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Are there any careers where you can get good pay with, but without needing to go to college?

My main concern is if I need to go to college for any careers I want, which would be freelance illustration (aka taking commissions for a living) or working with animals, like pet-sitting or working/volunteering at shelter(s), and if these would pay well.

Thank you comment icon It helps you meet other people not in your field Josh Idell

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Akandu’s Answer

Hi Kiere! You can be very successful in a sales position without a college degree. As long as you have the right personality and persistence, you can make a decent living with a sales career. Also, there are certain trades like HVAC work that you can consider which pay a lot as well. Some technology jobs, which require technical skills, do not require a college degree. Some companies don’t ask for a degree for those positions as long as you have the necessary knowledge to fulfill the job requirements.
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Carlos’s Answer

Yes, there are always paths that can lead to lucrative or rewarding work that do not require degrees. The trade jobs are always in demand and often have many apprenticeships which can launch you into a career right out of high school. It will take time and work the same as college but it is simply a different path.
Many technology careers often are filled with many people who did not go to college but instead often rely on learned skills and experiences from hobbies and interests in the field. The equivalent to degrees in some of these jobs are certifications which can be studied online or at libraries and then taking the tests. This applies for coding, networking, IT, project management and security. Sites like

Now with many sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and the prevalence of the gig economy, you'll have the freedom to build your own career path and enjoy fruits of your labor. In the arts often it can be simple as getting seen in social media an building a following in which your customers can connect with your work.
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Augusto’s Answer

Hi Kiere! Thanks for your question!
Talking about working at Technology related companies, many of them are not requiring college degrees for many of the roles. You can get specific certifications related to IT, Networking, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Marketing etc, and you will be able to get a very good job with no need for a college degree.
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Renee’s Answer

Yes, there are SO many trade tech schools that you can go to that are just as good as getting a degree.
Find something out there your interested in
If you just google trade tech schools it may trigger something in you to look into
You can always intern as well as "on the job" training is the best and so rewarding
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Carolyn’s Answer

Hi Kiere, you can make a good amount of money through the Rover pet walking/sitting app! You could also look into eventually becoming a vet-tech :) I know those pay well! In terms of freelance illustration, work on creating a portfolio and website, create an etsy to sell commissions, set up a social media page , and start advertising yourself!
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Brian’s Answer

If you are serious about freelance illustration, look into platforms that are specifically dedicated to freelance work. Fiverr and Upwork come to mind. It is very easy to get set up there, but at the very least, look at what other freelancers are doing on there, the quality of their work, the pricing, etc and it will give you a good idea of what you are getting into.

Brian recommends the following next steps:

Set up a profile on Fiverr
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Hector’s Answer

There are options to get into Sales roles without a degree..

1. SV Academy and similar programs exist to help underrepresented groups get into tech sales
2. You can work at a retailer like Nordstrom to get a commissioned-sales job in retail
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Josh’s Answer

Sales
Thank you comment icon Hey Josh, can you please elaborate on this answer? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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