10 Creative Jobs That Pay Well Without A Degree

You can still get a well-paying job without a degree but with just your high school certificate or GED. This blog post shares information on high-paying creative jobs that do not require a degree, which can be considered by creatives or those who want to quickly get into the workforce or those who do not want to get a degree.

Creative jobs that pay well without a degree are roles that focus more on the skills you have than education. In the tech space, for example, tech companies don’t really care about one’s degrees but about their skills and experiences, although having a degree may boost your position and earning within the company.

All you need to get a high-paying job without a degree is to have proper training in the specific role you want to get into. Unlike a degree, this takes a few months to complete and requires very little amount of money.

To get the training you need, you can enroll in an online course, an apprenticeship program, a diploma program, or go to a vocational institute that offers practical-based learning. You may decide to take it a bit further by obtaining an associate degree, it is just 2 years and cost far less than a bachelor’s degree.

With the skill and experience you’ve gained and your GED or high school certificate in your portfolio, you can get a well-paying job without a degree. Depending on your skill and experience level, you may either get an entry-level or senior position. There are government jobs you can get without a degree and there are also over a dozen well-paying low-stress jobs without a degree that you can look into to find a degreeless career that suits you best.

However, this article seeks to help creatives get a well-paying job without getting a 4-year degree and spending thousands of dollars in tuition. So, if you are creative, that is, like an artist, or you think you can learn something art-related this blog post will guide you on which career path to follow.

creative jobs that pay well without a degree

Creative Jobs That Pay Well Without A Degree

There are vast jobs in the creative field, the list is just endless, and it has found its way into other fields like tech and engineering. Graphics designers, UX designers, animators, etc. are examples of art-tech roles that have become very important and high-paying roles in today’s world. Then there are the regular careers like fashion designer, editor, performer, etc. all of which you can get into without a degree.

I think one of the perks of art is that there are many professions within the field that you can get into without a college degree. With the necessary skillset and experience, you can get into any of those roles and earn as high as those with a college degree. The important thing to remember is that, with these jobs, your success depends primarily on your creative skills and not so much on education.

Along the line, you will find opportunities to receive additional training to boost your knowledge and skill. Having said that, let’s dive into the list of creative jobs that pay well without a degree.

  • Web Developers
  • Technical Writers
  • Fashion Designer
  • Video Editor
  • Editor
  • Animator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Illustrator
  • UX Designer

1.     Web Developers

This is one very in-demand profession today as every business is going digital and requires the need of a website to sell to their audience and achieve many other goals. Millions of businesses and business owners around the world are seeking for experienced web developers to build a website for them, thus, has made the profession an in-demand one with high pay.

You do not need to go to college or acquire a college degree to become a web developer. You can simply head to Udemy or any of the online learning platforms and take web development training courses online. It’s best you learn, at least, a programming language like Python to be a recognized developer. Web development is one of the creative jobs that pay well without a degree at $91,468 per year.

2.     Technical Writers

As tech products and services are on the rise, the need for technical writers is required to write about these products and services in such a way that it is easily understood by an average reader. As a tech writer, you will write about complex technologies giving guidelines on how to use them so that consumers can be able to interact better with the technology be it a service or product.

Technical writers are the ones behind manuals, how-to guides, and journal articles. A college degree is not required to become a technical writer but a bachelor’s degree in journalism or English will help put you above the competition, that is, if you have the skillset and experience of a technical writer because a college degree does not make you a technical writer. The average salary of tech writers is $71,850 per year.

3.     Fashion Designer

There’s no way we can talk about creating jobs that pay well without a degree and not include fashion design. While there are degree programs in fashion design, you do not need it to become one but if you do then that is a plus for you. Fashion designers are highly creative individuals who have an eye for detail, they design and select the fabrics used in producing pieces of clothing, jewelry, and accessories.

You can become a fashion designer without a college degree but then, that means you will have an excellent collection of design ideas and professional experience in the field that demonstrate your style and technical abilities. This can get you hired by any employer. If you want to get into this field without a college degree, then consider enrolling in an online fashion design program to gain a relevant skillset. According to CNBC, the median annual wage of fashion designers is $72,720.

4.     Video Editor

Video editors earn as high as $90,000 per annum in the US and a college degree is not necessarily required to get into this profession. It is all about your skill, experience, and portfolio and you’re hired. You can become a freelance video editor, work for a company, have your own video editing agency, or combine all three.

Video editors play a huge role in filmmaking and ad campaigns for brands, thus, they will be in demand for as long as possible which is another reason why you should give the career some thought. You can train yourself to become a video editor by practicing with online courses or enrolling in an in-person training class.

5.     Editor

After content, be it a script, blog post, or article, must have been written it goes through an editor for the final assessment before going into publishing. The job of an editor is to review written materials and correct any grammar errors and other faults before publication.

Editors work in media outlets, newspaper, and magazine agencies, publishing houses, and websites. A college degree is not necessarily required to become an editor, with a good command of grammar and excellent writing skills, you can become an editor. Editors earn up to $88,500 per year.

6.     Animator

Animators create 2D and 3D moving images and visual effects for video games and films. They work with game designers, and graphics designers, giving developers, directors, and other clients who may need their services to create the ideal graphics needed. Skillset, experience, and a strong portfolio are what most companies use to assess animators before employing them, and not necessarily their educational background.

So, you really do not need to have a college degree to become an animator but if you do have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or animation along with the skillsets outlined above, you will be favored by employers. The median annual wage of an animator is $72,520.

7.     Graphic Designer

Graphic design is one of the creative jobs that pay well. As a content writer, I have many graphic designers around me and they all learned the skill through online courses and are now big in the space. They mostly combine freelance gigs with running their own company, none of these guys have a degree in graphic design, in fact, they all majored in a totally different field.

You can become a graphic designer without a college degree and earn up to $74,400 in salary per year. If you are passionate about this profession and want to get into it, you can take free online graphic design classes and gain foundational skills for free. Then as you progress, you can take more advanced courses to upskill yourself.

8.     Photographer

Here is another creative job with high pay that does not require a degree which you can venture into and become a professional within a few months. Wouldn’t it be weird if a client were to ask for your college degree before they employ you to be their photographer, I mean, what do they want to do with it?

Photography is seen more like a hobby than a career but when considered career-wise, it becomes a valuable skill that can earn you up to $75,223 per year.

9.     Illustrator

Illustrator is a creative job that does not require a degree. It is a profession that involves creating a visual representation that corresponds to a written text or video which can be used in books, films, websites, and for other promotional purposes.  Illustrators in the US earn up to $165,000 per year in the US if they have many years of experience.

10.  UX Designer

A UX Designer use frameworks to design digital products which will then be sent to programmers to then develop them into a real-life product. Every digital product or service that has ever existed and that you have ever handled has the expertise of a UX designer in it. UX designers build digital products and services that can be used by the final consumer.

Just like graphic design and other careers listed here, you do not need a college degree to land a role as a UX designer. What employers are looking for is your portfolio and level of experience. UX designers earn an average salary of $96,436 per year.

Aside from the hardcore skills you need to get into any of these professions, you should also develop soft skills such as excellent communication, teamwork, and leadership abilities. These skills are just as important to have as the hardcore skills you already possess.