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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 January 13, 2020

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

          Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

          Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

          Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

          How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

          The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

          You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

          Physical Signs

          Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

          It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

          In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

          Mental Signs

          One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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          I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

          Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

          • The tension in your neck
          • Difficulties with sleeping
          • Unable to concentrate
          • High anxiety
          • Depression

          If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

          Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

          Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

          The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

          Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

          Desire for an Increase of Salary

          The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

          At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

          Overnight Decision

          Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

          Rejected for a Promotion

          I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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          Bored at Work

          Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

          A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

          • How long have you worked in your career?
          • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
          • Do you receive recognition?
          • Can you consider working in a new department?

          If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

          How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

          I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

          One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

          It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

          A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

          You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

          • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
          • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
          • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

          How to Make a Career Change Successfully

          The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

          1. Write a Career Plan

          A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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          You can learn how to set your career plan here.

          2. Weigh Your Options

          If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

          You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

          3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

          It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

          A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

          • Economic factors
          • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
          • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
          • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
          • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

            A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

            4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

            A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

            • What is required to be successful in the role?
            • What certification or educational development is needed?
            • What are the challenges of the role?
            • Is there potential for career advancement?

            A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

            Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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            5. Research Salary

            Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

            It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

            6. Be Realistic

            If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

            For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

            Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

            7. Volunteer First

            A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

            Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

            Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

            8. Prepare Your Career Tools

            I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

            • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
            • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
            • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
            • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

            Bottom Line

            It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

            Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

            More About Career Change

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

            [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
            [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
            [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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