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 Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step) 2 10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity 3 How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch 4 How to Make Going Back to School at 30 Possible (And Meaningful) 5 7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on July 23, 2019

                                          Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                          Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                          Nobody enjoys failing. Fear of failure can be so strong that avoiding failure eclipses the motivation to succeed. Insecurity about doing things incorrectly causes many people to unconsciously sabotage their chances for success.

                                          Fear is part of human nature. As an entrepreneur, I faced this same fear. At times, I forgot that who I was wasn’t what I did. My ego and identity became intertwined with my work, and when things didn’t go as planned, I completely shut down. I overcame this unhealthy relationship with fear, and I believe that you can too.

                                          Together we’ll examine how you can use failure to your advantage instead of letting it run your life. We’ll look at what a fear of failure is, where it comes from, and how to overcome it so that you can enjoy success in your work and life.

                                          What Is Fear of Failure

                                          Fear causes you to avoid potentially harmful situations. Fear of failure keeps you from trying, creates self-doubt, stalls progress, and may lead you to go against your morals.

                                          What causes fear of failure? Here are the main reasons why fear of failure exists:

                                          • Patterns from childhood – Hyper-critical adults cause children to internalize damaging mindsets.[1] They establish ultimatums and fear-based rules.This causes children to feel the constant need to ask for permission and reassurance. They carry this need for validation into adulthood.
                                          • Perfectionism – Perfectionism is often at the root of fear of failure.[2] For perfectionists, failure is so terrible and humiliating that they don’t try. Stepping outside your comfort zone becomes terrifying.
                                          • Over-personalization – The ego may lead us to over-identify with failures. It’s hard to look beyond failure at things like the quality of the effort, extenuating circumstances, or growth opportunities.[3]
                                          • False self-confidence – People with true confidence know they won’t always succeed. A person with fragile self-confidence avoids risks. They’d rather play it safe than try something new.[4]

                                          How the Fear of Failure Destroys Success

                                          Unhealthy Organization Culture

                                          Too many organizations today have cultures of perfection: a set of organizational beliefs that any failure is unacceptable. Only pure, untainted success will do.

                                          Imagine the stress and terror in an organization like that. The constant covering up of the smallest blemishes. The wild finger-pointing as everyone tries to shift the blame for the inevitable cock-ups and messes onto someone else. The rapid turnover as people rise high, then fall abruptly from grace. The lying, cheating, falsification of data, and hiding of problems—until they become crises that defy being hidden any longer.

                                          Miss out Valuable Opportunities

                                          If some people fail to reach a complete answer because of the lure of some early success, many more fail because of their ego-driven commitment to what worked in the past. You often see this with senior people, especially those who made their names by introducing some critical change years ago. They shy away from further innovation, afraid that this time they might fail, diminishing the luster they try to keep around their names from past triumph.

                                          Besides, they reason, the success of something new might even prove that those achievements they made in the past weren’t so great after all. Why take the risk when you can hang on to your reputation by doing nothing?

                                          Such people are so deeply invested in their egos and the glories of their past that they prefer to set aside opportunities for future glory rather than risk even the possibility of failure.

                                          High Achievers Become Losers

                                          Every talent contains an opposite that sometimes makes it into a handicap. Successful people like to win and achieve high standards. This can make them so terrified of failure it ruins their lives. When a positive trait, like achievement, becomes too strong in someone’s life, it’s on the way to becoming a major handicap.

                                          Advertising

                                          Achievement is a powerful value for many successful people. They’ve built their lives on it. They achieve at everything they do: school, college, sports, the arts, hobbies, work. Each fresh achievement adds to the power of the value in their lives.

                                          Gradually, failure becomes unthinkable. Maybe they’ve never failed yet in anything that they’ve done, so have no experience of rising above it. Failure becomes the supreme nightmare: a frightful horror they must avoid at any cost.

                                          The simplest way to do this is never to take a risk, stick rigidly to what you know you can do, protect your butt, work the longest hours, double and triple check everything and be the most conscientious and conservative person in the universe.

                                          If constant hard work, diligence, brutal working schedules and harrying subordinates won’t ward off the possibility of failing, use every other possible means to to keep it away. Falsify numbers, hide anything negative, conceal errors, avoid customer feedback, constantly shift the blame for errors onto anyone too weak to fight back.

                                          The problems with ethical standards in major US corporations has, I believe, more to do with fear of failure among long-term high achievers than any criminal intent. Many of those guys at Enron and Arthur Andersen were supreme high-fliers, basking in the flattery of the media. Failure was an impossible prospect, worth doing just about anything to avoid.

                                          Loss of Creativity

                                          Over-achievers destroy their own peace of mind and the lives of those who work for them. People too attached to “goodness” and morality become self-righteous bigots. Those whose values for building close relationships become unbalanced slide into smothering their friends and family with constant expressions of affection and demands for love in return.

                                          Everyone likes to succeed. The problem comes when fear of failure is dominant. When you can no longer accept the inevitability of making mistakes, nor recognize the importance of trial and error in finding the best and most creative solution.

                                          The more creative you are, the more errors you are going to make. Get used to it. Deciding to avoid the errors will destroy your creativity too.

                                          Balance counts more than you think. Some tartness must season the sweetest dish. A little selfishness is valuable even in the most caring person. And a little failure is essential to preserve everyone’s perspective on success.

                                          We hear a lot about being positive. Maybe we also need to recognize that the negative parts of our lives and experience have just as important a role to play in finding success, in work and in life.

                                          How to Conquer the Fear of Failure (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                          1. Figure out Where the Fear Comes From

                                          Ask yourself what the root cause of your negative belief could be.[5] When you look at the four main causes for a fear of failure, which ones resonate with you?

                                          Advertising

                                          Write down where you think the fear comes from and try to understand it as an outsider.

                                          If it helps, imagine you’re trying to help one of your best friends. Perhaps your fear stems from something that happened in your childhood, or a deep-seated insecurity.

                                          Naming the source of the fear takes away some of its power.

                                          2. Re-Frame Beliefs About Your Goal

                                          Having an all or nothing mentality leaves you with nothing sometimes. Have a clear vision for what you’d like to accomplish but include learning something new in your goal.

                                          If you always aim for improvement and learning, you are much less likely to fail.[6]

                                          At Pixar, people are actually encouraged to “fail early and fail fast.”[7] They encourage experimentation and innovation so that they can stay on the cutting edge. That mindset involves failure, but as long as they achieve their vision of telling great stories, all the stumbling blocks are just opportunities to grow.

                                          3. Learn to Think Positively

                                          In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue affects how you react and behave.

                                          Our society is obsessed with success, but it’s important to recognize that even the most successful people encounter failure.

                                          Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they thought he lacked creativity. He went on to found an animation studio that failed. He never gave up, and now Disney is a household name.

                                          Steve Jobs was also once fired from Apple before returning as the face of the company for many years. [8]

                                          If Disney and Jobs believed the negative feedback, they wouldn’t have made it.

                                          Advertising

                                          It’s up to you to notice your negative self talk and identify triggers. Replace negative thoughts with positive facts about yourself and the situation. You’ll be able to create a new mental scripts that you can reach for when you feel negativity creeping in. The voice inside your head has a great effect on what you do.

                                          4. Visualize all Potential Outcomes

                                          Uncertainty about what will happen next is terrifying. Take time to visualize the possible outcomes of your decision. Think about the best and worst-case scenarios. You’ll feel better if you’ve already had a chance to mentally prepare for what could happen.

                                          Fear of the unknown might keep you from taking a new job. Weigh the pros and cons, and imagine potential successes and failures in making such a life-altering decision. Knowing how things could turn out might help you get unstuck.

                                          5. Look at the Worst-Case Scenario

                                          There are times when the worst case could be absolutely devastating. In many cases, if something bad happens, it won’t be the end of the world.

                                          It’s important to define how bad the worst case scenario is in the grand scheme of your life. Sometimes, we give situations more power than they deserve. In most cases, a failure is not permanent.[9]

                                          For example, when you start a new business, there’s bound to be a learning curve. You’ll make decisions that don’t pan out, but often that discomfort is temporary. You can change your strategy and rebound. Even in the worst case scenario, if the perceived failure led to the end of that business, it might be the launching point for something new.

                                          6. Have a Backup Plan

                                          It never hurts to have a backup plan. The last thing you want to do is scramble for a solution when the worst has happened. The old adage is solid wisdom:

                                          “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

                                          Having a backup plan gives you more confidence to move forward and take calculated risks.

                                          Perhaps you’ve applied for a grant to fund an initiative at work. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t get the grant, are there other ways you could get the funds?

                                          There are usually multiple ways to tackle a problem, so having a backup is a great way to reduce anxiety about possible failure.

                                          Advertising

                                          7. Learn from Whatever Happens

                                          Things may not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ve failed. Learn from whatever arises.[10] Even a less than ideal situation can be a great opportunity to make changes and grow.

                                          “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

                                          Ask yourself:

                                          • What did I learn?
                                          • How can I grow from this?
                                          • Did anything positive come from this situation?

                                          Dig deep enough, and you’re bound to find the silver lining. When you’ve learned that “failure” is an opportunity for growth instead of a death sentence, you conquer the fear of failure.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Together we’ve learned what fear of failure is, and how it can have a crippling effect on our ability to achieve. This fear often stems from childhood, perfectionism, ego and over-personalization, and a lack of confidence.

                                          Luckily for us, there are plenty of ways to tackle this fear. We can start by figuring out where it comes from and re-framing the way we feel about failure. When failure is a chance for growth, and you’ve looked at all possible outcomes, it’s easier to overcome fear.

                                          Stay positive, have a backup plan, and learn from whatever happens. Your failures will be sources of education and inspiration rather than humiliation.

                                          “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

                                          Failures can be blessings in disguise.

                                          Go boldly in the direction of your dreams and goals. Don’t allow fear to stand in your way.

                                          More About Conquering Fear

                                          Featured photo credit: Vecteezy via vecteezy.com

                                          Reference

                                          Read Next