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
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
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.
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)
Median Wage: $69,000
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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