Are you wondering how to earn $75k without a degree? It may sound unusual, but you can actually find jobs that pay $75k a year without a degree. Instead of paying for college, you can acquire skills through other education or training tracks to get one of these high-paying jobs, or leverage your previous experience in a given field.
In this article, we’ve compiled for you all the best jobs that don’t require a degree but pay a $75k annual salary. We’ll also discuss the type of job experience you need to land these roles.
How Common Are $75K Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree?
Jobs that don’t require a degree but pay $75k are not so common. If you search through the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ occupation finder, you’ll only find less than 100 jobs where you can earn around $75k without a four-year college education.
The $75,000 annual salary is a bit above average, with $56,310 being the average annual salary in the US. As a result, only a handful of jobs are available to non-degree holders, with this salary being a little on the higher end of the spectrum.
One typical earner in this pay range is an elevator mechanic. Another is registered nurses, which make up 30 percent of a hospital’s total staff. Some other jobs on our list are from the IT field, such as web applications developers.
How to Earn $75K Without a Degree: 3 Alternative Paths to Your Dream Job
Earning $75,000 per year is not as far-fetched as you might think. Any job listed in our article in this salary range can be accomplished if you set your mind to it. If you want to land your dream job without a degree, here are some of the several ways you can do it.
Attend a Coding Bootcamp
Joining a bootcamp can help you get the specific skills you need for most tech jobs. Most employers are not hellbent on recruiting IT people with bachelor’s or master’s degrees as long as you’re skilled to solve a tech problem. At a coding bootcamp, you can incrementally improve your tech and programming skills and then land an IT job.
An apprentice is a person who learns a craft from a senior in that field. By taking an apprenticeship, you learn the exact skills you need and at the same time work to develop them through on-the-job training. An example of a job you can get through apprenticeship is an elevator mechanic.
Opt for Vocational Training or an Associate Degree
You can enroll in vocational training under a training academy that focuses on the specific skills and practices in a career field. It’s an intense course where people develop the technical skills they require for a job’s daily activities. Ranging from a few months to two years, this type of training costs less time than typical four-year degree programs.
Associate degrees are something in-between. It’s not as comprehensive as a four-year college degree and a bit less focused than vocational training. These degrees usually take up to two years. Registered nurses, nuclear technicians, or power plant operators are examples of jobs that need an associate degree or vocational school training.
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $75K a Year: At a Glance
|Job||Average Salary||Top 10%||Minimum Job Requirements|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologist||$84,341||$117,000+||Associate degree, analytical skills, technology skills|
|Air Traffic Controller||$84,103||$156,000+||Postsecondary education, problem-solving skills, strong communication skills|
|Power Plant Operator||$81,890||$111,470+||High school diploma, on-the-job training, problem-solving skills|
|Registered Nurses||$80,807||$114,500+||Associate degree or a diploma in approved nursing program, healthcare and medicine, critical-thinking skills|
|Refinery Operators||$77,610||$104,470+||High school diploma, on-the-job training, machine operation skills|
|Signal and Track Switch Repairers||$75,970||$96,990+||High school diploma, on-the-job training, troubleshooting skills|
|Computer Programmer Analyst||$75,745||$114,000+||Liberal arts degrees with technical expertise on C#, .NET, or other programming-related skills|
|MRI Technologist||$75,550||$93,000+||Associate degree or postsecondary education, magnetic resonance imaging, radiology|
|Web Developer||$75,073||$115,000+||High school diploma and CSS, PHP, or other programming-related skills|
Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree and Pay $75K a Year: A Closer Look
In this section, we provide a list of top 10 jobs that don’t require a degree but will allow you to earn $75K per year. The jobs included here range from nuclear medicine technologist to web developer. We also include their annual wages, list their education requirements, and explain how to get these jobs without degrees.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
- Average Salary: $84,341
- 90th Percentile Salary: $117,000+
- Projected Job Growth: 8%
Nuclear medicine technologists produce radioactive drugs. They investigate the uses of these drugs and are responsible for their quality control. They also perform therapeutic and diagnostic medical procedures for patients. A nuclear medicine technologist needs to have a high school diploma and certification in radiologic technology.
Air Traffic Controller
- Average Salary: $84,103
- 90th Percentile Salary: $156,000+
- Projected Job Growth: 4%
Air traffic controllers supervise and direct air and ground traffic. They monitor aircraft movement and ground traffic on airport runways. They provide the pilot with every necessary and critical piece of information, like bad weather or obstructions that might be in their path.
If you want to become an air traffic controller without a college degree, there are two ways you can still pursue this career path. You can either have three years of progressively responsible work experience or have a combination of post-secondary education and work experience that totals three years.
Power Plant Operator
- Average Salary: $81,890
- 90th Percentile Salary: $111,470+
- Projected Job Growth: 3.1%
Power plant operators oversee and supervise all machinery that produces electricity and power to our homes. They are primarily in charge of electrical systems and power plant management and maintenance. You can start working in this position once you have completed high school and are willing to undergo on-the-job training.
Web Applications Developer
- Average Salary: $81,840
- 90th Percentile Salary: $108,500+
- Projected Job Growth: 13%
- Average Salary: $80,807
- 90th Percentile Salary: $114,500+
- Projected Job Growth: 9%
Registered nurses usually tend to patients’ needs and take care of all aspects of the patient’s overall health. They assess the patient’s conditions, record their medical history, and distribute medications. To become one without a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to complete an associate degree in nursing or an associate of science in nursing training program.
- Average Salary: $77,610
- 90th Percentile Salary: $104,470+
- Projected Job Growth: 4.2%
Refinery operators manage the machines used to process petroleum or natural gas for mass consumption. They ensure fuel quality, monitor tank levels and storage, and practice safety precautions in processing oil. You can apply for this job if you have at least a high school diploma and can learn fast through on-the-job training.
Signal and Track Switch Repairers
- Average Salary: $75,970
- 90th Percentile Salary: $96,990+
- Projected Job Growth: 7.8%
Signal and track switch repairers test, install, and maintain the electrical components of a railroad system. They ensure that track switches, signals, and intercommunications are all working and fully functional for operations. A high school diploma and willingness to undergo on-the-job training are sufficient to get an entry-level job in this field.
Computer Programmer Analyst
- Average Salary: $75,745
- 90th Percentile Salary: $114,000+
- Projected Job Growth: 7%
Computer programmer analysts design, code, and test new programs. They also create procedures and solutions to meet an organization’s specific needs more efficiently and effectively. If you aspire to become a computer programmer analyst, you need to learn SQL, C#, learn .NET, and other programming languages. You can acquire these skills via bootcamps.
- Average Salary: $75,550
- 90th Percentile Salary: $93,000+
- Projected Job Growth: 9%
Radiological technologists or radiographers are health professionals who use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine soft tissues and organs. These professionals produce MRI scans that doctors can use later to make assessments and develop a treatment strategy. MRI technologists generally need vocational training or an associate degree.
- Average Salary: $75,073
- 90th Percentile Salary: 115,000+
- Projected Job Growth: 13%
Web developers are professionals who develop and maintain websites. Some people work on the design of the website as frontend developers. Others specialize in the technical construction of the website as backend developers.
How to Earn $75K Without a Degree
There are several ways you can earn $75,000 without a degree. If you’re interested in an IT job, the best option is to attend a coding bootcamp to get the skills and expertise you need to be job-ready.
Some jobs can be acquired through vocational training or an associate degree, while others can be accessed via apprenticeships. As long as you set your mind and heart to it, getting a job within this pay range is achievable.
Jobs That Pay $75K a Year Without a Degree FAQ
The top three jobs you can easily get without a degree are in the areas of home healthcare, personal care assistance, and police patrol. Other easy jobs that don’t require a degree or any experience are house sitter or dog walker.
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The top three easy professional certifications to get are information technology, human resources, and language certifications. A certification is an official document that verifies your talents and credentials in a particular subject or career. Earning a certification is a worthy investment for landing a high-paying job without a degree.
There are many careers you can get with a three-month certificate and no need for additional education. Some of the best high-paid median salary careers are web designer, IT support, or licensed real estate broker. These professions offer healthy hourly wages and great job prospects.
The quickest trade to learn is commercial truck driving. With only 160 training hours, you can earn a CDL-A tractor-trailer driver’s license. This program takes around three to six weeks to complete. If you want to drive, driving a commercial truck can earn you money because it’s a profitable field.
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