The Top Jobs That Pay $100k a Year Without a Degree
Securing a well-paying job without a traditional degree may seem like a challenge. However, in today’s job market, there are numerous opportunities to get jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree. Going for one of the easiest jobs that pay $100k a year allows you to break into lucrative industries and establish a successful career, without the burdensome time and financial commitments often associated with higher education.
In this article, we will break down the best jobs that pay $100k a year with no degree requirements. Later on in the article, we will also discuss several ways you can land careers that make $100k a year without spending time and money on a college degree.
15 Jobs that Pay $100k a Year With No Degree Requirements
You can find jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree in a variety of industries. In fact, there are healthcare, tech, and trade jobs that pay $100k and don’t require a bachelor’s degree. With the right skills and experience, you can even land jobs that pay 150k a year without a degree. So, if you are looking into high-paying jobs without a degree, check out some of the top options below.
|Position||Average Annual Salary||Highest 10% of Earners||Job Growth|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$159,010||$208,000+||16%|
|Air Traffic Controller||$129,750||$185,990||1%|
|Computer Network Architect||$120,520||$168,890||4%|
|Quality Assurance Analyst||$109,020||$168,570||25%|
|Information Security Analyst||$102,600||$165,920||35%|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$99,270||$158,010||9%|
|Elevator and Escalator Installer||$97,860||$130,940||3%|
A Closer Look at the Best Jobs That Pay $100k a Year Without a Degree
While your main priority may be to find a high-paying job without a degree, you’ll have a more meaningful career if you also enjoy what you do. In this section, we will cover the above jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree in more detail so you can get a better idea of the roles and responsibilities of each position.
Computer and Information Systems Manager | Average Salary: $159,010
Also referred to as IT managers, professionals in this role oversee the computer and tech-related aspects of an organization. You may lead a larger team as you assess your organization’s computer needs, ensure security protocols are followed, and optimize costs and efficiency. You can get into this role without a degree, but you will need to build up experience in the field first.
Commercial Pilot | Average Salary: $134,630
While commercial pilots do need to go through a specific training program, they do not need a college degree. In fact, if you enjoy traveling, it is one of the easiest jobs that pay $100k. In just two years of training, you will learn everything you need to know to start manning flights.
Marketing Manager | Average Salary: $133,380
If you are creative, working as a marketing manager is one of the top careers that make $100k a year without a degree. While you may need to build up your portfolio in order to land a more senior position in marketing, you can climb this career ladder regardless of your education. Marketing managers establish budgets, create campaigns, organize promotions, and much more.
Software Developer | Average Salary: $132,930
One of the fastest growing jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree is a software developer. With society’s increasing reliance on technology, software developers continue to be in high demand and are employed in connection to numerous industries. If you don’t have a degree, you can become a software developer by attending a coding bootcamp. In this highly technical position, you work on designing, writing, testing, deploying, and debugging software programs.
Air Traffic Controller | Average Salary: $129,750
If you want a $100k a year job with no degree and you are very detail-oriented and organized, you could consider becoming an air traffic controller. These professionals oversee and direct the paths of aircraft in the sky and on the runways and taxiways. Air traffic controllers communicate with pilots, ground personnel, and other control towers. To become an air traffic controller you need several years of both practical and theoretical training.
Sales Manager | Average Salary: $127,490
Another management career that pays $100k a year, you can also become a sales manager without a traditional degree. These professionals lead an organization’s sales team, establishing best practices, training programs, sales strategies, and more. In this role, you will also need to define and monitor goals and work with key stakeholders of a company.
Computer Network Architect | Average Salary: $120,520
Computer network architects first need to understand an organization’s needs and goals so they can build a useful data communication network accordingly. This position requires a variety of knowledge about computer hardware and software. If you want to earn a six-figure salary in this role, you will need to master the technology involved in networks and Intranets.
Quality Assurance Analyst | Average Salary: $109,020
Working as a quality assurance (QA) analyst is one of the best jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree because of its high job growth rate. QA analysts ensure the quality of various technologic products and services, such as websites, apps, software, and more. They may oversee the design and creation processes as well as initiate testing and maintenance after a product is launched.
Sales Engineer | Average Salary: $103,710
Sales engineer is another one of the top $100k a year jobs to get with no degree. Specializing in highly scientific and technological products, these professionals work as business-to-business sales representatives. In addition to traditional sales skills, sales engineers also need the ability to explain highly complex topics to key decision-makers.
Information Security Analyst | Average Salary: $102,600
These cyber security professionals work to ensure a company’s networks and computer systems are safe. This may include penetration testing, addressing vulnerabilities, and teaching security best practices. With just a high school diploma, you can become an information security analyst by attending a cyber security bootcamp.
Database Administrator | Average Salary: $101,000
Database administrator is yet another job that pays $100k a year without a degree. Professionals in this role work to ensure data analysts and other professionals can easily access and use databases. They monitor and work on the security and functionality of databases and create brand-new databases from scratch when needed.
Data Scientist | Average Salary: $100,910
With an exceptionally high job growth rate, data scientists are heavily relied on in today’s businesses. These professionals collect, clean, analyze, visualize, and interpret data to help inform key business decisions. If you don’t have an advanced degree, you can still become a data scientist by joining a data science bootcamp program.
Computer Systems Analyst | Average Salary: $99,270
Similarly to information security analysts, computer systems analysts are also focused on an organization’s computer system. However, rather than security, they are more focused on efficiency. The responsibilities of the role include setting up hardware and software, testing systems, and training end users.
Construction Manager | Average Salary: $98,890
If you only have a high school diploma, you can still have a great quality of life by pursuing a career in construction management. It is one of the jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree because construction managers take on a lot of responsibility. They typically head the planning, budgeting, and building of construction projects. In addition, they need to ensure safety and quality are prioritized on the work sites.
Elevator and Escalator Installer | Average Salary: $97,860
One of the trade jobs that pay $100k a year is elevator and escalator installer. Primarily working in large commercial spaces, these professionals install and maintain moving walkways, elevators, and escalators to ensure they are in tip-top condition and safe to use. You can become a professional in this field after completing an apprenticeship program.
Other Jobs That Pay $100k a Year Without Experience or a Degree
Professionals without four-year degrees have many high-paying job options. In fact, aside from the 15 jobs listed above, there are still ample opportunities to earn $100k a year without a degree. While the average yearly salary for the jobs below is less than six figures, the top earners on the salary scale in these professions bring in well over $100k.
- Web Developer | 90th Percentile Salary: $144,690. If you only have a high school diploma and you want to earn a lucrative salary, becoming a web developer is a great option. These in-demand professionals design, create, and test websites and web applications.
- UX/UI Designer | 90th Percentile Salary: $168,200. UX/UI designers ensure that products and services are user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. They work with web developers to create a polished final product.
- Mobile App Developer | 90th Percentile Salary: $151,000. Similarly to software developers, mobile app developers design, build, launch, and troubleshoot software, but they do so specifically for mobile operating systems. With the opportunity to gain tech skills through a coding bootcamp, you don’t need an advanced degree to work as a mobile app developer.
- Radiation Therapists | 90th Percentile Salary: $128,550. While becoming a radiation therapist does require some higher education, you can work in this profession with just an associate degree. You’ll use different types of X-ray and radiation equipment to find and treat tumors in sick patients, which can make it a very meaningful career.
- Real Estate Agent | 90th Percentile Salary: $113,320. Real estate agents help their clients buy, sell, or rent either commercial or residential properties. These professionals earn the majority of their income through commissions, so your annual salary will depend on the volume and type of properties you sell.
How to Make $100k a Year Without a Degree
While you may not need an advanced degree, even the easiest jobs that pay $100k require some specific skills or training. If you are a high school graduate and you want to qualify for jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree, you will need to go through a training program to build professional skills. Thankfully, there are a variety of opportunities for you to gain the skills you need, such as the options below.
There are many tech jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree. If you are interested in working in positions like software developer, data scientist, or information security analyst, then a coding bootcamp could be your path to $100k.
Coding bootcamps are short-term, intensive training programs that help complete beginners build job-ready skills for the tech industry. In addition, these programs often come with career coaching, support networks, and the opportunity to build a professional portfolio. Bootcamps are usually significantly cheaper than most degree programs. In fact, the cheapest coding bootcamps cost less than $7,000.
On-the-job training is provided for a variety of trade occupations. However, you can also find these training opportunities in tech, sales, and other service niches. Whether you go through an apprenticeship or company-specific training, getting on-the-job training is one of the quickest and best ways to learn a profession.
You can also land jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree by attending a technical school. These schools provide hands-on, practical training for a specific profession. You can find technical programs for a variety of fields, such as business, hospitality, engineering, finance, information technology, and more. Programs range in duration by typically last about two years.
Can I Earn $100k a Year Without a Degree?
You can earn $100k a year without a degree after building up in-demand professional skills. Whether you want to work as an airline pilot, software developer, sales engineer, or construction manager, there are a variety of opportunities to land jobs that pay $100k a year without a degree.
However, if you want to earn a high salary without attending college, you will need to gain an education in a different way. That could be through a coding bootcamp or an apprenticeship program. Whatever the case, you can unlock new opportunities and increase your quality of life without committing to a four-year degree program.
Jobs That Pay $100k a Year Without a Degree FAQ
Every job has its challenges, so the easiest job to make $100k a year will depend on your own strengths and skill set. If you live in a booming, wealthy area, working as a real estate agent might be the easiest. On the other hand, if you are a natural leader and work for a great company, being a marketing manager is also a great option.
Tech jobs often pay the most to individuals without a degree. Most tech positions have a high median salary, and you can gain all of the skills you need through coding bootcamps. Other jobs that pay well without a degree include commercial pilot, air traffic controller, and sales manager.
The highest salary without a degree is from an information systems manager with an average annual salary of $159,010, followed by a commercial pilot. While you do not necessarily need a college degree, you do need job experience and specific skills to land the title of information systems manager.
With high earnings come high responsibilities, so every job that pays six figures is going to come with some stressful elements. However, some of the least stressful jobs that pay over $100k may include data scientist, web developer, and art director. However, this will largely depend on your employer and the nature of the projects you work on.