Highest-Paying Tech Career Options without a Degree
Although it typically depends on the specific employer, there are several high-paying tech jobs that do not require a bachelor's degree and some that may only require a high school diploma. These jobs vary greatly in their specific duties and range across different technology-related fields. Explore a few of the highest-paying tech careers that do not require a degree.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Computer User Support Specialists||$49,390||11%|
|Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers (Except Line Installers)||$53,640||-8% (Decline)|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$79,700||6%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Career Information for Highest-Paying Tech Jobs without a Degree
In 2016, web developers made a median salary of $66,130, according to the BLS. These professionals create, test and monitor websites for organizations, which requires them to work closely with their clients and other designers to ensure the site looks good and contains all of the necessary information. Web developers are responsible for the technical side of these sites, including writing code, monitoring traffic and testing applications, but also oversee the layout, content and other graphics for the site. Many web developers only need a high school diploma or associate's degree and graphic design and programming knowledge, but some positions may require a bachelor's degree.
Computer User Support Specialists
Computer user support specialists made a median salary of $49,390 in 2016, per the BLS. These specialists help customers install or solve various problems with their hardware or software by walking them through step-by-step solutions. They must carefully listen to the customer to understand the problem, address the issue and/or train them on the proper use of the product and may occasionally need to pass on any major issues to management. Computer user specialists do not always need a postsecondary degree, but do need some computer knowledge.
Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers
According to the BLS, telecommunications equipment installers and repairers made a median salary of $53,640 in 2016. They are responsible for installing communications equipment, like Internet routers, for individuals and organizations, as well as inspecting and repairing the equipment as needed. They must ensure that equipment is properly calibrated, test equipment for proper functioning and teach customers how to use the equipment. These professionals usually need on-the-job training and some postsecondary education, such as a certificate or associate's degree in telecommunications, computer networking or a related field.
Sales engineers made an annual median salary of $100,000 in 2016, according to the BLS. These engineers give technical presentations to potential customers to explain how different scientific and technical products work in attempts to sell the products or services. Once they help customers find the right equipment for their needs, they oversee orders and help customers address any issues after installation. Sales engineers can work without a degree if they have technical experience and/or training and previous sales experience, but a bachelor's degree is common.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
The BLS reported that network and computer systems administrators made a median salary of $79,700 in 2016. These administrators install and oversee networks for organizations, which often requires them to make routine upgrades and other maintenance on local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and other communication systems. They also help train people how to use these systems, may set the security permissions for the networks and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Network and computer systems administrators usually need a bachelor's degree, but some positions only need a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree.