The 40 Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get Without A Bachelor's Degree

When the economy started to show troubling signs, many decided to skip college and join the workforce earlier. According to the Bureau of labour Statistics, more than 60 per cent of U.S. workers don’t have a bachelor’s degree, but if you have an associate’s degree, a postsecondary non-degree award, or a high school diploma, you can still get a high-paying job.

The BLS provided a list of 80 high-paying occupations that don’t require a college degree. The median annual wages listed include hourly, weekly, annual pay, sales commissions, and production bonuses. Overtime wages are not included in the data.

We also included the expected job openings through 2020 and what kind of work experience or on-the-job training are needed for a particular job.

40. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $55,910

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 16,500

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Coordinate the investigation of criminal cases, train staff, and oversee other tasks related to police operations.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

39. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

Median annual wage (May 2010): $56,040

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 31,800

Work experience: None

Description: Help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

38. Insurance appraisers, auto damage

Median annual wage (May 2010): $56,230

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 2,700

Work experience: None

Description: Evaluate insurance claims and decide how much payment is sufficient.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

37. Loan officers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $56,490

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 115,200

Work experience: None

Description: Evaluate, authorise, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

36. Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products

Median annual wage (May 2010): $56,580

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 91,200

Work experience: None

Description: Buy products for organisations to use or resell.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

35. Subway and streetcar operators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $57,200

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 4,500

Work experience: None

Description: Transport passengers.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

34. Gas plant operators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $57,200

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 4,500

Work experience: None

Description: Control systems and do round checks to make sure everything is working properly.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

33. Engineering technicians, except drafters

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,020

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 16,800

Work experience: None

Description: Solve technical problems. Some help engineers and scientists do research and development.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

32. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,030

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 52,700

Work experience: None

Description: Install or repair electrical power systems and telecommunications cables, including fibre optics.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

31. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,080

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 1,700

Work experience: None

Description: Maintain equipment used in developing, testing, and producing new aircraft and spacecraft.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

30. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,620

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 79,900

Work experience: None

Description: Evaluate insurance claims.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

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

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,680

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 259,700

Work experience: More than 5 years

Description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

28. Artists and related workers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $58,840

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 4,800

Work experience: None

Description: Represents creative occupations with a wide range of characteristics.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

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

Median annual wage (May 2010): $59,150

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 164,900

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Coordinate mechanic's activities.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

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

Median annual wage (May 2010): $60,040

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 14,400

Work experience: None

Description: Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

25. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median annual wage (May 2010): $60,300

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 4,800

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Direct and coordinate operational, administrative, management, and supportive services of a U.S. post office.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

24. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $60,750

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 234,500

Work experience: More than 5 years

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

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

23. Media and communication equipment workers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $61,680

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 3,300

Work experience: None

Description: Set up, operate and monitor audio, video and digital equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

22. Business operations specialists

Median annual wage (May 2010): $62,450

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 327,200

Work experience: Less than 1 year

Description: Coordinate the operations of companies, such as training and planning.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

21. Power plant operators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $63,080

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 14,400

Work experience: None

Description: Control the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

20. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $64,380

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 31,700

Work experience: None

Description: Use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient's body to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

19. Fashion designers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $64,530

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 6,700

Work experience: None

Description: Sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they designed.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

18. Registered nurses

Median annual wage (May 2010): $64,690

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 1,207,400

Work experience: None

Description: Provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

17. Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

Median annual wage (May 2010): $65,230

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 6,900

Work experience: None

Description: Inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

16 Commercial pilots

Median annual wage (May 2010): $67,500

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 19,300

Work experience: None

Description: Fly and navigate aeroplanes or helicopters.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

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

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,250

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 33,100

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Coordinate activities of workers engaged in fire fighting and fire prevention and control.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

14. Dental hygienists

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,250

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 104,900

Work experience: None

Description: Clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

13. Nuclear medicine technologists

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,560

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 7,500

Work experience: None

Description: 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.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

12. Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,820

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 30,100

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of Federal, State, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

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

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,880

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 123,500

Work experience: More than 5 years

Description: Coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

10. Power distributors and dispatchers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $68,900

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 3,600

Work experience: None

Description: Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

9. Elevator installers and repairers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $70,910

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 8,200

Work experience: None

Description: Fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

8. Nuclear power reactor operators

Median annual wage (May 2010): $75,650

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 2,000

Work experience: None

Description: Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

7. Administrative services managers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $77,890

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 99,800

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organisation.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

6. Radiation therapist

Median annual wage (May 2010): $74,980

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 6,700

Work experience: None

Description: Check equipment, observe patients' reactions to treatment, and document the session.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

5. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Median annual wage (May 2010): $78,260

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through -2020): 38,700

Work experience: 1 to 5 years

Description: Coordinate activities of members of police force.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

4. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $80,210

Degree required: High school diploma

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 33,700

Work experience: More than 5 years

Description: In charge of operations that range from railroads to shipping facilities. They manage budgets, set policies and standards, and direct procurement.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

3. Construction manager

Median annual wage (May 2010): $83,860

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 120,400

Work experience: More than 5 years

Description: Oversee a construction project from start to finish. They set timelines, prepare contracts, and manage budgets.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

2. General and operations managers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $94,400

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 410,100

Work experience: 1-5 years

Description: Coordinating an organisation's daily activities, these managers might develop policies, oversee budget activities, or review sales reports.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

1. Air traffic controllers

Median annual wage (May 2010): $108,040

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (Through 2020): 10,200

Work experience: None

Description: 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.

On-the-job training: Long-term or on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of labour Statistics

Now see where the happiest employees work

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.