Jobs That Pay 80K a Year Without a Degree

Jobs That Pay 80K a Year Without a Degree

Even if you don’t have a college degree, there are a lot of jobs you can get that pay well. These positions can range from Signal and track switch repair to Air traffic controller. Even if you don’t have an education or a degree, you can still make $80K a year. The key is to have the right skills and put in the effort to succeed.

Signal and track switch repair

Signal and track switch repairers work in railroad systems, repairing, maintaining, and installing electrical gate crossings. They also test and maintain signal equipment. These professionals can earn as much as $86,000 a year. The highest-paying jobs in this industry are found in New York, and the pay is the highest in the Public Administration sector.

The largest salary increase was given to signal and track switch repairers last year. The average salary of these technicians increased by 2.7 percent, or about $8,000 a year. In addition to being highly paid, this job also requires on-the-job training. Some of the most common tasks performed by these workers include inspecting couplings and sealing joints between wallboard.

Air traffic controller

If you’re interested in working in the aviation industry but don’t have a degree, you might consider becoming an air traffic controller. These jobs are responsible for directing the flow of air traffic through airports and monitoring planes’ movements. While many positions require a four-year degree, some schools offer two-year associate degrees in aviation. You can also become a licensed pilot, which requires training and a license from the civil aviation authority. While most airline pilots fly according to a schedule, you can also be a commercial pilot who flies according to demand.

To become an air traffic controller, you will need to complete a rigorous training course and pass the FAA test. You should start the training process before you turn thirty-one. Many air traffic controllers work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Medical sonographer

If you have a passion for healthcare, you may consider a career as a medical sonographer. Ultrasound imaging is a crucial first line of diagnosis for many different conditions, and it is a safe and cost-effective alternative to other scans. Although the field is highly sought-after, it is not equally distributed across the U.S. Generally, sonographers in large cities earn more than those in smaller towns and rural areas. These urban centers are home to many hospitals, and these facilities are willing to pay higher wages to attract enough sonographers to service their patients. The top-paying metropolitan areas for sonographers include California, New York City, Washington, and New York City.

These professionals use specialized ultrasound equipment to obtain specialized medical images. They can work with patients to evaluate breast tissue or examine the brain and spinal cord. Some specialize in particular imaging, like detecting cancer. Ultimately, their job is to produce high-quality images and reports for doctors.


Detectives are law enforcement professionals who gather and analyze evidence to solve crimes. They examine records, interview potential suspects, and participate in raids. Most detectives specialize in a specific type of crime, and they work on cases until they are either tried or dropped. In general, a detective needs a high school diploma, although some federal agencies and police departments require a college degree.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a list of careers that require no degree and pay over $80K/year. It’s important to note that these jobs are extremely rare, but they do exist. Just six percent of all jobs in the US don’t require a degree. This makes finding a job that pays 80K or more difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Detection and criminal investigator

As a police detective, you’ll analyze evidence, interview witnesses, and build cases against criminal suspects. You may work for a local department or for a federal agency. Your salary will depend on your education and experience. Police detectives often need a bachelor’s degree or at least some professional experience in criminal justice.

If you want to work for the federal government, you can also become an intelligence analyst. Most intelligence analysts work for the FBI, but there are also federal law enforcement agencies that hire them. These jobs pay about seventy-two thousand dollars per year on average, and your duties will often involve examining and processing evidence that a criminal might have left at the scene of a crime. While these jobs are typically behind the scenes, they are crucial in solving crimes.

In addition to a college degree, you may consider pursuing specialized training in the field. You can become a computer forensics investigator, for example, working with law enforcement agencies to examine and recover information from data storage devices. These positions can also include testifying in criminal proceedings. Some employers also prefer candidates who hold voluntary certifications.

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