What is the Highest Paying Job in Iowa Without a College Degree?

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ryan rock what is the highest paying job in iowa without a college degree

To determine the highest paying job that doesn’t require a college degree, Stacker consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. All professions that listed a high school diploma, some college education (without a degree conferred), postsecondary non-degree award, or no formal education requirements for entry-level positions were considered.


Surgeons are doctors who primarily perform surgeries, fixing, replacing, or removing internal and external body parts. They operate on various ailments, from broken bones to cancerous tumors.

A surgeon must have expert knowledge of patients’ diagnoses and preoperative, operative, and postoperative care. They must also communicate effectively with diverse people and earn their trust.

Becoming a surgeon typically involves earning bachelor’s and medical degrees and completing a surgical residency. Residencies vary in length, but many surgeons choose one to five years.


Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in treating diseases and conditions that affect your skin, hair, and nails. They also perform cosmetic procedures to improve the look of your skin.

These physicians deeply understand the human body, including its organs, muscles, and tissues. They have expertise in diagnosing and treating various conditions, from rashes and wrinkles to cancer and autoimmune disorders.


Actuaries use their education in the mathematical sciences to analyze financial risk and make decisions about insurance products. They also help manage the financial performance of insurance companies, pension funds, and other businesses.

A career in actuarial science offers high pay and a competitive job market. To become an actuary, you must earn a Bachelor’s degree and pass a series of actuarial exams.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are highly paid nurses who complete a graduate degree and clinical training beyond their registered nurse training. They treat patients with advanced and complex medical conditions.

As the country continues to face a shortage of medical doctors, nurse practitioner jobs are expected to grow. This means more opportunities for advanced practice nurses to help fill the gap and deliver high-quality, accessible healthcare.

Business Consulting Managers

Business consulting managers provide companies with a wide range of services, such as auditing accounting practices, creating budgets, and ensuring compliance with legal regulations. They also offer advice on growth and expansion.

Management consultants often work independently at a client site, so they must be self-motivated and disciplined to complete tasks on time without supervision.

Most management consultants have a bachelor’s degree, and some may have a postgraduate qualification, such as a master’s in business administration (MBA). They are also expected to have strong team skills and experience in a leadership position.

Product Marketing Director

Product marketing directors are responsible for defining and promoting a brand’s products. This requires a strong understanding of the consumer and a keen ability to market to specific demographics.

This job is a strategic partner to senior leadership, combining market insights and consumer data to create a go-to-market strategy for product launches. As a result, these professionals are highly paid for their expertise.


Orthodontists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental and facial irregularities such as malocclusion (bad bite). Their treatment options range from straightening crooked teeth to fixing painful jaws.

An orthodontist has a degree in dentistry and then spends two or three years in an orthodontic residency program to get the particular certification. They then practice orthodontics full-time.

Crooked teeth can cause severe problems, including tooth decay and periodontal disease. They can also make it difficult to chew correctly, leading to headaches and shoulder pain.


Podiatrists are foot specialists who treat a wide range of medical conditions and injuries related to the feet. They work in hospitals, clinics, and private practice.

They are qualified healthcare professionals with medical education and training comparable to a medical doctor. They undergo four years of podiatric medical school and several years of hospital residency before they can practice.