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80 Highest Paying Jobs without a Degree (Over $50k)

By: U.S. Career Institute

With student loan debt climbing, many people are beginning to look for careers that don’t require a college degree. But what are the options for good-paying jobs without a degree? Using data pulled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Career Institute compiled a list of 80 jobs that don’t require a degree and have an average annual salary of more than $50,000. While some of the jobs listed may need a bit more education and require a postsecondary nondegree award, many of the jobs only require a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also discover that some of the best high-paying jobs on the list don’t require any formal education credential. The highest-paying job with the least amount of schooling was found to be farm labor contractors, who earn a median wage of $61,910 and require no formal education at all. Learn more about the 80 jobs that pay well without a degree and their projected job growth over the next ten years.

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Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don't Require a Degree

What Is the Highest-Paying Job Without a Degree?

The highest-paying job without a degree is that of a commercial pilot, which was found to have a median annual wage of $121,430. The only education requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent, although all commercial pilots will need training and to earn their commercial pilot’s license before being able to start the job. Below is a list including 19 other careers that pay well and don’t require a college education.

20 Jobs That Earn the Highest Annual Salaries Without a Degree
  1. Commercial Pilots: $121,430
  2. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers: $94,560
  3. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $91,090
  4. Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers: $85,950
  5. Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers: $84,990
  6. First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers: $77,800
  7. Postmasters and Mail Superintendents: $76,900
  8. Transportation Inspectors: $75,820
  9. Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance: $75,730
  10. First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers: $74,760
  11. Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers: $74,180
  12. Signal and Track Switch Repairers: $73,890
  13. Lighting Technicians and Media and Communication Equipment Workers: $73,460
  14. Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers: $71,160
  15. Gas Plant Operators: $70,710
  16. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians: $70,480
  17. Subway and Streetcar Operators: $67,880
  18. First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers: $67,460
  19. Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage: $66,540
  20. First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers: $66,210

Which Jobs Are Projected to Grow the Fastest?

The career that is projected to have the highest job growth between 2019 and 2029 is that of wind turbine technicians, which are estimated to see an incredible 61% increase in the number of jobs that will become available during this time. Wind turbine technicians were found to earn an annual salary of $52,910 and require a postsecondary nondegree award.

15 Jobs Projected to Grow the Fastest Between 2019-29
  1. Wind Turbine Technicians: 61%
  2. Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas: 27%
  3. Flight Attendants: 17%
  4. Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights: 13%
  5. Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance: 11%
  6. Farm Labor Contractors: 10%
  7. Hearing Aid Specialists: 10%
  8. Athletes and Sports Competitors: 10%
  9. Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners: 9%
  10. Underground Mining Machine Operators and Extraction Workers: 9%
  11. Fire Inspectors and Investigators: 8%
  12. Electricians: 8%
  13. Computer Support Specialists: 8%
  14. Private Detectives and Investigators: 8%
  15. Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairs: 7%

As you can tell from this long list of the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a degree, there are plenty of career options for those who are not interested in going to college, and many of these jobs earn a great salary.

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