Skip to comments.The Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get With Just A High School Degree
Posted on 08/11/2011 8:51:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Going to college used to be a nearly sure way of getting a steady job. But as many recent graduates will attest, this is no longer the case. However, there are hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs that dont require a degree. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the ten highest-paying jobs that only require a high school education.
In order to identify the kinds of positions high school graduates without college degrees may want to consider, 24/7 Wall St. examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupation Employment Statistics database. The government report, which provides the salaries and number of workers in every major job category in the United States, also provides information on salary and those job positions that do not necessarily require a bachelors degree. The results where then sorted by wage, in order to identify the ten jobs that have the highest median annual salary. Along with salary, we also show how much these jobs are expected to grow over the next 10-15 years, and which states have the highest concentration of these positions.
Our analysis indicates college education is not the only route to a high-paying job. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on higher education, high school graduates can look to these high-paying sectors that are going to be adding thousands of new jobs over the next few years.
These are the ten highest-paying jobs that you can get with a high school degree.
10. Captains, Mates, Pilot of Water Vessel
> Median annual income: $64,180
> High-end annual income: $117,310
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 29,280
> No. of jobs by 2018: 38,800
> Increase by 2018: +37%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska
Life on a commercial ship can involve long hours of isolation or dangerous conditions, which means the pay is significantly better than most blue-collar jobs. In order to be a sailor on a merchant vessel, one can either enroll in a marine academy, or sign on as a deckhand. The latter option has no prerequisites and only requires a few days of basic training. Deckhands make a median annual wage of just under $35,000. After a sailor has gained a few years of experience, crewmen are in line for promotion to deck officers or assistant engineer, then finally to engineer, mate or captain. According to the BLS, excellent job opportunities are expected as demand for people working in the shipping industry, particularly officers, is expected to be greater than the number of people wishing to enter these occupations.
9. Gaming Manager
> Median annual income: $66,960
> High-end annual income: $116,070
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 6,200
> No. of jobs by 2018: 6,900
> Increase by 2018: +12%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Nevada, Mississippi, Oklahoma
While a high school degree is often the only formal education you need to become a gaming manager at a casino, its not exactly an easy job to get, compared to some of the other occupations on the list. First, because of the scarcity of casinos, there are only 6,900 jobs in the entire country. In addition, becoming a manager at a gaming venue usually involves working ones way up from the very bottom as a dealer, which is, according to the BLS, one of the worst-paying jobs in the country. Eventually, however, experience and seniority can result in promotion, and a dealer can move from having one of the lowest-paying jobs in the U.S. to making over $110,000 a year.
8. Detectives and Criminal Investigators
> Median annual income: $68,820
> High-end annual income: $119,320
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 110,640
> No. of jobs by 2018: 130,900
> Increase by 2018: +18%
> Highest concentration of jobs: New Mexico, Arizona, Texas
A high school diploma is usually all one needs to become a detective for a city, state or the federal government. Detectives, as well as police officers, are subjected to rigorous personal and physical qualifications. Very rarely do these qualifications extend to a bachelors degree. Applicants can be selected as detectives as soon as they join the force, or they can earn the position after a time as an officer. Detectives have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injury and illness. Because of the stressful and dangerous nature of the job, the annual median wage of a detective or criminal investigator is nearly $70,000 each year. As long as the population continues to grow, there will always be new positions for public defenders. The number of detectives in the country is expected to grow by 20,000 by 2018.
7. Elevator Installers
> Median annual income: $70,910
> High-end annual income: $101,390
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 20,430
> No. of jobs by 2018: 27,100
> Increase by 2018: +32%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Maryland, Hawaii, New York
According to the BLS, despite their title, most installers work not only on elevators, but also on escalators, chairlifts, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and similar equipment. Working as installers can be difficult, as they can often spend hours in a cramped space or hanging in a service shaft. Consequently, the rate of work-related injury for the occupation is substantially higher than the national average. In order to be hired, a potential technician needs to enroll in an apprenticeship program, which includes training on the job, as well as instruction in a classroom. Because of the work conditions and the level of testing and certification required, installers make a median annual income of more than $70,000, with the upper 10% making more than $100,000
6. Web Developers
> Median annual income: $75,650
> High-end annual income: $119,940
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 961,000
> No. of jobs by 2018: 1,247,800
> Increase by 2018: +30%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Virginia, District of Colombia, Maryland
While most web developers are now required to have a bachelors or associate degree, certification can be enough to get a job at a major company. Start-ups have been known to hire support specialists, and with substantial experience, developers can be hired right out of high school. With experience as a support specialist and additional certification, these workers can advance to administrative positions. This can involve managing a network, designing and building a company website, and maintaining the companys web security. According to the BLS, More of these workers will be needed to accommodate the increasing amount of data sent over the Internet, as well as the growing number of Internet users. In addition, as the number of services provided over the Internet expands, Web administrators and developers will continue to see employment increases. The number of web developer positions is expected to rise by as much as 30% by 2018.
5. Nuclear Power Plant Operator
> Median annual income: $75,650
> High-end annual income: $119,940
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 5,080
> No. of jobs by 2018: 6,000
> Increase by 2018: +17%
> States with the highest concentration of jobs: New York, Florida, Massachusetts
Because of the technical nature of maintaining and monitoring a nuclear power plant, college graduates do have an advantage in making a senior position. However, this is not mandatory, and high school graduates can be accepted into a position. Most of the training occurs on-the-job and in classrooms provided by the plant. In order to keep their positions, operators must pass random drug and alcohol screenings, a medical examination, maintain a license, and take regular refresher courses. According to the BLS, Overall employment of power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers is projected to experience little or no change, but job opportunities are expected to be excellent because of the large number of retiring workers who must be replaced, an increased demand for energy, and recent legislation that paves the way for a number of new plants.
4. Police Chief
> Median annual income: $78,260
> High-end annual income: $123,630
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 102,200
> No. of jobs by 2018: 105,200
> Increase by 2018: +2.9%
> Highest concentration of jobs: New York, Rhode Island, Arizona
According to the BLS, Most police and detectives learn much of what they need to know on the job, often in their agencys training academy. This experience is the training required to eventually make the upper brass at a department. After six months to three years, depending on the location and size of the department, police officers are subject to promotion. They can then, based on performance and a written exam, move up to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, or even chief of the department. Chiefs and other upper brass make a median wage of $78,260 per year, with the top 10% earning a median of $123,630.
3. Construction Managers
> Median annual income: $83,860
> High-end annual income: $150,250
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 551,100
> No. of jobs by 2018: 645,800
> Increase by 2018: +17%
> States with the highest concentration of jobs: Alaska, Texas, Maryland
Construction managers oversee a team of workers on a project and are responsible for scheduling, coordination and hiring of contractors. While some companies are starting to require bachelors degrees, this is by no means mandatory. Any construction worker with significant experience and skill has the potential to make manager after gaining some additional classroom experience. Managers earn a median annual income of more than $80,000, with those overseeing high profile projects earning over $150,000.
2. Software Developers
> Median annual income: $87,970
> High-end annual income: $133,110
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 499,280
> No. of jobs by 2018: 514,800
> Increase by 2018: +17%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Washington, Colorado, Virginia
These days, most major employers are looking for software developers with at least a bachelors degree and an array of computer skills. However, some companies with a large number of developers will also hire people with a certificate and a great deal of experience. Software developers, or applications developers build computer programs for businesses and consumers, and need to have thorough knowledge of computer programming. This knowledge can be gained through night classes or an online course. Software developers generally make more than any other programmer. The median annual income is $87,970, with the upper range making more than $130,000. Like web developers, and most of programming jobs, the number of software developers is expected to increase substantially over the next ten years.
1. Commercial Airline Pilot
> Median annual income: $103,210
> High-end annual income: $139,330
> No. of jobs in U.S.: 68,580
> No. of jobs by 2018: 83,300
> Increase in jobs by 2018: +21%
> Highest concentration of jobs: Alaska, Kentucky, Arizona
Former Air Force and Navy pilots have traditionally had the fast track to a commercial license because of the flight time and experience theyd gained. That holds true today, and most major airlines also require some college education from their pilots. However, there are plenty of smaller companies that will take any individual with enough logged flight time and aircraft knowledge. Because of the long hours logged, the constant vigilance required, and the substantial time away from home, pilots make a median income of more than $100,000. The number of pilots is expected to increase by more than 20% in the next 17 years, well more than the national average.
Sorry that someone researched this..Congress will now extend H1 visas for those jobs..we cant have Americans making that much
My step dad only had a high school degree and was successful, a few years after retirement he became a County Judge as well.
I know quite a few CAD designers working in the energy/petrochem industry that make over $100k in a bad year and over $250k in a very good year, lots of overtime. Many of these are without a college degree but all have levels of technical training post High School.
Most of the nuclear power plant operators that do not have college degrees are from the navy nuclear program.
I have worked with one former enlisted who had served on the boats. No college degree. Still held his own around other engineers, and now moving toward plant manager.
Some people knock military tech training as “knowing just the narrow technical area”, but then I’m in Minnesota (for a week and a half remaining, then I’m outa here). The crew on the boats have their technical specialties, but are cross trained on every thing else, with the exception of operating the radio (thank John Walker for that).
Security managers in retail can make a lot of money. At the higher end it can be over $100k a year.
BILL GATES - No. 1 dropout!!
Your typical welder,pipefitter,instrument tech,electrician,heavy equipment operator,boiler maker,machinest,milright and many other construction or maintenance hands routinely make $60 K without overtime.A welder that owns his own rig will make over a 100K.Plumbers around 80K. Yet how many students in HS are informed of this? There is nothing wrong in telling the average student that maybe college isn’t for them.
I laugh at that. I will not go into how little you make while climbing the ladder to that 6 figure airline job.
High school only? To get an Airplane Transport Pilot License you do not need a degree. But, most Airlines will not hire you if you do not have a four year degree.
Plumbers can do pretty well.
Bill Gates had a rich father bankrolling him.
Hooker, pimp, drug dealer, President.
President of the United States of America - $400,000 per year.
No degree, diploma or birth certificate required!
Hooker, pimp, drug dealer, President.
But you repeat yourself...
I joined the Navy at 17. I spent 4 years in, got out and went back to work at the Kroger’s. I worked there 3 years, and started working in the computer field. I’m a network geek now, and pre-crash (2003), I make over $125,000, including bonuses. Without bonuses, I was bringing home $90,000. Post-crash, I’m at a much better job (technology advances, but the environment is A1), and I’m not making that much now, but I really love my work. At no point have I gone to college.
America was built over 200 years ago by people who were smarter than we are today. Have you ever read some of the schoolbooks from the early 1800’s? I don’t know what some of the words those ‘poor, ignorant farmers’ used back then, and it’s not just spelling, it’s the meaning, the context.
Whatever happened to being an apprentice electrician? Or plumber, etc.? Now, it’s all “go to school, get your EE” You know what? That doesn’t mean you can be an electrician. Experience is the key to many jobs.
2, Businessman Arthur Fortune
So what? He educated himself and the world is a very much better and richer place because he had the stones to do what he did.
My dad wasn’t rich but I ended up doing very well also.
Steve Jobs. Dropped out of college after 6 months due to financial strain on his parent's savings.
This is the career choice of too many. Or becoming famous, somehow.
I call bs on the detective one. I can’t think of a Federal agency that doesn’t require a degree to be an investigator. EI- FBI wants a bachelors and preferably a law or accounting degree
“10. Captains, Mates, Pilot of Water Vessel
Median annual income: $64,180
High-end annual income: $117,310”
One of the railroad conductors where I work earned $205,000 last year (or so I’ve been told).
I’m sure a few others were close to that amount.
There ARE downsides to earning so much. The guy is someone who “never takes his shoes off”, so to speak — he’s there seven days a week, weekends, holidays, working 12-hour shifts, or “dobule shifts” where he may leave home and not be back for 15-20 hours at a time. Most people reading this wouldn’t work that way by choice.
I also would reckon that his wife and kids don’t know him as well as they should.
But them sea cap’ns ought to get on the rails and make some REAL money...
I went to college for about a year, couldnt hack it. So went to A&P school for AC maint. I made pretty good money but did get laid off 3 years in...
Most Airlines pay is around 65k without OT...
When things were jumping, and in some cases still today, it was easy to make six figures selling new homes. And I know people who did it with a GED.
At about the same time they stopped keeping score during Little League/T-Ball games.
I believe it is almost impossible to get to the upper level of any of those jobs without a college degree. Unless you’re a friend/relative of the company owner, or, possibly in a government job like police chief in some podunk town. And that would still have to invlove some sort of favor or graft from (likely) a democrat hack.
A friend of mine worked on Navy nukes.
His favorite bumper sticker; "Navy Nukes Are Built Better Than Jane Fonda"
Isn’t that Richard Branson?
Many people with a high school diploma have become extremely
successful. In fact, avoiding higher education at all costs may be highly referable because of the accelerated indoctrination by the Commies who have infiltrated academia.
I did very well in raising a family, and earning a living in business without a college degree. And I am still a thinking, conservative, practical, God fearing independent woman.
Our community college offers 6-18 month programs in all of those trades. The cost is about 2000 a semester, with the state giving special trades grants to attend of 1000-2000.
A kid who isn’t college bound can be doing pretty well for himself in 1 to 2 years.
The college also offers nuclear power plant trades Associate degrees. TVA is hiring almost all of the graduates starting at around $50,000. If a kid hates high school he could dual enroll in 10th grade, get 2 diplomas and be hired all by the time he is 18.
they left out bartender and stripper.
both are jobs that you can easily clear $100k in the right establishment.
Right now I’m listening to a high school graduate on the radio who makes $40 million(?) a year providing the most advanced and insightful social and political analysis in the world.
Janitor, New York city public school system? Salary 30,000. Benefits 200,000.
Number of positions? How many are in your family?
And you only work one day a week to collect your paycheck.
There are 3 Things you need to do to put you into the 89 percentile of having a successful and fulfilling life.
1) Finish High school
2) Don't have children before you are married
3) Don't get married until you are at least 24.
Notice college is not one of the three. A degree is a nice thing to have, and you have the right to be proud of it, but adding it changes the equation very little.
Ah...not a Simpson’s fan/viewer.
I think the problem with College is too many idiots go and get some useless degree like women’s studies, gay studies, Peruvian basketweaving, liberal FArts, Art history... and wonder why they don’t have great job prospects upon graduating.
I gotta call shenanigans on being a chief without a degree. Maybe in a department of a dozen or so cops. A big city dept? I seriously doubt it. Most are wanting a degree just to make Sgt. these days, and a few even want the 4-year for street cops.
Currently, that is only 1 job.
Currently, that is only 1 job.
OK, you got me. I'm trying to create jobs here, so I merely reclassified "community organizer" into it's component parts.
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