Does the thought of taking out student loans scare you to death? If so, you are in good company. One of the most common questions we get about our career paths is “whether all the school and debt was worth it.” For us, the answer is a resounding YES. I LOVE being an attorney and Danny LOVES being a dentist. That being said, we still have a ton of student loan debt that we are paying off, and that is rough. So if you are solely interested in making money, we can’t say that being a doctor or a lawyer are the most profitable paths unless you can avoid student loans. And if student loans frighten you, here is a list of jobs that earn $100k without an advanced degree.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
Pharmaceutical Sales Reps are raking in, on average, about $125k per year. That’s pretty crazy when you consider the fact that pharmacists, who take on thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of student loans, earn slightly less on average, at about $122k per year. A pharmaceutical rep generally educates doctors and sometimes pharmacists and other health care professionals on the newest drugs and other treatments, and obviously, sells those drugs and products. Usually income is based on commission. Some pharmaceutical companies require their representatives to have a Bachelor’s degree, some do not.
Product managers earn on average about $130k per year. Hate to state the obvious, but product managers generally manage products. They do whatever it takes to get a product produced and shipped to buyers. People generally become product managers by learning how to become one on the job, earning a Bachelor’s degree, or undergoing product management training.
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers earn, on average, about $120k per year. Air traffic controllers direct air traffic to implement safety and to prevent flights from becoming delayed. You will need either three years of progressively responsible work experience OR a bachelor’s degree, OR a combination of educational experience and work experience that combines to be three years.
A blogger’s income can range widely, but plenty of full time bloggers are earning six or seven figures! Most money earned blogging comes through advertisements placed on the blog, sponsorships, selling products, and affiliate marketing. No college degree required. I currently run this blog to help pay off our fat $650k of student loan debt. Its honestly one of the most rewarding “jobs” I’ve ever had, as it connects me to you!/similarly situated people who are working hard to manage their debt. If you’ve been considering starting a blog, be sure to check out my related post here.
Might surprise you to learn that a plumber can make a pretty penny. Some of the best paid plumbers make $90k per year. And they deserve to. Their job is gross. All you need is a little vocational training and licensing, no college degree required.
The average IT manager is raking in about $135k per year. An IT manager typically directs the activities of a company’s computer and information systems. Most IT managers have a bachelor’s degree, and others receive specialized training in operating systems.
Social Media Influencer.
A social media influencer’s income can vary widely, depending on how many followers you have and what products you represent. On average, influencers on Youtube rake in the highest amount per affiliation. Forbes did an interesting analysis on it here. The sky is really the limit on how much you make! No college degree required. It would be wise to invest in some kind of training to learn what successful social media influencers are doing.
The average small business owner can expect to make about $75k its first year, and that can range much much higher (like 7 or 8 figures) all depending on what kind of business you have and how successful you are. The only thing you’ll need is some good, strong work ethic and a great idea, and the sky is the limit. No college degree required. However, it will certainly be in your best interest to do whatever you can to become an expert on your product and or in your chosen field. More on starting a business (even if you have student loan debt) here.
The average pilot earns a little over $100k per year. Pilots obviously fly planes but some fly cargo (such as a Fedex pilot) and some fly passengers for commercial airlines. While a bachelor’s degree is not always required to become a pilot, many pilots earn one plus undergo about 1500 hours of pilot training.
The salary of a sales representative can vary widely, depending on a number of factors such as the product you are selling, how many hours you are working, your selling skills and motivation. But I knew plenty of people in college who worked as sales representatives in the summer time and earned six figures during those 4 summer months. So, its possible. Most sales representatives gain training on the job and aren’t required to have any formal education, such as a college degree.
The salary of a realtor can vary widely. With real estate, you usually get out of it what you put in. Some realtors only work part time or only received their licenses so they can otherwise invest in real estate so those salaries are quite skewed. On the high end, if you work full time as a realtor, you can expect to earn about $100k per year. Being a realtor is more than selling houses– its also showing up for home inspections, some contract negotiations, among other duties. Depending on the state you live in, you take a certain number (usually 90 hours) course to receive your realtor’s license.
Computer Systems Analyst.
A computer systems analyst can expect to earn about $90k per year, and on the high end, about $135k per year. Computer systems analysts are kind of the big picture thinkers when it comes to a company’s IT– they analyze a company’s computer system/structure and help implement efficient ways of doing things. Many computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree , usually in a technical field (like computer science), though it is not required. Some computer analysts receive on the job training or other specialized training.
You don’t have to take out six figures of student loan debt (like we did) to earn a good living. There are PLENTY of jobs out there that can earn you six figures with a bachelor’s degree or less. Or… if you’ve already plunged into six figures of debt, you could consider some of the above jobs as a side hustle since they require small start up costs!
Do you know of any other jobs that can earn $100k without an advanced degree? I’d love to hear from you, comment below!