Advertising
Advertising

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

???????????????????????????????????????????????

    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

          Advertising

          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.

                  Advertising

                  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

                          Advertising

                          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

                                    Advertising

                                    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

                                          More by this author

                                          20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree The Challenges of being an Online Entrepreneur 10 Full-proof Ways to Improve Your Productivity and Balance Website Security And Why It’s Needed For Small Businesses 10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

                                          Trending in Work

                                          1 How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions 2 How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules 3 How to Answer the Interview Question “What Motivates You?” 4 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 5 How to Figure Out What Motivates You at Work

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Published on January 28, 2020

                                          How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

                                          How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

                                          As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

                                          Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

                                          Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

                                          To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

                                          Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

                                          So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

                                          1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

                                          This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

                                          The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

                                          Advertising

                                          The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

                                          2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

                                          Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

                                          When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

                                          The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

                                          3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

                                          Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

                                          Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

                                          4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

                                          Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

                                          Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

                                          Advertising

                                          The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

                                          5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

                                          This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

                                          If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

                                          Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

                                          6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

                                          This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

                                          What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

                                          7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

                                          Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

                                          Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

                                          Advertising

                                          Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

                                          8. Why Should We Hire You?

                                          If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

                                          By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

                                          This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

                                          9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

                                          Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

                                          This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

                                          If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

                                          10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

                                          You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

                                          Advertising

                                          What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

                                          Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

                                          You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

                                          Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

                                          Here’s to being career advancement ready!

                                          More Tips on Job Hunting

                                          Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

                                          Read Next