November 27, 2022

Top Paying Jobs Without a Degree

You don’t need a four-year degree to make bank.

Top Paying Jobs Without a Degree

Each of these jobs pays more than $60,000 a year on average.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Don’t have the time or money to get a bachelor’s degree?

Don’t fret.

There are 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.

Each has a median annual salary of at least $60,000.

40. Boilermakers
40. Boilermakers

40. Boilermakers

(Spencer Platt/Getty)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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

39. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

39. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

(MilanMarkovic78/Shutterstock)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $62,190

Education required: Associate’s degree

Projected job openings (through 2026): 12,000

Work experience: None

On-the-job training: None

38. Computer network support specialists
38. Computer network support specialists

38. Computer network support specialists

(iSpot.TV)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


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

37. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers(Getty Images / Jeff Pachoud)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


36. Auto damage insurance appraisers

36. Auto damage insurance appraisers(Lisa S./Shutterstock)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


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

35. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers(Robert Couse-Baker/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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

34. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators
34. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators(Brian Harkin/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


33. Subway and streetcar operators

33. Subway and streetcar operators(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


32. Signal and track switch repairers

32. Signal and track switch repairers(Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York/flickr)

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 (2016): $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


31. Web developers

31. Web developers(Courtesy of CareerCast)

They design, create, and modify websites.

Median annual wage (2016): $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


30. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

30. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers(U.S. Department of Agriculture/flickr)

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 (2016): $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


29. Transit and railroad police

29. Transit and railroad police(Elvert Barnes/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


28. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers
28. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

They operate or control petroleum refining or processing units.

Median annual wage (2016): $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


27. Gas plant operators
27. Gas plant operators(ImperialOil/YouTube)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


26. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

26. Electrical power-line installers and repairers(Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


25. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

25. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


24. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

24. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists(Paul Sancya/AP)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


23. Gaming managers

23. Gaming managers(Flickr / Chris Martin)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


22. Diagnostic medical sonographers

22. Diagnostic medical sonographers(Robert Couse-Baker/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


21. Ship engineers

21. Ship engineers(US Coast Guard)

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 (2016): $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


20. Postmasters and mail superintendents
20. Postmasters and mail superintendents(Paul De Los Reyes/Flickr)

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 (2016): $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


19. Transportation inspectors

19. Transportation inspectors(Larry W. Smith / Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


18. Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels
18. Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels(Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


17. Dental hygienists

17. Dental hygienists(Parker Knight/Flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


16. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
16. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers(Daniel Goodman / Business Insider)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


15. Funeral service managers
15. Funeral service managers(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


14. Nuclear medicine technologists
14. Nuclear medicine technologists(Fotos GOVBA/Flickr)

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 (2016): $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


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

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

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


12. Power plant operators
12. Power plant operators(Ashley Pon/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


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

11. Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers(US Airforce/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


10. Commercial pilots

10. Commercial pilots(liz west/flickr)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


9. Detectives and criminal investigators

9. Detectives and criminal investigators(HBO)

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

Median annual wage (2016):$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


8. Elevator installers and repairers

8. Elevator installers and repairers(Feng Li/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


7. Nuclear technicians
7. Nuclear technicians(Reuters)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


6. Radiation therapists
6. Radiation therapists(Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


5. Power distributors and dispatchers

5. Power distributors and dispatchers(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

They coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

Median annual wage (2016): $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


4. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

4. First-line supervisors of police and detectives(Brooklyn Nine-Nine/FOX)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

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

Median annual wage (2016): $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


2. Nuclear power reactor operators

2. Nuclear power reactor operators(Idaho National Laboratory/flickr)

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 (2016): $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


1. Air traffic controllers

1. Air traffic controllers(USACE HQ/Flickr)

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 (2016): $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

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