The Top 10 Six Figure Careers that Don’t Require a Degree

Times have definitely changed, and the value of a college degree may not be the same as it was even just a couple of decades ago. These days, you no longer need a degree in order to make a lot of money. There are plenty of career options for those that are just not the college-type, and you can bet that the potential for financial success is just as good as if you were to get a college degree—sometimes even more. If you’ve ever wondered what other options are out there career-wise, here are the top 10 non-degree careers that can get you six figures with hard work and dedication.

1. Real Estate Broker

The real estate industry has boomed over the last few years. It has attracted many people looking to switch careers because of the lucrative salary, the flexibility with the schedule, and probably because of the popularity of the job on reality TV. Either way you look at it, just know that the field is competitive. You need to give it your all if you want to make the big money.

2. Air Traffic Controller

You never hear about people working as air traffic controller, but they’re some of the most important jobs in the aviation industry. You’ll be responsible for thousands of lives on a daily basis, so know that the job doesn’t come without any challenges.

3. Small Business Owner

This category is very general; there are literally thousands of different businesses you could get into. The beauty of having your own business is that you are always the boss. You make your own rules and your own schedule. However, it’s a lot more work than many people realize, so be prepared to go in hard before you make the big bucks.

4. Fire Chief

Being a firefighter is not easy, but even the lowest ranks in the field gets good pay and good work schedules. Once you become a fire chief, you can make six figures with no problems. Just be aware that you’ll have to pass a series of tests before you can even become a firefighter, and you need to work many years before you can become fire chief.

5. Construction Manager

You’ll need to work in construction for several years before you can even be considered for a managerial position. In this industry, experience is truly the key to success. The more experience you have, the more valuable you’ll be to any company. All of this just means more money in your pocket.

6. Plumber

You may never have thought of it before, but plumbers actually make a lot of money. To become a plumber, you’ll need to learn the trade somehow either through a trade school or by apprenticeship. The money is made in this industry because of the demand. Plumbers will always be needed everywhere, so jobs will never be scarce.

7. Network/IT Manager

We are living in the age of technology, after all, so it’s easy to assume that IT Managers are always on demand. Technology is constantly changing, so IT Managers are hired by many companies to take care of the tech aspects of operation.

8. Hotel Executive Chef

If you have the skill and the talent to become a chef, working at a high-end hotel can bring you the six figures you’ve always been wanting. However, the drawback to being an executive chef is that you’ll have to work long hours in highly stressful environments. If you can handle that, then you should be good.

9. Court Reporter

You see them all on TV shows, transcribing away on their tiny typewriters. You’d never imagine that they actually make six figures doing what they do. Being able to type fast and accurately is a skill that not many people have, but if you happen to have the combo, you can get the job after a few classes and a clean background check.

10. Pilot

Everyone knows that pilots make good money. There are many different types of pilots out there, but majority of them make more than the average worker. The best part about it is that you don’t need any college degrees to become one, but you do need to clock in your flying hours in order to get your license.


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