5 jobs you wouldn’t think make a $100,000 annual salary without a college degree

Earning 6-figures can be a daunting pipe dream for many, especially those who feel like they don’t have enough education to earn that kind of green.

But what about ordinary jobs that earn $100,000 that don’t need college degrees?

KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING:

I am not saying that these jobs are easy to get just because they don’t need a college degree!

  • Some of the jobs are not meant to be worked until you are the age of 65 (short shelf-life)
  • You might need to go to school, get certified or apprentice
  • You have to study and pass tests even though college itself may not be required
  • You will need to be able to get the job (!!), as some seem like you need connections
  • You will need to have experience on the job
  • …and know how to actually do your job and do it well ;)

1. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: $102,030

WHAT THEY DO

These are the people who help manage air traffic so that planes don’t take off or land at the wrong spots & times and crash into each other. It is an amazingly difficult job because there is a high risk of catastrophe in making even the smallest mistakes.

Without a doubt, not anyone could do this job and you may not earn 6-figures right off the bat, but it’s a job to consider.

EDUCATION REQUIRED

In Canada you need to pay $200 to take 5 tests in Verbal Evaluation, Numerical Estimation, Diagramming  and Spatial Reasoning. To learn those skills to be able to take those tests, there are probably schools out there to help prepare you for the job, but no 4-year degree is required.

Sources: Wealth Pilgrim via CNN

2. LONGSHOREMAN: $112,000 – $177,000

WHAT THEY DO

They are unionized dock workers who load cargo on the docks and log everything that comes in and out.

“Next year, West Coast dockworkers will earn an average of $112,000 for handling cargo, according to the Pacific Maritime Association, their employer. Office clerks who log shipping records into computers will earn $136,000. And unionized foremen who oversee the rank-and-file will pull down an average $177,000.”

EDUCATION REQUIRED

None.

You just have to be able to land the job, and possibly ‘take over’ a position of someone by buying their card? Don’t quote me on this, I first learned about longshoremen on Castle. ;)

I’d imagine this high income  to have a short shelf life, because lifting and moving heavy cargo is not easy on your back or your body. I’d say 15 years would be a long time, working in this job, day in, day out.

Sources: CBS Marketwatch

3. SKYCAP AT A MAJOR AIRPORT: $100,000

WHAT THEY DO

They are uniformed baggage handlers who lift and carry luggage, and if they work in busy metro airports they can pull in a lot in tips, in addition to their salaries which I will take a stab at and guess it is $10/hour ($20,000 a year).

At $2 per tip with 18 travelers an hour, that’s $288/day or $72,000 a year just in tips alone! And some people tip more than that.

(MATH: $2 x 18 travelers = $36/hour in tips x 2000 working hours in a year = $72,000)

So if you add their salary at $20,000 + $72,000 in tips (a minimum), you are at $92,000. But people sometimes tip $5 a bag if they feel generous, so they’ll probably make well over $100,000 in a busy airport.

EDUCATION REQUIRED

High school diploma or GED. Then it’s a matter of landing the job I suppose, but they do have to pay an airline fee to work there.

Sources: AVJobs

4. MASTER PLUMBER: $100,000+

WHAT THEY DO

They install and fit all the pipes that carry in and out water, gas, sewage and waste water in buildings and in homes.  They help make sure that the water pipes are easily accessed by the sinks and toilets are placed in the right spots based on the design of the building, and so on.

EDUCATION REQUIRED

You have to go to school and get certified, become an apprentice to work under a someone and then build your own experience from there. Master plumbers have 5-7 years of experience.

Sources: Time

5. COURT REPORTER IN TOP CITIES: $100,000

WHAT THEY DO

Type out court proceedings, but they can also be typing for broadcast captioning or those subtitles underneath shows, or real-time reporting for webcasts.

The median salary is lower at $62,000 but in a top city I suppose a skill like that would really be in demand.

EDUCATION REQUIRED

The skill to be able to type with almost no flaws at 200 words per minute which means they have to train intensely for this.

Source: MSN

AT THE END OF THE DAY

You can envy people with those jobs if you’d like, but you cannot ignore that they still aren’t easy jobs to land. You have to pass tests, be certified, train intensely or be willing to destroy your body hauling cargo on and off the docks.

 

Every job has its perks and its downsides, the key is to find the one that fits you and your skills the best, with the best pros and the least cons possible.
Most people need a college degree to land a well-paying job, but even without one, looking at other possibilities without a degree never hurts. I’d have put “small business owner” in there, but 90% of businesses fail, and it isn’t an accurate representation, as most small business owners barely keep afloat.

What do you think?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.