May 14, 2024 | Eul Basa

The Highest Paying Jobs You Can Get Without A Degree


No degree, no problem

Having higher education is often associated with higher-paying job prospects, but that isn't always the case. Some jobs don't need you to have a degree to make a decent living—all you need is a high school diploma or equivalent. Read on for some of the highest-paying jobs you can get without a degree according to the U.

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S. Career Institute.

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Construction Supervisor

$66,200

Construction supervisors are responsible for overseeing small-scale and large-scale construction projects, monitoring various elements of each to ensure smooth, safe, and efficient progress.

A Man and a Woman Working at a Construction SiteMikael Blomkvist, Pexels

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Construction Supervisor

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Some of the main responsibilities of a construction supervisor include planning, resource allocation, quality assurance, safety compliance, and record-keeping. Knowledge of the construction type would be an asset.

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Man in Blue Shirt at a construction siteMikael Blomkvist, Pexels

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Insurance Appraiser

$66,500

An insurance appraiser evaluates property and assets to determine their value for insurance purposes. They inspect the property, consider its features, and compare similar properties to ensure accurate valuation for coverage and claims.

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Starting your appraisal career with insurance-related positions or industries can provide valuable knowledge about assets and property. For example, experiences in home renovations or construction work can offer insight into factors affecting property value, such as materials, design, age, location, and nearby property values.

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Mechanics Supervisor

$67,400

Mechanical Supervisors oversee the work that mechanics do in various industries. They are responsible for assigning their tasks, enforcing safety protocols, conducting machine part inventory, and more.

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Mechanics Supervisor

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Most mechanics supervisors start as technicians and gain knowledge through hands-on experience. While most lack a bachelor's degree, they must understand repairs and equipment to succeed in their supervisory roles.

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Subway Operator

$67,800

Subway operators transport passengers on subways, trains, and trams following designated routes with stops at assigned locations. They drive vehicles through subway stations or on elevated train tracks.

image of Subway driver in OsakaMarco Crupi, Flickr

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Subway Operator

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A high school diploma is the minimum education required to be a subway operator. Taking relevant courses can be beneficial, such as physical education to handle the physical demands, and improving communication skills to interact with passengers.

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Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

$70,400

Experts in occupational health and safety evaluate, manage, and prevent workplace hazards to minimize accidents and injuries. They ensure compliance with regulations in various industries.

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Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

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Typically, a bachelor's degree or college diploma is necessary for a career in occupational health and safety. You may also need to obtain certification from the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP).

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Gas Plant Operator

$70,700

A gas plant operator ensures safe and efficient operation of power plant equipment by recording reports, conducting rounds, and overseeing alarms. This role is prevalent in petroleum and natural gas industries.

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Gas Plant Operator

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A high school diploma or GED is required for most gas plant operator positions. Some roles may require additional math and science classes.

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Obtaining the System Operator Certification can improve job prospects.

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Agricultural Manager

$71,100

 Agricultural Managers oversee crop production at farms and facilities. They are responsible for organizing planting, fertilizing, harvesting, and labor recruitment. They also educate and supervise agricultural workers, ensuring they have necessary tools and materials for successful farming. 

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Agricultural Manager

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Farm managers can learn via hands-on experience, but having some education is an asset. Classes that cover science, business, and finance would be beneficial.

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Working part-time or on a family farm also helps gain practical knowledge.

image of a man working on a farmU.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr

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Special Effects Technician

$73,400

Special effects technicians create effects for entertainment like movies, animation, TV, ads, and video games. They use their artistic skills, knowledge of computer programs, and design savvy to create sets for filming or theater.

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Special Effects Technician

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To become a special effects technician in the theatre or film industry, practical experience and a comprehensive understanding of the field are essential. Film or theater-focused degree programs offer the best preparation.

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Signal and Track Switch Repairer

$73,800

Signal and Track Switch Repairers are essential in the railway sector, ensuring operational reliability of signal systems both on tracks and in control rooms. They conduct inspections, problem-solving, and upkeep to prevent disruptions and accidents.

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Signal and Track Switch Repairers require hands-on practice and academic knowledge. A high school diploma is typically required, though some positions need additional education.

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Training is often obtained through apprenticeship with railway company for practical experience and mentorship.

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Petroleum Pump System Operator

$74,100

Petroleum pump system operators manage machinery for collecting, transporting, and storing petroleum products. As such, they are often positioned in various sectors of the oil and gas industry.

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Petroleum Pump System Operator

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Starting as a Petroleum Pump System Operator requires a high school diploma and at least one year of training. A majority of Gulf Coast Region companies now require an associate's degree in Process Technology.

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Non-Retail Sales Supervisor

$74,700

Supervisors of non-retail sales workers oversee sales workers working in non-retail settings. They might also be responsible for tasks such as budgeting, managing finances, and making hiring and firing decisions.

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Non-Retail Sales Supervisor

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Some occupations need a four-year bachelor's degree, but not all. Typically, workers in these jobs require multiple years of relevant work experience, on-the-job training, and vocational training.

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Performance Make-up Artist

$75,700

Theatrical makeup artists enhance actors' appearance in live performances like plays, musicals, operas, and ballets. They use creative skills to emphasize characters' looks, express emotions, and engage with the audience effectively.

woman working as a makeup artistYogendra Singh, Pexels

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Performance Make-up Artist

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Theatrical makeup artists do more than apply cosmetics. They consider stage lighting, audience distance, character traits, role, and production vision.

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A good transformation makes all the difference in an actor's performance.

Person Putting Makeup On WomanRene Asmussen, Pexels

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Transportation Inspector

$75,800

Transportation inspectors ensure the safety of passenger- or goods-carrying vehicles. They typically work for governments or private companies. Types include aviation, freight, cargo, and vehicle equipment inspectors.

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Transportation Inspector

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Transportation inspectors need high school diploma or equivalent, plus on-the-job training. Typically, they would start at entry-level and progress to higher managerial positions.

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Specific requirements vary by field.

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Postmaster and Mail Superintendent

$76,900

A postmaster manages a post office, handling and overseeing all postal operations. The title Postmaster General is used for overseeing mail distribution organizations funded by governments.

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Postmaster and Mail Superintendent

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The USPS does not have an official process for becoming a postmaster. Advancement is typically achieved by progressing through various roles within the organization, starting at lower levels and aiming for internal promotions.

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Firefighting and Prevention Supervisor

$77,800

Firefighting supervisors assign duties based on fire evaluation. They train employees in responsibilities like medical assistance and handling dangerous materials.

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Firefighting and Prevention Supervisor

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Fire supervisors need to have the ability to start computer procedures, check buildings for rule violations, and lead training sessions for department employees. They also have to oversee the daily activities of a sizable shift, carry out drills and training sessions, and evaluate contractors' work permits.

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Elevator and Escalator Mechanic

$84,900

Elevator mechanics, or elevator technicians, use their engineering, electrical, and computer skills to inspect, install, and maintain elevators in public and private buildings. They ensure compliance with safety regulations, perform routine maintenance, and interpret blueprints during inspections.

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Elevator and Escalator Mechanic

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Elevating Devices Mechanic apprenticeship lasts four years with 8,000 hours in total. It consists of 7,280 practical hours and 720 classroom hours to become skilled.

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Power Plant Operator

$84,900

A power plant operator manages systems and equipment for electricity production and distribution. They use control panels to oversee power generators, monitor voltage, and adjust electricity distribution based on consumer demand.

image of a man working in a factoryfreepik, Freepik

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Power Plant Operator

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Earning a high school diploma or GED can meet the education requirements for power plant operator positions. Focus on math, science, and technical courses to grasp algebra, electricity, and trigonometry.

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Consider enrolling in a technical school or vocational program.

Man working as a plant operatorpvproductions, Freepik

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Police and Detective Supervisor

$85,900

A Police and Detective Supervisor's responsibility is to oversee and organize the inquiry of criminal cases, providing direction and knowledge to investigators. It is also necessary for him or her to guarantee that procedures are carried out in compliance with laws and regulations.

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Police and Detective Supervisor

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To qualify as a Police and Detective Supervisor, one must first serve as a police officer, requiring a high school diploma, completion of police academy training, and gaining relevant law enforcement experience before transitioning into a managerial position.

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Logistics Manager

$94,500

Logistics managers oversee purchasing, shipping, and operations in supply chain management, utilizing negotiation, organization, and problem-solving skills. Responsibilities vary by company and industry, with some focusing on transportation logistics and others on inventory or procurement.

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Logistics Manager

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Logistics managers can get certified through the International Society of Logistics with the Demonstrated Logistician Program, Certified Master Logistician, or Certified Professional Logistician, requiring work experience and passing a test.

Man working as a Logistic Managerfreepik, Freepik

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Commercial Pilot

$121,400

Commercial pilots operate aircraft for commercial purposes, such as transporting passengers, delivering cargo, conducting aerial surveys, and providing aviation services. They must have exceptional flying skills, knowledge of aviation rules, and prioritize safety.

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Commercial Pilot

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Private pilot certificate is the first step towards becoming a commercial pilot. It allows legal operation of an aircraft and requires knowledge of piloting fundamentals. A commercial pilot license necessitates further training and flight experience.

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