How To Make Six Figures Without A College Degree


You know the age old saying our parents would try and drill into our heads when we were younger, “graduate high school, go to college, and get a good job”. This philosophy most likely worked wonders for our parents as the time was much different back then. The world was a completely different place with completely different rules. Not to mention, there were far more trade and blue collar jobs that paid very well. Well enough to only have one job, buy a home, car, get your kids to college and retire maintaining the lifestyle you’ve grown so accustomed to. The income disparity was not nearly as apparent and prevalent as it is today. So when markets shifted, it wasn’t easy to get left behind. For instance, the real estate market wouldn’t astronomically raise the price of housing because a majority of the country would be excluded from buying homes and the real estate market would suffer. Essentially, the market was more for everyone.

Nowadays, the income disparity is the worse anyone has seen in history. According to cnbc.com1, the top 1% of families in the United States made more than 25 times that of families in the lower 99%, per research papers published by Economic Policy Institute. To put that in perspective, if 100 people were to split $100, 1 person would get $25 while the remaining 99 people share $75. So each of the 99 people get $0.76 each. Oddly enough, after the depression in the 30s, the disparity gap narrowed between rich and poor. 

Post our most recent recession, the gap only widened even further apart. Getting a quality education has not been the answer for quite some time. Students are finding themselves further in debt when they get out of school, then when they start. This makes it all but impossible to find any kind of financial relief in life. Throw the statistic in there that most students don’t even use the degree they put themselves in debt for. Most of the time, out of desperation to find a job right away to start paying some bills. Then, some people just get stuck or comfortable.


There are some very savvy people out there who have figured out a way to beat the never ending system of failure, and figured out ways to make six figure salaries without the need of a traditional college degree. Long gone are the days a degree promised a decent salary. Now, thinking outside the box and creating new lanes away from the traditional paths is what will more than likely land you in riches. Here are some more outstanding ways people are bypassing the institutionalized system, and making more money than their BA and Master’s degree having counterparts.

What Are Trade Jobs?

In order to begin research on if a Trade job would be right for you, you first have to understand what a trade job is. Monster.com2 describes a trade job as skilled trade careers or labor jobs, that require specific training like carpentry, tile setting, electricians, etc. and manual work can be physically demanding. The glaring advantage is you aren’t nearly as likely to gain a tremendous amount of weight by sitting in front of computer, eating junk food for eight hours a day. Because these jobs require specific training, they are rarely highly sought after, so the market is wide open and demand is high. With high demand comes the opportunity to negotiate higher pay since you now have a specialty that cannot be easily found or replaced.

How to Find Trade Jobs

Finding trade jobs is not a difficult or daunting tasks. A quick google search will get you countless resources to start your new trade career. Many Trade Schools will be affiliated with companies in which they are looking for Trade workers. So a great idea when looking into a trade and the trade school you’d like to attend is to see who the school is affiliated with and what their employment placement rate is. Schools are not required to provide this information, however it benefits them to provide this information to attract potential students. Similar to internships, working directly with companies before you have all the skills to fulfill the job will give the employer a glimpse of your potential and may make them more inclined to pick you up once your skills are firmed up.

The Best Trade Jobs Right Now

If you are interested in jumping into a Trade job or going to Trade school, there are some very hot industries right now you may want to consider. Here are a few great trade careers that pay well and are looking for candidates.


Longshoreman are crucial at international ports of entry for incoming and outgoing goods. If you want an active, hands on job, there’s no better way to cash in on both your skills and your worth than by becoming a longshoreman. A centerpiece of international ports and crucial players in transporting goods worldwide, longshoremen are responsible for transporting large shipping containers from ships to landing destination. You will definitely get a good workout getting the shipping crates loaded and bouncing back and forth verifying inventory and shipments.


If you were an electrician by trade, the sky is the limit to what you can do and you can go just about anywhere. You’ll be installing electrical power and performing routine maintenance and repairs. There will always be a need for someone who can navigate their way around electricity safely, while not interrupting the flow of energy powering the business. The work is very hazardous which shows in the pay. However, you have to pay very close attention to detail and be able to follow diagrams and blueprints. You also must understand the importance of following safety codes and regulation to a tee.


Plumbers do a lot more than just fix toilets and exploit plumber’s crack. They also install water, gas pipes, toilet, sink, water heater installation as well as other very intensive duties. They do not work in the ideal environments, being often cramped and smelly, but the pay is great and the job freedom is even better.

Look for your new Trade Career today

There are many directions you can take your Trade career. If you are not sold on college institutions, it may be time to take a look at a trade to make your six figure salary and get on your road to retirement. 




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