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Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

Copyright © 2021
by Ed Bagley

As someone who has acquired 6,100+ high-end clients who are interested in jobs and careers, I paid attention when I read a story about six-figure incomes based on information from the Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that physician jobs dominate the list of the nation’s highest-paying positions, holding the Top 10 most lucrative jobs that are “equal to or greater than $208,000 in annual income”.

They include psychiatrists, oral or maxillofacial surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, general internal medicine physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, prosthodontists, orthodontists, physicians and ophthalmologists, and family medicine physicians.

Next in line were chief executives, nurse anesthetists, and dentists at $183,000 in annual income.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is interested in keeping these kind of salary statistics for demographic and political purposes (political districts gain more representation in the U. S. Congress when the population increases).

It is a funny thing about statistics: politicians and propagandists can easily use statistics to prove a point they want to make, but seldom does it represent the complete story about what really happened or what it really represents. There is generally a backstory that is too often unseen and unknown to the reader or observer, which, when given the light of day, can offer a totally different impression.

For example, it is easy to show statistically that a person with a bachelor’s degree will generally earn more income over their adult working life than a person with only a high school degree or no specific professional training that would lead to a license or certification in an occupation or industry that could generate more annual income.

Seldom are we told about any exceptions to the statistics given. Most workers would be ecstatic to earn $183,000 in annual income with a full benefit package worth $45,000 that would give them a total compensation package of $228,000, or more than a quarter million dollars.

My clients generally are professionals (that is, there are a pro at what they do, whatever that may be), generally earn $60,000 to $140,000 in annual income, and are either in management or supervision or want to be.

As a creator of high-end professional resume products, about 30% of my clients do not have an associate degree or no degree at all, and the income of some clients with no degree may attract your attention.

For instance, during 35+ years as a high-end resume writer,
I have a client with no high school degree and not even a GED equivalent that is generating $500,000+ in annual income.

I have three of them, and another generating $650,000 in annual income and another generating $700,000 in income, all of whom have no high school degree and no GED equivalent. I ask my prospective clients, what occupation or industry do you think they are in?

Their responses generally include IT (information technology because it can pay well in our economy), licensed or certified positions (attorney, accountant or educator, for example), or self-employed. All of these are good answers, but they are all wrong. Only 1 out of 100 clients ever gets it right.

All my clients without a high school degree or GED equivalent that earn higher annual incomes ($100,000 to $500,00 to $700,00 and more) are in sales, not as salaried employees but working on a commission basis, being paid a commission percentage on the amount of income they produce for a company or organization.

As you continue to walk down the work road of life, understand that sales is the second highest paid profession on planet Earth. It is probable that only 5% or less of the adult working population is involved in direct sales, that is because 97% (perhaps an exaggeration) of people would not be caught dead selling.

Most people would never be in sales because they can’t stand rejection, they view rejection as failure, or they think too many salespeople are not honest or are in it for their own gain, rather than serving the needs of the buyer or the general public.

That is why people in sales, especially people who are good at selling, make a lot more money than managers, supervisors or worker bees. We live in a capitalist system that rewards salespeople for producing income for companies or organizations, this is a merit system that rewards production; this system is made for workers who have ambition, work hard and improve their employability by acquiring degrees, licenses or certifications so their skills and experience become more lucrative.

Men can make excellent money ($100,000) with only a high school degree in an number of occupations.

Women can also make excellent money with only a high school degree, but they tend to do it generally in three ways:

1) They own their own business, usually a small business that is very profitable. Some research organizations report that there are more small business owners making $100,000+ than in any other job or occupation.

2) They work in commissioned sales rather than salaried sales. A sharp woman can many times outsell a man because of the dynamics between the sexes. A sharp woman calling on a male client many times gets more time and attention than a male calling on the same client.

3) They work in a financially-related position, such as a stockbroker, mortgage banker, mortgage broker, loan officer or chief financial officer.

Here is some information you can use if you are a high school graduate and have zero interest in getting a bachelor’s degree at this point in your work career: go into sales if you have any people skills or personality.

Sales is the second highest paid profession in the world, and it does not usually require a college degree. There are some corporate sales jobs that do require a degree, but there are many more opportunities available if you can generate sales production.

There is not a single business in America that cannot benefit from more sales, and almost every business will pay for sales production.

Here is some even better news: If you are selling and producing big time and the owner or company is too cheap to compensate you at the level you should be compensated at ($100,000+++), dump the owner or company and sell for someone else.

A far better idea would be to start your own business, go into competition directly against the cheap owner or company that would not pay you, and wipe them off the map.

There really is no reason you should be working for someone else anyway. Working in your own business can be an outstanding deal. You call your own shots. You will not fire yourself, lay yourself off, or deny yourself promotions, fat bonuses for production, outstanding benefit packages, and a lot of time off to enjoy your money and family.

The 9 examples listed above have 7 positions that amount to no more than hired help, that includes the Chief Executive position. Only the Dentist and Lawyer positions might be either self-employed or hired help.

All nine examples cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have more stress than anyone needs and are labor intensive. Even the Dentist and Lawyer positions, which might be self-employed, require them to report to work or not get paid. If a Mac truck runs over them, their income stops in a heartbeat.

Has anyone ever heard of income-producing investments when these job opportunities come up? Income producing assets allow you to take possession of your own time while your investment throws off the income to fund your lifestyle without working a job.

It might be fancy to have any of those nine jobs with status and making $100,000 a year. Some people would rather make $250,000 a year and not have a job, have a boss, and deal with the stress.

Here is a rare career path: Own the business, company or organization and hire the six-figure people in the examples above to work for you. When they generate $1 million in annual company income to be paid $100,000 in compensation, there are owners who would gladly pay the above examples of their $100,000 wage when you the owner could make $250,000 free and clear and essentially not work.

Who needs status and aggravation when you have money?

admin

Who Earns the Most Based on Their Educational Level

(Editor’s Note: Even though this article was written in 2006, there is a point worth making, and we surely do hope you figure it out.)

Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley

Colleges and universities are fond of reminding anyone who will listen that there is great value in earning a bachelor’s degree. In the most recent statistics available the U. S. Census Bureau tends to agree.

Results from the 2004 Census Bureau report shows a $23,000 difference between the average annual salary of adults with a bachelor’s degree ($51,554) compared to adults with a high school diploma ($28,645).

In what may or may not be an anomaly, the income gap narrowed slightly from five years earlier when bachelor’s degree graduates made nearly twice as much as high school graduates.

The percentage of Americans 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree rose to 28%, and the percentage with a high school diploma rose to 85%. In 1970, 36 years ago, only 11% of Americans had a bachelor’s degree and a little more than half had a high school diploma.

It is probable that the increase over time has had much to do with the advent of technology in our society, and the impact of Internet accessibility to the general public in 1993 and 1994 through the creation of browsers.

If you are wondering, Minnesota, Utah, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska and Washington had the highest proportions of adults with at least a high school diploma, all at about 92%.  Texas had the lowest with about 78%.

Connecticut had the highest proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree (37%) and West Virginia had the lowest (15%).

I have long been a believer that there is no real correlation between education and income unless the degree leads to a high paying profession, such as a physician, attorney or dentist. I have known too many people with bachelor’s degrees working at McDonald’s restaurants.

My standard comment is that it is not like all people with bachelor’s degrees make $100,000 a year and those with high school diplomas make $30,000. I also have known many people with only high school degrees and some high school dropouts who make well in excess of $100,000 annually, especially in sales.

Bill Gates is a college dropout who ranks as the richest man in the world. Forbes magazine rates William H. Gates III as the richest person in 2006 with $53 billion, proving perhaps that even Harvard dropouts can make a lot of money.

You, dear reader, will have to decide for yourself how big a difference in income is possible with a college degree instead of settling for a high school diploma. There is no question in my mind that the income gap will increase as the upper and lower edges of our middle class are falling away and the gap between the rich and poor in America widens.

I have also found little correlation between talent and income, intelligence and income and experience and income. Is there anyone in America who has not heard of the starving artist, or educated idiots in menial jobs, or janitors becoming millionaires?

The only real correlation I have noticed is between people skills and income. How else can you reasonably explain how a high school dropout becomes a self-made, multi-millionaire entrepreneur?

These successful entrepreneurs may not have perfect subject-verb agreement when they speak, but they certainly know how to relate to people in a meaningful way. You may have noticed that the whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going (ditto for women).

Also of note is the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey which shows that white-collar earnings average $21.85 an hour while blue-collar earnings average $15.03 and service occupations average $10.40.

Source information for the following statistics come from the Employment Policy Foundation.

The jobs that pay the most generally require at least a bachelor’s degree (4 years of higher
education) and several also require graduate (master’s or doctorate) degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the nation’s Top 12 Paying Jobs:

Top 12 Paying Jobs Overall

$147,000 – Physicians and Surgeons
$133,500 – Aircraft Pilots
$116,000 – Chief Executives
$112,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$99,800 – Lawyers and Judges
$90,000 – Dentists
$85,500 – Pharmacists
$84,700 – Management Analysts
$84,000 – Financial Analysts, Managers and Advisors
$83,000 – Computer and Information System Managers
$80,000 – Marketing and Sales Managers
$80,000 – Educational Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require an Associate Degree or Certificates of Training

The jobs that pay the next best annual average salaries tend to be technical in nature and generally require an associate degree (2 years of higher education) and/or job-specific training certificates. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$66,000 – Healthcare Practitioners
$58,000 – Business Analysts
$57,000 – Electrical and Electronic Engineers
$56,800 – Mechanical Engineers
$54,000 – General and Operations Managers
$50,400 – Computer and Information System Managers

Top Paying Jobs That Generally Require a High School Diploma

These jobs generally require a high school diploma and emphasize work experience and on-the-job training rather than college degrees. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$58,900 – Computer Software Engineers
$56,400 – Computer and Information System Managers
$55,000 – Computer Programmers
$49,000 – Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
$48,000 – General and Operations Managers
$48,000 – Database, Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Top Paying Jobs That Do Not Require a High School Diploma

These jobs tend to require substantial on-the-job training and work experience rather than formal education and specialized training. Here are the average annual incomes during 2003 for the Top 6 Paying Jobs:

$36,400 – Bailiffs, Correctional Officers and Jailers
$36,400 – Legal Assistants
$36,000 – Industrial Production Managers
$36,000 – Drafters
$33,600 – Construction Managers
$31,900 – Electricians

Sometimes the sources for these statistics are not really clear in the significance of their findings. You will notice that whatever the educational level, the positions for Computer and Information System Managers are mentioned.

It is the 9th highest paying job at $83,000 in highest educational level, shows up at $50,400 with a two-year degree and becomes the 2nd highest paying job at $56,400 for high school graduates.

The difference in salaries at different educational levels could have to do with the size of the company the worker serves. There is a difference in responsibility and technical requirements for a company generating $10 million in annual revenue as opposed to a company generating $100 million or $1 billion in annual revenue.

I believe it is also important to understand that many people with Top 12 paying jobs are self-employed professionals who are able to take many legitimate deductions in their business tax returns that workers do not enjoy.

Deductions lower their net taxable income. The earnings you see here can be much lower than their actual earnings because deductions can be “paper write-offs,” deductions that result from depreciation, for example, that can amount to thousands of dollars credit with no out-of-pocket expenses.

It almost goes without saying that many savvy college and high school graduates also have part-time businesses that allow them legitimate deductions that lower the net taxable income from their jobs.

Here’s Just One
Happy Client:

Susan found out what excellent presentation can do

From Susan:
“When I first walked into your office I was scared and apprehensive.
I knew I had to make a career change, but didn’t know how. I also thought all resume services were the same and expensive. After meeting with you, seeing your work and meeting with other career services,
I decided you were the best for the best price.

“The response I received to your well-prepared resume was literally overwhelming. I had responses from practically every company I sent a resume to. I had one woman call and say, ‘Although you’re not really qualified for this position, I wanted to meet with you because your resume is so impressive’. I decided not to meet with her because, after hearing more about the position, I didn’t want it. I ended up taking a position with a pharmaceutical company, something
I’ve wanted to do since graduating from college.

“Not only was I able to change careers but
I also did not have to take less salary or perks. This leads me to conclude that my resume was written expertly to open doors and show how my previous experience could cross over to another career. Lastly, Ed is an understanding and compassionate man who helped me define my goals. The extras above and beyond the resume helped immensely, and
I am looking forward to the partnership I can expect in managing my career choices! Thanks again.”

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