These Fast Growing Jobs Don’t Require Degrees

If you’re not working toward a degree, you do have options to start working after high school. Some of the fastest growing positions include:

  • Hairstylist
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Repair Specialist
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Plumber

Some of these positions require on-the-job training, certifications, or an apprenticeship. We’ll outline the specifics in this article, and we’ll give you some tips on finding a job in any of these fields.

Hairstylist and Barber

A great haircut makes everyone feel better. As a hair care professional, you’ll make the styling magic happen, and you don’t need a college degree to get started.

The need for these professionals will grow by 13% by 2026, and that’s much faster than average. The average annual salary will hover at about $25,000, but this doesn’t include tips. Do an exceptional job, and your clients will reward you with extra cash at the end of the appointment. If you work for an upscale facility, your tip margin could be generous.

You’ll need to complete a state-approved cosmetology program, as well as pass a licensing exam. With that work completed, you’ll cut, shampoo, perm, curl, and dry hair like a pro. If you move from one state to another, you might need to sit for a new exam. That’s a major drawback involved with this career.

Heating and Air Conditioning Experts

The demand for these experts is rising due to climate change. Summers are warmer than they have ever been, while winters seem to stretch on forever. Older units might not be up to the task, and new ones offer enhanced power with increased energy efficiencies. These positions will rise 15% by 2026, which is much faster than average.

To get started in this field, you’ll need:

  • A high school degree
  • Licensure
  • Certification
  • Apprenticeship

It can take several years for you to walk through all of these steps, but as you prepare, you can work as a paid apprentice under the supervision of an expert. When you’re done with your education, you can expect to make close to $50,000 per year.

Nursing Assistants

Nurses perform a critical role in any health care organization. They perform screening tests, medical treatments, and ease discomfort. There are many other tasks patients need help with that nurses can’t always get to. That’s what you’ll do as a nursing assistant: you’ll take on all the things patients need that nurses can’t do.

Nursing assistants help with:

  • Feeding
  • Movement
  • Cleaning
  • Recordkeeping

You’ll work in a hospital or nursing home as a nursing assistant, and average annual salaries land at close to $29,000 per year. As the population ages, we’ll need more and more people like this to help care for our seniors.

All of your lessons will help you pass a state licensure exam. Facilities in desperate need of workers hold classes to help you prepare for that test, and they’ll pay you for the time you spend in study.


While you don’t need a college degree to get started, you will need to spend several years gaining on-the-job experience. Plumbers get the job through apprenticeships. They agree to work for several years with low pay alongside an experienced plumber. You’ll pay your dues, as you’ll heave, push, and pull for someone who makes more money than you do. Each day is another day you’ll learn something new, and these experiences can be used in your future career. When you have several years of experience, you can sit for your state’s license exam. The demand for plumbers will rise by 16% by 2026. The average plumber takes home on average $53,000 per year.