5 Jobs That Pay Over $100K Without an Advanced Degree

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Source: Thinkstock

A mark of next-level success, the $100,000 per year mark signifies a position of importance, status, and higher-level skills. Most people look at a six-figure salary as something that’s unattainable by just your average Joe (or Jane). Why? Well, according to data published by Bankrate, only around one in five households — 20% — earn at least six figures. And some of these households have two earners combining their incomes.

There are only a relative handful of jobs out there that pay at least $100,000 to one person for performing his or her job duties, and many of these positions do require some sort of advanced degree, like a medical or law degree. But, there are several jobs that pay six figures without that degree, and you may be surprised to see just how much money you can make in some of these positions.

Using Labor Statistics data, we’ve created a list of jobs that pay six figures that are attainable if you have a bachelor’s degree-level education or less.

1. Consultants

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Source: Thinkstock

Are you a natural problem solver? Well, consultants, or management analysts, work with businesses to find ways to help them operate more efficiently. As of 2012, there were 718,700 consultants employed in the U.S., and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates big growth in this occupation between 2012 and 2022. Another 134,000 or so positions should become available during that time period.

  • Median salary: $79,870 (average salary is around $90,000)
  • 75th percentile: $106,950
  • 90th percentile: $145,920
  • Minimum requirements: You can become a consultant with only a bachelor’s degree, but some employers do prefer that candidates earn a master’s degree. Typical candidates have several years of experience in a particular field of expertise, like human resources, finance, or information technology. Licensing is available for consultants through the Institute of Management Consultants USA, where consultants can earn a CMC — or certified management consultant — designation.

2. Agents

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Source: Thinkstock

Are you a people person with negotiation skills? You may be a great talent or sports agent, and although you may not be paid as much as your client, you can still earn six figures.

  • Median salary: $64,490 (average salary is around $94,000)
  • 75th percentile: $116,860
  • 90th percentile: greater than $187,199
  • Minimum requirements: There are no formal education requirements, but because of the contract negotiations that may be involved, a bachelor’s degree in management, sports management, or a related field can be incredibly helpful. According to O*Net, 50% of agents have a bachelor’s degree, 25% have some college but no degree, and 12% have only a high school diploma. Depending on the state where you live and the type of clients you want to represent, you also may be required to obtain a license.

3. Personal financial advisers

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Source: Thinkstock

Do you wonder why it’s so hard for people to manage their money? Are all things money easy for you to understand? Maybe the job of a personal financial adviser is the career path for you. Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS expects huge growth (27%) in the demand for personal financial advisers, with around 60,000 new positions opening up.

  • Median salary: $75,320 (average salary is just under $100,000)
  • 75th percentile: $124,680
  • 90th percentile: greater than $187,199
  • Minimum requirements: According to the BLS, “personal financial advisers typically need a bachelor’s degree. Although employers usually do not require a specific field of study for personal financial adviser, a degree in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law is good preparation for this occupation.” A certified financial planner (CFP) license can enhance an adviser’s reputation in his or her field. These advisers may also need a license if they sell products, like bonds or securities.

4. Actuaries

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Source: Thinkstock

Do you think in terms of risk and reward? Actuaries attach a price to risk and uncertainty, and they use mathematics and theory to help businesses take advantage of this knowledge. Over the next several years, this position is expected to see rapid growth (26%), with over 6,000 new positions opening up between 2012 and 2022.

  • Median salary: $94,340 (average salary is around $108,000)
  • 75th percentile: $132,490
  • 90th percentile: $176,190
  • Minimum requirements: Actuaries generally hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, business, or finance. When first starting out, they are trainees working under more experienced mentors. They go through long-term, on-the-job training and become licensed. Employers often pay for this licensing, and it is done through two professional societies: The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

5. Management positions

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Source: Thinkstock

Are you a natural born leader? Well, a variety of management positions — ranging from human resources management to construction management — pay six figures. You may have to work your way up to these positions, but you can obtain many of them with only a bachelor’s degree-level education.

  • Median salary: $84,410 for construction managers, $100,800 for human resource managers, and $103,780 for purchasing managers
  • 75th percentile: $111,710 for construction managers, $135,180 for human resources managers, and $133,700 for purchasing managers
  • 90th percentile: $146,340 for construction managers, $177,460 for human resources managers, and $165,810 for purchasing managers
  • Minimum requirements: Generally, managers who are paid at this level need a four-year degree and at least five years of related career experience.

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