Getting a job with zero experience can be difficult, even if you have the coveted degree. Finding that very first job can help you complete your resume and gain experience for any future career.
Fortunately, many high-paying positions do not require experience. Sometimes you don’t even need a college degree, or you can learn on the job through apprenticeships as long as 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 that don’t require prior experience.
1. Virtual assistant
If you are looking for an easy way to make good money while working remotely, consider becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants take on projects for clients ranging from scheduling appointments and answering emails to more complex tasks like social media account management, virtual bookkeeping and web design work.
Virtual assistants without much experience can charge $15 to $20 an hour. Experienced virtual assistants can charge $50 an hour (or more!) for in-demand specializations like SEO writing, social media management, web design, or management. You can earn $35,000 or more with little or no experience and have significant growth opportunities with specialization! — Carly Rojas Avila
If your dream is to travel the world, why not make it your job and pay above average? With high demand, flight attendants earn an average of $56,650 plus lucrative travel perks such as free flights for the employee, their family and friends.
By 2023, airlines expect to hire 20,000 more people for these positions, which equates to 100,000 flight attendants.
But if you want to earn even more from this job, apply to Southwest, which regularly gets one of the best jobs in America. Their flight attendants earn an average of $10,000 more plus $11,000 in profit sharing and free unlimited travel for themselves, spouses, domestic partners and dependents. – Monica Fish
3. Freelance writer
The pandemic has increased the demand for freelance writers as more people have launched websites that require constant content creation. A quick search on Upwork reveals that writers charge between $20 and $150 an hour, sometimes more. If you’re a creative person who loves variety and works from anywhere, then freelance writing might be the perfect job for you.
No degree or expensive certificates required. Of course, it’s good to have good writing skills to begin with, but you can always improve on the go. In addition, there are many online tools 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, a new agent also has the option to join an agent team that already has a steady flow of deals.
The average annual salary of a real estate agent is just under $50,000, but a high-performing full-time agent can easily earn $100,000 to $1 million a year or more. One of the advantages of the industry is to develop your own business on your own. — 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 exams, and prenatal care.
They give birth to children with little or no medical intervention. A certified nurse midwife also assists with postnatal care. The salary for a certified nurse midwife ranges from $107,000 to $132,000. Certificates and a bachelor’s degree are required, but no experience. — Erin Wilson
6. Sales Representative
Sales representatives can make good money with little to no experience. According to Indeed, the average entry-level sales rep earns $68,500 per year.
Many companies are willing to invest in training sales representatives because of the importance of having a good sales team. As a rule, determination and the ability to communicate with people is all you need to get started in this area.
Of course, the more experience you have, the more likely you are to earn a high commission. But don’t let that deter you from applying for sales jobs. If you want to make good money and have no experience, consider becoming a sales representative. — Steve Morrow
7. Claims settlement specialist
Finding a job as an insurance claims specialist is a great way to get into the insurance industry with no experience. The average salary for entry-level insurance adjusters starts at around $43,000 per year. But with experience, your salary can double to around $80,000 a year.
In addition, your annual salary can exceed $100,000 if you have what it takes to become an independent insurance adjuster. Insurance regulation is a complex, high-paying and in-demand profession. You need a high school diploma or GED to become an insurance adjuster, but not a college degree. Many, but not all, states require an insurance claim specialist license to work. – Lisa
8 Union Electrician
If you enjoy working with your hands, joining an electrician union can be a high-paying career with zero student debt or experience. If you are accepted into an apprenticeship program, you work and study for five years.
After graduation, you will become an apprentice electrician. Rates vary across the country, but in a reliable union area with reasonable rates, you can earn up to $100,000 or more (if overtime is available).
The standard rate in the Chicago area is $42.82 per hour ($89,000 per year) plus insurance, vacation, pension, and annuity. This same capability applies to many professions, including plumbing, construction, and more. – Devin
9. Travel agent
After the last few years of self-isolation, travel is booming, with long-haul flights returning to far-flung destinations. As a result, the demand for travel agents has skyrocketed.
Before COVID, the average salary was about $46,500, which is in line with data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, some agents are reported to earn between $250,000 and $500,000!
In a sense, this is the job of a salesperson, but any first-hand experience of traveling to destinations can make conversations with customers that much more meaningful. Trusted agents can build good relationships with clients and see many repeat business. — Tim Thomas
A merchandiser falls into one of those high-paying jobs that require little or no work experience. A high school diploma or GED qualifies you for this position. Salaries start at $17 an hour and can go over $35 an hour.
As a merchandiser, you are in charge of displaying items in the store or online and can do everything from handling inventory to setting up creative displays to move specific products.
A full-time job at a reputable company will qualify you for health, life, and disability benefits, as well as a host of other incentives that maximize your earnings. You are also entitled to overtime pay; this is where most sellers 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 whose first language is not English. While no experience is required to become an ESL teacher in Hong Kong, many schools prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).
The Bureau of Education employs native English teachers through the government’s NET scheme. Teachers earn between HK$31,750 and HK$61,415 (approximately US$4,045.64 to US$7,825.60) per month depending on experience and qualifications.
An allowance of HK$20,989 (approximately US$2,674.51) per month is provided to teachers who live outside of Hong Kong. Native English (NET) teachers are eligible to apply for additional incentives, tips and bonuses for performance, behavior and continued performance after two years. — Katrina Maria
RELATED: Smart Side Hustle Ideas Earns $1,000 Extra Per Month
Start a high-paying career even without experience
Whether you’ve graduated and are looking for your first job or looking to change careers, there are plenty of opportunities to find lucrative positions that require no experience. Many of the jobs listed here can be obtained if you want to learn and work hard.
Andrew Herrig is the founder of Wealthy Nickel, where he writes about personal finance, jobs, and entrepreneurship. As an avid real estate investor and owner of several businesses, he has a passion for helping others create wealth and shares his family’s experiences on his blog. Andrew’s advisory board has been featured on CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox News, MSN and more.