I recently stumbled across the Social Security Administrations Wage Statistics. These statistics are based on the number of Americans who actually worked in 2014 and whose income was subject to Federal income taxes.
Are you ready for some shocking numbers?
- 51% of American workers earn less than $30,000 per year
- 67% of American workers earn less than $44,000 per year
If you’re feeling the pinch here are some ideas on how to earn more than $30,000 per year even if you don’t have a college degree.
The Hourly Wage You Need to Earn More
Before we get into specific ideas let’s take a look at the hourly wages you’d need to earn more. While hourly wages aren’t always relevant I find it extremely helpful to know the numbers so that I never bid my work too low. And if you’re in the market for a new job that does pay hourly, hopefully these numbers can help guide you.
(All of these numbers assume a 40 hour work week)
- To earn $40,000 per year you need to earn $19.23/hour
- To earn $60,000 per year you need to earn $28.85/hour
- To earn $80,000 per year you need to earn $38.46/hour
- To ern $100,000 per year you need to earn $48.08/hour
Now that you have an idea of the hourly wage you need to reach your desired salary let’s take a look at some different career options.
Get a Sales Job
The great thing about sales jobs is that your income potential is unlimited. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a sales job and be earning multiple six figures right off the bat, but it does mean that if you put in the work the opportunity is there. And that's a track to earn more than $30,000 without a degree.
To give you a rough idea here are some national averages for various sales positions:
- In 2011 the average car salesman earned $42,150 per year. (Source)
- In 2014 the average gun salesman earned $38,000 per year. (Source)
- In 2014 advertising sales agents earn $47,890 per year. (Source)
- In 2014 the average insurance agent earned $47,860 per year. (Source)
Aside from needing to get a license to sell most insurances none of these jobs require any type of college education.
Freelancing has come to be one of my favorite ways to earn a higher salary. If you can build a name and reputation for yourself you can demand a premium price no matter what type of service you offer.
Freelancing is also a great option if you have a degree but haven’t been able to line up a job yet. You can simply take your skills and wrap them up as service.
One of the easiest ways to get started freelancing is by freelance writing. You can learn how to start a freelance writing business here.
General Trade Jobs
If you’re not above doing manual labor, trades jobs will always be a decent earning option. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics many of the trades jobs will grow in demand at a faster than average pace.
If these types of careers appeal to you here are some national salary averages of different trades according to Glass Door:
- Plumber – $58,477
- Electrician – $55,783
- Auto Mechanic – $39,980
- Carpenter – $46,451
You may be able to increase your earning potential substantially by forming your own business around one of these rather than working as an employee.
If you’re like me and live in a small town it doesn’t matter whether you have a degree or not – making more than $30,000 per year will be almost impossible no matter your occupation. Luckily, this doesn’t matter anymore as long as you take advantage of the internet.
Here are some very legitimate ways to make money on the internet:
Website Designer – You don’t have to have a design degree to get started with web design. I personally know a couple of people who are making a very good living designing websites and they are 100% self-taught.
Writer – The internet is a sea of never-ending information and someone has to write that information. Writing for business websites and blogs can be a very lucrative way to earn money.
Video Editor – If you have video editing skills you can market them and edit videos for businesses.
With some hard work and decent skill set it’s more than possible to earn six figures with any one of these options.
Taking Action to Increase Your Income
There are so many different things you can do to increase your income whether you have a degree or not. At the end of the day making the decision to earn more money and then acting on it is up to you. Getting started is always the hardest part.
Do you have any other ideas for earning more than $30,000 without a degree?