Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

Tons of people are busting their asses getting a higher education to nab a decently-paid job, only to find themselves doing crap work for crap pay. But why bother with all of that when you can skip college altogether and do some crap work for great pay? Perhaps you have a lucrative future in ...

5
Running A Hot Dog Cart; You'll Make as Much As A Fancy Chef

Juanmonino/iStock/Getty Images

To Earn $100,000 A Year, You Can:

Spend up to four years earning a degree from a culinary school, then spend Remy knows how much longer working your way up, burned and bruised and bleeding, from a lowly cook to an executive chef. And then get another part-time job on the side, because executive chef salaries max out at around $87,000.


If you work really hard, you might even climb high enough for Gordon Ramsay to scream obscenities at you all day.

Or You Can:

Grow a thicket of chest hair and distribute wieners from a questionably hygienic cart. Hot dog vendors across our great nation are earning an average of $100,000 a year. If they mush their dogs vigorously enough, a vendor in a high-traffic location can pull $1,150 in a single weekend. But that's not to say it's money for nothing and the chicks for free. Mohammad Mastafa, proud pig-ass purveyor at one of New York City's most trafficked corners near the Central Park Zoo, pays New York's parks department $289,500 a year just to park his cart there. But don't mourn for him; he still manages to turn a profit.

Jason Stitt/iStock/Getty Images
Apparently, encased meats rank somewhere between Apple stock and gold bars in terms of an investment.

4
Fixing Elevators; You'll Make More Than The Guy Who Designs Them

kadmy/iStock/Getty Images

To Earn $80,000 A Year, You Can:

Spend four years earning a bachelor's degree to become a mechanical engineer. Sure, it sounds like a cool job, but keep in mind that it's only train engineers who get to wear that awesome little hat. You? You're designing elevators and stuff. No hat issued whatsoever.

Andrzej Sza?apata/iStock/Getty Images
"If you want the hat so much, why don't you buy one?"
"IT'S NOT THE SAME!!"

Or You Can:

Screw designing elevators; grab a wrench and start spinning it about until people stop plummeting. Forbes once ranked "elevator mechanic" as the best-paying blue-collar job. The average pay is slightly less than that of mechanical engineers, but the top 10 percent of elevator mechanics nearly break $100,000 a year.

Kritchanut/iStock/Getty Images
"It's an upwardly mobile career. Literally."

And you don't even need any schooling to land the job. What you do need, however, is an inside contact -- the industry is heavily dependent on apprenticeships with people who already know their shit. Guidelines vary by state, but as a general rule, elevator mechanics have a high school diploma and maybe an optional certification -- not a bad level of effort for a group of workers that averages in the mid-$70,000 salary range. We're happy for them. Still, don't take our happiness to indicate that the whole "guidelines vary" thing isn't absolutely going to cause us to take the stairs when we leave the office this evening.

Continue Reading Below

3
Being A Longshoreman; They Earn More Than Some Of The Ship's Officers

IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images

To Earn $70,000 A Year, You Can:

Attend the Merchant Marine Academy, and then spend years climbing the ranks to become a ship's officer. It's hard, thankless work, but you'll save a lot of money on dates, because your sole mistress will be the sea.

donvictorio/iStock/Getty Images
"Single male seeks ocean to stoically gaze across. Gulfs need not apply!"

Or You Can:

Load and unload cargo ships. It requires no academies, and you'll make an average of $70,000 to $120,000 a year. And if you stick with it long enough to bump your way up to foreman? Well, then you can take home a yearly salary of a smooth quarter mill.

To give you an idea of how much of the world's economy depends on the oceanic equivalent of truckers, in early 2015, a labor dispute with West Coast port workers was estimated to cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a day. Two billion dollars. A day. And that's just one coast -- if memory serves, we have two.

donvictorio/iStock/Getty Images
Which is nice if you're married to the sea but still feel like having an affair.

If you want to get started, our best advice is to start hanging around the union hall looking for casual labor until you can bumble your way into a union membership. In practice, it helps to have an "in," such as a relative who's already in the union. Oh, and the mob still has a significant presence in the industry, so be prepared to pick up the slack for some no-show co-workers ... and don't ask any stupid questions. Caprese?

olgna/iStock/Getty Images
What do you mean, our Italian could use some work?

2
Bringing People's Luggage To The Plane; You'll Make More Than The Guy Flying It

Tim Boyle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

To Earn Close To $100,000 A Year, You Can:

Spend a few years in flight school (or alternatively, take a stint in an appropriately flight-centric branch of the military) and then spend a minimum of 1,500 hours flying planes in order to achieve the necessary certification to become a commercial airline pilot. Then immediately drown in your preference of genitals, because pilots are sexy as hell.

Chris Vika/iStock/Getty Images
It's the fact that they can wear mirrored sunglasses without looking like the biggest douches in the universe.

Or You Can:

Be a skycap! It's a decidedly less lubricating title than "pilot," sure, but those guys who check in your luggage curbside at the airport make a good living. They also assist with navigating the labyrinthine terminals, distributing boarding passes, helping people figure out where in the ever-loving hell their shuttle and/or rental car is, fetching wheelchairs ... they'll even help you wrangle your pets, if you're the kind of weirdo who brings a pet to the airport.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"It looks like Rex was rerouted to Phoenix. Do you need a loaner Labrador until we can get him here?"

On average, skycaps are paid similarly to restaurant servers -- two to three dollars hourly. But unlike the waitresses at that crappy airport Applebee's, a skycap can rake in $75,000 to $100,000 a year in tips. It's so lucrative that the CEO of one company that provides skycaps to airlines said, "I know several who don't even bother cashing their salary checks because the tips are so good."

We don't know what they do with them instead. Flick football?

Continue Reading Below

1
Cleaning Golf Hazards; You'll Make As Much As A Physicist

Ellin Kristofik/iStock/Getty Images

To Earn $100,000 A Year, You Can:

Spend a good third of your life getting your PhD (the average person earning the diploma is 33 years old), followed by a few more years slogging through lowly postdoctoral research jobs, to become a physicist. Impressive mustache and unquenchable sexual thirst are optional, but highly encouraged.

Or You Can:

Dive for golf balls. That's not a gross euphemism for going down on a senior citizen; it's a real career.

Angus Murray, via Golf.com
Part of which involves taking head from a gator (also not a euphemism).

That man is a golf ball diver, and he clears $100,000 a year diving into water hazards, rescuing scads of lost golf balls from the muck, and reselling them. Golf is a nearly $70 billion dollar industry in the U.S., and balls make up no small part of that. A box of a dozen new ones can easily cost more than 50 bucks, but the more budget-conscious can instead visit a golf ball diver and pick up a dozen gently drowned ones for less than $20.

Melissa Carroll/iStock/Getty Images
Nothing breaks 'em in like six months of mud, poison, and alpha predators.

With an estimated hundreds of millions of balls lost in the U.S. every single year, business is damn good. Business is not, however, easy. Golf ball divers must deal with hazards such as gators, venomous snakes, pesticides, fisherman, fertilizers, and, perhaps worst of all, a bunch of jackasses making endless shaft and ball jokes.

Hee hee. Shaft. Classic.

For more jokes and musings on daily life, follow Vicki Veritas on Twitter. And be sure to check out her website for more stories, and maybe even a puppy video.

There are a few more ways to make money without a degree. Like becoming a regular sperm donor or anything else in 5 Ways To Get Rich (Without A Single Discernible Skill). Or, if you insist on going, get some sage advice on what to REALLY expect from college in 5 Things Nobody Says About College (Until It's Too Late).

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more ideas for employment in The 4 Most Brilliant Displays Of Sucking At Your Job, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!

Also follow us on Facebook, because it is one more fun way to stick it to your MySpace account.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

569 Comments

Load Comments