15 Best Jobs For College Dropouts | 2023 Ranking

You can be a college dropout and still be successful. Every year, a lot of people make the resolution to get a better job.

This is especially true these days when so many Americans are worried about increasing their income.

 It’s a common misperception that people must complete years of education or have a significant amount of work experience before they can begin to make a respectable living.

In fact, there are plenty of lucrative positions available that don’t even necessitate a college education.

As a college dropout, you can still be successful if you engage in any of these best jobs for college dropouts.

Stay glued as this article discusses the 15 best jobs for college dropouts.

What Does It Mean To Be a College Dropout?

When a student leaves school in the US without completing the necessary criteria for graduation, he or she is said to have dropped out.

It may be possible for a student to stop attending class without canceling their registration, so it is not always possible to determine if they have dropped out.

 In the United States, where high school graduation rates are among the 19th lowest in the world, an estimated 1.2 million kids drop out of high school each year.

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Why Do Students Drop Out Of College?

Students leave college for a variety of reasons.

The top concern, particularly for those who hail from low-income homes, is money.

 Stress, selecting the incorrect university or major, and conflicting obligations are some additional common reasons given by students for leaving college.

Students in order to benefit from its various advantages chose college.

While enrolled in a higher education institution, one can take advantage of some perks including expanding their network and honing their social and problem-solving abilities.

Note that the ability to enjoy a college degree and diploma, which are requirements for the majority of possible employers, are only available after graduation.

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How Can You Become a Successful College Dropout?

Successful college dropouts share some traits when it comes to overcoming hurdles in life, despite the fact that each of their personalities may seem to be different.

These big-time achievers without college degrees, though some may view them as quitters, make up for their lack of education with guts and diligence.

They all share the tenets listed below, which may be useful to you as you forge a unique course in your life.

Choose Your Strengths:

Are you aware of the abilities that are in demand? What skills do you possess?

It doesn’t matter how brilliant your startup idea is if you don’t know how to put it into action.

To incubate it into maturity, it must endow you with the required expertise, abilities, and competencies.

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Invest In Yourself:

Use the free online courses available to you to improve your capabilities if you notice that your list of abilities and competencies is inadequate.

Even the most prosperous college dropouts admit that highly educated entrepreneurs perform better than those with less education.

Accept Failure And Be Willing To Take Risks:

If you leave school, you are already taking a big risk, but there are more things you could face.

Risk was something that the prosperous college dropouts welcomed rather than feared. However, it’s crucial to remember that they made well-considered and judicious risk choices.

These college dropouts are lacking a few credits to complete their degrees, therefore they have the ability to solve abstract problems.

You can also consider doing any of the top best jobs for college dropouts listed in this article.

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Is It Feasible To Drop Out Of College And Still Find Employment?

Yes, without a degree, it is feasible to find employment. You can choose any of the jobs listed below as they are the best jobs for  college dropouts

 It might be more difficult, though, depending on the employment.

 You must convince the employer that you are still the best candidate if the position you want clearly has a degree requirement.

You might describe your level of skill or professional experience, for instance.

 A good strategy to compensate for not having a degree is to highlight this information in your cover letter, resume, or interview.

Without a high school education or an equivalent, there are a number of in-demand positions to take into account.

Additionally, many of them have minimal or no experience requirements, allowing workers to learn new skills and accumulate experience while working or during apprenticeships.

For people who didn’t complete high school, the careers listed below are excellent.

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15 Best Jobs for College Dropouts in 2022

These are the top and the best jobs for college dropouts in 2022. We believe this will grant you access to the income you’ve ever dreamed of.

#1. Sommelier

  • Average Annual Salary: $46,000
  • Available jobs: 1,110
  • Rate of Job Growth: 6% increase

A career as a sommelier may be a good fit for you if you have a strong understanding of wine and a few people skills. This is one of the best jobs for college dropouts.

These people typically work in upscale restaurants and are experts in all things wine, whether it means recommending the best wines to customers or training wait staff.

 Sommeliers earn, on average, $22.49 per hour, in contrast to the average waiter.

Of course, learning about wine takes some formal education.

In addition to taking online classes, you can gain valuable experience by working as a waiter, manager, or sales representative.

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#2.  Vehicle Mechanic

  • Average annual salary: $36,000
  • Available jobs: 56,081
  • Rate of Job Growth: 1% decrease

Any college dropout who has some knowledge of cars will find that becoming an auto technician is an excellent career choice.

 In addition to the average car mechanic’s hourly wage of $19.29, a sizeable 38% of jobs just required a high school certificate to be got.

Naturally, having experience in working on and maintaining vehicles is necessary for this employment.

 You’ll need to be familiar with auto parts, how to change tires and oil, state and federal laws, and preferably excellent customer service.

However, you can enter this field of work rather readily if you have two years of relevant experience or are able to receive some form of vocational training.

A vehicle mechanic is one of the best jobs for college dropouts.

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#3. Solar-panel installer

  • Average annual salary: $42,38
  • Available Jobs: 9,563
  • Rate of Job Growth: 63% increase

Being a solar panel installer is an excellent career choice if you want to drop out, with an average hourly wage of $20.38 and an amazing job growth rate of 63%.

It might shock you to find that the majority of solar panel installers just have a high school diploma for the work they undertake (installing and maintaining solar panels).

This implies that, even if you lack expertise or a college degree, it may be rather simple to get this position. Over the next five years, this industry will also add over 6,000 new employment due to the incredible levels of job growth.

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#4. Therapeutic Massage

  • Annual Average Salary: $45,742
  • Available Jobs: 35,881
  • Rate of Job Growth: 22% increase

What’s less stressful than midterms, do you know? Developing a massage therapy career.

Working on the muscles and soft tissues of customers, these specialists make a good $22 per hour.

You’ll spend your days surrounded by calming music and calm clients, whether you want to operate from home or at a spa.

Additionally, starting a career in this field simply needs a little commitment.

 The average requirement for postsecondary education is merely 500 hours of coursework and work experience, and 27.7% of massage therapists working today only possess a high school diploma or certificate.

So even if you drop out, it wouldn’t take you long to become one which makes it one of the best jobs for college dropouts.

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#5. Photographer

  • Annual Average Salary: $49,482
  • Available Jobs: 8,300
  • Rate of Job Growth: 6% decrease

 Success as a photographer can be achieved through a variety of routes, just like in any creative profession.

 You can operate a business of your own, specialize in commercial or wedding photography, or pursue any number of other specializations.

Additionally, you might be surprised to learn that the average photographer earns over $23 per hour, which is significantly more than the stereotype of the “starving artist” that you might have in mind.

For anyone wishing to leave college early, photography is a fantastic career choice because of its freedom.

 It sounds much more enjoyable than taking statistics class to create beautiful images of people, animals, locations, and objects as a photographer.

This is one of the best jobs for college drop outs.

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#6. Millwright

  • Average Annual Salary: $48,293
  • Available Jobs: 49,535
  • Rate of Job Growth: 5% increase

Repairs are made to industrial machinery and factory equipment by millwrights.

They make an hourly average of $23.22. Installing, disassembling, fixing, reassembling, and transporting machinery around factories, power plants, and building sites might take up the majority of your day if you enjoy manual labor.

Even though men are more likely to pursue this professional route, college dropouts should really consider it.

High school graduation is the greatest degree of education held by a sizable 45% of persons who operate in this sector.

 Technical education, such as that obtained through an apprenticeship program, is typically all that is required to enter this area of work.

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#7. Insurance Agents.

  • Average Annual Salary: $49,118
  • Available Jobs: 58,902
  • Rate of Job Growth: 10% increase

Salespeople that specialize in selling insurance are known as insurance agents, and they also sell renters’, health, and other types of insurance.

The hourly wage for an insurance agent is approximately $23.61, and employment in this field is growing by a healthy 10%.

Success as an insurance agent depends on strong interpersonal and customer service skills as well as product expertise, much like in other sales positions.

Fortunately, approximately 15% of insurance agents only needed a high school diploma to get their professions, and many positions in this industry offer on-the-job training for qualified applicants.

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#8. Agent for Real Estate

  • Annual Average Salary: $102,423
  • Available Jobs: 22,010
  • Rate of Job Growth: 7% increase

A college dropout who earns almost $50 per hour certainly qualifies as successful. If you become a successful real estate agent, even though this initially seems crazy, it is actually achievable.

In that they specialize in assisting individuals in buying and selling homes, real estate agents are somewhat comparable to sales salespeople.

 In this area of employment, charm, punctuality, follow-through, and in-depth familiarity with the American property market are unavoidable requirements.

Despite making a good living, up to 27% of real estate salespeople only have a high school education or some college.

However, for these professionals, obtaining a real estate license in the state or states they plan to work in.

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#9. Representative of Sales

  • Annual Average Salary: $56,106
  • Available Jobs: 169,231
  • Rate of Job Growth: 2% increase

Sales agents are in the business of acquiring new clients and selling goods. And it should come as no surprise that earning money for businesses entails earning a respectable average wage of $26.97 per hour.

With a startling 169,231 positions available in the United States alone, this position is in high demand.

 In fact, there are so many openings for sales representative jobs that you might locate employment opportunities requiring minimal training or a degree.

 Some businesses will teach you everything you need to know if you’re a strong salesperson.

Because of this, 20% or more of these professionals only possess high school graduation.

#10. Facilities Manager for lodging

  • Annual Average Salary: $54,348
  • Available Jobs: 147,169
  • Rate of Job Growth:  6%

Accommodation facility managers make sure their hotel (or any other lodging institution) is operated effectively and efficiently while making an astounding $26.13 per hour.

In order to ensure that every visitor has a pleasant experience, they also follow up with them.

 In light of this, excellent communication and customer service abilities are essential for this position.

With just under 150,000 jobs available and a 6% job growth rate in the U.S., you will also have little competition.

College dropouts can still get employment in this field even if it does demand some administrative expertise and, preferably, experience in the hospitality and leisure industries.

#11. Food service supervisor

  • Annual Average Salary: $56,590
  • Available Jobs: 41,400
  • Rate of Job Growth: 15% Increase

 You can make a respectable living in the food service sector.

Fortunately, you can work in management without having a high school graduation.

You’ll be more likely to land a position if you have prior food service experience and have a thorough understanding of how the company is operated on a daily basis.

 However, the job entails long hours and late nights, and you could even need to work on the weekends occasionally.

 You need strong leadership abilities, the ability to communicate effectively, and the respect of your team in order to be successful in this position.

In order to make sure your numbers are correct, you will also need to commit to working on your days off.

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#12. Assistant For Home Health

  • Annual Average Salary: $27,080
  • Available Jobs: 3,336,480
  • Rate of Job Growth:16% Increase

As a home health assistant, you will be in charge of assisting persons who are disabled, afflicted with a chronic illness, or having cognitive difficulties with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and maintaining personal hygiene.

 The patients’ homes, group homes, and day services programs are just a few of the places you’ll work.

 It’s not an easy profession, therefore you should be honest, physically fit, and have outstanding people skills.

 People who desire to change people’s lives should apply for this position as it is one of the top best jobs for college dropouts.

#13. Graphics Designer

  • Annual Average Salary: $47,330
  • Available Jobs: 254,100
  • Rate of Job Growth: 3%

The majority of businesses often have educational requirements for full-time employees, but not for freelance professionals.

So if you’re a skilled designer, internet sites for freelancing like Fiverr and Upwork are great places to locate work.

As a designer, you might also think about specializing in areas like web design and UX/UI design. You can demonstrate your abilities and get more work by finishing a few courses and building a portfolio of your best work.

The same is true for other digital experts like programmers, copywriters, and SEO specialists who can all freelance their services and find work in a variety of businesses.

Having this digital skill is one of the best jobs for college dropouts.

#14. Cosmetology.

  • Annual Average Salary: $31,240 .
  • Available Jobs: 85,000
  • Rate of Job Growth: 19%

 Do you have a passion for all things beautiful?

 You might find success in the field of cosmetology, where you’ll style clients’ hair, give manicures and pedicures, design cosmetics looks, and administer skin treatments.

In most states, 16 is the minimum age to enroll in cosmetology school.

There are vocational programs available that will allow you to pursue training as a wannabe cosmetologist, even if in some situations you will need to have completed high school.

This is one of the best jobs for college dropouts.

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#15. Machinist

  • Annual Average Salary:  $47,000
  • Available Jobs:47,500
  • Rate of Job Growth: 8% increase

Making tools or dying as a high school dropout is another career choice.

To create a range of precision metal components, instruments, and tools, you’ll be in charge of setting up and using a number of computer-controlled and mechanically driven machine tools.

Physical endurance and manual dexterity are qualities that are essential for this vocation.

Along with having a strong mathematical foundation, you need also to have excellent analytical, mechanical, and technological skills.

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What Age Must You Be To Drop Out Of College In Illinois?

Once you turn 17 or even earlier, in some cases, students in Illinois are legally allowed to discontinue their education.

 Every state has “compulsory education” legislation that mandates attending school.

 Children in Illinois between the ages of six and seventeen are required to attend school full-time until they graduate.

Who Among Successful People Dropped Out Of College?

Unbelievably, college dropouts are today’s most successful business owners.

 Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Jack Dorsey, Larry Ellison, the late Steve Jobs, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter are a few among them.


How many students leave college each year?

According to college dropout rates, up to 32.9% of first-year students fail to finish their degree programs. Freshmen entering their first year of college had a 12-month dropout rate of 24.1%. 25.7% of first-time bachelor’s degree applicants drop out in the end, while up to 40% of all undergraduate students drop out.

Even if I drop out of college, can I still succeed?

Yes, you read that right. College dropouts are among today’s most successful businesspeople. We have also listed the best jobs for college dropouts which can make you successful if done diligently.

How can I prevent myself from quitting college?

If you feel that the responsibilities of college life are too much for you to bear and you are thinking about leaving school, take into account the reasons for your feelings. To handle your circumstance and examine your options, you might need to speak with a guidance counselor.

What happens if you leave college early?

Your professional prospects can suffer if you leave college early. Adults who have not completed college make around $30,000 less annually than those who have. The unemployment rate for high school grads who left college in 2018 was 18.6%.

Which state has the greatest rate of college dropouts?

 New Mexico (28.9%) and Oregon (23.3%) had the highest percentages of students who did not complete their degrees on time.

Which state has the lowest rate of college dropout?

Wheeler County, Oregon, has the lowest percentage of students who graduate from high school on time (74%).


There are many high-quality occupations available that you can still be qualified for if you decide that leaving college is the best course of action for you.

 If you are unsure, look for occupations that merely require a certificate or license to get started or that offer apprenticeship, vocational training, on-the-job training, or any combination of these.

You can also choose any of the best jobs for college drop-outs listed above and major in it.



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