Jobs That Pay 6 Digits Without A Degree
Many people who do not attend college earn six-figure incomes and become successful without four-year college degrees. In fact, studies revealing that high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million over the course of their working life illustrate that opportunities exist for those without degrees to make $100,000 or more each year. While many aspire to go to college after high school, not everyone can, or should, head straight to university. Family issues, a lack of funds, unforeseen responsibilities, or the choice of career path might dissuade someone from attending college. Only 27.5% of the U.S. adult population has a four-year college degree.
1. Air Traffic Controllers
Air traffic controllers have to take a multitude of tests, participate in various medical screenings prior to employment, submit to an extensive background check, and take a lot of classes to learn how to become one. But, you do not need a college degree
Because of the importance and stress of the job, air traffic controllers get a healthy paycheck, as the average salary of an air traffic controller is $160,000 . In order to become a successful air traffic controller, you have to handle stress well, as you are responsible for maintaining the safety of literally thousands of people on a daily basis.
2. IT Manager
IT Managers are responsible for the flawless functioning of a company’s computer network. Because a network that doesn’t function well means loss of profit, employers are willing to pay top dollars for experienced IT managers. Although you do not need a college degree, you do need to stay on top of current technology and continuously learn and adapt to new technological advances.
Although the job requires you to deal with a lot of user errors and troubleshoot, the job is usually very stable, with great benefits. Salaries for IT managers range between $53,000 to $125,000, depending on level of experience, locality, and employer.
If you love to travel and do not like the regular 9 to 5 job, being a pilot might be for you. Although being a pilot might not require a college degree, that does not mean it is easy. You have to take many classes and get 1,500 hours of flight training in before you can become an actual pilot.
Pilots have many options, including working for commercial airlines, cargo airlines, and corporations. The average annual salary for a pilot is $110,000, but many experienced pilots make much more than that. Like many other jobs, salary is commensurate on quality assessment, experience, and type of license.
Longshoreman load and unload cargo at docks and shipyards using cranes and other heavy machinery. Although longshoremen do not need to have college degrees, they need to be unionized in a harbor workers’ union. Longshoremen work in all kinds of weather condition and need to be in very good physical condition because the job requires manual labor. Although the job starts off at around $20/hour, those with experience can make up to $55 an hour, well above $100,000. Often longshoremen are offered overtime in addition to their regular hours and can therefore get paid much more on top of their already-impressive regular salary.
5. Online Marketing Manager
There is a huge demand for online marketers. Because most online marketers have the skills necessary to work for themselves, employers are willing to pay a hefty price tag to employ them. Unlike marketing executives of the past, online marketers do not need a college degree. Besides, most colleges do not have a degree that specifically caters to people who want to do online marketing anyway. This field is going to explode and it is growing at an extremely fast rate. The median salary for an online marketing manager is $65,000, before taking into account bonuses and profit-sharing. The top 10 percent of online marketing managers make over $95,000 in take-home pay.
6. Court Reporter
There is a big demand for court reporters. However, to be qualified as a court reporter, you need to be able to type at least 225 words per minute, while listening to two people speak. The main job of a court reporter is to transcribe everything said in the courtroom. Court reporters also transcribe outside of the courtroom, usually working depositions or closed captioning for the hearing-impaired.
7. Construction Manager
Construction is a physically exhausting so don’t go into it if you are not physically able. Although you do not do as much lifting as a construction manager, you will have to start out doing actual construction yourself. As a construction manager you will manage, plan, supervise, and coordinate construction projects from beginning to end. Construction managers earn a median salary of $82,790 and an average salary of $94,000 per year. The top percentage of construction managers earn up to $150k per year. Do note that construction management jobs are cyclical with the real estate market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that from 2012 to 2022, the occupation is going to grow 16 percent.
8. Real Estate Agent
Although being a real estate agent requires a license and continuing education classes, those interested in going into the profession only need a high school diploma. However, managing brokers do need an associate’s degree in most states. Being a real estate agent is not a regular 9 to 5 job; often the real estate agent must cater to his or her client’s hours. Most people work between the hours of 9 to 5 so they often like to see houses after work or during the weekends. Real estate brokers have an estimated annual salary range of $30,144 to $180,434, depending on neighborhood and clientele served.
Because it is a commission-based job, the higher the value of the home sold or bought, the higher the commission. To be a good real estate agent, you have to continuously build your client base and position yourself correctly when market conditions change.
9. Nuclear Reactor Operator
Nuclear reactor operators are responsible for controlling a nuclear reactor at power plants. You have to have a license to operate a nuclear reactor but you do not need a college degree. In order to work as a nuclear reactor operator, you will need to work in a nuclear power plant for at least three years, most often as an equipment operator. The average salary of a nuclear power reactor operator is $77,000. However, the top 10 percent make a six figure salary. The top 10 percent attain their six figure salary through experience and quality work. There is also overtime available that can bring you up to six figures if your base wage is not six figures yet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the growth in the industry is going to be 19 percent by 2018.
Although not all electricians make six figures, the top 10 percent of electricians earn more than $82,680. But even if you do not make six figures with your base salary, if you are working overtime or are taking on commercial jobs, you can easily make six figures. If you move to a big metropolitan area with high demand, you can also expect to make six figures a year. A journey-level union worker electrician in San Francisco makes about $150,000 a year. If you are an apprentice electrician, you will probably earn 30 to 50 percent of what journey-level electricians earn around your area.