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High-paying jobs in the UK – no degree required

The job market has been getting tougher during the past few years. Many of today’s job seekers are now looking for a job because their companies were laying off workers, not because they wanted to change jobs.
As a result, many people thought of going back to school to gain a competitive edge in their hunts. Although earning a degree is an excellent move for several reasons, it’s not the best choice for everyone. For one thing, education is expensive and you’re often left with debt to pay back. Earning a degree is also time-consuming and takes one or more years. Waiting to see the benefits of years of hard work isn’t appealing to everyone.

A university degree also does not necessarily determine a higher salary than a non-degree position despite the common misconception among job seekers that graduate entrants can command a higher salary than non-graduates. According to current figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in five graduates now even earn less than the average person educated to A-level standard.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of jobs that don’t require university degrees and pay well. In some cases on-site training and often a certain level of experience will be necessary, but the minimum requirements for these positions don’t involve a degree.

Here are 10 high paying jobs in the UK — no degree required and their average annual salary*:

Air traffic controllers: £59,228
To become a fully qualified controller, you will need an air traffic control licence, which you can gain by completing an approved training course.

Marketing and sales managers: £57,276
To become a marketing manager, you will need experience as a marketing executive and have a good industry knowledge. As a sales manager you will need experience in sales, with a good record of achieving targets.

Police officers (inspector and above): £56,931
Before being accepted as a trainee police officer, you need to meet eligibility criteria which can vary, but in general you will need to be a British citizen over 18 who is physically fit and passes all background and security checks.

Public relations manager: £49,384
Public relations is a very competitive industry and many employers will expect you to be qualified to degree level, although this is not always essential. Alternatively, you could join a PR firm as an administrator, publicity assistant or information officer, and work your way up to PR officer with experience.

Personnel and training managers: £49,242
To become a personnel manager, you can start working in a company’s HR department, and study part-time for the CIPD Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP). Training managers often join the training department from other departments in a company, and work towards training qualifications.

Senior officials in local government: £44,667
You can start to work in local government as an administrative assistant and work your way up. Most employers value work and life experience, depending on the particular job.

Train drivers: £41,176
To be able to work as a train driver, you need to have a good general standard of education, including maths and English GCSEs and some mechanical or electrical knowledge. You can apply directly to train driving companies.

Insurance underwriters: £ 39,549
To become an underwriter, you can start as a trainee insurance technician or claims administrator and work your way up through the industry. You can also get into the insurance industry through an Apprenticeship scheme.

Customer Service Managers: £39,089
To get into customer services management, you can start as a customer service assistant and work your way up to supervisor or team leader then to manager or you can join a company’s management training scheme.

Health services managers: £ 38,213
To get into into health service management without a degree, you can work your way up from an administrative post by taking in-service training courses. For an administrative position, you are likely to need four or five GCSEs.

*based on data from the Office for National Statistics and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) report and job information on

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