onto this predicament, a degree doesn’t even guarantee a job, so many college graduates are left scrawling around for any sort of way to make money.
If you’d like to avoid all that unnecessary drama, and make money with little upfront education, then these next 5 jobs are for you.


programming language illustration
Photo by Christopher Robin Ebbinghaus / Unsplash

Computer programming jobs hover around $72,000 annual salaries, with the pay fluctuating depending on whether you’re a general programmer or a specialist in an industrial sector like financing.

Programming can be learned through higher education, but above all else, it requires discipline and self-motivation to put in the practice necessary to learn how to code. It can start as a hobby and develop into a full-time job if you keep on adding projects to a portfolio.

All you need to do is showcase your work to potential clients in need of programmers to see if they’ll want to hire you. If you’re able to juggle multiple projects at the same time, you will be able to maintain a full-time salary working on your computer either at a company or remotely.

Law Enforcement

policemen holding clear fiber glass shield
Photo by Spenser / Unsplash

Law enforcement jobs have an average annual salary of $53,000. The pay depends on your education, years of service, and certifications applicable to the job. You can easily start by volunteering around your community and building a respectable character, then transitioning to applying for the local police academy.

Not only will you have a decent job, but you’ll also be a role model your neighborhood, which is a quality that’s priceless.

Military Service + Careers

five person wearing white suits
Photo by Jeffrey Lin / Unsplash

While the average salary of a fresh military recruit is around $20,000, the salary almost doubles with the allowances provided for housing ($14,000) and food ($4,000) per year.

To join the army, you must have at least a high school education, be healthy enough to pass any inspections, be ages 17-40, pass the ASVAB test, and be a US citizen.

Truck Driving

white water truck parked on industrial field
Photo by ALE SAT / Unsplash

Truck driving seem like mind numbing work, but the average salary is about $40,000 per year and with less people wanting to take the job, will slowly increase as the demand for drivers also increases.

To join, you must have a clean driving record, be over 21 years old, and pass truck driving school. Some companies will also not allow you to apply without a high school degree.


woman browsing on her laptop
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam / Unsplash

Freelancing directly from your laptop can be on the of the most self-fulfilling jobs you can have. You choose whether you want to make a living off writing, coding, graphic designing, or any other service that is in demand by people on the internet.

The average salary is around $39,000 but depending on what type of clients you work for, can well reach over six figures. Best of all, this requires no prior academic education, as you’re hired solely on your ability to perform the task at hand.

Freelancing is the premier job choice if you want to be your own boss, but it also requires you be your own manager. You must learn the service you want to provide, build a professional portfolio, and hunt aggressively for your clients.


If you’re struggling to maintain a decent salary, check out one of the above job options. They all require little upfront education, but they require grit, persistence, and discipline.

These job options all require little upfront education, but they also demand discipline, persistence, and consistency. If you have the above traits and want to maintain a decent salary, check out one of the above options.