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20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

It’s becoming increasingly clear to many that in this day and age, having a four-year college degree doesn’t always guarantee you a job. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the rate of unemployed college graduates in the U.S. as of May this year rose to a sizable 8.5 percent, which is a significant increase from 2007’s record of 5.5. The labor market also reported seven million worth of job shortfall around the first half of 2014.

On the other hand, the job deficit doesn’t mean that the chances of getting hired are always slim. In fact, there are plenty of professions that will still allow you to earn big bucks sans a university diploma. And if you’re looking for a career change without a college degree, there are also opportunities. Listed below are twenty high-paying jobs from varying fields that are what high school graduates can train for and which can serve as the first step to a thriving career.

1. Small Business Owner

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    Median Annual Wage: $51,470

    Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 61,600

    Not everyone is cut out to be an employee; more often than not, high school graduates looking to go into business would prefer to be their own boss and manage their own enterprise. In this case, setting up your own business can be your ticket to hitting the goldmine. Wholesaling, for instance, after having recorded a decent median annual wage is considered one of the most booming ventures entrepreneurs can take upon. In addition, the US Census Bureau stated in their 2014 statistics that the wholesale trade made a total of $454.4 billion, making this kind of business opportunity more attractive to entrepreneurs. Learning the ropes of wholesaling is a long-term affair, but you only need to have a high diploma or equivalent education to get started.

    2. Network Specialist

    woman it engineer in network server room

      Median Annual Wage (2012): $59,090

      Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 39,600

      The interest in computers and how they work, topped with good interpersonal skills, are perfect starters for snagging a network specialist job. The work involves dealing with wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN), and the associated analysis, testing, troubleshooting, and network evaluation.

       3. Loan Officer

      loan officer

        Median Annual Wage (2012): $ 59,820

        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 59,380

        Loan officers are known to approve applications for monetary assistance but apart from that, they are also expected to advise people who are seeking financial help, and evaluate their credit status. Loan officers can work at mortgage companies, banks, credit unions, and car dealerships. It does involve a lot of paperwork and logistics management, but these can be accomplished if one has good organizational and interpersonal skills.

        4. Artists and Related Workers

        artists

          Median Annual Wage (2012): $59,840

          Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,700

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          Nearly every company requires a design department, and this is only among the many opportunities artists can delve into. As long as you can draw, paint, or sketch on a solid surface what your creative juices are telling you, you may be able to get a decent job doing what you love.

          5. Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

          aerospace technician

            Median Annual Wage (2012): $61,530

            Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

            Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,100

            Being a technician for aerospace and engineering operations involves the development, testing, and production of new aircraft and spacecraft. Technicians in the industry are also expected to maintain the equipment used in these processes.

            6. Subway and Streetcar Operator

            train operator

              Median Annual Wage (2012): $62,730

              Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

              Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 3,300

              The operators of one of the busiest transport systems in the country are one of the highest paid in the country. Interested applicants require no experience to apply and can learn everything they have to know the job, which is mostly about the operations of the trusty subway cars.

              7. Web Developer

              EOTM Will Rees

                Median Annual Wage (2012): $62, 500

                Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

                Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 50,700

                Anyone who uses the Internet to work knows that it’s important to have a reliable website and a stable connection. As our dependence on this technology increases by the day, it also generates a lot of job opportunities not just for the younger generation but also to those who are willing to learn it. As such, the demand for web developers, whose job entails everything about websites such as designing, creating, and modifying them, is seen to have steady growth.

                8. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

                electric repairer

                  Median Annual Wage (2012): $63,250

                  Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                  Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 49,900

                  Just think that as long as we rely on electricity, we will always need people who can repair electrical power systems. Electrical repairers are also responsible for fixing and managing telecommunication cables.

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                  9. Makeup Artist

                  maker up artist

                    Median Annual Wage (2012): $64,450

                    Education Level Required: Postsecondary non-degree award

                    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 300

                    The people whose job is to make sure theatrical and performance artists look perfect for the role also bring home big slabs of bacon. As long as the makeup artists are skilled in applying makeup so that performers become the character their script requires, they have a shot at the job.

                    10. Gaming Manager

                    gaming manager

                      Median Annual Wage (2012): $65,220

                      Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 1,400

                      The gaming industry may be a regulated one, but it enjoys a steady yet slow growth in terms of revenue, which then translates to bigger incomes for gaming managers. The scope of their job is to undertake the planning, directing, and coordinating operations in a casino or similar establishments.

                      11. Power Plant Operator

                      powerplant operator

                        Median Annual Wage (2012): $66,130

                        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 12,900

                        Just like electrical repairers, there is stability in the demand for power plant operators. These workers’ main responsibility is the management and control of the systems distributing electric power, and they can learn and master this on the job.

                        12. Nuclear Technician

                        nuclear technician

                          Median Annual Wage (2012): $69,069

                          Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

                          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 4,100

                          Not every job in a nuclear plant requires a college diploma—some of them can be snagged with an Associate’s degree such as a nuclear technician post. These people spend their workdays providing assistance to engineers and physicists.

                          13. Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

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                          TOPSHOTS Indian farmers sow a paddy in

                            Median Annual Wage (2012): $69,300

                            Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                            Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 150,200

                            This kind of job may not exactly be the kind that always requires employees to wear a suit and tie, but it is one of the best-paid jobs a high school graduate can get. Working on the farm would mean managing the establishments that produce goods such as livestock, dairy, and crops.

                            14. Dental Hygienist

                            dentalhygienist

                              Median Annual Wage (2012): $70, 210

                              Education Level Required: Associate’s degree

                              Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 113,500

                              The people who are responsible for keeping our teeth clean also get a fat annual paycheck. Apart from teeth-cleaning, dental hygienists also examine patients to check for possible teeth and gum diseases and recommend respective preventive care.

                              15. Commercial Pilot

                              pilots

                                Median Annual Wage (2012): $73,280

                                Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 14,400

                                You read it right—you have a shot at flying with a high school diploma under your belt! However, being a commercial pilot will require on-the-job training where you will learn everything about flying and navigating planes and helicopters, as well as rescue operations and firefighting.

                                16. Elevator Repairer and Installer

                                elevator repair

                                  Median Annual Wage (2012): $76,650

                                  Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                  Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 8,000

                                  The skills required to become an elevator repairer and installer include mounting, fixing, and maintaining lifts such as elevators and escalators, all of which one can learn through the apprenticeship.

                                  17. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

                                  detectivess

                                    Median Annual Wage (2012): $74,300

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                                    Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 27,700

                                    This particular job may not require a college degree but it surely necessitates above average analytical skills. Detectives and criminal investigators are responsible for investigating suspected infringements of the laws provided by the country, state, or local government.

                                    18. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

                                    power plant man

                                      Median Annual Wage (2012): $74,990

                                      Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,300

                                      Besides nuclear technicians, operators of nuclear power reactors can also earn a sizable annual income sans a college degree. These fellows are in charge of moving control rods, adjusting controls, starting and stopping the equipment according to a schedule, and recording respective data.

                                      19. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

                                      distro manager

                                        Median Annual Wage (2012): $81,830

                                        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 29,100

                                        Those who have a knack for administration and management jobs can try their hand at being a transport manager. This job entails keeping on tabs on transport policies implemented by the government, as well as planning, directing, and coordinating transportation policies.

                                        20. Air Traffic Controller

                                        traffic control

                                          Median Annual Wage (2012): $122,530

                                          Education Level Required: Associate’s degree

                                          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 11,400

                                          Apart from having a spectacular view of the skies, air traffic controllers are also paid generously for their services. These people have the power to keep aircrafts safe by making sure that there is a safe distance between them.

                                          The above-listed jobs prove that there are plenty of opportunities not just for college graduates, but also for those who have high school graduates and associate degrees. However, you have to keep in mind that like most jobs, these high-paying occupations will necessitate respective skills training. Talent is also important but this you have to work out through the right professional attitude. If you already have your high school diploma, you can start researching these jobs. On the other hand, the professions that require associate degrees would require enrolling and completing the necessary courses at a community college or associate’s college.

                                          Featured photo credit: small business owner via blog.michiganadvantage.org

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                                          Last Updated on March 29, 2021

                                          5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

                                          5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

                                          When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

                                          What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

                                          The Dream Type Of Manager

                                          My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

                                          I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

                                          My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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                                          “Okay…”

                                          That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

                                          I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

                                          The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

                                          The Bully

                                          My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

                                          However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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                                          The Invisible Boss

                                          This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

                                          It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

                                          The Micro Manager

                                          The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

                                          Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

                                          The Over Promoted Boss

                                          The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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                                          You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

                                          The Credit Stealer

                                          The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

                                          Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

                                          3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

                                          Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

                                          1. Keep evidence

                                          Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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                                          Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

                                          Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

                                          2. Hold regular meetings

                                          Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

                                          3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

                                          Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

                                          However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

                                          Good luck!

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