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10 Best Jobs That Make 200k a Year Without a College Degree & How to Make Them Work

Pilot, web developer, truck driver—all these jobs can earn you $200,000 a year.

Kimberly Studdard - Finance Writer
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Finance Writer
Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
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Personal Finance Expert
9 min
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While certain jobs and careers require a college degree, many don't. And there are also quite a few jobs that pay $200,000 a year without a degree if you don't mind learning a trade or skill. Here's what you need to know and which jobs pay the most.

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10 Jobs That Pay $200,000 a Year Without a Degree

So what's the official list? Let's talk about the ten jobs that pay 200,000 dollars a year without a degree.

1. Pilot

Average salary range: $163,101–$210,000

With the growing need for pilots, this job has shot up in salary. While before 2020 many pilots were making an average of $160,000 a year, they're now signing on for at least $190,000 (and often more). 

But there are a few steps and requirements to becoming a pilot. First, you'll need to be under the age of 45 before starting and have impeccable health.

  • You can't have epilepsy, drug or substance abuse problems, diabetes, or eye problems that require glasses or contacts.
  • Next up you'll need to pass a few exams and have at least 2,500 student pilot training hours for most commercial airlines.
  • You'll also need a few other certifications too, including a medical and student pilot certificate.

However, if you can put in the work, you can become a commercial pilot in a little under 18 months. 

2. Web developer

Average salary range: $81,000–$123,000 full-time (varies if self-employed)

If you've got a thing for computers, and you're wondering what jobs can you make $200,000 a year, this is the one. You can learn how to make websites from scratch and become a web developer.

While you can have this as a W2 job, you can also branch out as a freelancer and make even more than $200,000 a year.

Besides building up your portfolio and gaining experience, you only need to have coding skills in order to be a web developer. And the more coding skills you learn, the more you can charge.

To get started as a web developer, you can learn how to code with websites like Codeacademy and freeCodeCamp.

3. Software developer

Average salary range: $93,000–$240,000 full-time (varies if self-employed)

If you like solving difficult problems and can build apps or games (or want to learn how to do it), you can earn quite a bit as a software developer.

Software developers create computer programs for larger computer software, and can work on multiple applications—including apps, games, and systems (like CRMs).

Just like website development, you'll earn significantly less working for a corporation, especially when you're starting. However, by continuously upgrading your skills and building your portfolio, you can earn more as upper management or branch out independently.

And the best part about this job? All you need is a laptop or computer and internet access. 

4. Sales executive

Average Salary Range: $55,000 - $220,000, but varies based on experience and industry

Yes, you must have a certain skill set to be a salesman. And many people don't want to work in this industry because of their idea of what a salesman is.

What do you think of when you picture working in sales?

Most likely, "being sleazy" may be high on your list. But, sales is what makes money. Everything is being sold at all times in a capitalist society.

How can I make 300k a year without a degree?  Here you go!

Think about it!

And if you are extroverted, don't mind being told no, and are fairly charming, you can learn how to be a top salesman and work across multiple industries, many of which pay $300,000 or more each year!

Sales is so easy to do if you have the skills. You really just need a phone, laptop, product, and a list of numbers and emails to reach out to. And bonus, many jobs also pay extra when reaching sales goals, which just increases your salary!

5. Commercial truck driver

Average Salary Range: $56,000 - $100,000 (full-time job), Varies if self-employed

Want easy jobs that pay 200k a year? Honestly, truck driving could be it!

Becoming a commercial truck driver is one of the easiest and quickest trades you can learn.

Many new truck drivers start making at least $56k-$70k in their first year! Plus, many love that they can travel for free and live life on the road.

It's a win-win for introverts and those who love seeing the country.

However, you can make significantly more by having your own truck fleet since there is usually a cap on how much you can earn from a full-time job. Yes, this will require buying the trucks and opening your own business, but the income earning potential is limitless when you have your own business.

Related: 16 Jobs That Pay $70k a Year Without a Degree

6. Oil rig worker

Average Salary Range: $67,000 - $230,000

First things first, being an oil rig worker is extremely dangerous and not for the faint of heart. However, if you're a thrill seeker and want to work in an industry that pays extremely well, this is the job for you.

To become an oil rig worker, you'll need to be at least 18 years old and in top physical shape (since this is a manual labor job). You'll also need to be able to travel and work 12-hour shifts.

It's also important to note that this industry lacks security since oil rigs are tied to the economy. But when things are good, they're really good, as you can see by the salary range!

7. Real estate agent

Average Salary Range: $62,000 - $350,000

This is one of my favorite jobs that pay 200k without a degree. Quite a few of my friends have made a great living as a real estate agent. It might just be the career you're looking for!

In order to make around $200k a year (or more) as a real estate agent, you'll need to be in the right location.

You'll make significantly less living in a small town in Alabama than you would in a bustling city like Miami. So keep in mind that while you can earn quite a bit, your cost of living may be high too.

There aren't many requirements for real estate agents, but most likely, you'll need certification before getting your license, depending on the state you're in. Some states also require you to study under someone or take certain tests, but it varies.

8. Air traffic controller

Average Salary Range: $89,000–$200,000

They manage air traffic from a control tower. Plus, they check flight schedules, and give pilots clearance for takeoff or landing on the runway.

Note that you'll have to pass the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) air traffic pre-employment test and have three years of progressively responsible work experience.

Entry-level applicants are also required to complete training courses at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City.

9. Criminal investigator

Average Salary Range: $47,000–$200,000

Criminal investigators collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes. They are responsible for investigating complex criminal activities, and local, federal, or state law violations.

For this job role, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED certificate to meet the education requirement. Most investigators will need additional training, but employers don’t usually require postsecondary education.

10. Subway operator

Average Salary Range: $42,000–$200,000

Subway operators run the subway, elevated suburban trains, or electric-powered streetcars, to transport passengers from one location to another.

This job role requires you to get a high-school diploma or equivalent.

Read more:

Is 200k a year rich?

If you can find jobs that make 200k without college, you might be feeling like you struck the jackpot!

But is 200k a year a lot of money?

A salary of 200k is comfortably upper middle class, or middle class if living in a high cost of living area.

But of course, it's not about how much you make, it's about how much you spend and save, and how you pay off debt. So for many people, 200k a year is rich. But for others, it may not be. 

How can I get 6 figures without college?

In order to earn 6-figures or multiple 6-figures a year without college, you'll most likely need one of two things:

  1. a trade or skill that makes that amount, or
  2. your own business where you can charge what you want.

The options we will discuss on this list do NOT require a 4-year degree, but some require learning a trade or going to school for at least a little while.

However, many of the options are significantly easier and cheaper to learn than going to college for 4+ years. 

Related: 7 Jobs That Pay 100k A Year Without A Degree (You Can Do These!!)

What's the fastest trade to learn?

You can learn commercial truck driving and start out with a job earning at least 70k a year in as little as 160 training hours or less than 90 days.

This will also depend on your driving record and the state that you're in, but it's an easy license to get and can earn you quite a bit of money. AND, the demand for drivers will likely remain high for quite a few years.

Read more:

What is the highest paying no degree job?

The highest-paying job that doesn't require a degree is being a commercial pilot. While the median annual wage is around $160,000, many pilots are taking advantage of the pilot shortage and getting jobs earning around $190k-$210k a year.

What job is the most in-demand right now?

For jobs that don't require a degree, the job that's the most in-demand is commercial truck drivers. Second and third are sales representatives and software engineers.

What is a low-stress, high-paying job?

There are many reported low-stress and high-paying jobs that you can give you great job satisfaction

Some of the top-rated low-stress job roles include air traffic controller, radiation therapist, web developer, and software developer.

None of these jobs require a 4-year degree, and there are even a few where you can learn skills on the job or on your own! 

Jobs That Pay 200k A Year Without A Degree - Which Will You Choose?

There are so many high-paying jobs that don't require degrees, and these jobs that pay 200k a year without a degree are just the start!

Anyone can make money with just about any skill, but it takes hard work and innovation, no matter what you decide to do. 

Now that you have a list of jobs that pay 200k a year without a degree, which one will you choose? 

Editorial team

Meet the team
Kimberly Studdard - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.

Kacper Kozicki - Editor


Editor, copywriter, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands. When not editing articles for LifeAndMyFinances.com, he enjoys rummaging through paper dictionaries, walking in nature, and making travel plans.

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert

Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 4+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

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