UPDATED: July 26, 2021

With the modern college education costing students upwards of $100,000 dollars, it can be very hard to justify the investment at a young age. Thankfully, there are many great options for jobs that pay 100k a year without a degree. If you are willing to apply yourself and find these jobs, you could be on a debt-free route to an amazing career.

27 Jobs That Pay Well with No Degree Required 

Physical Jobs

Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft mechanics are essential to the operation and maintenance of millions of flights every year. Aircraft mechanics will receive various levels of training on the job and can start earning more money as they hone their craft up to around 85k. There are plenty of options for specialization and increased salaries with more experience. 

Claims Adjusters

For the stress you can face with insurance and dealing with clients, claims adjusters can make a very good wage that has room for growth with experience. You can even work up to higher positions through hard work and effort to earn over 100k with time. 

Commercial Pilot

If you love the skies and are up for the training, a good commercial pilot can easily earn over 110k. A pilot must go through a lot of learning and tests to get the job, but once you get there it is easily worth it. 

Construction Manager

While it may take time to work up to the position, a construction manager can make upwards of 120k at a good firm. You will need to work hard and smart to get to the position, but it is worth the dedication. 

Court Reporter

If you like to record and write you can earn up to 95k with this profession. Court reporters record hearings and take notes on proceedings, but this job could be at jeopardy in the future with AI taking over the role.

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Once you receive the proper training and skills, detectives can earn upwards of 110k with the right skills and background. You will need to think critically and be ready for anything, but it pays off with the salary. 

Electronics Installation & Repairers

With a salary of around 35k, electronics repair is a somewhat easy field to get into with a decent starting salary. If you look to install and repair special items, your salary will automatically rise with it. 

Elevator Technician

With the pressure for excellence of this job, you can expect earnings of around 100k if you are working successfully. You will need to learn some essential skills and there is not much room for growth, but the general job is a good one. 


With a salary around 50k, a firefighter can earn a good living and have a direct impact on the community. The job comes with training and risks, but you can work your way up to chief with time and good work ethic. 

Food Van Owner

While you need an initial investment to start a food truck, you can earn around 90k a year owning your own truck. This is a safe business to get into and you can expand to more trucks for higher future profits with time. If you have the money to start this business, it can be very independent and profitable. 

Funeral Services Manager

If you are comfortable with death, you can earn around 65k with this profession. You will likely not need much experience and the jobs safe from automation, so you can work for many years and possibly get promoted to a higher position. 

Hotel Executive Chef

With the right training and knack for flavor, you can earn upwards of 120k at the right location. As a bonus, you can take your cooking skills elsewhere and find a job at nearly any restaurant if you apply yourself correctly.  

HVAC & Refrigeration Technicians

With every home and business needing HVAC work, you can earn around 45k starting out with repairs. If you can work with bigger companies and harder repairs, expect a decent increase in wages. 

Massage Therapist

With a salary of around 38k and not too much training involved, a massage therapist can earn a decent salary with not much effort. It may not have much room for upward growth, but the job is also safe from automation. If you are looking for a higher salary, you can improve your certification with more skills. 

Merchant Marine

If you like the ocean and want to travel the world for around 70k, a merchant marine position could be just for you. Thousands of ships are in need of a crew and you can join with the right training to work your way up the crew hierarchy. 

Oil Rig Worker

With the decent risk that comes with the job, an oil rig worker can earn around 100k with relative ease and not much training. That being said, the risk is higher than many other jobs and you can be at sea for months as a time. One thing to be aware of is the decline in oil desire and a move to greener energy. 

Power Plant Operators

With the right training at the right plant, you can easily make 75k working at a power plant. There is a small yet present amount of risk and you also face possible future automation taking your job. There is also risk of green energy coming in and shutting down your plant. 

Real Estate Agent

If you like sales and people, selling homes as an agent can earn you roughly 80k a year. With homes always needing selling and not much training, you can work your way to larger homes and better profits with time and experience. As an added bonus, you can earn commission and additional payment for a good job. 

Restaurant Owner

With a good investment and leadership skills, you can open your own restaurant with a salary of around 60k. It will take time and money to get your business started, but good leadership and staff can make a restaurant worthwhile. 


Depending on where you work and what you are selling, you can start out in sales earning around 80k. With more experience and higher sales, this profession can see immense growth and potential when you put in time to learn the craft. 

Theater Makeup Artist

If you are skilled with a brush and makeup, a theatre makeup artist can easily earn around 35k with enough skill and commitment. This job is very safe from automation and will allow you to work with many people in many locations. Improve your skills over time for better profits and opportunities. 

Transportation & Distribution Manager

With a lot of responsibility and management potential, this role offers a very good salary of around 125k. You will have a lot to deal with and need to be responsible with your time, but you can work your way up the ladder to a position with more responsibility. 

Wind Turbine Technician

With the rising popularity in green energy and the need for more wind farms, a wind turbine technician can earn around 50k. While there is not much to learn, there is a small amount of danger that is associated with the job. However, there is room for growth to a higher position with time. 

Final Thoughts With so many great options that have potential for growth and learning, getting a degree is clearly not essential for a good job. If you work hard and apply yourself, you can outwork your education and become a valued employee.

Remote Jobs

Web Developer

With some training and basic understanding of web development, you can make a wide range of salaries from different levels of skill and experience.  The more you are familiar with different coding languages and website content the more options you will have and the higher your salary could be. 

Computer Support Specialist

If you are skilled with tech and problem solving, you can start out a career in computer support around 35k. With time and experience, your salary can greatly increase when working for bigger companies. This job is pretty future proof with so many computers. 

IT Manager

If you are good at leading and integrating software, you can earn easily over 100k with this position. With companies always looking for updates, this job is always in high demand. IT positions can have a wide array of skills required, so you may need to learn new things for the leadership position. 


Bookkeeping is easy enough to get into career if you are good at organization and have a strong attention to detail. The starting salary may not be great at around 30k, but the potential earnings are decent. Be careful as choosing this as a long-term career as many bookkeeping jobs are being automated.