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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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          Published on September 16, 2020

          12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

          12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

          Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

          Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

          Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

          Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

          Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

          Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

          1. Organization

          When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

          When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

          Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

          To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

          To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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          2. Flexibility

          You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

          Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

          For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

          To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

          To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

          3. Collaboration

          As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

          Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

          To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

          To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

          4. Poise

          Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

          When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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          What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

          To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

          To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

          5. Communication

          Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

          When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

          To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

          To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

          6. Good Computer Hygiene

          Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

          Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

          To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

          To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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          7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

          Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

          Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

          To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

          To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

          8. Respecting Feedback

          In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

          Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

          To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

          To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

          9. Project Management

          Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

          To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

          To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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          10. Staying up to Speed

          Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

          To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

          To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

          11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

          “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

          To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

          To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

          12. Teamwork

          Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

          Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

          To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

          To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

          Final Thoughts

          Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

          More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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