The Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get With A High School Degree


Photo: Flickr c_neuhaus

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 don’t require a degree. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the 10 highest-paying jobs that only require a high school education.

Click here to see 10 well-paying jobs that require only a high school diploma >

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 labour 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 bachelor’s degree. The results where then sorted by wage, in order to identify the 10 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 10 highest-paying jobs that you can get with a high school degree.

Click here to see 10 well-paying jobs that require only a high school diploma >

This post originally appeared at 24/7 Wall St.

#10: Captains, Mates, Pilot of Water Vessel

#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, it's 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 one's 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

#7: Elevator Installer

#6: Web Developers

#5: Nuclear Power Plant Operator

#4: Police Chief

#3: Construction Manager

> 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 bachelor's 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 Developer

#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 licence because of the flight time and experience they'd 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.

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