Unless you’re independently wealthy, most of us need a job that pays $20 an hour or more to keep up with monthly bills each month. Finding a good job that you enjoy and pays well can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a degree.
It takes some effort and a bit of luck, but you can find lots of jobs that pay more than $20 an hour and don’t require a degree.
Table of Contents
- Top Jobs that Pay $20 an Hour
- 1. Gig Work
- 2. Online Tutoring
- 3. Bookkeeping
- 4. Photography
- 5. Virtual Assistant
- 6. Writing
- 7. Landscaper
- 8. Plumber
- 9. Electrician
- 10. Bartender
- 11. Real Estate Agent
- 12. Information Technology
- 13. Air-Traffic Controller
- 14. Commercial Pilot
- 15. Retail Manager
- 16. Mechanic
- 17. Sales
- 18. Proofreading
- 19. Programming
- 20. Graphic Design
Top Jobs that Pay $20 an Hour
Here are some of the most popular jobs that pay $20 an hour or more.
1. Gig Work
The number of gig work apps that pay you to accomplish simple tasks in your spare time is almost endless. You can drive for Lyft, deliver food for Uber Eats or handle different odd jobs through Taskrabbit.
While it’s difficult to turn gig work into a career, it can be a good way to earn some extra money. If you’re good at what you do and efficient, you can easily make $20 an hour using one of these apps.
2. Online Tutoring
If you know math like the back of your hand or are good at explaining difficult concepts to people, you can work as a tutor.
There are many online tutoring services that you can sign up for, such as Tutor.com and TutorMe. These websites help pair you with students across the globe but, at the same time, might limit your ability to earn or take a cut of your payments.
So, if you want to go it on your own, you can start your own online tutoring business. You’ll have to find ways to advertise and find clients. But, once you build a good base of clients, you could continue to grow through word of mouth.
The median tutor makes more than $17.50 per hour but the top tutors can earn more than $40 per hour.
Learning how to become your own Bookkeeper, you would help businesses track their income and expenses and make sure their books stay balanced. To be sure, an education won’t hurt your chances of getting a job (and will probably increase your pay). However, you don’t need a degree, or even certification to work as a bookkeeper.
You’ll need some experience to learn how to do work from home as a bookkeeper. Once you know what you’re doing and can use the most common bookkeeping programs, you’re ready to find a bookkeeping position.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median bookkeeper earns more than $41,000 per year.
People need photographers to help them capture important moments in their lives. Weddings, proposals, family reunions and even birthdays can all use a professional photographer. All you need to get started is some equipment and a way to find clients.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median photographer earns about $17.50 per hour, but the rates can go much higher for experienced photographers.
5. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants do everything that an assistant would do in an office, but they can do their job from the comfort of their own home. You’ll answer emails, help schedule appointments, set up travel itineraries, and otherwise help out your boss.
You can get a virtual assistant job with some real-world experience as an executive assistant. Or you can use your experience as a virtual assistant to transition into a position in an office.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median assistant earns just under $40,000 per year.
Freelance writing can be a fun way for anyone with some language skills to earn an income. No matter what piques your interest, whether it be cooking, pets, sports or personal finance, someone needs a writer to produce content. Just think about all the things that you read online and remember that someone must have written those words (and gotten paid for it).
Put together a portfolio of your writing, and set up an account on sites like Fiverr to show off your skills. Then bloggers, news sources and others bid for your work. Income can vary a lot depending on the client, the topic, and the extras you need to provide (like photos), but writing can be a fun side hobby or a lucrative, full-time career.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median writer earns more than $63,000 per year.
Landscaping is hard work, but it’s a suitable job for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and spending all day outdoors. You’ll help people improve their homes by mowing grass, planting gardens and trees, and otherwise making their yards look beautiful.
Landscapers don’t need any specialized training, just some on-the-job learning and a willingness to work hard.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median landscaper earns more than $69,000 per year.
Trades like plumbing take hard work, but you can work your way up from the entry-level to running your own plumbing business over time.
You can get into plumbing by going to a trade school or by working as an apprentice to an experienced plumber.
Plumbing doesn’t have to be all about fixing broken pipes, either. You can help design the water systems for new buildings or improve the systems in older ones to increase efficiency, giving the job a fun problem-solving aspect.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median plumber earns more than $55,000 per year.
Electric is another trade career that pays well, even if you don’t have a college degree. Go to trade school to learn the ins and outs of the work.
Or you can learn on the job by getting an entry-level position with an electrician’s business. Once you’ve built up some experience, you could even start your own business.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median electrician earns more than $56,000 per year.
If you’re a social butterfly and enjoy meeting lots of different people, bartenders can make a good living while mixing drinks and chatting with patrons. It’s also a great night job to earn some extra cash.
You’ll need to brush up on your mixology or take a class (fun fact: Harvard offers classes for bartenders). You also have to connect with the people you’re serving, but you can earn a lot of money through tips, whether you work at a restaurant, bar or private events.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median bartender earns about $11.50 per hour but can make much more when including tips.
11. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents help people navigate the complex process of buying or selling a home. This job requires some charisma and attention to detail since you’ll be guiding people through some of the biggest financial transactions of their lives.
You’ll have to pass your state’s licensing exam, but once you do, you can get started with your new career. One of the best parts of being a real estate agent is that it’s flexible and can offer passive income. Plus, your earnings are directly related to the number of deals you close, rewarding your hard work, and perseverance.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median real estate agent earns more than $48,000 per year.
12. Information Technology
Information technology is an exciting field where you can work with computers and learn something new every day. Many people start by working at a helpdesk or phone service center.
Later, you can move on to roles as network technicians, system administrators or security specialists as they gain experience.
There are many certification programs offered by companies like Microsoft and Cisco. These programs teach you everything you need to know and help you prove your knowledge to potential employers. So you can get these jobs even without a college degree.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median computer support specialist earns more than $54,000 per year. Experienced workers, such as network architects, can earn more than $112,00 per year.
13. Air-Traffic Controller
Working as an air-traffic controller is one of the most stressful jobs on this list. You’ll be responsible for navigating planes filled with hundreds of people through crowded airspace.
Many applicants have a college degree, but you can avoid this requirement if you have work experience that shows your ability to handle escalating responsibility. You’ll also have to go through a federal training and certification program.
If you succeed, you’ll be handsomely rewarded. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median air-traffic controller earns more than $120,000 per year.
14. Commercial Pilot
While you usually need a college degree to fly for a major airline, commercial pilots who fly cargo planes or private tours just need a high school degree. They also need to pass a Federal Aviation Administration exam to get permission to receive pay to fly.
If you love planes, flying, or travel, working as a commercial pilot is a lucrative way to earn money while following your passion.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median commercial pilot earns more than $86,000 per year.
15. Retail Manager
Most people would agree that working in retail isn’t the most exciting job in the world, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no money to be made in the industry. If you can work your way up the ranks to being a retail manager, you can earn a solid living.
As a retail manager, you’ll be responsible for opening and closing the location, scheduling employees, and managing interactions with difficult customers.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median retail manager earns about $19.50 per hour. Experienced managers can earn more than $33 per hour.
Mechanics can work on everything from cars to boats to ATVs, meaning that they enjoy varied work with the type of vehicles they like.
Working as a mechanic typically doesn’t require a college degree; you just need to know your way around an engine. You can gain that experience by tinkering with your car at home, going to trade school or picking up an entry-level position at a garage and learning while you work.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median mechanic earns more than $42,000 per year.
Salespeople help customers find the right products to meet their needs. Depending on your knowledge and preferences, you can work in all kinds of sales positions, from selling cars to everyday people to organizing large business to business deals.
Salespeople usually earn money based on a commission per, so you can control your income and make more through diligence and hard work.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in sales can earn between $40,000 and $100,000 per year based on their industry and the number of deals they close.
Lots of people need proofreaders to help them catch small errors in their writing. Whether they be novelists, freelance writers or teachers making class materials, you can help people find those mistakes and make money while doing it.
Online sites like Fiverr offer freelancing proofreading jobs that you can do from the comfort of your own home, and many don’t require that you have any special credentials. All you need is patience and an eye for detail.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median proofreader earns $18 per hour. But experienced ones can earn more, with the top proofreaders making almost $30 per hour.
A degree will help you get your foot in the door when it comes to programming. However, there’s no hard requirement that you need to go to college to become a full-time programmer.
Programming is one field where your experience and your projects speak volumes about your ability to get the work done. If you know how to code, spend some time designing your own app or website.
When it comes time to send out resumes, include your projects as sample work. Many employers will be more than happy to ignore the lack of a degree if they know you can get the job done.
Even if you don’t know how to code, there are lots of coding boot camps that teach you how to code with no experience. Many of these programs cost money and promise instant results and well-paying jobs. Make sure to do your due diligence and sign up for one that provides actual value.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median programmer earns more than $86,000 per year.
20. Graphic Design
Graphic design is another field where your portfolio speaks volumes about you and is often more important than formal education. If you doodle or design in your own time, you can use those designs in your portfolio when you apply for a regular job.
If you have the skills, you can earn a good income through graphic design.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median graphic designer earns more than $52,000 per year.
There are many jobs out there that pay $20 an hour or more, even if you don’t have a college degree. The above list is not exhaustive. We hope that this is a start.
In fact, maybe one of these jobs is the catalyst for you starting your own business.
Have you tried any of the jobs we listed? Do you know a good way to earn money, even without a degree? Let us know in the comments below.