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Well-Paying Jobs to Earn $100k a Year Without a Degree | MUST READ!

Well-Paying Jobs to Earn $100k a Year Without a Degree
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You don’t always need a college degree to land a high-paying job. Some jobs pay over $100k without a degree. Some of these positions are managers, technicians, repairers, registered nurses, commercial pilots, and fashion designers.


These roles are usually awarded based on hands-on experience more than formal higher education. It might seem surprising, but many great opportunities exist for high school graduates.

According to Georgetown, 35% of job openings require at least a bachelor’s degree, 30% require some college or an associate degree, and 36% do not require education beyond high school.

Also, the BLS states that 80 occupations typically require less than a bachelor’s degree to enter and have a median annual salary of $50,000.

In other words, a handful of jobs pay well without a degree. Most of these jobs keep society going, making them quite relevant. So, if you are in this category and seeking answers, you are at the right place. This article will provide detailed information on what you need. Keep reading.


One can pursue a well-paying job or occupation at three levels of education below a bachelor’s degree.

30 High-paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

Here is a list of 30 high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree under the three levels of education below the bachelor’s degree.

1. Associate degree

  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • General and Operation Manager
  • Construction managers
  • Radiation therapists
  • Nuclear technicians
  • Registered nurse
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Electrical and electronic drafters
  • Funeral service managers, directors, and undertakers.

2. Postsecondary non-degree award

  • Fire-fighting and prevention workers
  • Commercial pilots
  • Electrical and electronic repairers
  • Insurance appraisers
  • Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers
  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Signal and track switch repairers
  • Supervisors of production and operating workers
  • Avionics technicians
  • Commercial divers.

3. High school diploma

  • Gas plant operators
  • Loan officers
  • Real estate brokers
  • Postal service clerks
  • Construction and building inspectors
  • Fire inspectors and investigators
  • Sale representatives
  • Legal support workers
  • Plant and system operators
  • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers.

How can I get jobs that pay $100k without a degree

The majority of the jobs that pay over $100k without a degree are mostly based on skills, training, and experience. You can get a well-paying job without a degree by putting great effort into your field. Most employers emphasize mastery and experience over degree..

In other words, when applying for a job, it’s necessary to construct an excellent resume that states the practical talents and experience you have.

Although, some firms or businesses screen based on college degree acquisition. However, many hiring managers are mostly concerned with skills and experience. Your skills and experience will determine if you are a good fit for the job.

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Concerning the three levels of education below the bachelor’s degree, requirements for work experience in any related jobs are as follows:

  • More than 5 years
  • 1 to 5 years
  • Less than 1 year
  • None

On-the-job training assignments are as follows:

  • Internship/residency
  • Apprenticeship
  • Long-term on-the-job training (more than 12 months)
  • Moderate on-the-job training (1 to 12 months)
  • Short-term on-the-job training (1 month or less)
  • None

In conclusion, individuals bringing these resources to the table are in high demand, especially since many companies now offer training and assistance to competent candidates/employees.

Are There Jobs That Pay $100k Without a Degree?

Yes, some jobs pay over $100k without a degree. Here are 12 jobs that pay over $100k without a college degree.

  • Business owner
  • Real estate broker
  • Sales consultants
  • Air traffic controllers
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Firefighters and police officers
  • Site Manager
  • Information Technology Manager
  • Radiologist
  • Freelance writer
  • Professional Athletes
  • Digital Nomad

1. Business Owner

Entrepreneurs who choose to make a living from establishing their idea can look forward to building a company that would improve the country.

Some business owners experience wild success, while some don’t. However, if you can survive for the first 5years, you can make hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.

Job Market: According to BLS, the number of self-employed workers should grow by 3.6% in 2024, which is much slower than the average for all occupations.

2. Real Estate Broker


If you enjoy marketing, especially sales of properties, you should consider being a real estate broker. Selling and renting out other people’s properties can earn a good living.

They make between $30k to $100k. Dealing with estate requires a license, but anyone with a high school diploma can apply.

Job Market: According to BLS, the overall employment of real estate brokers is projected to increase by 4% from 2020 to 2030.

Despite limited employment growth, about 47,500 openings for real estate brokers are projected each year.

3. Sales Consultant

Although, working at a kiosk in a mall or at a small store isn’t going to get you a net worth of $100k a year but selling exotic cars or planes can make you wealthy within a short period.

The only investment you need to make in sales make is your time.

Job Market: According to BLS, employment in sales will show little or no change, with a loss of about 202,900 jobs from 2020 to 2030.

Regardless, sales workers in the service will still be in demand because these occupations remain critical in building and maintaining business customer bases.

4. Air Traffic Controller

Air Traffic Controllers don’t need a degree but must undergo intensive screening and psychological tests to ensure they are fit for the job. If you make it as an air traffic controller, you can expect a salary of over $150k annually.


Job Market: According to BLS, employment should increase by 4% from 2024 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations. About 2,500 openings for air traffic controllers are projected each year.

5. Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant to an online entrepreneur is a beautiful way to earn a living. You can enjoy the benefit of working from home. In some cases, you might not set your eyes on your employer.

With the right training and experience, it’s possible to land a VA position that pays more than $100k per year.

Job Market: According to BLS, the overall employment of assistants might decline by 7% from 2024 to 2030. Regardless, about 324,000 openings are projected each year.

6. Firefighter or Police Officer

Community services like firefighters and police officers offer free training and are guaranteed a spot in the team if you pass the test.

The starting salary for these services is not much, but you can choose to make it your career path and end up in an executive position. You can expect to make 6 figures.

Job Market: According to BLS, the employment of firefighters is projected to grow by 8% in the next decade. The employment of police officers is also projected to grow by 7% in the next decade. Both occupations grow as fast as the average for all occupations.

7. Site Manager

Most contractors don’t require you to have a civil engineering degree to tear down walls. Most students in construction after high school find that they own contracting businesses. Site Managers earn anywhere between $40k to $130k per year. This is one of the jobs that pay $100k and don’t require a degree.

Job Market: According to the BLS, employment should grow by 11% in the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. There is a yearly projection of about 38,900 job openings in the job market for site managers.

8. Information Technology Manager

Tech offers some of the highest pay jobs in the American economy. Companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google always search for new talents.

Many technicians do not go to college; they undergo training on the job. You can expect to earn a salary of about $125k annually.

Job Market: According to the BLS, employment is projected to grow 11% in the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. About 42,400 openings for site IT managers are projected each year.

9. Radiologist

The radiologist can complete an accredited program to become certified or receive an associate degree instead of a bachelor’s degree to begin work.

Radiotherapists receive pay relevant to their knowledge and experience; senior radiologists can expect to earn as much as $116k yearly.

Job Market: According to the BLS, overall employment is projected to grow 9% in the next decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 20,800 openings for radiologists are projected each year.

10. Freelance Writer

if you are good at the English language, after high school, you can decide to start a career in writing. Most writers may start with minimal pay, but they can increase their pay as they improve their skills.

Job Market: According to the BLS, overall employment is projected to grow 9% in the next decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 15,400 openings for writers are projected each year.

Writers and authors are moving to the online space; these should create more jobs for writers now than the previous years.

11. Professional Athletes

Individuals who are talented in various types of sports can choose to pursue a career after graduating from high school.

Many pro sports teams hire athletes straight out of high school, paying them outrageous sums of money to play for their side. This is one of the jobs that pay $100k without a degree.

Job Market: According to the BLS, overall employment is projected to grow 38% in the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 3,400 openings for athletes are projected each year.

12. Digital Nomad

High school leavers can choose to find their fortune on the internet. Through different skills such as setting up e-commerce, being a crypto or a forex trader, selling other manufacturers’ products online, social media managers, virtual assistants, video production, and many more.

By earning an online income, you can work from any place in the world. These are the last jobs that pay $100k without a degree on this list.

Job Market: Employment opportunities for a digital nomad are on the increase. It is versatile and allows employees to work from anywhere in the world. Most digital nomads end up being their own


1. What Job Pays the highest Money Without a Degree?


The highest-paying job without a degree is that of a commercial pilot, which was found to have a median annual wage of $121,430.

2. Are Degrees Overrated?

There is no particular answer; different people have different goals. It would be impossible to say that degrees are overrated for careers that would need a university degree.

3. Can I Get a Job Without a High School Degree?

Yes, there are many jobs available without a high school degree, but they don’t pay well.

4. When is it a good idea to skip college?

Going to college is not a criterion for success nor a guarantee to land a well-paying job.

You can build careers in different industries, where on-the-job training and soft skills are more beneficial than a formal educational background rather than going to college. This can land you a well-paying job with a college degree.

Most importantly, if you don’t need a degree for your desired job or if you don’t like school, it’s advisable to skip college.

5. Can you get a job without a degree?

Yes, many jobs don’t require a college degree and still offer good pay. These jobs allow you to learn as you work. It also provides a lucrative career to pursue right after graduating from high school.


It’s essential to keep in mind that many well-paying jobs without a degree require several years of experience or on-the-job training. To excel in these areas, a lot of hard work and sacrifices must be put into it.

However, this article doesn’t condemn the need for formal education rather; it proffers solutions to individuals who don’t like school or are not doing well.

Generally, all pay is based on talent, skill, and experience.

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