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Australia's top 10 highest paying jobs you don’t need a degree for

By Katie Quirk

If you've decided that heading to university is just not the education path you're keen to take, you may have found yourself wondering what the highest paying jobs with no degree required are and what certification is actually required to pursue those opportunities.

It's understandable that the thought of spending four years at a tertiary institution isn't everyone's cup of tea and a desired career trajectory doesn't always intersect with the need for a Bachelor's degree.

However, there are dozens of accessible, very well-paid jobs across a myriad of industries that don't require the time or financial investment that a university degree does.

While most require a level of training or higher education, it is possible to earn more than the $1,633.80 Australian average weekly earnings and build a satisfying, successful career.

What is the highest paying job without a degree? 

With an average annual salary of $150,000, the highest paying job in Australia that does not require a university degree is a construction manager. 

Construction managers play an imperative role in the building industry and in addition to managing construction projects from start to finish, role responsibilities include everything from coordinating workflow, handling subcontractors, reading blueprints and supervising and advising staff.

As the title suggests, the ability to manage effectively is crucial to forging a successful career path; Upskilled offers relevant courses like BSB50820 - Diploma of Project Management and BSB40920 - Certificate IV in Project Management Practice to help hone your understanding of methods and techniques and assist in refining your leadership skills.

The 10 highest paying jobs you don't need a degree for

  1. Construction Manager.
  2. Ethical Hacker.
  3. Project Manager.
  4. Digital Marketing Manager.
  5. ICT Manager.
  6. HR Manager.
  7. Office Manager.
  8. Health and Safety Advisor.
  9. Social Media Manager. 
  10. Senior Care Worker.

1. Construction Manager. 

According to Indeed, the average salary of a Construction Manager in Australia is $154,536 per year. 

In addition to project management, construction managers often work directly with customers so strong interpersonal skills and a knack for developing rapport are necessary to work well with staff and clients.

Upskilled's BSB50420 - Diploma of Leadership and Management endeavours to teach you what you need to know about leading and managing others in a professional scope. 

You can gain formal skills in mentorship, communication and team leadership, and refine your skills in operational or technical workplace environments.

2. Ethical Hacker.

To catch a hacker, you must become a hacker yourself. With an average annual salary in the realm of $101,000 (according to Payscale) ethical hackers are responsible for "white-hat hacking", which refers to third-party security research. 

Ethical hackers are commonly hired by various companies and even government bodies to test cybersecurity vulnerabilities across the digital spectrum.

There are various reasons why organisations hire ethical hackers, however, the most common purpose is to identify weak points, provide valuable insights and to design an online structure that creates a better, stronger and more resilient network.

By studying the ICT50220 - Diploma of Information Technology (Cyber Security) through Upskilled, you will learn to plan, design, manage, and monitor an enterprise ICT network, either as an independent ICT specialist or as part of a ICT network security team. 

3. Project Manager.

A project manager is responsible in overseeing the tasks of their team, ensuring that projects are done within their prospective timeframes and produce successful outcomes.

To be succeed in a project management career, you must have excellent interpersonal skills and be highly organised. Project managers generally work across tight deadlines so the ability to work under pressure is highly regarded. 

The average salary of a project manager in Australia is 122,585 per year in Australia, according to

If you want to gain some skills and knowledge to prepare for a career as a project manager, the BSB50820 - Diploma of Project Management is an excellent online course that can help you effectively lead and manage a team while also ensuring that project timeframes and deadlines are well executed. 

4. Digital Marketing Manager.

If you're interested in working in the digital marketing space, the career option to become a digital marketing manager may be a suitable career path if you're data-driven and creative.

If you have a strong interest in working across digital advertising and lead generation, you'll thrive in this role as the digital marketing manager is responsible in creating strategies to optimise ads in order to boost the revenue of a company or organisation. outlines that the average salary of a digital marketing manager is $101,254 per year. 

If you want to build you skills and knowledge towards the career path of digital marketing manager, we recommend studying the 10904NAT - Diploma of Social Media Marketing as you will go over key concepts in paid advertising that can help you strategise and help you generate leads that convert across social, Google and other digital marketing platforms. 

5. ICT Manager.

The role of an ICT manager is an excellent pathway if you have a genuine interest in resolving technical issues, while also overseeing the security of ICT systems and analysing its requirements. You'll also be responsible in creating strategic plans and policies related to ICT that directly impact an organisation or company.

The average salary for an ICT manager in Australia is $129,500 per year in Australia. (Source:

It's recommended that ICT managers have a broad knowledge across relevant ICT concepts including web, graphic design, software development and computer programming. The ICT50220 - Diploma of Information Technology is an ideal course if you're looking to broaden your skill set in preparation for this career path. 

6. HR Manager.

If you're interested in people and improving the working culture of an organisation or business, you may be suited for the role of HR manager. HR managers are responsible for leading the functions of onboarding and recruitment, payroll and policy making in relation to benefits and code of conduct. 

To become a successful HR manager, you'll need to be able to work collaboratively with people, have strong analytical and organisational skills, as well as knowing how to prioritise and delegate tasks. 

According to Indeed, the average salary for an HR manager is $114,902 per year in Australia. 

In order to gain the skill set needed to be successful as a HR manager, the recommended study option would be the BSB50320 - Diploma of Human Resource Management. 

7. Office Manager.

Looking for an office role and love to be organised? The role of an office manager is a well-paying job where you'll be responsible for the smooth running of the office on a day-to-day basis. You may even dabble in both administration and HR tasks, depending on the organisation and company you work for. You'll be typically organising meetings, managing databases and other ad-hoc administration tasks such as booking business travel for employees. 

Office managers have an average salary of $85,463 per year in Australia. (Source:

If you want to be trained for a high-level administration role like an office manager, the BSB40120 - Certificate IV in Business (Administration) can give you the skill set you need. 

8. Health and Safety Advisor.

The main responsibility of a health and safety advisor is to ensure that employees in the workplace are safe - particularly at work sites. They also champion the compliance of health and safety standards and regulations in accordance to the government. This helps prevent work accidents, injuries and illness.

To become a health and safety advisor, you'll need to have excellent interpersonal skills and have the confidence in demonstrating good leadership in your role.

Health and safety advisors have an average salary of $106,574 per year in Australia. (Source: Indeed)

If you're keen to start a career as a health and safety advisor and want to create an impact in work health and safety, the BSB51319 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety is a great study option if you want to broaden your knowledge in this space. 

9. Social Media Manager.

Do you enjoy using social media on a personal level? Do you have a creative and analytical mindset? A career as a social media manager has become a popular career option, especially for Gen Z and millennials looking to work in the digital space.

As a social media manager, you'll have the freedom to use your copywriting and graphic design skills to engage an online community, as well as build organic and paid reach across different platforms to help generate revenue and brand awareness for the organisation, company or agency you're working for.

Social media managers typically earn $81,139 per year in Australia. (Source: Indeed)

If you're interested in pursuing this career pathway, we recommend studying the 10904NAT - Diploma of Social Media Marketing. This course will give you a great overview of key social media marketing concepts, as well as identify opportunities to broaden paid and organic reach across digital platforms. 

10. Senior Care Worker.

With Australia's ageing population on the rise, the demand for senior care workers is growing rapidly

According to Treasury's 2015 Intergenerational Report, the number of Australians aged 65 years and over is forecast to more than double over the next 40 years, increasing from around 3.6 million in 2014-15 to 8.9 million in 2054-55.

Senior care workers have scope to generate an average yearly income of $83,000 and are responsible for overseeing and monitoring care workers, care assistants and home carers. 

While you are generally required to complete a qualification or undertake a traineeship, a CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) studied through Upskilled may help to further support other studies.

So just remember - even if pursuing a four year university degree doesn't tickle your fancy, there are many other pathways you can take on your journey to achieve career goals and ambitions.

To discuss how an Upskilled course may help round out your further learning and even improve future job prospects, get in touch with a member of their team today.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2021. Content has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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