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Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, approximately 25% of jobs don’t require a degree. There are countless individuals without college degrees who make six figures annually. Let’s look at several professions that don’t require a degree but offer the potential to earn over $100,000 annually.
A construction manager oversees the planning, coordination, and execution of construction projects from start to finish. They work closely with architects, engineers, subcontractors, and clients to ensure projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required standards. Construction managers are responsible for managing resources, including labor, materials, and equipment, and for resolving any issues or conflicts that may arise during the construction process. Their role also involves monitoring progress and enforcing safety regulations.
An owner-operator driver is a professional truck driver who owns and operates their own truck or fleet of trucks rather than working as an employee of a company. Essentially, they are both the vehicle owner and the driver responsible for operating it. Owner-operators typically contract their services to transport goods for various companies or clients. This arrangement allows them greater control over their work schedule, earnings, and business decisions compared to traditional employee drivers. However, it also involves assuming more responsibilities, such as maintenance costs, insurance, and managing business operations.
A radiation therapist is a healthcare professional specializing in cancer treatment using radiation therapy. They work alongside oncologists and other medical professionals to administer radiation treatments to patients with cancer. You will need a certification or associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s is unnecessary.
A fire chief is the highest-ranking officer in a fire department and oversees all aspects of fire protection and emergency response services within their jurisdiction. Their duties can vary depending on the size and structure of the department but typically include strategic planning, management, and risk assessment.
A commercial pilot is a highly trained professional responsible for flying aircraft for various commercial purposes, such as transporting passengers or cargo. They must hold a commercial pilot license (CPL) issued by aviation authorities and meet stringent training and experience requirements. Commercial pilots operate within strict regulations and safety protocols to ensure the safety of their passengers, crew, and aircraft. Their duties include conducting pre-flight inspections, navigating routes, operating aircraft systems, and communicating with air traffic control.
A makeup artist is a skilled professional who applies makeup to enhance clients’ appearance for various occasions or events. They deeply understand cosmetics, skin types, and facial features, allowing them to create customized looks that complement their clients’ unique characteristics and preferences. Makeup artists may work in diverse settings, such as salons, film and television productions, fashion shows, or special events like weddings and photo shoots. Their expertise extends beyond basic makeup application to include techniques such as contouring, highlighting, and special effects makeup for theatrical or artistic purposes.
Oil and Gas Extraction Worker
Oil and gas extraction workers, such as rig supervisors, oversee drilling operations on oil and gas rigs. They ensure that drilling activities comply with safety regulations, environmental standards, and company policies. Rig Supervisors coordinate the activities of rig crew members, monitor equipment performance, and troubleshoot issues to maintain efficient and productive operations.
Air Traffic Controller
An air traffic controller is a trained professional responsible for managing the safe and efficient movement of aircraft within a defined airspace or airport terminal area. They monitor aircraft using radar and other tracking systems, provide instructions to pilots regarding takeoff, landing, and flight paths, and ensure aircraft maintain safe distances. Air traffic controllers communicate critical information to pilots, such as weather conditions, air traffic flow, and runway availability. Their role requires quick decision-making, strong communication skills, and the ability to remain calm under pressure to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and aircraft.
Real Estate Agent/Broker
Successful real estate agents or brokers who handle high-value properties or specialize in lucrative markets can earn substantial commissions, potentially exceeding six figures annually.
Master electricians with extensive experience, certifications, and specialization in high-demand areas such as industrial or commercial electrical work can command six-figure incomes.
Master plumbers with advanced skills, certifications, and experience managing large projects or specialized areas, such as commercial plumbing installations, can earn over six figures.
Underwater welders, who specialize in welding tasks performed underwater, particularly in industries such as offshore oil and gas or marine construction, can earn high salaries due to the specialized nature of their work and the associated risks.
A product manager is a key role within a company responsible for overseeing the development, marketing, and success of a product or product line. They work closely with cross-functional teams including engineering, design, marketing, and sales to define product strategy, prioritize features, and guide the product through its lifecycle. Product managers gather and analyze market research, customer feedback, and competitive intelligence to inform product decisions and identify opportunities for innovation and improvement.
HVAC contractors who run successful businesses, particularly those specializing in commercial installations, maintenance contracts, or high-end residential projects, can achieve six-figure incomes.
Railroad conductors oversee the operation of trains, ensuring safety, adhering to schedules, and coordinating activities with train crew members. With experience and seniority, railroad conductors can earn six-figure salaries, especially in regions with high demand for freight transportation.
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Sam Whisnant is a college student with a talent for writing and a natural curiosity about the world. He combines his academic pursuits with a passion for sharing knowledge in a way that is both informative and engaging to his readers.