5 Jobs That Pay 100k a Year Without a Degree

With the already high costs of college tuition continuing to rise and job prospects looking more and more slim for recent grads, many are considering the merits of going to college versus finding a job that does not require a bachelor’s degree.

Contrary to the idea that you cannot find a high-paying job without a college degree, there are actually many jobs that are attainable without a degree and have salaries that will rise above $100,000 after you gain experience in the field.

1. Real Estate Broker

While you do need a license to become a real estate broker, you can apply for that license with just a high school diploma. The average salary ranges from $30,144 to $180,434 per year, meaning that while you won’t start out at 100k, you have a strong chance of making it there with experience.

This field is currently highly competitive due to the increase in licensed real estate brokers during the recent housing boom.

2. Pastry Chef

If you make your way to the position of Executive Pastry Chef, you could earn up to $102,000 per year. You will need an associate’s degree in culinary arts, however. To rise to the level of Executive Pastry Chef, you are looking to spend at least five years in the industry as well.

In this position, you will usually find yourself managing other staff and expenses. Again, this is a highly competitive field, but a rewarding one if you enjoy it and are hardworking.

3. Massage Therapist

Massage therapy is another career path that does not require a bachelor’s degree; however, it does require licensure, training, and potentially an associate’s degree, depending on the state. On the plus side, the average annual salary is $67,600 and can rise up to $141,000.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting widespread growth in this field as massage therapy becomes more popular and well known as a reliever of stress and pain.

4. Court Reporter

If you are skilled at transcribing and strongly attentive to detail, a job as a court reporter may be the right choice for you. Most court reporters do have an associate’s degree, but it is not required.

You will need to undergo training and likely become certified in order to earn the top salary, which is around $104,000 per year. This job is another one with predicted growth and you can increase your chances of moving up if you receive specialized training to assist hard-of-hearing and deaf populations.

5. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic control is one of the top-salaried jobs that requires only a high school diploma or GED. The average annual salary is $87,300, with the potential to rise up to $179,000.

This job can be stressful and also requires a very flexible schedule, but with high pay and few requirements, it is often worth it. To become an air traffic controller, you must either have previous experience or be a U.S. citizen who is under 31 years old and can pass an FAA course.