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We don't need no education - Jobs without a degree can pay more than £50,000

The myth that not having a degree bars you from a high-paying job has been dispelled, after research from the world’s largest job site Indeed identified 10 non-graduate roles that each pay more than the UK average wage.

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Indeed

  • Students worrying about their A-Level results need not panic as figures from the world’s largest job site Indeed show many well-paid roles don’t need a degree
  • Ethical hackers typically earn more than double the national average salary
  • Nearly a third of graduates earn less than those who completed an apprenticeship
  • The top-paying jobs for those without a degree include management positions, chefs and even pilots

The myth that not having a degree bars you from a high-paying job has been dispelled, after research from the world’s largest job site Indeed identified 10 non-graduate roles that each pay more than the UK average wage.

While many of us might assume Britain’s best-paid jobs always require a university education, the study revealed a surprising number – and variety – of well-remunerated careers that don’t.

Indeed has analysed the salaries offered by tens of thousands of job adverts to identify the top 10 roles open to non-graduates that pay substantially more than the average UK yearly salary of £27,600.

Top of the list are ethical hackers, who on average can expect to earn a whopping £56,547 a year – more than double the national average salary. While some ethical hackers may have degrees or technical qualifications, many learn the skills through experience.

Table: Top 10 best-paid jobs that don’t require a degree

Source: Indeed

Rank

Job Title

Average Salary

1

 

2

Ethical Hacker

 

Construction Manager

£56,547

 

£53,118

3

 

4

 

5

Software Engineer

 

Maintenance Manager

 

Sales Manager

£39,097

 

£38,675

 

£37,991

6

Fitness Manager

£34,374

7

Executive Assistant

£33,150

8

 

9

 

10

Pilot

 

Head Chef

 

Mechanic

£32,691

 

£30,867

 

£28,734

The top salary reflects the high demand for ethical hackers in the UK: Indeed data confirms there are currently more than twice the number of postings for these types of jobs as there are searches by prospective employees.

Such high salaries will give pause for thought to teenagers asking themselves whether a degree course is right for them. University fees are currently capped at £27,750 for a three-year course. Once living expenses are included, the reality is that most graduates will now finish their degree with debts of at least £55,0001.

Workers with apprenticeship experience often do better than university graduates. In 2016, 29% of UK graduates earned less than what the average non-graduate with an apprenticeship took in2.

Bill Richards, UK Managing Director at global job site, Indeed, comments: ‘’This data proves that choosing not to go to university after school does not automatically mean a lower salary. Although all the roles in our list do require some form of training, they don’t require a degree.

‘’Our figures suggest there is still a ‘graduate premium’, with graduates frequently earning more than those without a degree, but this is usually once they have spent a few years in work - and many will start their careers in the same entry level positions as they would had they not gone to university.

“And while having a degree typically increases your long-term earning potential, the cost of gaining one is substantial. As a result, many school-leavers will be asking themselves whether the sums of doing a degree add up.

‘’The figures should reassure parents and teenagers at the end of exam season that there are numerous routes into study and employment, and that high salaries are by no means the exclusive domain of those heading off to university in September.”


1 Based on maximum yearly tuition fees of £9,250 and annual maintenance loan of up-to £8,430 (outside London)                                          

2 ONS statistics from Graduates in the UK labour market: 2017