Those who decide not to pursue their degrees should not be penalized due to their circumstances. But are there any jobs that pay 200k a year without a degree?
Yes, there are jobs that pay over $200k without a degree. It’s important to note that these roles require skills and experience that go beyond a college degree. Job roles such as web developers, software developers, and computer security analysts earn over $200k without a bachelor’s degree.
In this article, I’ll discuss 20 high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree — along with their income potential and median salary.
So, read along to understand how you make a huge amount from working jobs that don’t require a degree!
20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Degrees
Here are 20 jobs that pay 200k a year without a degree:
#1 Sports Athlete
Median Salary: $50,850
Maximum Earning Potential: $1M+
Becoming a sports athlete with high pay is a tale as old as time itself.
I can assure you that if you make it to the big leagues, your salary will cross $200k very easily.
Unlike many other jobs, I have listed in this article, becoming a professional sports athlete requires much more natural talent and skill.
You need to have a few important qualities to get started if you want a job that pays 200k a year without a degree. These are stamina, athleticism, good hand-eye coordination, being a team player, etc.
Many athletes are recruited during college and do not pursue degrees. It takes years of practice and dedication to reach the competitive level but it is smooth sailing from then on.
If you are thinking of entering this field, the minimum education you will need is a high school diploma. Many sports do not require licensure or it is localized.
You will train for several years to reach it but it has an estimated job growth of 38% from 2020-2030.
#2 Web Developer
Median Salary: $67,802
Maximum Earning Potential: $223,437
Web development has been an emerging field for some time now. With a plethora of courses available online, anyone can easily learn web development if they commit to it.
Web development can be done as a freelance project for different individuals each time, or as I recommend, you can join a company as a full-time web developer.
There are a few skills that you will require as a web developer such as complex problem-solving, data analysis, database management, SEO strategy, etc.
#3 Social Media Marketer
Median Salary: $141,490
Maximum Earning Potential: $208,000
Social media has taken over this age, with nothing being able to get done without it. The global number of social media users was projected to hit 3.78 billion in 2021.
Its usage has skyrocketed since the technological era, opening doors for jobs that pay over 200k without a degree.
Social media marketing is connecting with your customer or client base through the use of social media.
To become a social media marketer, you will require a certificate in marketing, advertising, or journalism.
You will also need in-depth knowledge of your target audience and tools like Facebook Ads Manager, and Google Ads.
#4 Small Business Owner
Median Salary: $66,370
Maximum Earning Potential: $1M+
This is not a surprise as we all know the immense growth that is seen in businesses, big and small. Becoming a small business owner is a great job that pays over 200k without a degree.
It can be started at any time, anywhere if you have the drive, a unique idea, and some capital.
The best way to become a small business owner is to brainstorm an idea, an idea that can fill a gap in any industry. Once you have your idea, move on to collecting capital or initial investment.
This can be done through fundraising, crowd-funding, or various television programs such as Dragon’s Den. Next, you’ll have to get the proper licensing.
This is entirely dependent on your product and the laws surrounding it in your locality. After that, you can start it up and hope for the best.
» Here’s my guide on TOP 10 High Cash Flow Businesses YOU Can Start or Own
#5 Software Developer
Median Salary: $68,743
Maximum Earning Potential: $207,395
Being the main source of earning for individuals interested in programming languages, there are numerous helpful articles and YouTube channels that teach software development within the span of a few months.
To become a software developer, you need to first learn a programming language such as Java or Python.
Take courses with certification to enhance your knowledge and establish credibility with clients.
Start practicing in your developer niche and form a portfolio to apply to jobs.
Being a developer, there are lots of passive income ideas waiting for you as well.
#6 Database Manager
Median Salary: $75,500
Maximum Earning Potential: $243,000
If you have a keen interest in handling and processing data, the role of data manager might suit you well. Your main job would be to store, organize, and oversee the transfer of various types of data.
You will also be in charge of security to prevent data leaks or breaches.
To become a database manager, you will first have to get certified to gain credibility in front of potential employers.
Once you’ve certified yourself, the next step is gaining experience through applying for jobs. Build up a nice resume to help in the long run.
#7 Voice-Over Artist
Median Salary: $62,548
Maximum Earning Potential: $230,00+
If you have ever watched a dubbed television series, Japanese anime, or even played any game with audio cues, you will have come across a voice-over artist.
The main job of a voice-over artist is to read out lines and cues for different shows, YouTube videos, or video games.
This is a growing field and can easily become a job that pays over 200k without a degree.
You don’t require any specific certification for this field. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the sound of your voice.
You should be able to distort or vary your tone to suit the demographics of different characters. After that, develop a demo reel to play in front of casting directors.
#8 Virtual Assistant
Median Salary: $56,000
Maximum Earning Potential: $203,638
A virtual assistant is a remote office assistant. They can handle all your daily calls, and meetings, and organize your schedules. Everything a normal assistant does, but remotely.
To become a virtual assistant, the most impactful factor is references. No specific degree or certification is required.
If you have a reference and someone is willing to hire you, you will receive job offers in no time.
After that, you can simply apply with a proper CV and experience to different places.
Median Salary: $49,640
Maximum Earning Potential: $250,000+
Blogging has become a new trend amongst the younger generation.
I read various blogs daily and am amazed at some of the information I find. This is exactly what bloggers do.
They provide you with information with a unique perspective, sometimes one that is not so popular or is unheard of.
To become a blogger, the most important skill to have is good writing and the ability to capture your audience’s attention.
You can start your blog by choosing a blog name, getting your blog hosting, adding it to WordPress, deciding on a theme, and getting to writing!
Avoid the worst blogging niches, and you’ll be good to go.
» You can also read my post: 5 Tips: How To Increase Blog Traffic (Fast)
#10 Computer Technician
Median Salary: $59,743
Maximum Earning Potential: $213,000
Becoming a computer technician is a really rewarding job because you will always be required somewhere, for some job.
I’ve had computer issues so many times and I need a computer technician every time as it feels too complex for me. It is a great job that pays over 200k without a degree.
You will also require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. After that, you can start applying for jobs and gain experience.
#11 Project Manager
Median Salary: $77,420
Maximum Earning Potential: $283,428
The main job of project managers is to organize and execute projects while working with various types of individuals.
They are provided all the restrictions such as budgets and other legalities. They are in charge of planning roles for the team members and seeing the completion of the project through.
The best certification for project management is the Project Management Professional Certification.
After getting it, you can apply for different projects through freelancing sites or try your luck at companies.
#12 Oil Rig Worker
Median Salary: $100,000
Maximum Earning Potential: $200,000+
A lesser-known and unexpected addition to the list is oil rig workers. In my opinion, this is because oil is a very rich resource required for almost every aspect of our lives.
It is also a field job that requires a lot of dedication and stamina. That is why it is one of the jobs that pay over 200k without a degree.
No particular certification is required for oil rig workers. Vocational training is usually provided before the job by the company.
Some offshore companies might require to complete a three-day Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Program.
#13 Computer Security Analyst
Median Salary: $103,590
Maximum Earning Potential: $230,000
This job is exactly what it sounds like. Most companies have extremely sensitive data that they do not want to be breached or leaked to their competitors.
That is what they hire computer security analysts for. Computer security analysts test the security protocols set in place by the company to see if it is secure.
After that, it is just about gaining experience and getting hired.
#14 Sales Representative
Median Salary: $62,070
Maximum Earning Potential: $289,000
A sales representative is one of the easier jobs I put on the list and that is because of the variation in the requirements.
You can be working for huge companies or normal drug stores, but you will be known as a sales representative all the same.
#15 Private Chef
Median Salary: $79,911
Maximum Earning Potential: $443,301
With increasing diversity in the economic landscape and more importance given to odd jobs, private chefs have started to earn a lot more than before.
Depending on who you’re working for, salaries can go sky-high making it a job that pays over 200k without a degree.
No prior certification is usually necessary for chefs.
Those that have certificates such as Certified MasterChef are much more likely to earn higher than normal chefs.
#16 Artists and Graphic Designers
Median Salary: $50,710
Maximum Earning Potential: $211,700
Graphic designers and artists have also grown in number exponentially as large companies have started to focus more on advertising art styles than what is being advertised.
This paved the way for many interested in the digital arts to make their mark.
Reach out and start building your portfolio after that.
» This could also be something for you: Passive Income Ideas for College Students
#17 Real Estate Agent
Median Salary: $112,000
Maximum Earning Potential: $1M+
People will always be buying and selling land, and that is where real estate agents get their commissions from.
You can easily earn over 200k as a real estate agent, especially if you’re in the business of selling large, more luxurious real estate.
You will also need a license according to your local laws that permit you to deal with real estate.
#18 Project Consultant
Median Salary: $97,895
Maximum Earning Potential: $216,000
Project consultants are pretty similar to project managers, the difference being you are hired to overlook the manager, team, and project in general.
You do not take an active stance in the decision-making and are often hired due to your expertise in the field.
The best certification for project consultants is the Project Management Professional certificate.
#19 Physical Therapy Assistant
Median Salary: $49,180
Maximum Earning Potential: $339,221
If you are thinking about becoming a physical therapy assistant, I would support that.
Physical therapy assistants are individuals working under physical therapists who aid with the recovery of the patient.
This can be a highly rewarding job depending on who your clients are and how you treat them.
Median Salary: $49,520
Maximum Earning Potential: $281,000
You might not believe me if I told you this but carpentry is also one of the jobs that pay over 200k without a degree.
With the increasing prices of furniture, expert carpenters are in demand. The skill and finesse that goes into building the furniture are easily distinguishable when done by an amateur and an expert.
You will need a lot of practice and skill to pull off the job. Most carpenters start as apprentices and no prior certification is required.
» Read my blog post: Top 20 Unseen Ways to Make Money With a Van (Or Truck)
The Bottom Line
Having a degree is great and I don’t recommend everyone to leave their degrees to pursue jobs in these fields. The job market is saturated overall and excelling in any field is not a given.
Choose what path suits you according to your current circumstances. If these jobs look more appealing or pique your interest more than your degree, I’d recommend going for them.