Is it possible to find a high-paying job when you don’t have a college degree? Would you be surprised to learn that there are dozens of jobs paying well above $50k that don’t require you to be a college graduate?

Highest Paying Jobs Without A College Degree

I was surprised, but it’s true. Here are the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.

Says Who?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has all kinds of useful information about the American job market. Some of the more interesting data they track includes types of jobs, the median pay for those jobs, and how many of those jobs exist.

The cost information website HowMuch.net analyzed the latest data for 2017 and created this handy chart.

The Results…

The higher on the chart a job is shown, the more it pays. The number of dots next to the job title helps represent how many people are employed at that type of job.

25 highest paid jobs without a college education

I hadn’t even heard of some of these jobs before. For some I did recognize, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed they didn’t require a college education.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Non-Degree Jobs

  1. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator ($91,170)
  2. Transport Manager ($89,190)
  3. Police Supervisor ($84,840)
  4. Power Distributor ($81,900)
  5. Elevator Installer ($78,890)

A nuclear power reactor operator doesn’t require college? Who’d have guessed?

The average elevator installer makes almost $79k? Nice!

Of course you can also see that some of these positions don’t employ very many people in the US. Two that stick out on the chart as employing a lot of people, while paying way above average salaries, are: Non-Retail Sales Supervisors and Claims Adjustors. Someone totally set against college but looking for good pay might consider those career options.


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Is College Worth It?

The combined total of these jobs employ only about 1% of the American workforce. So they’re likely in high demand. They aren’t totally out of reach – obviously since there are a million plus working in these areas. But it would be very competitive to land one of these positions.

The majority of full-time salaried positions in the US do require (or at least favor) a college degree. So don’t be too quick to write-off this option.

As a parent you might want to consider doing some financial planning now for your child’s college.

If someone can graduate without student loan debt, it’s a sure-thing to be “worth it”. On the other hand, graduating with a ton of debt for an average paying job could really set a young person behind financially.

Besides parental planning, another great option to help avoid student loans is to leverage scholarships.


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In Closing

Yes, there are some really great-paying jobs available for someone without a college degree. They’re competitive though and only employ a small percentage of the American workforce.

Your best best is to get a degree. Do a bit of research in advance to understand the job prospects and pay first. Make sure you’re focusing efforts in an area that you will both enjoy and make a decent living doing.

Were you surprised about this list of non-college jobs? Are you working in any of those jobs now and willing to share tips for others?

 

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