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Three professions in the US with a salary of more than $100 that do not require higher education

If you decide not to go to college and are looking for career paths that do not require a bachelor's degree, you can consider several unique high-paying jobs, reports MakeIt.

Photo: Shutterstock

College admissions in the United States are now down 6,5% from 2019, the biggest two-year drop in 50 years, according to a new report from the National Research Center for Student Exchange.

A growing number of students are dropping out of undergraduate programs due to rising costs and the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Chief of Labor Statistics Michael Wolf said that while the number of jobs that require a bachelor's degree is growing faster than those that don't, the pandemic has interrupted that trend.

“Many workers have quit or changed jobs due to the pandemic, leaving many job vacancies, so employers can’t be as picky about who to hire,” he says. “We are seeing more companies hiring people without the educational background they normally seek, just because they are so desperate for workers.”

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The highest paying occupations that do not require a bachelor's degree tend to be very specialized and include extensive professional training, such as air traffic controllers. Wolf calls these jobs "exceptions to the general trend" because most of the jobs that aren't looking for college graduates are in the low-paying service and retail sectors.

Higher-paying positions typically require a high school diploma, an associate's degree, or a high school diploma. According to Wolf, a non-degree post-secondary program is a course, usually completed in less than two years, that teaches you the specific skills or knowledge you need for a job.

It is also important to note that there are fewer vacancies for these high-paying jobs.

“That's simply because they're very specialized professions,” Wolf says. “For example, we don’t need hundreds of thousands of operators of nuclear power reactors, because there are not so many nuclear power plants anymore.”

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Film and theater productions have resumed after a temporary closure, and yet fewer people were allowed onto the set due to precautionary measures. In this regard, most of the jobs were retained by employees with more experience, who, as a rule, earn more.


The average salary for makeup artists rose between 2019 and 2020, but this growth has stalled since the start of the pandemic.

According to Glassdoor, “A makeup artist is responsible for visually transforming people's appearance through makeup, paint, wigs, and other accessories. Makeup artists can work in a variety of industries, including entertainment, fashion, or beauty services. Successful makeup artists have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and have an artistic personality."

  • Average salary: $ 106 920.
  • Typical education required for admission: Higher education without a degree.

Air traffic controller

According to Glassdoor: “Air traffic controllers ensure the orderly and efficient operation and flow of air traffic, helping to prevent delays or the need to divert flights. They must be thoroughly familiar with air traffic regulations, regulations and applicable laws, as well as standard traffic control procedures and emergency protocols. It's a very stressful job, requiring the ability to make quick decisions under pressure."

  • Average salary: $130
  • Typical Education Required for Entry: Associate's Degree.

Nuclear power reactor operator

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “These operators operate or control nuclear reactors, move control rods, start and stop equipment, control and adjust controls, and record data in logs. They also apply emergency procedures when needed and can respond to deviations, determine the cause and recommend corrective actions.”

  • Average salary: $ 104 040
  • Typical Education Required for Entry: High school diploma or equivalent.

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Other In the U.S. Vacancies high paying job lack of education
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