15 Jobs That Pay 100K a Year Without a Degree
Did you hear?
College graduates take an average of 20 to 45 years to pay off their student loan debt!
Not interested in spending your entire early adulthood and then some paying off debt?
I get it.
That’s why I came up with this list of jobs that pay 100K a year without a degree. Some of these jobs are more competitive than others, but no one said making bank would be easy.
I’ve ranked these jobs that don’t require a degree from highest to lowest earnings potential, so you can decide how ambitious you’re feeling.
Top 15 Jobs That Pay 100K a Year Without a Degree
Check out this list of the top 15 jobs that pay 100K a year without a degree.
1. Actor / Actress
Job Description: Act on stage, in films, television, and more.
Highest-paid actors: $20+ million per film (very rare!)
Broadway example: $2,095 per week minimum (This is a yearly salary of $100,000+) for actors playing in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway in New York City
Average TV Commercial Actor or Actress salary: $73,172 per year
Typical pay: $23.48 per hour
Education or Training Needed: Many actors go to acting school or participate in ongoing theatrical training. There is no requirement to hold a degree.
2. Social Media Personality
Job Description: Entertain or inform an audience on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok.
Pay: Each social media platform is different, but for example, YouTube personalities can earn 55% of the ad revenue on their videos. You can also sell your own ads or sell products.
Elite level social media personalities: $10+ million per year (very rare!)
Average YouTuber salary with 1 million+ subscribers: $60,000 per year
Education or Training Needed: None required. There are content marketing courses that may help you.
3. Real Estate Agent
Job Description: Real estate agents help people buy and sell properties. Properties can include homes, commercial buildings, and land.
Pay varies greatly depending on your skill level and the number of hours you want to work. (Many real estate agents only work part-time.)
Top 10% of Real Estate Agents: Earn more than $176,080 per year
Median pay: $48,770 per year
Education or Training Needed: Real estate agents usually take real estate courses and pass a state licensing exam. You do NOT need a degree to make 100k a year!
4. Advertising and Promotions Manager
Job Description: Advertising managers plan and oversee marketing campaigns, which include digital and offline ads.
Average Salary: $163,360 per year
Education or Training Needed: Learn digital marketing fundamentals (can be done on your own using online resources), land a junior marketing job, and work up to a leadership level.
5. Technology Sales Manager
Job Description: These professionals focus on attracting and retaining customers in the tech industry.
Average Salary: $161,920 per year
Education or Training Needed: There’s no formal education required. However, you must be a good salesperson and have the leadership skills to oversee and motivate a team.
6. First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives
Job Description: These supervisors investigate criminal cases while offering guidance to police and detectives.
Top 10%: Earn more than $159,000 per year
Average Salary: $99,330 per year
Education or Training Needed: You’ll need to graduate from a police academy, start out as a police officer and work up to a management position.
7. Data Scientist Manager
Job Description: Data scientist managers help businesses capture, understand, and use data to improve performance and marketing decisions.
Average Salary: $145,454 per year
Education or Training Needed: Although degrees are available for this field, many data scientists are self-taught. Start with online courses and e-books to learn the basics. Then, apply for an entry-level position to gain on-the-job training.
8. Software Architect
Job Description: Software architects are responsible for high-level concepts and designs of software applications.
Average Salary: $134,978 per year
Education or Training Needed: Although a degree in computer science can help you land a job, all you need is a good understanding of programming, start out as a software developer, and work your way up to a software architect.
9. Makeup Artist: Theatrical and Performance
Job Description: Makeup artists work on movie and performance sets. They apply makeup to actors to enhance facial appearances or achieve desired aesthetics.
Average Salary: $134,750 per year
Education or Training Needed: Getting certified from a beauty school can help, however it is not absolutely necessary. Many makeup artists are self-taught. They can find employment by networking and sharing their work on various social media platforms.
10. Commercial Pilot
Job Description: Commercial pilots are responsible for transporting passengers and cargo safely via air travel.
Median Pay: $134,630 per year
Education or Training Needed: Commercial pilots require a high school diploma and a registered flight school certification. Most airlines do NOT require a degree! In fact, I just checked the careers site for Southwest Airlines (the biggest U.S. airline measured by number of domestic passengers flown) and nowhere do they require a bachelor’s degree to be a pilot.
11. Software Developer
Job Description: Software developers build software applications by writing code.
Average Salary: $130,180 per year
Education or Training Needed: Although there are degrees available, it is not a requirement. Software developers must know how to write code to solve problems and implement new ideas.
12. Computer Network Architect
Job Description: A computer network architect designs and builds communication, internet, and intranet infrastructures. They also troubleshoot issues.
Median Pay: $120,520 per year
Education or Training Needed: This field used to require a degree but more and more we’re seeing that a bachelor’s degree is only preferred. In lieu of a degree, you can often substitute professional computer network certifications and work experience as a network administrator or database manager.
13. Business Owner
Job Description: Business owners solve customer problems by creating or selling products and services.
Average Salary: $105,128 per year
Education or Training Needed: There’s no formal education needed. To start, I recommended doing some research on what other business owners in your industry are doing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out what works.
14. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Job Description: These professionals control nuclear power plants by adjusting the controls involved with how much electricity a generator produces.
Average Salary: $104,260 per year
Education or Training Needed: You typically need a vocational school certification to land a job as a nuclear power reactor operator.
Job Description: A salesperson sells a product or service. Salespeople are sometimes called Account Executive, Sales Consultant, or Sales Representative.
Top Salespeople: $100,000+ per year without a degree!
Median Annual Pay: $55,000 to $65,000 depending on the industry in which you sell. (Generally, you’ll make more money selling services or products that are expensive or highly profitable.)
Education or Training Needed: You will need deep knowledge of the product or service you are selling. Many sales positions do NOT require a degree.
Commonly Asked Questions About Jobs That Pay 100K a Year Without a Degree
What is the Highest Paying No Degree Job?
The highest paying job that doesn’t require a degree is acting. The highest paid actors can make over $20 million per film! Now this is rare. Other jobs that pay 100K a year without a degree are advertising managers. They strategically plan and execute marketing campaigns. The average salary is $163,360 annually!
What Skills Make 100K Annually?
Sales, marketing, and software development are all jobs that pay 100K a year without a degree. Once you’ve mastered just one of these skills, you can even start your own company and earn even more!
How Can I Get 6 Figures Without College?
Learning a skill is the best way to find jobs that pay 100K a year without a degree. This skill could be marketing, software development, or real estate. After learning the basics and working entry-level jobs, you can apply for higher-level positions to begin earning six figures annually.
What are the Easiest Jobs That Pay Over 100K?
The easiest jobs are the ones you enjoy the most. For example, someone who enjoys working from the comfort of their own couch might find one of these highest paying work-from-home jobs that don’t require a degree enticing. But maybe sales is more your thing? The top salespeople earn $100,000+ per year!
Jobs That Pay 500K a Year Without a Degree
Performance-based jobs like salespeople, social media personalities, and actors can earn $500,00+ a year. The best part is, none of them require a degree! But keep in mind that these professions are fiercely competitive. Strong dedication and persistence are a must.
Jobs That Pay 80K a Year Without a Degree
Salespeople can earn around 80K per year and this job does not require a degree. The top salespeople earn $100,000+ per year and the median annual salary is $65,000!
Jobs That Pay 100K a Year Without Experience
Real estate agents can make over 100K per year with no experience or degree! You will need to take courses and pass a state licensure exam. Keep in mind, pay varies greatly depending on your skill level and the number of hours you want to work.
Jobs That Pay 200K A Year Without a Degree
You can make 200K per year with most performance-based jobs like sales, real estate agents, and entrepreneurs. These positions don’t require degrees, but you’ll need to work hard since competition is high.
Jobs That Don’t Require a Bachelor’s Degree
Jobs such as real estate agents, software architects, business owners, and commercial pilots don’t require a bachelor’s degree! You can even earn over 100K a year! More interested in working from home? Check out this list of the highest paying work-from-home jobs that don’t require a degree.
*Job salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Numbers may vary based on location, experience, and skill level.