College is expensive. I know so many people that are absolutely buried in debt that the only way they’ll ever break even is if the government forgives their loans. There’s been a lot of press about that lately, but it’s not as easy as they try to make it seem. Or maybe you can marry rich. I know a guy who just did that. Those are difficult paths, so maybe you’re considering avoiding college after high school and going straight into the workforce. Are there good paying jobs you can get without a college degree in Florida?

There’s another thing happening to people who do have a college degree. Their jobs are ending. Outsourcing has been around for quite awhile now. Companies shipping off your job to someone in another country that’ll do it for much cheaper. Well, even some of those people are being outsourced now – to AI. AI has the power to replace people. And it’s already doing just that. My brother works on an AI project that could effectively replace him if it succeeds. So if that’s you, too, your next job needs to be something that a computer can’t (currently) do.

And then there’s layoffs. Some businesses are laying off employees to try to remain profitable in a changing economic climate. Others, like Microsoft, are laying off people to continue to drive massive profits. According to Nasdaq, Microsoft quarterly “revenues are projected to reach $61.03 billion, increasing 15.7% from the same quarter last year.” Microsoft stock hit a new all time high today. They also announced that they’re laying off 1,900 workers.

Good Paying Jobs Without a Degree

So maybe circumstances dictate that college is not the best option for you. Or maybe you’ve been pushed out of your chosen career and need something new. Going back to college as an adult isn’t always possible. It’s not like everyone can just stop working for a few years and go back and get a degree. Some of these do require a bit of education, but nothing you can’t handle.  Lastly, this is written Florida-specific, but I’m sure if you’re in another state some of these can apply for you as well. Some inspiration of this comes from the US News Best Jobs 2024 list.

Lastly, being bilingual will almost always get you paid more. Make sure you lead with that. When I had my roof done there was one guy that sat in the air conditioned van the whole time while the rest of the crew baked in the sun. I asked him how he got the easy job and his response was “I speak English and Spanish.”

Related: High School Graduates – Here Are The Top 10 Highest Paying College Majors

  • Hearing Aid Specialist

    There’s a lot of retirees down here in Florida and many of them are losing their hearing. There’s a couple of things you need to do to get into this field. The practice of dispensing prescription hearing aids is a privilege granted by the state, so here’s what you need to do. First up, you need to have what is called a ‘sponsor’. Someone who’s been doing this for at least two years. They’ll need to vouch for you. Next up, enroll in a 6 month training that will cost you $105. Yep. A hundred and five dollars. Pass the course, get your license, and away you go. My dad has hearing aids and I’ve met with the professional that works with him. You can do this.

    hearing aid specialist.

  • Community Health Worker

    Some of the jobs that fall into this category are Community Health Educator, Health Communicator, Outreach Worker, or Health Advocate. Here’s what the state of Florida says you’ll be doing. “Serve as a liaison, link and intermediary between health services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.” You’ll need a high school diploma or GED and need to pass a background check. Before you do the 30 hours of training required for certification here’s the main hurdle. You’ll need 500 hours of work or volunteer experience. That breaks down to about 3 months full time or 6 months part time volunteer work. Learn more about certification here.

    Community Health Worker

  • Electrician

    There’s so much construction going on here in Florida, and all of those new buildings are going to need power. So how do you become an electrician? Find someone who’s willing to show you. You’ll be what’s known as an apprentice. After a four-year apprenticeship, you can take an exam to become a journeyman electrician. And the pay bump that comes with it. Listen, if you can hang a ceiling fan, you have the basic skills to get you started. Electricity is really not that complicated. Call your one friend in construction and see if they know of anyone that’s hiring. If you’re taking a construction path, doing electrical is a lot easier that roofing. Trust. 

    electrical work

  • Flight Attendant

    If you were a server at a restaurant, or worked the desk at a hotel, you already have the background to be a flight attendant. I’ve been on a lot of flights and it really seems like the hardest part of the job is to maintain patience while traveling on little or broken sleep. You’ll need to pass a background and a drug test and it’s best if you already know someone who can guide you with the application process. This is a very competitive field to get in to.

  • Massage Therapist

    If you give great backrubs, who knows, maybe you should go professional. But not like the ones you see on the news. The legal way. This one’s not automatic. Before you can get your Massage Therapist License you’ll need to get some training. 500 hours of schooling. The good news here is, the state of Florida has done a lot of the legwork for you. Check out this website to see if this career path is right for you. One extra note, if your client announces he owns an NFL team – get out.

    Massage therapist

  • Pharmacy Technician

    I can tell you firsthand that the Pharmacy Techs in Southwest Florida are overwhelmed. We went to a drug store here in Estero to find out why a simple prescription of a very common pill was taking 3 days to get filled. I was told that they can’t get to all the prescriptions and that a pharmacy in Orlando was filling prescriptions for them and shipping them here. This doesn’t mean that they’re hiring, however. Do some research before you commit. You will need some schooling for this, obviously. These medicines keep people alive. Fortunately a Pharmacy Technician Training Program only takes about a year. Then you need a license from the state of Florida.

  • Maintenance

    Florida has an endless amount of communities that require a handyman. If you’re good at fixing things around the house, there’s no reason why you can’t make this your profession. You don’t need a license to do basic handyman jobs, but the big jobs require a contractor license. This site breaks all that down. If you go to work for just one community, they can hire you as an employee. Your day could consist of fixing blinds and changing air filters. maybe the occasional leaky faucet. You’ll need a business license if you want to freelance. Before you apply, you’ll need your own tools and preferably an older white pickup truck with dents in it. 100% – people will take you more seriously if you have a dented white pickup truck. A “FloGrown” sticker on the back window, too.

    maintenance worker

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

    This is definitely a quicker path to nursing than it’s counterpart, the Registered Nurse. Because of the qualification, your job will essentially be a lot of the ‘busy work’. Changing bandages, checking blood pressure, helping patients eat, bathe, use the bathroom. First up, you’ll need a diploma, which can be had in about a year of coursework. Then, get your license from the state of Florida. I know a guy who got his LPN diploma while also working a day job in construction. You can do this.

    Nurse

  • Solar Photovoltaic Installer

    Solar is a big business. And it’s growing in Florida. Someone has to install the panels and hook up the batteries. You’ll need a bit of a knack for construction as there is measuring, cutting, and bolting work that needs done. I took a peek at some of the job openings and most want some experience. But that experience doesn’t need to be in solar. If you were a roofer, or maybe worked on a construction crew for the past year, that could get you in the door. My advice here is to learn the gig and then move in to solar sales. I know a guy who is absolutely flush with cash selling solar installs. His education? He was a radio dj.

    Solar Panel installers

     

  • Medical Records Technician

    I’ve also seen it as medical coders. You’re taking medical records and compiling the information into patient records. The health field in Florida is only expanding and this is a great way to get into it, without having to actually deal with patients. A little more schooling goes into this one, about 18 months to get the degree needed. Then you’ll need to complete certification. Next up, stare at a screen all day in air conditioned comfort. Some of these jobs will even let you work remotely so you won’t even need to get dressed. Score!

    If you’re still not seeing anything you want to try, here’s the full list of 25.

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