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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

Going to college can be tough. It costs a lot of money, requires a lot of time, and thanks to the way things are now, simply isn’t geared toward the average person anymore. Don’t fret! There are still a bunch of ways to make decent money without a college degree and here are some high-paying jobs to prove it.

1. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Median Wage: $81,000

Description: As the description implies, you will be managing transportation, storage, and distribution. It requires at least 5 years working in the field so you’ll need to get an entry level job first. According to the job forecast, there will be nearly 30,000 job openings in this field in the next eight years.

2. Police and Detective supervisors

Median Wage: $78,000

Description: Once again, as the name implies, you’ll be the supervisor of a bunch of police officers and detectives. You’ll be doing things like assigning cases and patrol routes and managing personnel. It doesn’t require a lot of experience and there could be as many as 37,000 job openings in the next 10 years.

3. Elevator Repair and Installation

High-Paying Jobs

    Median Wage: 

    $76,500

    Description: Yep, you’ll be installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, escalators, and other mechanical lifts. It’s construction work which is great if you like to work with your hands. It’s not as prevalent as some of these other jobs because the job forecast believes that there will only be about 8,000 of these jobs available in the next 10 years.

    4. Nuclear Power Reactor operators

    Median Wage: $75,000

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    Description: This sounds like something you absolutely should have a college degree to do but fortunately they don’t trust the operators with any of the engineering stuff. Operators do things like move control rods, record data, monitor systems, and make small adjustments to the controls. Plus, you’ll have Homer Simpson’s job and that’s awesome.

    5. Detective

    Median Wage: $74,000

    Description: Earlier we talked about being a supervisor for detectives and cops but another good option is being an actual detective! You’ll investigate crimes, put bad guys behind bars, and make a pretty decent living in the process. There should be around 28,000 of these jobs available in the next 10 years according to the job forecast.

    6. Commercial pilots

    Median Wage: $73,000

    Description: You already know what a pilot does. These are the guys who fly the airplanes that most people ride. It doesn’t require college but that’s because pilots are trained in a different fashion and learn everything they need to know before flying. There are only 14,400 jobs projected for the next 10 years but you’ll have Quagmire’s job and that’s pretty awesome!

     7. Power distributors and dispatchers

    Median Wage: $72,000

    Description: These people coordinate, distribute and dispatch power to other people and businesses. It sounds easy but there is a lot of on-the-job training which can drag on for a long time. There aren’t a lot of jobs in this field available in the next 10 years but if you can get into it, it pays well.

    8. Agriculture (farmer, rancher, agricultural manager)

    High-Paying Jobs

      Median Wage: 

      $69,000

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      Description: Good old fashioned farming! You can grow crops, maintain a farm, raise animals for milk or food, and do all of those other farm-like things and get paid a decent amount for it. It’s a lot of work and it’s pretty much all manual labor but it’s rewarding, you get a lot of sunshine and fresh air, and the food you produce is feeding something.

      9. Media and communication equipment workers

      Median Wage: $69,000

      Description: These are the people who do things like operate cameras at TV stations, work the soundboard at concert halls, and operate other media and communication things in various industries. There aren’t a lot of these jobs but it doesn’t require college. You’ll be taught how to use, monitor, and adjust the equipment and then you’ll do that very thing. Very easy and very fun if you like music or television.

      10. Power Plant operators

      Median Wage: $66,000

      Description: This job is similar to the nuclear one above except instead of nuclear power these plants produce electricity using water, coal, etc. The job is otherwise pretty much the same. You operate the plant that produces electricity for people and businesses.

      11. Gaming managers

      High-Paying Jobs

        Median Wage: 

        $65,000

        Description: These are otherwise known as casino managers. They’re the pit bosses that make sure the tables are working as they should be and coordinate with security to deal with raucous guests. They make pretty decent money and get to spend all their time at a casino. Unfortunately, there are only about 1,400 of these jobs projected to be opening in the next 10 years.

        12. Business operations specialist

        Median Wage: $65,000

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        Description: These people work inside of large businesses to coordinate things like human resources, training, hiring, and other things of that nature. They don’t participate in the day to day operations of the business on the front but they pretty much handle things on the back end.

        13. Transportation inspectors

        Median Wage: $64,000

        Description: These people essentially inspect things that deal with transportation. These are people who inspect things like subway cars, buses, ships, and anything else that transports cargo or people. They actually don’t maintain anything themselves (that’s another job) so you pretty much just look at things all day long and make sure they aren’t messed up.

        14. Electric power line installers and repairers

        Median Wage: $63,000

        Description: You know when the power goes out, you call in and they send out people to go fix the problem? That’s essentially what this job is. You install power lines and repair them if they go down or other problems arise. This can also include stuff like fiber optic lines for businesses and building power lines to new houses and businesses.

        15. Postmasters

        Median Wage: $63,000

        Description: These actually aren’t the people who deliver mail. These are the guys who are in charge of all the people at the post office. They’re administrative leaders who make sure the mail gets delivered in a timely manner. They get paid pretty well even if it’s a high stress job.

        16. Subway and streetcar operators

        Median Wage: $62,500

        Description: As the name suggests, you’ll be driving subways and streetcars to get people from point A to point B. It pays pretty well but there are only about an estimated 3,000 jobs opening up in this field in the next 10 years.

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        17. Refinery operators

        Median Wage: $62,000

        Description: These people essentially work at petroleum refineries and do things like work the pumps, monitor gauges, and operate the pump system. It’s a big harder because there’s a lot of on-the-job training but there are around 15,000 of these jobs projected to open up in the next ten years. If you live in a city with an oil refinery, be on the hunt for applications because it pays really well.

        18. Gas plant operators

        High-Paying Jobs

          Median Wage: 

          $61,000

          Description: In this job, people work at gas plants and essentially just make sure the place runs right. They check equipment, monitor control systems, and just keep the place on lock down so nothing goes wrong. It pays well and they train you on the job so there’s no need for outside education.

          19. Supervisor of mechanics, installers, and repairers

          Median Wage: $60,000

          Description: You’re essentially in charge of the mechanics, installers, and repairers. You coordinate them, send them places, make sure they’re doing their jobs right. This isn’t industry specific so you could be the supervisor of a car mechanic or a power line installer or an elevator repairer. The best news? There are over 150,000 positions for this job that are expected to open up over the next 10 years.

          20. Claim adjusters

          Median Wage: $60,000

          Description: Claim adjusters look at insurance claims to see if everything is legitimate. They investigate and evaluate claims to make sure everything is as it seems to be. There’s a lot of training on-the-job and it can be a real pain but it pays real money and there are over 80,000 projected job openings in this field in the next 10 years.

          It just goes to show you that you can, in fact, earn a good living without a college education. It’s true that college educated people will continue to average more per year but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good living without one. $60,000 per year is about $20,000 higher than the US average and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in making that much

          Featured photo credit: I Waste So Much Time via cdn.iwastesomuchtime.com

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          Joseph Hindy

          A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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