Finding the Highest Paying Jobs Without Getting a College Degree
Even with the recent economic recession – and the millions of corresponding job layoffs – those who are seeking high paying jobs can still find success, even without a college degree. The trick is, though, without knowing where to look, pounding the pavement with resume in hand may turn out to be a disappointing task.
It is estimated that today, fewer than 30 percent of the adult population in the United States has a four-year college degree – so it is certainly possible to achieve career success without such schooling. Yet, doing so in today’s economy will still require determination, networking, and a fair amount of self-marketing activity.
Set Your Employment Goals
While many people are seeking a high paying job, simply going out and applying aimlessly will not likely land you your dream career. With this in mind, it is important to first determine your employment goals.
Without a specific college “major,” you won’t be pigeonholed into just one particular profession. However, being too general can also backfire and leave potential employers feeling that you don’t have any type of specialized knowledge that would benefit their company.
Some of the six-figure income job options that exist today that do not require a college degree include:
- Real Estate Agent / Broker – Although it is required that you obtain a license, real estate agents and brokers can make money in a variety of different ways. These can include selling property (either commercial or residential) directly to buyers, and listing property for sellers (and having other agents and brokers show the property to buyers). As a real estate broker, you may also have agents working for you whereby you receive a portion of the sales commission on all of your brokerage’s sales.
- Plumber / Electrician – Those who are involved in trades such as plumbing and electrical can make a nice income (in the range of 40K to 100K per year) without the need to obtain a college degree. These individuals are always in high demand – regardless of what is happening in the economy. This is especially the case in emergency situations such as a sewer back up or electrical outage that must be repaired immediately.
- General Contractor – If you have any experience in the construction arena, you may be qualified to move up to a role of general contractor. Today, a general contractor’s salary is typically in the range of $42,000 to $130,000 per year. Here, you will oversee entire projects from start to finish.
- Network / IT Manager – Most companies that rely on a network of computers for their business will need at least one network or IT manager. These individuals are responsible for keeping the firm’s computers and related equipment working correctly – and quickly fixing anything that goes awry. Although a college degree is not required, it is important to keep up to date on current technology issues.
- Court Reporter – After taking a class in transcription and passing a background check, a court reporter position can pay upwards of $100,000 per year – depending upon the city in which you are located.
- Air Traffic Controller – An air traffic controller is responsible for numerous tasks, and may endure a great deal of stress in maintaining the safety of airline passengers and crew. However, these individuals can earn upwards of $150,000 per year in salary for doing so.
- Executive Chef – Depending on your specialty, if you land the role of an executive chef, you can earn $100,000 or more per year. In some cases, you may be required to first complete a program at a particular culinary school. However, a four-year college degree is not necessary.
- Pilot - Being a pilot can offer numerous opportunities, including that of flying for commercial airlines, cargo airlines, or even for a private corporation or individual. Typically, a pilot’s income is based on his or her ratings, type of license that is held, and overall experience.
In setting your employment goals, you will need to nail down an industry or sector of interest, as well as determine how your skills and background will make you stand out to employers. From here, you can move forward with your plan to get hired.
Taking the Next Step
Taking the next step towards finding the highest paying jobs may seem somewhat daunting. But, with definitive goals, along with a plan of action, you could be earning a healthy paycheck a lot sooner than you think.
If you decide that you would rather “call you own shots,” there are also numerous opportunities for becoming a small business owner. Depending upon the business that you choose, you could easily find yourself earning six- or even seven-figures per year over time.