Careers Work

8 Six-Figure Jobs That Don’t Require A University Degree

| August 17, 2019
high paying jobs no degree

School is not for everyone, and some just simply can’t afford to go to school due to finances or other family commitments. Others simply don’t want to spend all that time taking classes in obscure subjects while hoping to find their calling and piling up student loan debt.

Some simply just want to work, work their way up, and earn the bucks.

Roughly 27.5% of the United States population has a degree, and only 31% of Canadians aged 25 to 44 have a university degree.

Let’s face it – education is getting more expensive every year, and its becoming a luxury for some to attend a post-secondary institution.

Not having a degree does not prevent anyone from earning a good income. In fact there are many people who do not participate in post-secondary education, and still become successful earning six-figure incomes. Opportunities exist for everyone, including those without a degree to earn $100k or more each year. Achieving financial success without a degree requires some risk-taking, determination, and tons of networking.

Breaking a six figure income is not easy, but certainly not impossible either. Every year new fields, positions, and opportunities are popping up with six figure incomes. Most people who earn over six figures will tell you that they don’t hold a 9-5 job. On average most put in 60+ hours of work every week.

On average, Canadian university graduates do well over the course of their careers. Studies have showed that for the most part, post secondary graduates earn more heftier premiums vs. those with only high-school diplomas. But despite a post-secondary education, two in every ten degree holders wind up on the low end of the income scale.

Here’s a list of jobs that  illustrates some of the most popular careers that offer high income opportunities without a college degree. Keep in mind that nothing is guaranteed, and just because someone is successful at earning $100k annually, does not guarantee you’ll be successful doing it as well. One key characteristic that all these positions share is HARD WORK. Without sacrifice, long hours, and paying your dues the rewards are only mediocre.

Here are 8 six figure jobs that don’t need a degree.

1. Small Business Owner

For most small business owners it will take some time before their new small business venture will pay off. The time frame is anyone’s guess, but for some achieving a six figure income comes faster than it does for others. A lot has to do with the industry the small business owner is in, and how much they dedicate them selves to their business. Becoming a small business owner is achievable by anyone willing to put in time, effort, energy, and offer a viable product or service to potential clients.

I don’t have a specific salary range for small business owners, but profitable small businesses can expect a six-figure salary in four to five years. Again, I’ll underline that a lot depends on the type of business, economic state, and dedication towards the business.

The beautiful part of being a small business owner is there’s no dress code, flexible (but long) hours, and the ability to call your own shots. Becoming a small business owner is easier than most make it out to be – find something you’re good at, invest a little of your money, and start getting money back. Actually it’s a lot harder than that, but that’s a simple of way of putting it. Finally, every small business owner becomes everything in their business – graphic designer, PR, marketing, customer service, sales, accountant, and leader are just a few of the survival skills necessary.

2. Plumber

Plumbing is a hard job, and a dirty one at the same time. To become a plumber, you don’t need a degree, and instead attend a technical school or apprenticeship. Majority of the plumbers start off as assistants helping the lead hand plumber, and after a few thousand hours majority of the assistants either become full-time plumbers within the existing company where they work or go on to start their own plumbing business. Many plumbers earn an excellent income without having a college degree. The average hourly rate for a good plumber is $110 and upwards. One of the most interesting parts about plumbing is that there is a constant need.

Just imagine if you had a leak from your second floor bathroom, and what you’d do to stop the leak in order to prevent bigger damage.

One final tip: In the next two decades, 40 per cent of new jobs are supposed to be in the skilled trades and technologies. Plumbers included.

3. Construction Company Manager

Very similar to plumbing, most construction managers start at the bottom of the construction industry and work their way up within the company. Construction companies frequently promote within, because its important to them to have a manger with strong knowledge and someone who believes in the company values. The downside of being a construction manger is that you’re on call majority of the time due to unexpected emergencies, but than again I did say that majority of the six figure jobs listed here require long hours.

A bachelor’s degree helps but isn’t a necessity. A lack of qualified applicants and better than average employment growth after the current downturn will makes this job a prime target for people already in construction.

4. Real Estate Agent

Real Estate is probably one of the most over saturated industries, and probably because in order to become a Realtor you only need a high school diploma alongside a Real Estate license that is obtained in three phases of self study and written tests. Becoming a Realtor is relatively straight forward, but what many don’t anticipate are the long hours, on calls, late nights, weekend work, and no guaranteed income.

Real estate brokers have an estimated annual salary range of $30,144 for beginners, and well over six figures for some veteran Real Estate Agents.If you have the dedication, and ability to continually seek out new clients you can make a good living selling and buying properties.

5. Landscape Contractor

A landscape contractor is similar to a plumber and a small business owner in the sense that you own your own business, and chase the dollars. A friend of mine started a landscaping company with $50 he spent on a bucket, soap, ladder, and window cleaning brush. He started washing windows commercially and on residential homes. He targeted mostly “rich” neighborhoods, and it paid off years later.

With a year under his belt, he expanded his business into snow removal, window cleaning, and landscaping by hiring the right staff, purchasing two company vehicles, and the business earned well over $1 million dollars after the fifth year. Oh, thought you might also want know – he dropped out of university after the first year and he’s only 24 years old.

6. HVAC Tech

HVAC Tech is another job that’s dirty and hard at the same time. To become an HVAC tech you don’t need a degree, and instead attend a technical school or apprenticeship. Most of the HVAC techs start off as lead hands in helping the senior techs. Eventually after a few thousand apprentice hours majority of the assistants either become full-time HVAC techs within the existing company where they work or go on to start their own business.

7. Sales Rep

Work experience is the only degree you need here. Good interpersonal skills are a must. Selling trucks is a great way for a more seasoned sales rep to break the six figures. On average most companies pay $27,000-$35,000 in base salary, and the rest coming from sales and a monthly car/expense allowance.

8. Sales Manager

Seasoned sales people eventually move into a sales manger role or inside/outside sales management. Aside for a requirement of solid interpersonal skills, a good sales manger also acts as an instructor, motivator, and someone who goes to bat for his sales staff.Most sales mangers get a base salary, plus a commission on anything they sell directly, a percentage of sales from the sales staff they manage, and a monthly expense allowance.

Final Thoughts

You may not need a “degree” for some of these jobs, but that still doesn’t mean you don’t have to serve an apprenticeship, or have about 10 years experience under your belt plus an apprenticeship (construction manager). There is no free ride, and you gotta pay your dues somewhere to get to a six figure income. This list is just something to think about, but I still believe that a degree is a good investment in the long run! You just never know which way the economy will swing one day.

What are your thoughts on these 8 six figure jobs that don’t need a degree? Can you think of any more six figure paying jobs that are legit and don’t require a degree?