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Tired of low wages? Discover 5 high-paying jobs you can get WITHOUT a degree! From Air Traffic Controller to Entrepreneur, chart your path to financial freedom today!

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Breaking the Six Figure Ceiling: Top Jobs Earning $100K Without a Degree

19 February, 2024

Today, I want to talk about something that many people are curious about: how to earn six figures without a degree.

You see, I’m one of those people who never went to college. I dropped out of high school when I was 17 and started my own business. It was a risky move, but it paid off big time. I’m now the owner of a successful online marketing agency that generates over $10 million in revenue per year.

But I’m not here to brag. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a degree to achieve your financial goals. In fact, there are many high-paying jobs without degree requirements that you can pursue. Some of them are even more lucrative than the ones that require a bachelor’s or a master’s.

Don’t believe me? Well, let me show you some examples of six-figure careers no degree needed. These are some of the top earning jobs that you can get with just a high school diploma, a certificate, or some on-the-job training.

Air Traffic Controller

Fancy yourself a master at handling multiple tasks, solving puzzles on the fly, and chatting up a storm? Perhaps steering into the role of an air traffic controller could be your next big move. Imagine a job that's not just a run-of-the-mill day at the office but a thrilling ride, packed with stress and challenges, yet immensely gratifying at the end of the day.

These guardians of the sky hold the reins, guiding aircraft both aloft and on terra firma. Their mission? To keep the skies friendly and flights punctual, orchestrating a ballet between pilots, ground staff, and fellow controllers. Throw in some unpredictable weather, the odd emergency, and a curveball or two of technical glitches, and you've got a day in the life.

Diving into the digits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tossed out some eye-opening figures for 2020. The median bread and butter for these aerial traffic maestros? A cool $130,420 annually. That's a hefty leap over thrice the average paycheck across all roles. And for those at the top of their game? They're pocketing north of $184,780.

Got your sights set on this high-flying career? You'll need to clear a hurdle of exams, health screenings, and security vettings. Plus, there's the stint at the FAA Academy you'll have to nail. Age-wise, you should be anywhere from 18 to the big 3-0. Ready to take the leap?

Web Developer

If you’re into technology and creativity, you might want to become a web developer. This is one of the most in-demand and flexible jobs in the digital age.

Web developers are responsible for creating, designing, and maintaining websites and web applications. They use various programming languages, tools, and frameworks to build functional and attractive web pages. They also work with clients, designers, and other developers to meet their needs and specifications.

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for web developers was $77,200 in 2020. However, this can vary depending on your skills, experience, and location. Some web developers can earn over $100,000 per year, especially if they specialize in a niche area or work as freelancers.

Embarking on a web development career doesn't necessarily require a formal degree; however, proficiency in coding is essential. Self-study, online courses, and coding bootcamps are all viable paths to acquiring the necessary skills. Building a portfolio filled with your projects is also crucial, as it demonstrates your capabilities and helps captivate the attention of prospective employers or clients.

Real Estate Broker

If you're drawn to the world of sales and negotiation, consider pursuing a career as a real estate broker. This role stands as one of the most fulfilling yet demanding positions within the housing market.

Real estate brokers are licensed experts who assist both property buyers and sellers. They serve as the go-between for these parties, offering guidance, insights, and representation. Beyond this, they manage the transaction's legal and financial elements, including contracts, inspections, and closing costs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2020, the average yearly income for real estate brokers was $60,370. However, earnings can significantly differ based on factors like commission rates, geographic location, and the current market dynamics. It's not uncommon for brokers in upscale regions or those with an extensive client network to make upwards of $100,000 annually.

To embark on this career path, you'll need to secure a state-issued license. This typically involves completing a pre-licensing course, passing a licensing exam, and gaining experience as a real estate agent for a specified duration. Additionally, successful brokers possess strong skills in communication, marketing, and relationship building.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

If you’re interested in science and engineering, you might want to become a nuclear power reactor operator. This is one of the most specialized and high-responsibility jobs in the energy sector.

Nuclear power reactor operators are responsible for controlling and monitoring the operation of nuclear reactors. They ensure the safety and efficiency of the nuclear power plants by adjusting the reactor controls, conducting inspections, and following procedures. They also deal with emergencies, malfunctions, and maintenance issues.

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for nuclear power reactor operators was $100,990 in 2020. That’s more than twice the national average for all occupations. The top 10% of nuclear power reactor operators earned more than $139,990.

To become a nuclear power reactor operator, you need to have a high school diploma and pass a series of tests, training, and licensing requirements. You also need to have good math, science, and technical skills. You may also need to have some experience in the nuclear industry or the military.


Last but not least, if you have a vision and a drive, you might want to become an entrepreneur. This is one of the most risky and rewarding jobs in the world.

Entrepreneurs are people who start their own businesses, products, or services. They identify a problem, create a solution, and market it to their target audience. They also manage the finances, operations, and growth of their ventures. They face many challenges, uncertainties, and failures, but also enjoy many benefits, opportunities, and successes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide specific salary data for entrepreneurs since their earnings can range widely from nothing to millions annually. Nonetheless, some research indicates that the average yearly income for entrepreneurs in the United States hovers around $70,000. It's not uncommon for successful entrepreneurs to earn in excess of $100,000 annually, particularly if they expand their businesses or sell them at a profit.

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey doesn't necessarily require formal education, but it demands a broad set of skills, in-depth knowledge, and ample resources. Key ingredients for success include a groundbreaking idea, a comprehensive business plan, a dependable team, and a market in need of your solution. Moreover, it requires an abundance of courage, creativity, and resilience to navigate through the ups and downs.


So, there you have it. Five examples of high-paying jobs without degree requirements that you can pursue. These are some of the most lucrative careers no degree needed that can help you break the six-figure ceiling and achieve your financial dreams.

Of course, these are not the only options. There are many other high income no degree careers that you can explore, such as sales manager, construction manager, dental hygienist, firefighter, and more. The key is to find something that matches your skills, interests, and goals.

Did you know that some of the most successful people in history did not have a degree? For example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson. They all dropped out of college and pursued their passions. They proved that you don’t need a degree to be successful. You just need to be smart, hard-working, and determined.

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