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Occupations, Careers, Jobs that pay relatively well without College?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Curious what occupations, careers, jobs you have encountered in your life that surprised you (maybe) at how well it pays without College or professional degree.

I know they exist, and am curious at what you have encountered.

Long story short: I met some pipe welders the other day who were looking for welding helpers, and they claim to be making about 80 K a year.


My cousin started a job driving trucks (you know those big rigs), he had to get a job due to some circumstances in his life, just like that, from being a twenty something dicking around in college, he is now making 23 dollars an hour driving a truck interstate... I know this doesn't seem like much to you big timers, but for most young males out there today, this is real money.

I suspect that many well off people who aren't typical ibankers and pencil pushers working in government are in the trades? What have you seen?
post #2 of 19
HAve a friend that inspects elevators. I believe he makes close to $100k a year. HE's part of a union and has been in the business around 10 years.
post #3 of 19
Crane operator for commercial port (they have a special name but I cannot recall it) 130-150K
Deep-sea oil rig worker, 120-200K
Electrician around 80-90K
Plumber
Antique furniture restorer
Cabinet maker
Definitely high level metal welders (ironworkers)

Anyone who can make shoes as good as D.Botier, Vass , K Sozuki etc.
post #4 of 19
Good friend's father-in-law makes $3-6k/week doing jobs as a welder. Shitty schedule though. Gone for 1-3 months at a time on jobs. (paid cash for 2 new diesel F250s for him and his wife)

You don't technically need a degree for a lot of aviation jobs, but the initial investment into the aviation field is quite large compared to something like welding/electrician training/certification.

Oh and my dad's friend inspects furnaces and apparently makes bank doing that.
post #5 of 19
Where I live, day care providers for kids charge $1200 a month, and they watch about 10 kids, so figure $12,000 a month. These are home-based businesses so they can write off a portion of their mortgages. They have one or two additional employees who probably don't get paid much. If you can deal with the screaming and diaper changes, I think you could clear 100k a year. You work at home; your hours are standard 9-5ish business hours. Not a bad deal for essentially zero investment. Most college graduates don't earn that much in their peak years.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunLovinStyle View Post

Where I live, day care providers for kids charge $1200 a month, and they watch about 10 kids, so figure $12,000 a month. These are home-based businesses so they can write off a portion of their mortgages. They have one or two additional employees who probably don't get paid much. If you can deal with the screaming and diaper changes, I think you could clear 100k a year. You work at home; your hours are standard 9-5ish business hours. Not a bad deal for essentially zero investment. Most college graduates don't earn that much in their peak years.

YMMV (by state, especially) but consider the regulation and insurance / liability aggravations, as well as subsidies where applicable. For some it's a very hard way to make a few bucks.
post #7 of 19
Some (but not most) waiter's jobs fit this bill. I work about 28 hours a week (4 nights) and make about 60K. Considering the low hours and relatively low stress of the work (not a job where you take home work stress), it pays well. The hours are not 9-5, but to me 4-11 or 5-12 feels really natural - I can get everything I need to done before work, I go to work, then I go right to bed. It's not great for your relationships though, if your SO works a 9-5.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

Deep-sea oil rig worker, 120-200K

This. A family friend consults for oil companies and told me he could get me a job making up to $175k a year right out of college (depending on hours, fluctuations in hazard pay, etc) off the West Coast of Australia. Obviously, however, the education wasn't a prerequisite or even considered when we spoke.

While it sounds sweet the schedule was 3-weeks on, 1-week off with a minimum contract of 2 years. Plus you're in the middle of the ocean with Perth being the closest city. I'm too interested in drinking, socializing and gaining office-applicable experience in my early 20s to make the sacrifice. However, for the right person with the right connections...
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

This. A family friend consults for oil companies and told me he could get me a job making up to $175k a year right out of college (depending on hours, fluctuations in hazard pay, etc) off the West Coast of Australia. Obviously, however, the education wasn't a prerequisite or even considered when we spoke.

While it sounds sweet the schedule was 3-weeks on, 1-week off with a minimum contract of 2 years. Plus you're in the middle of the ocean with Perth being the closest city. I'm too interested in drinking, socializing and gaining office-applicable experience in my early 20s to make the sacrifice. However, for the right person with the right connections...

If you get me in touch with this family friend of yours I will give you a finders fee of $5,000.

I am dead serious. I'm finishing up my Bachelors this semester. Conventional life style does not apply to me, and I have been researching Oil Rig jobs like nothing else.
post #10 of 19
What do you consider good pay in the area you live in?
A warehouse general manager for a manufacturing company. We pay our guy $80,000 a year. My brother in law in Colorado Springs is making about $90,000 as a foreman in construction. Some managing associations (not sure of the real term) will let you move up to CEO without college if you have enough experience. My mother only has a high school education and is pulling 150,000 working for a realtors association.
post #11 of 19
$80+ without student loans in any city is good pay.
post #12 of 19

I know it's sink or swim, but sales often fits this description. Many sales positions don't specifically require education, and they can lead to some pretty good earnings.

post #13 of 19
#1 is sales, but you have to be good at it. Skilled tradesmen, especially in union friendly states.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post

#1 is sales, but you have to be good at it. Skilled tradesmen, especially in union friendly states.
Ya .. lots of guys around here can definitely earn in the 7 figures without any college by starting off as a roughneck and getting into rig sales. Times are tough now, but a few guys I know doing it are still earning 6 figures.
post #15 of 19
A lot of these are hit or miss, you usually have to be really good and specialize in something. A lot of welders I know only make $14/hr and I know some electricians that can't even find work and are working at a dental lab.

Being a railroad conductor is a lucrative career, but the job is stressful, pretty terrible home life too. You could probably find a job as a floorhand on an oil rig as well.
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