Well-paying Jobs That Don't Need a Degree in Kenya

  • Job seekers in Nairobi
    Job seekers in Nairobi
  • A university degree can provide students with career opportunities, in fields like medicine or law, yet it's not a requirement for many other careers which often pay very well.

    The loss of jobs due to the Covid-19  pandemic coupled with the high rate of unemployment among university graduates have forced many young people into careers they probably wouldn’t have considered. 

    Though some jobs may not require a university education, they definitely require skills that can be obtained through vocational training, apprenticeship, experience and self-teaching. 

    A photo of jobseekers queuing on Wabera Street, Nairobi, waiting to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
    Jobseekers queuing on Wabera Street, Nairobi, waiting to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
    Daily Nation

    Other than being a source of entertainment, the internet, specifically, YouTube, has created opportunities for experts to share skills, knowledge and insights.

    Some of the biggest advantages about the following jobs is that market rates don’t dictate the revenue and job seekers can price their skills based on their level of expertise which increases with experience and time. 

    Content creation / vlogging/ influencing 

    The digital revolution in Kenya has created a new media ecosystem that is independent of TV and Radio, which for a long time were the biggest source of entertainment. 

    The ecosystem has created careers that did not exist 10 years ago; such as influencers, vloggers, digital brand managers and digital strategists.

    The rise of internet use and the global digital revolution over the last decade has given rise to a modern way of marketing known as ‘influencer marketing’ and more personalities are leveraging on the online platforms to grow their brands.

    In influencer marketing, everything rests on thf influencers and their reviews or recommendations can be trusted. 

    This trust is the premise for the growth of influencer marketing, as people tend to believe the voices of people they know or like more than the brand owners.

    In the first three months after opening his YouTube account, journalist Felix Jalang'o revealed that he had made Ksh1.8 million from ads served on his content by YouTube. 

    Combining his own adverts which he also posts on Instagram, the radio presenter can earn more than Ksh5 million a month. 

    Radio presenter Jalang'o pictured at Kiss FM studios on July 13, 2020
    Radio presenter Jalang'o pictured at Kiss FM studios on July 13, 2020


    Kenya’s construction business is booming, and skills associated with the business have become valuable over time.

    Plumbers can either work in construction sites or do freelance jobs at people’s residence or company premises, which allow them to handle multiple tasks a day, earning more than Ksh 5,000 daily. 

    Technical and Vocational Educational Training centres provide short courses for plumbers while others prefer to learn the skills through apprenticeship. 

    Interior Design 

    They will enter ,a space and immediately notice how the colours marry with the lighting, or just how certain decorations are set up. 

    Interior designers earn a modest sum from their hardwork on projects they manage, for both commercial and residential spaces.

    A designer can develop useful relationships with clients and stakeholders in the construction industry such as architects, suppliers, engineers to make referrals easy. 

    Expertise on lighting, colour and effective use of space can make clients refer their friends or hire them for more work. 

    There are design schools that teach short courses on interior design but one can still learn from a mentor or online resources.

    The sunroom in Mercy Kyallo's home is well lit to her liking
    The sunroom in Mercy Kyallo's home is well lit to her liking

    Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers fit, install, maintain, service and repair engines and the mechanical and related equipment of passenger cars, delivery trucks, motorcycles and other motor vehicles.

    Depending on the level of expertise and location, mechanics can make from Ksh 17,000 to Ksh 100,000 or more in a month. 

    Replacing engines or some of its components may be more rewarding than just installing or adjusting motors brakes, and the steering wheel. 

    Mechanics often dictate how much they want to price their services, and in Nairobi, new vehicle owners, mostly ladies, are the most preferred customers.


    Kenyans have in the past been mesmerised by the elegance, eloquence and stature of several top journalists who have dominated the airwaves in the past few years.

    What many, however, do not know, is that some of these celebrated presenters who are on the radio don’t have a university education.

    The lack of a media-related degree did not deter them from exemplary performance in their careers, and have become crème de la crème in the industry.

    Celebrities build social capital and influence that increases their demand and are paid highly moving from one station to another

    Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni
    Classic FM presenter Maina Kageni in studio

    Farming /Agriculture 

    Kenya’s economy is based on Agriculture and such skills are often passed on from one generation to another. 

    However, overtime Kenyans have moved from subsistence farming to merely feed their households, to making profitable farm ventures

    Agriculture doesn't require farmers to have university education though there are instances where they have to seek opinions from experts. 

    When it comes to farming in Kenya, land is one of the major challenges. The problem is farmers have no clear land ownership rights. 

    Revenue from professional farming can bring returns of more than Ksh1 million.