You’ve been hearing for years now that you need a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree to make a six-figure paycheck — but that’s not always the truth. New data from LinkedIn’s annual Top Companies report suggests that there are “certain job titles at U.S. Top Companies that are more likely to be filled by non-college graduates than others.” Indeed, companies like Google, Apple and Facebook have job listings that don’t require a degree and pay well above the median household income of $61,372.
If you’re feeling the effects of imposter syndrome when applying for these high-paying jobs, don’t forget that there are plenty of people who have found success without four-year degrees — think Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates, James Cameron and Frank Lloyd Wright. As long as you can bring your amazing skills and experience to the table, you can land these high-paying jobs without a degree.
Data Center Logistics Manager at Apple
- Estimated Salary: $66,000-$119,000
Apple announced last year that it planned on spending $10 billion on multiple data center sites across the U.S., and now it’s hiring to fill data center management roles. If you have experience in operations, supply chain, inventory management, transportation or manufacturing and you think you can manage a 1,700-acre data center in Reno, Nevada, then you should apply. Although a bachelor’s degree is preferred, you can snag this six-figure job if you have experience managing inventory across multiple locations.
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Content and Planning, Apple Music
- Estimated Salary: $70,000-$111,000
For someone seeking high-paying jobs without a college degree, look no further than a content and planning position at Apple Music. You’ll have the opportunity to provide strategic content direction for Apple Music and coordinate content for a global audience. A university degree is preferred for this position, but you can stand out by having seven to 10 years of related experience under your belt before applying.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently claimed that half of the company’s U.S. employees “were people that did not have a four-year degree.” How’s that for a confidence booster?
Client Solutions Manager at Facebook
- Estimated Salary: $76,000-$131,000
Calling all marketing solutions experts, relationship managers, media strategists and project managers — including those without a college degree. The right person for this job will have experience presenting ideas and data to cross-functional teams and the ability to influence C-level executives. Although a college degree is preferred, if you have all the above boxes checked, you’re already a step above the rest.
Certification Exam Content Manager, Google Cloud
- Estimated Salary: $77,000-$119,000
This is just one of many high-paying jobs at Google that you can land without a degree. For this job, you’ll be working with subject matter experts to develop, launch and maintain certification exams for Google Cloud operations. This position will likely suit you if you have experience in program management and facilitating working groups like writing workshops and job task analyses.
Manager of Program Management, AppleCare Logistics
- Estimated Salary: $81,000-$136,000
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that working as a logistician “can be stressful because logistical work is fast-paced.” But high-stress jobs often come with reciprocally high salaries. That’s certainly the case for the AppleCare Logistics manager of program management role. As long as you can bring more than a decade of experience in logistics and operational management to the table, you could be a candidate for this high-paying job at Apple without a bachelor’s degree.
Creative Director, Events and Content at Apple
- Estimated Salary: $83,000-$140,000
Apple is seeking to fill a creative director role at its new offices in Culver City, California. Although a bachelor’s degree is preferred, coming to the interview with at least 15 years of professional experience in event design, creative direction and content production is sure to set you apart from a recent college graduate. Besides, the cost of a degree in hospitality or tourism is $144,480 and will take away years that you could be using to build up your resume and experience.
Executive Assistant, Media Partnerships at Facebook
- Estimated Salary: $84,000-$128,000
Are you someone who has six or more years of experience whipping up expense reports, prioritizing multiple projects and coordinating travel logistics for company executives? If that sounds right, you could be a candidate for this high-paying job at Facebook in Menlo Park, California. A bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required.
LATAM Compliance Manager at Facebook
- Estimated Salary: $85,000-$152,000
¿Hablas español? Você fala português? If you are fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in Portuguese, then you already meet some of the requirements of this high-paying job. Facebook is hiring a Latin America compliance manager at its Miami office who will understand and assess risks across a wide variety of business areas while building relationships with stakeholders. And, with regional travel as part of the job description, you could be flying to Latin American countries for work — just an added bonus to your large salary.
Data Analyst, Community Operations at Facebook
- Estimated Salary: $92,000-$147,000
Are you a professional data miner? Well, at Facebook, that’s one of the high-paying jobs you can get without a degree. The position requires four-plus years of experience using SQL or other query languages, as well as the ability to present to audiences and stakeholders. The salary will keep you somewhat comfortable while living and working in Mountian View, California, and that’s saying something. If you’re a homeowner in the nearby San Jose area, the median income needed to live comfortably is a whopping $197,502, according to a GOBankingRates study.
Network Engineer at Google
- Estimated Salary: $96,000-$148,000
This job at Google requires expert-level programming with C++, C and/or Python — which are skills you can learn using free online courses or books from the library. So, if you’re a self-taught coding whiz who also has experience working across teams and the ability to prioritize a large number of projects and tasks, you might just have a shot at this job.
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Windows System Administrator at Google
- Estimated Salary: $104,000-$147,000
According to this job posting, “system administrators embrace Google’s motto to ensure millions of users can access the world’s information without a glitch.” A degree is neither preferred nor required for this high-paying position, but delivering results for the entire world to use — without any errors — requires an extreme amount of skill and attention to detail.
Technical Director, Office of the CTO, Anthos at Google
- Estimated salary: $108,000-$194,000
This high-paying job isn’t made for someone fresh out of college. To snag the technical director position at the Google offices in New York, you must be a seasoned technical director with 10-plus years of experience with cloud technology and operations. Anthos, formerly known as the Google Cloud Services Platform, is built on open-source technologies and helps businesses “modernize how you develop, secure and operate hybrid cloud and cloud-native environments,” according to its website.
Strategic Partner Development Manager, Google Shopping Transactions
- Estimated Salary: $115,000-$189,000
Nowhere in this high-paying job posting is there a degree requirement. The strategic partner development manager position will have you working with Google’s retail clients to represent Google Shopping transaction offerings. As long as you have excellent communication skills to articulate contractual, technical, financial and value points both internally and with partners, you’re in good shape. Other minimum qualifications include experience managing business transactions and working with cross-functional teams.
Creative Director, Video, Apple Media Products Design
- Estimated Salary: $151,000-$236,000
This high-paying position for a creative director is just one of many jobs at Apple that you can score without a degree. Apple brought in $84.31 billion in revenue at the end of last year, so if you want to design solutions for high-profile projects, you’ll have more than enough revenue to back up all of your creative ideas. Glassdoor estimates that you could make anywhere between $151,000 to $236,000 for this top-paying creative position — no degree required. As long as you have eight to 15 years of experience at a creative agency or leading brand, you might be able to say hello to a huge paycheck and goodbye to a four-year degree.
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Job postings and salaries were sourced on April 24, 2019, and are subject to change at the companies’ discretion. Salary information was sourced directly from individual job postings or the employment website Glassdoor.
About the Author
Priscilla joined GOBankingRates as a summer intern in 2018 after graduating with her BA in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach. Priscilla has worked as an Opinion editor at The Hornet, reporter at The Daily 49er, Art Director at DIG Magazine and interned with The Giving Spirit as a project manager. Read more.