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11 Jobs That (Can) Pay Over $50,000, No College Degree Required

Written by
Alex Huntsberger
Alex Huntsberger is a personal finance writer who covered online lending, credit scores, and employment for OppU. His work has been cited by, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool.
Read time: 4 min
Updated on November 2, 2023
young man with beard in white dress shirt learning about 12 jobs that can pay over $50,000, no college degree required
No college degree? No problem for these career paths.

While paying for college can leave you with a mountain of debt, looking for a job with no college degree can also seem like an uphill battle. Many jobs require college degrees in order to apply which can drastically narrow your search before you’ve even begun. And many of the jobs that are leftover don’t pay nearly as well.

Luckily, this isn’t true in all cases. If you have a high school diploma, you can still find jobs that pay well! We looked through the latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and selected 11 jobs, all with average annual salaries above $50,000, that do not require a college degree.

1. Elevator installers and repairers - $99,000 per year

While this job doesn’t require a high school diploma, it will require an apprenticeship. In most states, you’ll also need to be licensed. But if you can get the gig, you’ll be bringing in a very nice wage! The Bureau predicts that this field will experience little to no growth (1%) between 2022 and 2032. It’s not like we could have cities (or any tall buildings) without elevators, right?

2. Transportation inspectors - $79,570 per year

This field includes inspectors for both freight and passenger transportation. Odds are you’ll be working in the rail or auto repair industry or for a branch of the government. Sure, this type of job comes with a lot of responsibility, but with an average annual wage in the high 70’s, it’s worth it.

3. Gaming managers - $95,830 per year

No this doesn’t mean managing a Game Stop or a D&D store. It means working in the gambling industry. While this is a job you might have to work up to by climbing through the ranks, it’s not like the gambling industry is going to “fold” any time soon. Even with the advent of internet gambling, there’s something about casinos that continues to attract patrons.

4. Subway and streetcar operators - $75,880 per year

We’re based in Chicago, which has a pretty fantastic public transportation system, so trust us when we tell you that cities literally could not function without people working these jobs. Sadly, unless there’s a huge boom in local rail construction, these jobs will not be as available as many of the other ones on this list.

5. Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators - $72,040 per year

This is a great job for someone who doesn’t want to sit in an office all day, as these folks are often out in the field inspecting prospective claims. Advanced positions may require a bachelor’s degree.

While the Bureau predicts a decline in these roles (-3% from 2022 to 2032), there will always be a market for them.

6. Boilermakers - $66,920 per year

Until we can make buildings that warm themselves, boiler’s ain’t going nowhere. This is another job that usually requires an apprenticeship program, and it helps if you have prior welding experience. The work itself can be difficult and dangerous, and you can find yourself working away from home for months at a time. If you want a job where you can earn a great wage working with your hands, then check it out.

7. Construction and building inspectors - $64,480 per year

This is a good job for someone who’s been working construction for a while, as industry experience is a big plus, bordering on a “must-have.” Its availability is tied to the construction industry (more buildings erected = more buildings that need to be inspected).

8. Postal service workers - $53,680 per year

In general, working at the post office is a great idea if you are looking for a solid job that doesn’t require a college degree. Post office clerks are based in the post-office itself, which means that the job has a heavy customer service aspect to it.

If you’re into something a little more outdoorsy, and like dogs, then being a mail carrier might be a better fit.

9. Electricians - $60,240 per year

By this point, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of these jobs are related to construction. That’s not surprising! Many of these jobs require hard work, experience, and knowledge, just not the kind you’ll get with a bachelor’s degree!

Becoming an electrician requires an apprenticeship, and always carries the risk of getting shocked, but it’s a great job with a bright (pun intended) future. If you’re sneaky, like this basketball-obsessed electrician, you can leave your mark on a building for years to come.

10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers - $82,340 per year

We cannot stress this enough: If you are afraid of heights, this is not the job for you. And remember that “risk of being shocked” that we mentioned with electricians? That’s also a huge risk here. Being a line worker is a good job, it’s just not necessarily the safest. It requires extensive on-the-job training and/or an apprenticeship.

11. Hearing aid specialists - $62,480 per year

This is a job that you probably haven’t considered, but it’s definitely one worth looking into. As a hearing aid specialist you will administer hearing tests, take ear impressions, design ear molds, and other duties related to hearing aids.

As the U.S. population ages over the next couple decades, demand for this job will likely increase.

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