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We live in a world that’s convinced us that without a degree we won’t find a job. Thanks to that thought being spoken over and over, there are a great deal of careers that have fallen to the wayside—and leaving them in high demand. Let’s take a look at careers in high demand requiring no degree.

OTR Truck Driver

An over-the-road (OTR) truck driver hauls materials, goods, food, etc., over long distances—usually all over the country. The schedule varies but it commonly consists of a number of weeks on the road and then a few days off.

Requirements include a valid driver’s license and then professional training and licensing. The last two are offered through community colleges, and often through the company the driver is choosing to work for, as well.

Sheet Metal Worker

A sheet metal worker creates and installs metal sheet products which are often used in heating and cooling. Metal sheet workers can work in construction or for a manufacturing company. Many run their own business.

The only requirement is an apprenticeship. This would allow a future sheet metal worker to learn the skills needed while working alongside another sheet metal worker on the job.


There are a lot of jobs we forget exist until we need them. A locksmith is a good example. Locksmiths come running when we lock ourselves out of our homes or vehicles.

Training varies from weeks to months and can be found at two-year colleges, through locksmith businesses, and even online.

After a training course is complete, on-the-job training or an apprenticeship follows. In many states a thorough background check is completed for licensing due to the nature of the job.

There are locksmith companies to work for, but self-employment is common for locksmiths. All that is needed are the right tools, flexibility, and availability during a lock-out emergency.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent (called brokers in some states) works with buyers and sellers helping to find homes or commercial properties. It’s a great career with the potential for high income depending on where the agent works.

Requirements vary by state, but licensing is always required and takes place after one passes a real estate course and exam.


Plumbers work on repairing and installing pipes and all other plumbing needs. A good plumber is available for a middle of the night emergency plumbing situation and even on weekends. Broken toilets can’t wait.

An apprenticeship is all that’s required to become a plumber. In some states, though, it’s necessary to pass a licensing exam as well. Don’t let that fool you, though. There’s plenty to learn and it’s a great job.


Electricians use a multitude of skills to install and replace wiring in all kind of situations. Electricians can work for a company or have their own business.

You can become an electrician through an apprenticeship. And of course, a licensing exam needs to be passed in some states.

These are all just the tip of the iceberg for careers in high demand requiring no degree. College isn’t for everyone and it also isn’t the end all be all. See what’s out there that makes you excited and then choose that career path!

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.