A college education often comes with expensive debts and if your post-college salary isn’t going to cover that investment, then it might not actually be worth it in the end.
Considering the ROI, or return on investment, of going to college is the primary reason to consider a career path that doesn’t require a degree. But according to the stats on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the highest paying jobs only require a high school diploma.
A lot of the following jobs don’t require a college degree. Instead, Many of them require you have some training through programs and certificates which are often provided on the job. So you might not get out of taking some classes still, but a 3-month program is a lot less time and money than a 4-year degree. Many of the jobs we’ll go over in this article are entry level jobs with great job outlook and growth rate, and surprisingly promising median pay.
1. Computer Programmer
Average Annual Income: $84,280
Computer programmers learn coding languages to create instructions for computers to follow. They use coding languages to make computer programs and software. Once they write their code they also test, maintain, and update the software they’ve created.
2. Computer Security Analyst
Average Annual Income: $98,350
Computer security analysts can also be known as computer security analysts or information security analysts. They are in charge of creating safety measures to protect a company’s software and computer network. A computer security analyst will also monitor network security and prevent breaches.
3. Computer Support Specialist
Average Annual Income: $53,470
Computer support specialists are the ones who troubleshoot computer network problems. They often are also the ones that help computer users with their IT problems and questions. These specialists are the ones who create solutions for hardware problems that involve computers, phones, printers, and more.
4. Database Manager
Average Annual Income: $90,070
Database managers, or database administrators, are in charge of storing and organizing digital data. They might work with financial information, customer records, or product shipping logs. They also make sure important information is accessible to those who need it and not available to those who shouldn’t have access.
5. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Average Annual Income: $67,080
A diagnostic medical sonographer might also be known simply aa a sonographer or ultrasound technician. They use ultrasound equipment to inspect internal parts of the body for ailments like heart disease, ulcers, or cancer. But they can also be in charge of creating images of the fetus of a pregnant woman and monitoring the mother and child’s well-being throughout the pregnancy.
6. Tool and Die Maker
Average Annual Income: $44,950
Tool and die makers work in manufacturing. They create precision tools that are used to create other materials. They might create things like jibs, fixtures, precision tools, metal forms, or measuring devices.
7. Network and Computer Systems Administer
Average Annual Income: $82,050
Network and computer systems administrators are the ones who oversee the everyday operations of a network. They organize data, install software, fix bugs, and keep networks functioning properly. They manage both local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs).
8. Pharmacy Technician
Average Annual Income: $32,700
Pharmacy technicians are not the same thing as pharmacists. Pharmacists still need to go through higher learning in a collegiate pharmacist program. A pharmacy technician is more like a pharmacist assistant. They help dispense prescriptions to patients at a pharmacy. This often involves confirming the accuracy of the prescription, measuring, packaging, and labeling the medication, and handling customer records and insurance.
9. Radiologic Technician
Average Annual Income: $61,240
Radiologic technicians are the ones who perform X-rays. They might be in charge of doing all kinds of imaging procedures like X-ray examinations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and mammographs. With some extra training, radiologic technicians can even become MRI technicians.
Average Annual Income: $56,433
Service delivery analysts are the ones who oversee the delivery process and ensure service deliveries are of high quality. They’ll go over performance reports and help a delivery service improve. When problems arise in the delivery department, service delivery analysts are the ones at the front of the situation coordinating a solution.
11. Cardiovascular Technician
Average Annual Income: $58,730
A cardiovascular technologist can also be known as a vascular technologist. They are responsible for diagnosing cardiovascular issues in their patients like heart conditions, vascular problems, issues with the heart’s arteries, valves, or blood vessels. In order to diagnose cardiovascular ailments, they might use ultrasounds and other devices to get an internal look into the problem.
12. Dental Hygienist
Average Annual Income: $74,820
Dental hygienists are assistants to dentists. They work under a dentists supervision and primarily focus on teeth cleanings and preventative care. A dental hygienist might also keep a watch for signs of oral problems with the mouth, gums, jaw, or teeth. At the end of a typical dentist visit, a dental hygienist might also educate their patients on proper oral hygiene and care.
13. Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Average Annual Income: $40,350
Medical records and health information technicians can also be known simply as health information technicians. These health technicians are the ones responsible for managing health information and data. They will organize this data and ensure it keeps its accuracy and security. Health technicians work with both digital and paper files.
14. Occupational Health/Safety Specialist
Average Annual Income: $69,370
Occupational health and safety specialists are basically health inspectors. They inspect offices and other places of work to make sure a company is obeying basic safety and health regulations. They also perform experiments to test potential hazards in the workplace. Health inspectors work to prevent workplace disasters and protect employees and the public.
15. Occupational Therapy Aide
Average Annual Income: $57,620
Occupational therapy aides assist occupational therapists with their basic tasks. They help occupational therapists treat their patients and help them recover and develop skills for daily life and work life. Since they are assistants, they might also occasionally help out with secretarial work like answering calls and scheduling appointments.
16. Physical Therapy Aide
Average Annual Income: $48,090
Physical therapist aides assist physical therapists with their everyday work. Physical therapists help their patients recover after injuries and help them learn to do daily tasks despite physical impairments. Physical therapist assistants help treat patients, schedule appointments, clean and set up physical therapy equipment, and ordering and managing other physical therapy supplies.
17. Respiratory Therapists
Average Annual Income: $60,280
Respiratory therapists are visited by patients who suffer from respiratory and cardiopulmonary ailments. They often start by interviewing patients to document their symptoms and then examining them. They treat patients of all ages, including premature newborns that have underdeveloped lungs.
18. Surgical Technologist
Average Annual Income: $47,300
Surgical technologists can also be called operating room technicians because they are often the ones in charge of taking patients to surgery. Surgical technicians are also responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery. Then, they assist surgeons with the operation itself.
Average Annual Income: $68,235
Business intelligence analysts gather data within the business industry to help the company they work to understand where they stand and how they can improve. They collect important business data through things like data mining, data collection software, and researching competitor data and industry trends.
20. Cloud Administrator
Average Annual Income: $82,050
A cloud administrator is in charge of the cloud, or a company’s storage network. They might work with software like Windows and Unix to manage, troubleshoot, and maintain an organization’s cloud services.
21. Computer Network Architect
Average Annual Income: $109,020
Computer network architects build networks. They create the network by planning and creating layouts much like building architects do, but network architects need to keep digital security in mind. Computer network architects then present their network plans to an organization and explain the pros and benefits of what they’ve created.
Average Annual Income: $123,902
Some of the best no degree jobs are in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity architects build cybersecurity software. Their expertise lies in creating digital, security infrastructures that can protect a company’s digital data. Part of their job is to frequently go over and adjust security requirements and plans. They will also then be responsible for installing these security measures and making sure they work properly at all times.
23. Software Developer
Average Annual Income: $105,590
Software developers are the ones who create software applications that are user friendly and complete their intended tasks. But they might also develop the software behind the user interface that makes everything work.
Average Annual Income: $67,600
Quality Assurance workers are the ones that keep connected with customers and their experiences in order to ensure a product is of the highest quality. They test for potential problems and try to prevent issues as much as possible. Software Quality Assurance Analysts perform this type of job particularly for software. They test websites, applications, and computer programs to make sure they work correctly.
Average Annual Income: $45,695
A technical sales assistant or engineer instructs their clients on how to be successful at sales. They can work for any kind of company that involves sales of any kind and helps them improve their sales strategies.
26. Manufacturing Jobs
Average Annual Income: $12,861
Manufacturing has to do with the factory creation of products. They take raw components, materials, and use designs and templates to streamline the product creation process. Someone working in manufacturing might work in a factory, mill, or plant.
27. Blender/Mixer Operator
Average Annual Income: $39,360
Much like those working in manufacturing, mixing and blending machine operators help manage the manufacturing process by handling blending and mixing machines. They use their training specifically to operate these mixing machines on the manufacturing line.
28. CAD Drafter
Average Annual Income: $54,240
CAD stands for computer-aided design. So CAD drafters and designers use special computer software to create digital designs and models. With their 3D computer modeling capabilities, they often create real-world schematics to construct buildings or manufacture a product.
29. Chemical Operator
Average Annual Income: $61,570
A chemical operator is someone who specifically oversees the manufacturing process of chemicals. They often work in chemical plants and might even supervise employees along with all the machinery involved. They have to make sure the manufacturing process goes smoothly and remains safe.
30. CNC Operator
Average Annual Income: $41,010
CNC stands for computer numerical control. These operators use computer operated machines to perform all kinds of tasks. For example, a computer-operated machine might be used to create metal or plastic pieces accurately. They might often also work with CAD drafters to use their computer-generated designs.
31. Electrical/Electronics Repairer
Average Annual Income: $57,890
Electrical repairers work to both repair and install electronics. They work with simple and complex equipment to install, repair, and test that everything is working properly. They might install things like industrial controls to transmitters and antennas.
32. Electromechanical and Industrial Engineering Technician
Average Annual Income: $57,790
These engineering technicians are the ones who brainstorm and develop the manufacturing processes. They invent instruments, machines, and programs to make a more streamlined, and safe manufacturing process for all kinds of products.
Average Annual Income: $40,890
Believe it or not, you can actually get a job as a professional grinder or sharpener. But what do grinders and sharpeners do? They use their skills and tools to sharpen, polish, and smooth anything from tools, machinery, and metal objects.
Average Annual Income: $45,250
Machinists work with machines. They use their machine tools to make metal parts with absolute precision. They might work in a factory setting to create many of the same parts, or they might work to create a smaller batch of rarer parts.
35. Molding/Casting Worker
Average Annual Income: $33,950
Molding and casting workers create molds and casts. Molds and casts are used as templates to create a product. In addition to creating a unique mold for a specific product, they might also be in charge of using the molds to produce that product.
36. Plant Operator
Average Annual Income: $83,020
A plant operator supervises the plant they work for, whether it’s a power plant, a gas plant, or a water and wastewater treatment plant. Throughout a typical day, they might operate machinery, go over daily tasks and safety measures with their employees, and work within a control room.
37. Printing Press Operator
Average Annual Income: $38,470
Someone who works in a printing press might be in charge of setting up the digital or paper printing machines. They might also perform tests to make sure the printers are functioning right and to make sure the colors are printing correctly.
38. Security Manager
Average Annual Income: $30,730
A security manager is similar to a security guard. They might protect an individual client or keep watch at a company facility. They work to maintain the safety of employees and other clients they might work for. This means they might have to frequently assess risks and make security decisions.
39. Warehouse Supervisor
Average Annual Income: $109,950
Warehouse supervisors work in a warehouse to store, organize, and ship materials to stores and companies. They are in charge of a company’s product inventory and supervise the employees who manage, package, and send these products.
40. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Average Annual Income: $34,320
Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs and paramedics, respond to 911 calls and provide emergency care. They arrive on different scenes throughout their day, assess every situation and the medical conditions of those involved. EMTs are also in charge of determining the treatment a patient might need and potentially transporting those patients to the emergency room at the nearest medical facility.
Average Annual Income: $40,660
Dispatchers work in a call center to respond to calls and coordinate with mobile units as they respond to those calls. They might work with truck drivers shipping goods and materials, or police officers and EMTs.
Average Annual Income: $37,010
Opticians are like the pharmacists of the optic world. They help eye patients fill out their eye prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. An optician will help customers select the best eyewear for them and even help adjust the frames so that they fit correctly. They also help fill out work orders for an ophthalmic lab.
43. Postal Service Clerk
Average Annual Income: $50,860
A postal service clerk works in a post office. They receive the mail, including letters and packages, and organize the mail for mail carriers. They also sell postage stamps, envelopes, and other things someone might need when sending something through the mail.
44. Flight Attendant
Average Annual Income: $56,000
Flight attendants fill a lot of roles on planes. They serve passengers and help take care of their needs. But they also perform important flight checks and attend flight briefings alongside the pilots.
45. Hair Stylist
Average Annual Income: $30,190
Hairstylists and makeup artists can easily work from home if they just grow their own client basis. But many of them also work in hair salons. Their job is to shampoo, cut, color, and style their clients’ hair. They might also consult and teach clients about their own hair and proper at-home care.
46. Auto Mechanic
Average Annual Income: $40,710
Mechanics work in car garages repairing vehicles. They might also do aesthetic jobs like painting and modifications. When your car needs regular maintenance or inspections, auto mechanics are also the ones you want to visit.
Average Annual Income: $49,620
Firefighters are often volunteers but depending on where you live you might also be able to find a paying job as a firefighter. They respond to emergency calls, drive emergency firetruck vehicles, and put out fires. But their services might also be needed in other unique situations, like when someone is stuck somewhere high up or are in need of rescuing.
Average Annual Income: $53,910
Plumbers work with all matter of plumbing fixtures. They help install piping in your house or office building so that you have access to water and heating. They might also help repair and install appliances in your homes like bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks.
Average Annual Income: $55,190
Electricians are the ones you call to install or repair your electronics. This includes the power system you use in your house so you can have adequate lighting. Anytime electric wiring is involved electricians will be there to lend their expertise.
50. Massage Therapist
Average Annual Income: $41,420
A massage therapist treats their clients through their massage expertise. They learn about massage therapy and how to properly massage muscles for better healing and relaxation. Massage therapists don’t only work at resorts though, they can also act almost like physical therapists, helping relieve chronic physical pain.
51. Railroad Conductor
Average Annual Income: $66,080
Many people might not think about trains in our modern world but they do still exist and are frequently utilized. A railroad conductor might take passenger tickets, make announcements over the intercom, or manage freight cargo. It all depends on what kind of train they work on.
52. Commercial Airline Pilot
Average Annual Income: $115,670
There are two kinds of pilots—pilots that work for airlines and commercial pilots. Commercial airline pilots are a no degree job and can become a pilot just with a high school degree. They usually fly smaller planes and helicopters.
So if you’re searching for high paying jobs, no degree and need help making payments while you’re in between these important career decisions, you can always take out a Check City Installment Loan.
written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter