It can be challenging to land a job with zero experience, even if you have a sought-after degree. Finding that very first job can help you fill out your resume and gain experience for whatever your future career holds.
Luckily, many high-paying jobs require no experience. Sometimes, you don't even need a college degree, or you can learn on the job through an apprenticeship while you get paid.
From a union electrician making $80,000 a year to a certified nurse midwife making $130,000, here are some of the highest paying jobs with no prior experience required.
1. Virtual Assistant
If you're looking for an easy way to make a good living while working remotely, consider becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants take on projects for clients ranging from scheduling meetings and responding to emails to more skills-based tasks like managing social media accounts, virtual bookkeeping, and working on web design.
Virtual assistants without much experience can charge anywhere from $15 or $20 per hour. Virtual assistants with more experience can charge $50 an hour (or more!) with in-demand specializations like SEO writing, social media management, and web design or management. You can make anywhere from $35,000 or more with little to no experience and have significant room to grow with specialization! – Carley Rojas Avila
2. Flight Attendant
If you have dreams of traveling the world, why not make it your job, and an above-average paying one at that? Driven by great demand, flight attendants make an average of $56,650 plus lucrative travel benefits, such as free flights for the employee plus their family and friends.
By 2023, airlines are looking to hire 20,000 more people for these roles, equating to 100,000 total flight attendants.
But if you're looking to make even more for this job, apply to Southwest, regularly awarded one of the best places to work in America. Their flight attendants make on average $10,000 more plus $11,000 of profit sharing and free unlimited travel for themselves, spouses, domestic partners, and dependents. – Monica Fish
3. Freelance Writer
The pandemic increased the demand for freelance writers as more people started websites requiring continuous content creation. A quick search on Upwork shows that writers charge between $20 and $150 per hour, sometimes even more. If you are a creative person who likes variety and working from anywhere you want, then freelance writing might be just the perfect job for you.
Neither a degree nor expensive certificates are required. Sure, it helps to have good writing skills to start, but you can always improve them on the go. Additionally, many online tools are available to help you write better content. – Sylvia Silverstone
4. Real Estate Agent
If you enjoy helping people with one of the biggest purchases of their lives, consider becoming a real estate agent. Most real estate agents are independent contractors and entrepreneurs who build their business from the ground up through referrals, networking, and marketing. However, there are also opportunities for a new agent to join a team of agents that already has consistent deal flow.
The median annual pay for a real estate agent is just under $50,000, but a full-time high-performing agent can easily make $100,000 a year up to $1 million a year or more. One of the industry's perks is growing your own business as you see fit. – Emily Herrig
5. Certified Nurse Midwife
A Certified Nurse Midwife is a specialized registered nurse. They focus on a woman's health and well-being. Areas of care include family planning, gynecological checkups, and prenatal care.
They deliver babies with minimal or no medical interventions. A Certified Nurse Midwife also helps with postpartum care. A Certified Nurse Midwife's salary ranges from $107,000 to $132,000. Certification and a bachelor's degree are required, but experience is not. – Erin Wilson
6. Sales Representative
Sales representatives can make a good living with little to no experience. According to Indeed, the average entry-level sales rep makes $68,500 per year.
Many companies are willing to invest in training sales representatives because of the importance of having a good sales team. Typically, determination and people skills are all you need to get started in this field.
Of course, the more experience you have, the better your chances of making a high commission. But don't let that deter you from applying for sales jobs. If you're interested in making good money and don't have any experience, consider becoming a sales representative. – Steve Morrow
7. Insurance Claims Adjuster
Finding an insurance claims adjuster job is an excellent way to get into the insurance industry without experience. Entry-level insurance adjusters' average salary starts at around $43,000 a year. But with experience, your salary can double to approximately $80,000 a year.
In addition, your yearly salary can exceed $100,000 if you have what it takes to become an independent insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusting is a challenging and rewarding career in high demand. You need a high school diploma or GED to become an insurance claims adjuster, but not a post-secondary degree. Many, but not all, states require an insurance claims adjuster license to work. – Lisa
8. Union Electrician
If working with your hands is appealing, joining an electrical union can be a high-paying career with zero student debt or experience. If accepted into the apprenticeship program, you work and go to school for five years.
Once you graduate, you become a journeyman electrician. The rates vary throughout the country, but in a robust unionized area with reasonable rates, you can make up to $100,000 or more (if overtime is available).
A standard rate in the Chicagoland area is $42.82 per hour ($89,000 per year) plus insurance, vacation, pension, and annuity. This same opportunity applies to many trades, including plumbing, construction, and more. – Davin
9. Travel Agent
Courtesy PLAY AirlinesAfter the past few years of lockdowns, travel is booming, and there's been a return for long-haul flights to far-off destinations. As a consequence, the demand for travel agents has exploded.
Pre-COVID, the average salary was around $46,500 and is in line with data published by the Bureau of Labor Stastistics. However, at the top end, some agents are reportedly earning anywhere between $250k and $500k!
In a way, it's a sales job but any direct experience of traveling to destinations can make conversations with clients a lot more meaningful. Trusted agents can build great relations with clients and see a lot of repeat business. – Tim Thomas
Merchandiser falls into one of those high-paying jobs with zero to little work experience required. A high school diploma or GED qualifies you for the position. The pay starts from $17 per hour and can go over $35 an hour.
As a merchandiser, you are responsible for the display of products in-store or online, and can do everything from handling inventory to setting up creative displays to move certain products.
A full-time job at a reputable company will qualify you for health, life insurance, and disability benefits, along with many other incentives that maximize your earnings. You also qualify for overtime pay; that’s where most merchandisers with low hourly rates make money. – Ram Chakradhar
11. ESL Teacher in Hong Kong
An ESL Teacher is a teacher who specializes in teaching English as a second language to students who are non-native English speakers. Although no experience is required to become an ESL teacher in Hong Kong, many schools prefer candidates with at least a bachelor's degree and Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate (TEFL).
The Education Bureau hires Native English teachers under the NET government scheme. Teachers earn from HK$31,750 to HK$61,415 (approx. US$4,045.64 to US$7,825.60) per month, subject to experience and qualifications.
An allowance of HK$20,989 (approx. US$2,674.51) per month is granted for teachers whose residence is outside of Hong Kong. Native English teachers (NETs) are eligible to apply for additional incentives, gratuities, and bonuses for performance, conduct, and continuation of service after two years. – Caitriona Maria
Start a High Paying Career Even With No Experience
Whether you are freshly graduated and seeking your first job or looking for a career change, there are many opportunities to find lucrative positions that don't require any experience. Many of the jobs listed here can be obtained with a willingness to learn and hard work.
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Andrew is the founder of Wealthy Nickel where he writes about all things personal finance. He has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. Andrew documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income