9 surprising jobs where you make more money than a doctor but don't need a college degree

  • There are a handful of jobs that pay a doctor’s salary or more to people without college degrees.
  • From self-taught IT managers to bodyguards, here are nine jobs where you can make $US200,000 or more – no college education necessary.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s no surprise that doctor’s make a lot of money. Depending on the type of medicine they practice, doctors can make an average of $US148,000 to $US267,000 a year.

But just because you didn’t go to medical school doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of a salary that high. In fact, in some cases, you don’t even need to go to college to earn a salary of $US150,000 or higher.

We found nine jobs that, if everything goes right, can earn people a doctor’s salary without requiring a college degree.

Read on to see nine potentially high-paying jobs you can do with only a high-school education.


Computer and IT manager

As it turns out, sitting at home on your laptop while your peers are out attending frat parties could seriously pay off.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ wage estimates for May 2018 revealed that computer and information-systems managers are earning an average of $US152,860 – more than the average podiatrist, lawyer, and physicist. And according to HackerRank’s 2018 Student Developer Report, nearly a third of all developers say they’re entirely self-taught.


Read more:
15 ways to be more productive and manage your time better, according to career experts


Airline pilot

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Not all aspiring pilots have to go to college, either.

While major airlines such as Delta, American, and United require bachelor’s degrees,Horizon Air requires only a high-school diploma or equivalent, according to a current job posting. And in a new initiative, Alaska Airlines is looking to source half its new hires from Horizon Air, specifically. That $US169,560 salary never looked so easy.


Air-traffic controller

Speaking of the aviation industry, the top 10% of air-traffic controllers are earning more than the average aviator – $US178,650 – and the average dentist. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, applicants can apply with “three years of progressively responsible work experience” in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.


Entrepreneurs

Dave Benett/Getty Images for K-Swiss

In some cases, a good business model is far more valuable than a bachelor’s degree. The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ earnings estimates don’t account for self-employed workers, but PayScale’s data shows that even though small-business owners make an average of $US71,455, the top earners are making upward of $US180,000.

Likewise, a 2017 SurveyMonkey study showed that the number of small-business owners with only a high-school education is actually higher than the number with college degrees.


Freelance writer

Hero Images/Getty

While there are plenty of freelancers who are barely surpassing starving-writer status, at the other end of the spectrum, there are folks like Holly Johnson, who makes more than $US200,000 annually – and that doesn’t even include the income from her blog, ClubThrifty.com, according to Forbes.

Johnson’s not the only one. Another freelancer, Kayla Lee, said she also makes nearly that amount without any popular blog, bestselling book, or social-media following. Pipe dream, you say? Not necessarily.


Read more:
How to save $US1 million, according to the experts


Chief executives

One doesn’t have to rise to the level of Mark Zuckerberg (who, by the way, is a Harvard dropout) to earn $US200,000 as a chief executive. In fact, the national average is even slightly higher than that amount.

Gradually moving up in a company can eventually lead to a CEO position, and these days, companies from Google to Hilton have dropped “college degree” from their hiring requirements, CNBC reported last year.


Large commercial farmer

Farmers in the US are sometimes assumed to be penniless, when, in fact, the top 10% are actually making more than your average psychiatrist, according to CNN.

The bigger the farm, the more their income, of course, but don’t think for a second that you need the world’s biggest ranch to make more than your family physician. The US Department of Agriculture’s forecasted income for a cotton farmer in 2019, for instance, is $US245,300.


Read more:
9 mind-blowing facts about the US farming industry


Celebrity bodyguard

Dimitrios Kambouris/Shutterstock

If you find that your fantasies of becoming a celebrity aren’t working out for you, there’s always bodyguarding to fall back on. No textbooks are required, only ample gym time and flexible hours.

Kent Moyer, the founder of the World Protection Group, told ABC News that celebrities pay between $US250,000 and $US1.5 million for personal protection.Vanity Fair reported in 2016 that one-off events can pay up to $US1,000 per day while mobile bodyguards can make up to $US800,000 a year.


Pro gamers

Samsung

Who would ever have thought that playing video games would grant you a bigger paycheck than most doctors make?

One Bloomberg article from 2018 reported that the average salary for the North American League of Legends Championship Series’ 50 starting players was a whopping $US320,000. These days, 20-something gamers are treated like esteemed athletes.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.