Top 18 Jobs that Pay 80k a Year Without a Degree In 2023

Top 18 Jobs that Pay 80k a Year Without a Degree In 2023

Top 18 Jobs that Pay 80k a Year Without a Degree In 2023. Jobs with an average salary of $80,000 or more don’t always require a master’s degree and 10 years of experience. Jobs that are near a six-figure salary can be found in the most unexpected places. Next time you ride in an elevator, consider that the installer is making nearly $85,000 per year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American household makes $65,712 — including dual-earning households. Many professionals view making $80,000 as an important economic milestone. It shows they have grown in their skillset and developed the competencies to do their job well.

Top 18 Jobs that Pay 80k a Year Without a Degree In 2023

There are many high-paying jobs without a degree available. If you don’t have a degree and have found yourself in a job that pays way less than the national average, it’s time to move on.

Best Well-paid jobs without qualifications or Degree 2023

The following jobs all pay a median annual wage of over $80,000.

1. Hydrologist

Hydrologists study rain, snow and other forms of precipitation to determine how it moves across and through the Earth’s crust. Their job primarily revolves around analysis of how water influences its surrounding environment. Most hydrologists have a bachelor’s degree in physical science or related fields, although some companies prefer a master’s degree.

2. Geoscientist

Geoscientists spend their time studying the physical aspects of the earth, including its composition, structure and processes. They use this information to learn more about the past, present and future. They often work in states with prominent oil and gas activities and split their time between an office and the field.

3. Architect

Architects design the structures in which people live, work and play. They spend most of their time in offices developing plans and meeting with clients. They also visit construction sites to review progress and ensure the meeting of client objectives. Most architects have a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Most architects spend time in paid internships to prepare for the Architect Registration Examination. 

4. Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists are vital members of an oncology team who deliver doses of radiation to cancer patients or those with other serious diseases. Radiation therapists typically learn how to do their jobs via an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy followed by hands-on experience in a clinical setting.

5. Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Financial Manager

Clinical and counseling psychologists study behavior and cognitive processes. They observe, interpret and record how people relate to one another. Counseling psychologists often help patients deal with their problems through counseling or talk therapy. Clinical psychologists use patient interviews and diagnostic tests to help design programs for their patients.

6. Power Plant Operators

Power plant operators work in an environment where safety is paramount and must be able to respond quickly to any issues that may arise. Whether it is a nuclear, coal, gas or hydroelectric power plant, this role requires an in-depth knowledge of fuel sources and power plant operations, the different components of generation systems and troubleshooting protocols for any mechanical or electrical problems that may arise.

7. Marine Biologists

Marine biology is the scientific study of aquatic organisms, their habitats and how they interact with their environment. Marine biologists are responsible for researching the effects that climate change, pollution and other human activities have on aquatic ecosystems, as well as identifying and assessing threats to marine life. Marine biologists typically have a deep understanding of marine organism ecology, physiology and behavior.

8. Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers are those who instruct students in several different subjects beyond the high school level. Most postsecondary teachers work at the college or university level. Not all postsecondary teachers earn more than $80,000, but the ones who do often have advanced degrees in subjects such as geography, biological science, political science, and environmental science. Some postsecondary educators have even higher earning potential.

9. Social Scientists

Social scientists study how people, organizations and governments use and allocate resources. This eclectic field can cover everything from governmental policies to international trade or financial markets. Social scientists typically work in government institutions, research organizations or private companies to analyze data and develop strategies for their employers. Social scientists must be comfortable dealing with both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as the ability to interpret and analyze complex economic phenomena.

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10. Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators are central to keeping companies updated with the latest technology and practices. But these information technology (IT) professionals are not exclusive to the tech industry. Network and computer systems administrators work across multiple sectors, from finance and healthcare to hospitality and retail. Becoming a network and computer systems admin requires a combination of technical and managerial skills and certifications in the latest software and practices.

11. Civil Engineers

Civil engineering is a diverse and well-established field of study, covering a range of areas from public works projects to infrastructure maintenance. From the Roman aqueducts to today’s high-speed rail systems, civil engineering has been instrumental in advancing civilizations. Civil engineers typically work with a team to plan, design and build projects for their clients or employers. This could involve anything from building bridges and roads to designing dams, airports or even entire cities. 

12. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring the safety of aircrafts and directing aircraft efficiently to minimize delays and accidents. They usually manage multiple aircraft at once, thus they must be capable of making quick decisions. You only need to receive federal aviation administration-approved air traffic collegiate training.

13. Physical Therapists

Physical therapy is a field of medicine that focuses on restoring and maintaining physical function and helping patients recover from injuries or illnesses. Physical therapists (PTs) assess, diagnose and treat various conditions using manual therapy techniques and exercises. These treatments help to reduce pain, improve mobility and promote overall well-being. PTs must have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as a thorough understanding of different patient populations.

14. Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians must have excellent problem-solving and analytical skills, be able to work independently and be able to think in both abstract and concrete terms. Today, mathematicians occupy some of the most coveted positions in some of the world’s largest companies, as their knowledge is essential for developing new algorithms and machine-learning technologies. 

15. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

This kind of work involves a combination of investigative, analytical and problem-solving skills. This means detectives must be able to draw on both their experience and intuition to solve cases. Much of a detective’s job involves gathering information and analyzing data to draw conclusions. They must be able to identify patterns in evidence, recognize the importance of seemingly insignificant details and understand how human behavior and motivation can influence crime. 

16. Makeup Artist: Theatrical and Performance

Makeup artists for the theatrical and performance industry are responsible for altering and enhancing the appearances of the cast. Their makeup design must be accurate according to the character design, the time period, and other scripted requirements. You need a postsecondary non-degree award to become a makeup artist, as well as a certificate from a valid cosmetology school.

17. Geographer

Geographers study the Earth and how its land, features and inhabitants interact with one another. Most geographers work either in government service or in an educational setting, although some may work for private companies. There are two major types of geographers: physical geographers, who focus on the natural environment, and human geographers, who examine economic, environmental, medical, social or political topics.

18. Software Developer

This is one of the best paying jobs without a degree you can land after learning software development on your own. As a software developer, you will be in charge of designing and developing computer programs using a variety of programming languages. Many entry-level software developer jobs are available at tech companies worldwide.

Other Best Jobs That Pay $80K a Year Without a Degree

  • Commercial Pilot – Median pay: $121,430 per year.
  • First-Line Supervisor of Police and Detectives – Median pay: $91,090 per year.
  • Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager – Median pay: $94,560 per year.
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairer – Median pay: $84,990 per year.

How to Earn $80K Without a Degree In 2023

1. Look Into Entrepreneurship

If you would rather be your own boss, then entrepreneurship is also a possible path to getting that $80K salary. Starting your own business comes with risks, irregular hours, and a heavy workload, but it can pay off generously. It may even be the path that leads to your six-figure salary, as long as you have the right mindset.

2. Take Certification Programs

Many of the highest-paying jobs don’t require college degrees as long as applicants have the right certificate or certification. Thus, consider looking for certificate programs that align with your career goals and interests.


Top 18 Jobs that Pay 80k a Year Without a Degree In 2023

Can I get an associate degree instead of a bachelor’s degree for a high-paying job?

Yes, many high-paying jobs will accept an associate degree. High-paying jobs for people with associate degrees include radiation therapists or nuclear medicine technologists. It’s important to know, however, an associate degree can’t satisfy a bachelor’s degree requirement.

Is $80K per year a very high salary?

Yes, $80k is a high salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the median salary in the US is $58,260.

How to make $100,000 a year with no degree?

There are many high-paying job opportunities available that pay $100K a year without a degree. Some of these jobs are real estate agent, risk manager, and sales consultant.

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