Higher Learning: The Highest Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree…And Some That Do

- By Bossip Staff

Well-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

While there’s no doubt that progressing to higher education is often a very important part of becoming successful, it is also realized that not everyone will choose to pursue a college degree as a means of success.

For those who may decide to take the road less traveled, Yahoo and the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently put together a list of professions which do not require a college degree, but still have six-figure earning potential for those willing to work hard.

It may not be a piece of cake, but despite stagnant wages for the majority of U.S. workers, making a six-figure salary without earning a college degree can be achieved.

From overseeing the creation of beautiful breads, pastries and desserts for hotels and restaurants as an executive pastry chef to (surprisingly!) becoming a nuclear power reactor operator conducting procedures that start up or shut down the plant, having a college degree in these occupations is not mandatory.

Personal trainers, massage therapists, and handymen are also among the jobs where top earners with no college degree can receive annual pay that exceeds $100,000, according to PayScale.com. To compile this list, PayScale.com surveyed its salary and career database, covering about 12,000 jobs in over 1,000 industries.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 professions that will get you that gwap even if you don’t have a college degree on pages 2-6, along with the other highest paying jobs in America as of this year that may actually require degrees on pages 7 and on.

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20. Nuclear PowerReactor Operator
Highest Earning Potential: $142,000
Education Required: HS Diploma


19. Personal Trainer
Highest Earning Potential:$141,000
Education Required: HS Diploma


18. Massage Therapist
Highest Earning Potential: $141,000
Education Required: HS Diploma


17. Handyman
Highest Earning Potential: $104,00
Education Required: HS Diploma


16. Executive Pastry Chef
Highest Earning Potential: $102,000
Education Required: HS Diploma

Now let’s take a look at America’s overall highest-paying jobs of 2012, some of which do require degrees.

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    15. Pharmacist
    Average Salary: $112,000
    Education Required: PhD


    14. Air Traffic Controller
    Average Salary: $114,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree and FAA Training


    13. Sales Managers
    Average Salary: $117,000
    Education Required: HS Diploma


    12.Airline Pilots/Flight Engineers
    Average Salary:$118,00
    Education Required: Not Specified


    11. Financial Managers
    Average Salary: $120,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree


    10. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
    Average Salary: $124,000
    Education Required: PhD and Certification/License


    9. Computer and Information Systems Managers
    Average Salary: $125,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree


    8. Marketing Managers
    Average Salary: $126,000
    Education Required: HS Diploma


    7. Natural Science Managers
    Average Salary: $128,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree


    6. Architectural and Engineering Managers
    Average Salary: $129,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree


    5. Lawyer
    Average Salary: $130,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree and JD


    4. Petroleum Engineer
    Average Salary: $138,000
    Education Required: Not Specified


    3. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    Average Salary: $176,000
    Education Required: Varies By Company


    2.Orthodontist or Dentist
    Average Salary: $161,000 – $204,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree;  Dental School (PhD)


    1. Doctor or Surgeon
    Average Salary: $168,000 – $234,000
    Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree, Medical School, Residency

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