The High Dollar Career that Doesn't Require a Degree - AeroGuard

The High Dollar Career that Doesn’t Require a Degree

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Feeling lost in life? Unsure of what to do after high school? Maybe you’ve even dropped out of college, thinking academia just isn’t for you. Returning from your time overseas with our military and don’t know what your next steps are? You probably already have a guess about what we are going to tell you. Becoming a pilot is one of the highest paying jobs without a degree requirement!

College is great, but it isn’t for everyone. Add on to the fact that not all degrees lead directly to a career, it can be a daunting task to jump into university, accumulate all that debt not knowing what comes next.

That’s why we took to the skies and became pilots. Depending on how hard you work and how far you take your career, it’s one of the highest paying jobs without a degree and it comes with a great level of respect. When you are able to answer the questions about what you do for a living with ‘I’m a pilot,’ it is as if your hat and epaulets (the ornamental shoulder pieces) appear right in front of them.

But that’s not what you are looking for, respect is nice but making a living, let alone a good one, is the bigger concern. So what kind of high dollars are we talking about? Six figures on average for commercial pilots! And you can get there sooner than you think.

The First Step – Certified Flight Instructor

become a pilot, highest paying jobs without a degree

After going through a flight training program like those offered by AeroGuard the first ‘job’ of a pilot will be as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). You have proven the technical knowledge to be a pilot, now you just need to accrue the experience measured in flight hours. While working as a CFI you will be educating pilot hopefuls while spending your time in the cockpit, working away at those hours. CFI is not the end of a flight career (though it can be a comfortable place to stay for those who retire or fly more as a hobby). But we’re here to really soar and once you have accumulated your time you can move up to the big leagues.

Commercial Pilot Salary

A commercial pilot has an earning potential well into the six figures. There are several factors that can influence this salary from the standard seniority to the size of the aircraft being piloted. The more passengers the airplane can carry, the higher the salary. How do you get there? By putting in the work and hours. With some experience under your belt, you can move up to flying a Boeing 777, one of the largest passenger planes. The highest hourly wage for piloting one of these? $320 an hour! Let’s crunch some numbers.

If you’re able to pilot these on their long journeys across the Pacific, these flights can last up to 15 hours or more. Round trip you’re looking at roughly 30 hours of flight time just like that. Quick math will tell you that’s verging on $10,000. Just for one of those round trips. You can see how fast that adds up!

Private Jet Pilot Salary

Private jet pilots make comparable money to the commercial pilots, as they often work under a private jet company. They are subject to the same Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations as commercial pilots, meaning they can’t fly anymore than 1000 hours in the course of a year amongst others. The big difference that matters for pilots is the way private companies will schedule their pilots. Some appreciate the more standardized schedule and set hours.


Once you’ve made your move into the big leagues, you can make a name for yourself. You are a pilot. You have the skills, the expertise, and the experience to fly aircraft for business or pleasure. Go with a regional or major airline and collect a signing bonus, you can go and fly internationally where the desire is even greater. Becoming a pilot is about more than just a paycheck, it’s about freedom and control over your own destiny.

Ready to take on one of these in-demand, high paying jobs without a degree? Are you ready to become certified to operate these great aircraft? Come to AeroGuard. We’ll get you in the air before you know it, accruing flight time and on the path to your new life as a pilot!

Begin Your Career Today!