The Top Careers Where You Can Earn Over $100K Without a Degree
It’s a typical thought that the only careers earning over $100,000 per year require an individual to have a bachelor’s degree and maybe even an advanced degree.
But that’s not true!
There are plenty of high paying jobs in a variety of industries that only require a TAFE certification, short course, associate degree or specific training programs, with some having a minimum requirement of a high school diploma.
Completing a four-year degree at University is not the only way to gain a six-figure salary; vocational school is one of the many options that limit your time in a lecture theatre and gives you more of a hands-on learning experience. In fact, TAFE is better than University for career success.
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How Valuable is a University Degree, Really?
The world is seeing a rise in academic inflation, meaning it is becoming more common for the average person to obtain a college degree or advanced degree in the career path of their choice. The typical three or four-year degree is starting to devalue as it becomes more common for hiring managers and companies to be looking at your previous hands-on work experience.
Many professionals including Laszlo Block, the former Vice President of Google, believe that whilst education is worthwhile, universities don’t replicate the real world; this is why Google no longer asks for academic transcripts during their hiring process, a process that other companies are starting to follow.
You do not have to be academically inclined to be earning an annual pay of 100k; take a look at some real world examples:
Average TAFE Graduate Salary
Average University Graduate Salary
Professional Sales Person with AFL
Travis Godde is a professional sales person with AFL Telecommunications and is based in the Australian Capital Territory working as a Business Development Manager. Yet this career in a highly technical field, started from a Certificate III in Cookery. After making his way to becoming a Chef through his TAFE qualification, Travis decided to move to something different, working as a store man in a large food service company. Through developing sales skills and management and with experience on his side instead of a University degree; Travis worked his way into his current role with the AFL.
“I got to where I am today because of the work I have put in, because of what I believe to be my own self-worth, not that which a university degree tells someone else how much I should be paid,” Godde explains.
Small Business Owner and Founder of Customer Consultants
As a massive advocate for VET Training, Rachel Power is the owner of two cafes: Waterfalls Cafe & Gallery and Mountain Cafe & Fuel. She is also the founder of Customer Consultants, and creates her own merchandise through Van Diemen Designs. Rachel was on the board of directors of the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, and was a Derwent Valley Councillor from 2018 to 2019.
With such an impressive resume, people might automatically assume she completed a university degree, however Rachel was one of the few who did chose to bypass higher education and instead instead followed her passions in photography and other activities.
“I’m a strong advocate for the VET system and it’s ability to help students pursue their passions and graduate with the skills and experience needed in the workforce,” Rachel says.
Founder and Director of Bikini Bods Women’s Kickboxing
Maddy is the Founder of Bikini Bods Women’s Kickboxing Gyms, Australia. Maddy delivers fitness programs for women based around Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing and functional training classes with a focus on strengthening and empowering women through fitness. She chose to enter the industry to follow her passion for sport and fitness with a VET qualification of Certificate IV in Fitness. The course allowed her to develop the skills she needed to enter the workforce confidently and in a reasonable timeframe.
“I wanted a career where I would work doing what I loved every day. I’m a very people oriented and social person and I wanted to be able to work face to face with people everyday. My qualifications gave me confidence for the real world and the knowledge I needed to know on the job as a fitness professional,” Williams says.
The Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree
There are so many opportunities for reaching your income goals or a six-figure salary, depending on your career path and interests, you may only need a certification or diploma to get into an entry level job and move your way up the ladder. For others, you can always use TAFE as a pathway to a University Degree. Generally many short courses or trainings require a year or less before you get started on the career path of your choice.
Below are a few of the many job titles and careers that have a high income with minimal training and education requirements to help spark an interest:
Air Traffic Controller
An Air Traffic Controller is tasked with managing the safety and efficiency of aircrafts across Australia airspace, covering approximately 11% of the world’s airspace. This demanding job has an annual salary of approximately $105,000 per year and typically requires a Diploma of Aviation (Air Traffic Control) to get started on this exciting career path.
Average Salary for Air Traffic Controllers in Australia
Construction managers have very hands on job position that requires interactions with a range of people including architects, contractors and workers to ensure that everything is kept to schedule at an efficient rate. Requiring leadership skills and project management, this job has an average salary of $123,504 according to SEEK. To help get started in this booming industry you can complete a Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction
Average Salary for Construction Managers in Australia
Real Estate Agent
Becoming a Real Estate Agent is an exciting career path that many find success in undertaking; as a whole the job position includes selling houses, filing paperwork for transaction and other services to help homeowners and buyers. You only need a high school diploma to be eligible for getting a Real Estate License after the appropriate training. Explore real estate courses today to get you into the field.
Average Salary for Real Estate Agents in Australia
Information Technology is a huge industry with so many different areas including the high paying approximately $122,000 per year job title of Web Designer. A bachelors degree is not necessary in this field but formal training in courses such as a Certificate IV in Web-Based Technologies or an Advanced Diploma of Information Technology will help you excel in this thriving technological world.
Average Salary for Web Designers in Australia
There are so many other career options with an annual salary of $100,000 in fields such as health care and fire fighting or through job titles such as engineering technician, computer programmer, landscape architect, writer and even criminal investigator. Whilst there is no harm in completing a bachelors degree, know that if University isn’t your style there are thousands of training institutions and courses you can complete that with hard work will allow you to get that six figure salary you want.