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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 July 18, 2019

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

          However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

          Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

          Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

          There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

          Better Job Offers

          Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

          People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

          Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

          You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

          Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

          A Shot at Entrepreneurship

          Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

          We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

          13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

          1. Update Your Resume

          You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

          Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

          While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

          There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

          2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

          Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

          That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

          To hone this skill:

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          Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

          Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

          This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

          How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

          3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

          Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

          Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

          To hone this skill:

          Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

          4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

          No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

          Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

          To hone this skill:

          Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

          Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

          These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

          The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

          Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

          How to hone this skill:

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          Practice being resourceful.

          Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

          Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

          No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

          If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

          6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

          6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

          Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

          The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

          Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

          How to hone this skill:

          Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

          Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

          Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

          What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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          Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

          5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

          8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

          Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

          Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

          Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

          What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

          9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

          How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

          Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

          Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

          The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

          10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

          Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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          Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

          Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

          You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

          How to hone this skill:

          All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

          12. Build Networks and Relationships

          You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

          Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

          How to hone this skill:

          Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

          To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

          How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

          Final Thoughts

          Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

          You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

          Happy career switching!

          More Resources About Career Advancement

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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