While graduating from university is a great way to kick start your career, landing a well paid job without a degree is still perfectly achievable. 

The UK has hundreds of thousands of job vacancies for those who aren't academically minded and want to avoid the debts university brings. Experience can often be as or more valuable than a degree and many are taking this career path.

Best paid jobs minus graduate debt.

UCAS figures show 616, 360 people applied for university places before the January 2021 deadline, 89,000 fewer than in 2019. 

Average student debt, which for those studying in England stands at £51,000, is also seen as a prohibitive influence. It’s no surprise then that school and college leavers are turning to the jobs market to find the most lucrative ones that do not require degrees.  

Below are the best paid jobs we have either recently filled or currently have on our site that do not require degrees with sales and commission based ones commanding the biggest pay packets. The list also includes roles that candidates can go to university to train for, but for which degrees are non-essential.

Non-monetary benefits.

Adam Nicoll, marketing director of Randstad UK, said: “A degree used to be a must-have for many roles but these days a combination of rising tuition fees, student debt and Brexit makes getting a job an attractive proposition.

“Years of increasing university applications has led to a saturated graduate jobs market, which in some cases has devalued degrees. It means employers are looking favourably at professional experience and tangible successes.

“Of course, money is not the only thing that motivates workers and those who work in care and education earn a ‘psychic income’ - the intrinsic rewards - that few jobs offer.

“University will always play an important role in preparing students for the world of work but it’s not for everyone and as our table shows you can make a good living without a degree.”

Highest paid jobs in the UK that don't require a degree.


Recruitment consultant - £100,000+  (most offering uncapped commission)

psst. these jobs are with us, learn more about life at Randstad here.

Sales manager- up to £60,000

Field sales agent - up to £82,000 (most offering uncapped commission)

Business development executive - up to £70,000

PHP developer - up to £100,000

Account manager - up to £50,000

Foreman - up to £40,000

Bricklayer - up to £36,000

Carpenter - up to £30,000

Social worker - up to £30,000

CV tips.

Found the job you want? Make sure your CV is up to date and as that you apply our advice to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. Chances are your application will also require a cover letter - and if it doesn't it doesn't harm your chances by writing one anyway - so follow our guides and use our CV and cover letter templates to improve your chances of landing your next role.