16 High Paying Jobs You Can Get Without a 4-Year-Degree

bearded man smiling

2 years ago, while driving to work, I heard a segment on NPR’s talk radio show 1A. The topic was “How To Earn Six Figures without a Four-Year-Degree”. When I got home that day I decided to look further into this claim.

After doing some research, I came up with a list of high paying jobs that do not require a 4-year-degree. These jobs will not start you off at 6 figures, but as you gain more experience most will get you there in less than 5 years. For example, the average salary of a junior web developer is $63,000, while senior web developers take home $93,000 on average. Take a look at the chart which labels the salaries of web developers in all 50 states.

If you want to understand the spirit of our nation, the good and the bad, you can enroll in college, sign up for classes, take notes and pay tuition or you can study the life of Sam the Banana Man.

Some High paying jobs that require no college degree

student carrying lots of books

Transportation inspectors

Median annual wage (2017): $72,140
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Dental hygienists

Median annual wage (2017): $74,070
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: None

Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median annual wage (2017): $74,840
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: Less than five years
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Nuclear medicine technologists

Median annual wage (2017): $75,660
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: None

Power-plant operators

Median annual wage (2017): $77,180
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Funeral service manager

Median annual wage (2017): $78,040
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: Less than five years
On-the-job training: None

Commercial pilots

Median annual wage (2017): $78,740
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Elevator installers and repairers

Median annual wage (2017): $79,480
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual wage (2017): $79,970
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: Less than five years
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Nuclear technicians

Median annual wage (2017): $80,370
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Radiation therapists

Median annual wage (2017): $80,570
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: None

Power distributors and dispatchers

Median annual wage (2017): $82,510
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Median annual wage (2017): $87,910
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: Less than five years
On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Median annual wage (2017): $92,460
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: Five years or more
On-the-job training: None

Nuclear power reactor operators

Median annual wage (2015): $93,370
Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Air-traffic controllers

Median annual wage (2017): $96,980
Education required: Associate degree
Work experience: None
On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

The best part about landing one of these high paying jobs is having no student debt. Student debt is the biggest weight on the shoulders of college graduates today. If you can prevent it, by all means. Go around it.

I am a full stack web developer living in Costa Rica. I enjoy creating websites and apps. I am fluent in Spanish, English, and Japanese. My past experience includes 13 years in the US Navy, and 2 years of Social work. My hobbies are watching anime, playing video games, and spending time with my kids. This is my blog where I write about my experience as a web developer.

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