Six-figure jobs you don’t need a university degree for in Australia

As Aussie families feel the pinch from skyrocketing cost of living pressures, attention is turning to lucrative roles that don’t require a degree.

It’s no secret times are tough for many of us, with interest rate hikes and soaring inflation forcing many households to tighten their belts.

But it turns out there are plenty of high-paying roles out there – and the best news is there are a long list of positions that don’t even require a degree.

Traffic controller

One of the highest-profile positions in the round up is traffic controller, with several so-called “lollipop ladies” going viral recently after revealing their staggering salaries on social media.

Last month, 19-year-old Sydney traffic controller Tahera Raedd – whose role involves directing cars through road closures affected by construction work – took to TikTok to share her earnings for a single week.

For a 12-hour shift on Monday, Raedd claimed to have earnt $520 followed by $495 for a 10-hour shift on Tuesday, while a lengthy 13-hour stint the following day earned $600.

A four hour shift on the Thursday netted her $300 while a 20-minute job on Friday made $100.

In total, she scored $2015 for her almost 40-hour working week.

Air traffic controller

Responsible for managing aircraft in, out and between airports across the nation, air traffic controllers also make a killing – with no experience necessary.

Earlier this year, Airservices Australia advertised for 36 positions, with the Australian Taxation Office data revealing controllers earn an average of $141,795 a year.

While no previous experience or degree was needed to apply, applicants did need to pass rigorous ability tests, and those who were successful would later have more training provided.

Construction manager

Data from jobs site Indeed shows the average salary of a construction manager in Australia is $154,536 per year.

While construction managers usually have extensive experience in the industry and hold a qualification such as the Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management) (CPC60212), most begin in entry-level roles in the sector, with no degree necessary.


Many kids dream of becoming a pilot one day, but while the job requires a high level of skill, a degree is not necessary.

According to, “serious training” is needed, with all pilots required to obtain a licence through the Civil Safety Authority.

The job comes with an earning potential of $257,000, although the median is $106,000, and can include flying planes or helicopters for transport or on commercial airlines.

Train driver

According to career and salary comparison site Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a train driver is $110,359 per year in Australia, with an average salary of $101,000 per year.

However, salaries can actually be far higher depending on location, with the Queensland state government in 2018 revealing the state’s top-paid drivers were raking in almost $200,000 per year.

No university degree is required for the role, although drivers must complete a Certificate IV in Train Driving (TLI42621), which may be completed as part of a traineeship with the major rail operator in your state.

Mining roles

It’s no secret that the mining industry pays the big bucks, but many Australians might not realise just how lucrative entry-level roles can be.

Mining industry resource Underground Training claims that entry-level roles – such as truck operators, “nippers”, service crew and diamond drill offsiders – can earn up to $480 per day, which could equal $110,000 a year, depending on individual rosters.

“Due to the boom in metal prices, all employers have had no choice but to hire new starters,” Underground Training explains.

Meanwhile, second tier roles, such as service crew leaders, bogger operators, diamond drillers and long hole operators can command up to $1000 a day or even more, depending on the company, which could net up to $200,000 annually.

And third-tier roles, including jumbo operators, shift supervisors and foremen, can pocket up to $300,000+ per year.

Originally published as The Australian six-figure roles you don’t need a university degree for revealed

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