Best Jobs for Veterans Without Degrees

Best Jobs For Veterans Without Degrees

Best Jobs for Veterans Without a 4-Year College Degree

When it comes to looking for a job, not everyone will have a 4-year degree to do so with. It can be easy to think that you have to have one to find a good job, but that simply isn’t true. While getting your 4-year degree will help you on your career path, for some veterans, doing so isn’t necessary. Here is a list of some of the best jobs for veterans without a 4-year college degree.

Police Officer

According to, the average annual salary for a police officer is $55,100 as of May 13, 2019.

A police officer will enforce laws, protect life and property, secure crime and accident scenes, perform welfare checks, and more.  Becoming a police officer can also be a good start to a long career in law enforcement.

Although some places do want you to have a 4-year degree, not all places do. They will want you to have a high school diploma, or GED. You will also need to meet the minimum requirements, such as having a valid driver’s license, being a US citizen, and being a certain age depending on the department. A clean criminal record is a must, however some departments do allow for some minor offenses.

In order to become a police officer, you would need to pass the law enforcement entrance exam to get into the police academy. Then, you would need to graduate from the police academy. Taking some legal-related college classes might be necessary as well.

Your military experience should also be able to help you in a career as a police officer. Not only for the skills and training that you can bring to the job but they also usually have some type of veterans preference when it comes to applying for the police academy.

Search for degrees in Law Enforcement


According to, the average annual salary for a firefighter is $46,357 as of April 27th, 2019

Working as a fire fighter means you would work to fight fires, either in forests, rural areas, suburban areas, or bigger cities. You would protect lives and then property. You would receive expert training for a variety of emergency situations, and would handle medical emergencies, rescue people in danger, and educate the public on fire safety.

In order to become a fire fighter, you would need to have your high school degree and a valid driver’s licence. You will need to be 18 or older, and often have an age limit of your late 20s or early 30s. You must also be physically fit, and pass a criminal background check as well as a drug screening. You would need to pass certain tests, have an interview, and go through other examinations. In order to get into the fire academy, you would need to pass a written, and physical exam. In some locations, you would also need to be trained as an EMT before you could become a fire fighter. You would need to be able to get through the fire academy before you would be hired somewhere.

You can also get a certificate in fire science, fire protection, or a related field and if you were trained as a fire fighter in the military, potential employers can recognize that and that can help you get hired. Fire departments may also have veterans preference.

Search for certificates and degrees in Fire and Emergency Services

Real Estate Agent

According to, the average annual salary for a real estate agent is $51,786 as of May 28th, 2019.

Becoming a real estate agent can be a great way to build up your own career. You would work with people to help them sell their home, buy a home, or rent a home. You would also spend time networking with others, learning your local market, and learning about trends and the industry as it changes over the years.

In order to become a real estate agent, you would need to meet your state’s minimum age and education requirement. You will need your high school degree or GED, and be at least 18 or 19 years of age. You will need to take real estate classes, and meet the minimum amount of instruction hours that your state requires. You will then need to pass your state exam, and work under a licensed broker when you first begin.

Once you’re working it will be on a commission basis, so the more homes you sell, the more money you will make. 

Professional Photographer

According to, the average annual salary for a professional photographer is $35,726 as of May 29th, 2019.

If you have an eye for photography, you may consider becoming a professional photographer. As one, you could do family and individual photos, nature and landscape, or even events depending on your skill level and where your interests are. You can work for a company or work for yourself, with your own business.

You would need to develop your photography skills and you can do that with practice. You don’t have to take any classes but a few photography classes wouldn’t hurt. You would need to have professional equipment, know how to edit properly, and start building your portfolio. You could take photos of friends and family in exchange for being able to add their photos to your website and portfolio.

After you have done all that you will need to setup your business. This will require making sure you are set up legally where you live, having your pricing set, and coming up with your business plan. You will also need to figure out how to advertise and start putting yourself out there. 

Commercial Truck Driver

According to, the average annual salary for a commercial truck driver is $51,890 as of May 13, 2019.

If you are a commercial truck driver, you may drive over-the-road going across the country and back, or more locally, within a few states or even where you are home every night, driving in your own area. You could carry, foods, liquids, supplies, and even packages. You can work for yourself, or for a company. There are a lot of options if you want to be a truck driver. You will need a high school diploma or GED and in most cases, your CDL. You can earn your CDL through a training program within a couple of months, and in some cases, just a couple of weeks. If you drove trucks while you were in the military, your state might have a CDL skills test waiver that you can use.

Other Jobs and Careers for Veterans Without a 4-Year College Degree

In addition to these careers, you can also looking into becoming a:

  • construction worker
  • postal worker
  • farmer
  • receptionist
  • paralegal
  • CNA
  • airline pilot
  • web developer
  • business-owner

In most of these careers, you can always choose to go back and get your 4-year degree later on down the road, or you might not ever feel the need to do so. These jobs can work out to be the right career choice for any veteran trying to figure out what to do once military life is over without having to go and get a 4-year degree first. If you decide to go get your degree, the School Finder at CollegeRecon can help you get started.