Highest Paying Jobs Without A College Degree


A college education can provide workers with career opportunities, yet it’s not required for many good job options.

This video will take a look at 9 different jobs that do not require a four-year college degree. The cost of attending some of the best schools in America or UK can be upwards of $70,000 PER YEAR (ex: NYU) equating to nearly a quarter million dollars for a bachelors degree. If you are looking to save money on college and get the most “bang for your buck,” then you may find the video below to be useful.

There are also plenty of high-paying jobs that require only a two-year associate degree, postsecondary nondegree certificate, or even just a high-school diploma and a few that don’t require a formal educational credential at all. According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the 40 highest-paying jobs that you don’t need a four-year degree to pursue.

40. Boilermakers

They assemble, install, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases.

  • Median annual wage: $62,060
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,900
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

39. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

They design, build, repair, calibrate, and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls, and machinery for subsequent evaluation and use by engineering staff.

  • Median annual wage: $62,190
  • Education required: Associate’s degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 12,00
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

38. Computer network support specialists

They perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.

  • Median annual wage: $62,670
  • Education required: Associate’s degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 16,500
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

37. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

They directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

  • Median annual wage: $62,980
  • Education required: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 68,500
  • Work experience: Five years or more
  • On-the-job training: None

36. Auto damage insurance appraisers

They appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine repair costs for insurance claim settlement.

  • Median annual wage: $63,510
  • Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,500
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

35. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

They directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers.

  • Median annual wage: $63,540
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 43,400
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: None

34. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

They review settled claims to determine that payments and settlements are made in accordance with company practices and procedures.

  • Median annual wage: $63,680
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 24,500
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

33. Subway and streetcar operators

They operate subway or elevated suburban trains with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar, to transport passengers.

  • Median annual wage: $64,680
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,300
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

32. Signal and track switch repairers

They install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunication systems within a railroad system.

  • Median annual wage: $65,350
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,000
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

31. Web developers

They design, create, and modify websites.

  • Median annual wage: $66,130
  • Education required: Associate’s degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 14,200
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

30. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

They plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments.

  • Median annual wage: $66,360 High school diploma or equivalent 84,800
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 84,800
  • Work experience: Five years or more
  • On-the-job training: None

29. Transit and railroad police

They protect and police railroad and transit property, employees, or passengers.

  • Median annual wage: $66,610
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 400
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

28. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

They operate or control petroleum refining or processing units.

  • Median annual wage: $67,400
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2026): 4,300
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
  • 27. Gas plant operators

  • They distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

    • Median annual wage: $67,580
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,700
    • Work experience: None
      On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

    26. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

    They install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems.

    • Median annual wage: $68,010
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 11,700
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

    25. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

    They operate and maintain equipment used in developing, testing, and producing new aircraft and spacecraft.

    • Median annual wage: $68,020
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,100
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: None

    24. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

    They monitor patient safety and comfort and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures.

    • Median annual wage: $68,420
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 2,500
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None

    23. Gaming managers

    They plan, direct, or coordinate gaming operations in a casino.

    • Median annual wage: $69,180
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 500
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None

    22. Diagnostic medical sonographers

    They use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.

    • Median annual wage: $69,650
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 5,400
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: None

    21. Ship engineers

    They supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.

    • Median annual wage: $70,570
    • Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,300
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None

    20. Postmasters and mail superintendents

    They plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and supportive services of a US post office, or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

    • Median annual wage: $71,670
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 600
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    19. Transportation inspectors

    They inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people.

    • Median annual wage: $72,220
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 2,900
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    18. Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels

    They command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats.

    • Median annual wage: $72,680
    • Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 4,400
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None
  • 17. Dental hygienists

  • They clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases like gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

    • Median annual wage: $72,910
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 17,500
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: None

    16. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

    They directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.

    • Median annual wage: $73,150
    • Education Required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 39,800
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None

    15. Funeral service managers

    They plan, direct, or coordinate the services or resources of funeral homes.

    • Median annual wage: $73,830
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 2,000
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: None

    14. Nuclear medicine technologists

    They use a scanner to create images of various areas of a patient’s body. They prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients undergoing the scans.

    • Median annual wage: $74,350
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,300
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: None

    13. First-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers

    They directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in fire fighting and fire prevention and control.

    • Median annual wage: $74,540
    • Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 4,400
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    12. Power plant operators

    They control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

    • Median annual wage: $74,690
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 3,200
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

    11. Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers

    They inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

    • Median annual wage: $75,670
    • Education required: Postsecondary nondegree award
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 2,100
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    10. Commercial pilots

    They pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air-carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires commercial-pilot certificate.

    • Median annual wage: $77,200
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 4,000
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    9. Detectives and criminal investigators

    They conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

    • Median annual wage: $78,120
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 7,500
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    8. Elevator installers and repairers

    They assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

    • Median annual wage: $78,890
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 3,000
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

    7. Nuclear technicians

    They assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear production.

    • Median annual wage: $79,140
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 800
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

    6. Radiation therapists

    They check equipment, observe patients’ reactions to treatment, and document sessions.

    • Median annual wage: $80,160
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,200
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: None

    5. Power distributors and dispatchers

    They coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

    • Median annual wage: $81,900
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 1,000
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

    4. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

    They directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of a police force.

    • Median annual wage: $84,840
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 7,100
    • Work experience: Less than five years
    • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
  • 3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

  • They coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations.

    • Median annual wage: $89,190
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 9,700
    • Work experience: Five years or more
    • On-the-job training: None

    2. Nuclear power reactor operators

    They operate or control nuclear reactors, move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, record data in logs, and implement emergency procedures when needed.

    • Median annual wage: $91,170
    • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 500
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

    1. Air traffic controllers

    They monitor and direct the movement of aircraft. Median annual wages of air-traffic controllers are the highest of any occupation in which workers typically do not need a bachelor’s degree.

    • Median annual wage: $122,410
    • Education required: Associate’s degree
    • Projected job openings (through 2026): 7,500
    • Work experience: None
    • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training