Jobs That Pay Twenty Dollars an Hour–Minimum!

Are you looking for a salary upgrade? In the current job market, there are a wide variety of opportunities to snag a job that pays at least $20 an hour. We'll show you how to find them.

Whether you are unemployed or underemployed, you’ve found this page because you want the scoop on jobs that pay $20 an hour–or more. These jobs aren’t a myth. In fact, you don’t even need a degree for many of them!

From fitness trainer to web developer, these are some of the most in-demand and highest-paying jobs in the country. Which one will be your new career?

Editor’s note: The following numbers are pulled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise indicated.

Fitness Trainer

Personal trainer talking and with senior man at gym.
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Average Hourly Rate: $21.95

Degree Needed: No, but certification is recommended

Do you have a passion for fitness? Personal trainers are in demand across the nation, and the average hourly rate is above $20. Some trainers might make significantly more than that depending on location and expertise. This job can be done in person or remotely, thanks to video calling becoming more widely accepted. You can work with individuals or teach group classes and specialize in particular age groups or styles of exercise.

Dental Assistant

Average Hourly Rate: $20.34

Degree Needed: Yes, an associate’s degree is required

The bad news is that you won’t be able to stroll into your dentist’s office tomorrow and get a job. The good news is that many part-time and full-time accredited programs are available to become a qualified dental assistant. Dental hygienists earn even more, with an average wage of $37.53, but you will need additional education and certification. Warning: this job might not be for the squeamish!

Self-Enrichment Teacher

creativity, education and people concept - group of female artists or students with brushes and palettes and teacher painting on easel at art school studio
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Average Hourly Rate: $23.05

Degree Needed: No

What is a self-enrichment teacher? In a nutshell, it’s any person who teaches classes or courses that aren’t part of a degree program or vocational training. If you have a skill that people want to learn and a passion for teaching, then you could earn a decent amount of money. Look into continuing education programs at local colleges to get started, but don’t be afraid to set yourself up as an independent teacher.

HVAC Mechanic or Installer

Average Hourly Rate: $25.68

Degree Needed: No, but an associate’s degree or apprenticeship is recommended

It might not be the most glamorous job, but working in the world of HVAC installation and maintenance can net you steady employment at over $25 an hour. Working with heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration systems is a smart career path if you are mechanically inclined and don’t mind getting your hands dirty.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designer
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Average Hourly Rate: $28.06

Degree Needed: Freelancers do not need a degree, but some ad agencies may ask for one

Your prospects as a graphic designer will depend on a number of factors. While talent is subjective, your proficiency in software such as Photoshop or Illustrator can raise or lower your pay. In addition, your level of experience and the strength of your portfolio will determine the kind of clients who will hire you. Many designers will specialize in a particular style or type of product, but it might take you a while to find your niche.

Freelance Writer

Average Hourly Rate: $32.27 to $35.89

Degree Needed: It depends

Do you have a way with words? Freelance writing offers flexibility in the type of jobs you take on and the rates you charge. In general, freelance writers can expect to earn an average hourly wage of $32.37. However, skilled technical writers earn more, with an average wage of $35.89. Depending on the project, the employer may request special certification or a degree in English in journalism.

A/V Technician

a/v technician music stuido
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Average Hourly Rate: $24.04

Degree Needed: It depends

Technicians who specialize in audio and video can expect to earn a median salary of $50,000 a year. However, before you can start mixing sound or shooting footage, you’ll need to enroll in a certification program, complete an associate’s degree, or find a mentor. The technical requirements for this job are high, and you’ll likely specialize in either a specific industry or type of equipment.

Event Planner

Average Hourly Rate: $26.87

Degree Needed: No

If you are an organized multitasker, then you might excel as an event planner. Opportunities range from planning weddings and parties to organizing fundraisers and corporate events. While good taste and an eye for design are important in this role, your ability to juggle multiple vendors and keep a tight schedule are essential. Certificate programs are available but not required to become an event planner.

Makeup Artist

Portrait of the charming young woman who is sitting indoors and makeup artist doing makeup her and hairdresser doing her hairdo
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Average Hourly Rate: $23 (per ZipRecruiter)

Degree Needed: It depends

If you love makeup and have the skills to make others look fabulous, then becoming a makeup artist could be the new career or side hustle that you’ve been looking for. The average makeup artist earns over $20 an hour, but keep in mind that you may need an associates’ degree in cosmetology and a license to practice your art. Theatrical makeup artists earn considerably more per hour–but be aware that those jobs are also much more competitive.

Interpreters and Translators

Average Hourly Rate: $25.16

Degree Needed: No

Calling bilingual people in search of a new job! If you are fluent in English and another language, then you could have a lucrative career or secondary stream of income as a translator or interpreter. In-demand languages include Spanish, Chinese, and American Sign Language. This work may be done online or in person. If you speak a less common language, it might be worthwhile to see if there are international companies headquartered in your area that need your language skills.

Proofreader

Hand with red pen proofreading  by laptop
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Average Hourly Rate: $21.48

Degree Needed: An undergraduate degree in English is helpful

Proofreaders make decent money–and here you’ve been, correcting other people’s grammar for free! Proofreaders will usually specialize in business communications, ad copy, technical writing, or book publishing. You don’t necessarily need a degree, but many full-time employers will prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in English or journalism. You will also likely need to take a proofreading test to prove your skills. A non-degree certificate can boost your profile.

Paralegal

Average Hourly Rate: $25.44

Degree Needed: Yes

Paralegals, along with legal assistants, are the backbone of any law office. They may also work in the legal department of a business or government agency. You will usually need a minimum of an associate’s degree to find employment as a paralegal. However, some positions may prefer someone with a four-year degree or equivalent experience. This is a fast-growing sector, with an estimated 12% increase in the need for paralegals over the next ten years.

Social Media Manager

Social media marketing manager
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Average Hourly Rate: $21 (per ZipRecruiter)

Degree Needed: No

Are you a savvy social media user? Are you organized and able to manage multiple deadlines? There are nearly limitless opportunities to turn your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest expertise into a career or side-hustle. Many companies are in search of social media managers to handle their online presence. However, if you prefer to freelance, you might find that having a variety of smaller clients is a better fit.

Web Developer

Average Hourly Rate: $41.10

Degree Needed: Not necessarily

Forget $20 an hour–let’s make twice that! Web developers are highly skilled individuals who often specialize in particular programming languages and aspects of development. While you don’t necessarily need a college degree, many developers attend a “bootcamp” to build their skills. Your portfolio, expertise, and problem-solving skills are key to landing a high-paying gig as a web developer.

ESL Teacher

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Average Hourly Rate: $26.61

Degree Needed: It depends

Teaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession, but you don’t have to do it in a traditional classroom. In fact, there’s a need for people who can teach English as a second language (ESL) as well as adult basic education (ABE) classes. This work is often done online, with tutors practicing conversation with learners overseas. You may also find fulfilling work tutoring people who are trying to obtain their high school equivalency credential (GED).

Photographer

Average Hourly Rate: $24.18

Degree Needed: No

Let’s clear one thing up first: You can’t be a professional photographer using your cellphone camera. Even though it’s a really good camera. If you’ve got the gear, the eye, and the patience, this could be an excellent freelance career or a part-time money maker. You should specialize in the kind of photography that appeals most to you. Special events, portraits, pets, or even stock photography can all earn good money. Be prepared to network consistently in order to build your business.

Truck Driver

Portrait of driver at modern truck outdoors.
Adobe Stock

Average Hourly Rate: $23.42

Degree Needed: No, but you will need a special license

Truck drivers are a valuable link in the supply chain that keeps America’s stores stocked and our industries running smoothly. Both long-haul and local truck drivers are needed. While you don’t necessarily need your own tractor-trailer rig to get started, you will need a commercial driver’s license. Some companies provide paid training, but independent drivers should consider a professional truck driving school to learn the skills they need.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Average Hourly Rate: $30.49

Degree Needed: Yes

The medical sector has been growing faster than any other, and that growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Occupational therapy assistants help people who are recovering from illness or injury. It is a rewarding–though potentially demanding–line of work that pays well. It is also growing much faster than other jobs, with a projected 34% increase in demand over the next decade. OTAs require an associate’s degree from an accredited program.

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