Were you told you need to go to a 4 years university in order to land a high paying career?
While there are lots of good reasons to go to college, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to have access to jobs that pay well. In fact, rising tuitions costs has meant that college isn’t an option for a lot of people unless they have generous parents, are willing to take on massive student loans, or have a coveted scholarship.
If you’re looking for a high paying job that doesn’t require a college degree, check out these 10 potential career options:
1. Alaskan Crab FishermanAverage salary:$27,000 for approx. 2 months of work.
Top 10% salary: $100,000+
Job description: As far as high paying jobs without college go, Alaskan crab fishing has to be near the top of the list. Once at the top of the list of most dangerous jobs, Alaskan crab fishing has gotten significantly safer in recent years, and more profitable as well. Thanks to new government regulations and quotas, this profession that saw an average of 7.3 fatalities per year in the 1990s experienced only 1 death in the past 6 years.
Alaskan Crab fisherman only work for around 4-8 weeks of the year during the king and snow crab seasons, but this can involve long shifts of 21 hours on average. It can also involve grueling, arduous physical work that includes:
- Setting and retrieving crab pots
- Sorting the catch and returning small catch into the ocean
- Removing dead crabs from the tank
- Cleaning and maintaining the deck of the ship
Experience and training: No formal experience required, though crab fisherman usually need to work a few seasons as a deckhand before becoming a fisherman who shares in the crew’s profits.
Additional qualifications: Alaskan crab fisherman need to be extremely physically fit to manipulate the heavy crab pots and perform physical labor for long shifts, often up to 21 hours. Mental toughness is also a must.
2. Air Traffic ControllerAverage salary: $108,040
Top 10% salary: $165,660+
Job description: Air traffic controllers direct the movement of air traffic and help planes land and take off safely. They’re responsible for coordinating flight schedules, issuing take-off and landing instructions to pilots, authorizing flight path changes, offering weather updates, and co-ordinating with airport staff in cases of emergency. While the pay is significant, it can be a demanding, stressful position that requires strong mental acuity.
Experience and training: Air traffic controllers must complete an air traffic management degree from an FAA certified school, past the pre-employment test, and complete an FAA training course. Prospective air traffic controllers also need to be under 31 years old, unless they’ve had previous experience in the military.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): -800
3. Elevator Installers and RepairersAverage salary: $70,910
Top 10% salary: $101,390+
Job description: Elevator installers and repairers install, repair and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and even chairlifts. Installers generally follow standard procedures to install elevator and escalators, while repairers focus more on troubleshooting and preventative maintenance such as greasing and oiling parts, replacing old and worn parts, and running diagnostics on computerized systems.
Experience and training: Elevator installers and repairers need a high school diploma or a GED. The majority of their training is through a 4 year apprenticeship program, where apprentices must perform at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as 144 hours of technical instruction. In order to qualify for an apprenticeship, potential apprentices usually need to pass basic aptitude tests in math, reading, and mechanical skills.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): 2,300
4. Power Plant Operators Distributors and DispatchersAverage salary: $65,360
Top 10% salary: $88,330+
Job description: Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers work in power plant facilities to ensure that they’re generating electricity and distributing it to the grid. Some of their duties include:
- Starting or stopping generators, turbines, and other equipment
- Controlling power-generating euipmqnet
- Monitor power flow by reading gauges and charts
- Regulating power flow
- Checking equipment and indicators and looking for signs of operating problems
Experience and training: Power plant operators, dispatchers, and distributors need at least a High school diploma or GED. They also need to undergo long-term, rigorous on-the-job training and technical instruction. The training process can take several years before the worker is fully qualified. Once qualified, operators still need to take regular training courses to keep up to date on technical systems and procedures. They also need to pass the appropriate licensing exam, which depends on the type of power reactor they’re working on.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020):-1,100
5. Locomotive EngineerAverage salary: $52,940
Top 10% salary: $79,340
Job description: Locomotive engineers drive trains. These might be electric, diesel-electric, gas-trubine-electric, or steam locomotives. They interpret train orders from headquarters, follow railroad regulations, and ensure that their train runs smoothly, safely, and on-time.
Experience and training: High school diploma or GED is required, though this depends on the rail company. Locomotive engineers generally need to start by working as a train conductor for a number of years. Locomotive engineers usually receive around 2-3 months of on-the-job training before they’re permitted to operate a train on their own. Railroad companies also provided additional training that allows engineers to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. Depending on the type of train, locomotive engineers may also need to apply for additional licensing. All locomotive engineers must be certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FAA).
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): 500
6. Real Estate BrokerAverage salary: $54,910
Top 10% salary: $95,220+
Job description: Real estate brokers help clients sell, buy, and rent real estate. They manage every aspect of the sale, including marketing, determining market prices, advising clients on mortgages, prices, market conditions, handling negotiations, filing the right paperwork, and much more. In addition, they’re also licensed to manage their own brokerage firms, allowing them to hire sales agents to work for them.
Experience and training: Real estate brokers need a high school diploma or GED. They must also pass the licensing course/exam in their jurisdiction. To obtain the brokers license, most jurisdictions also require that potential brokers work for at least 1-3 years as real estate sales agents before applying for licensing.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): 52,500
7. Home Aides SupervisorAverage salary: $63,400
Job description: Home aide supervisors manage home health aides and ensure that they’re delivering a high level of care for their patients. They’re also responsible for hiring and training new health aides and managing patient care.
Experience and training: No high school diploma necessary. Home aide supervisors usually start off working as home health aides themselves.
Additional qualifications: Home aide supervisors need to be good with people, compassionate, patient, and cheerful.
8. Casino Gaming ManagerAverage salary: $67,400
Job description: Casino gaming managers are responsible for co-ordinating the action on the gaming floor. This can include managing security operations, managing dealers, setting policies, resolving customer complaints, and ensuring that operations are running smoothly and profitably.
Experience and training: There are no formal education requirements, but some employers might want casino managers to have at least a 2 year associates degree. Specific requirements will depend on each casino operator and local state rules. All casino workers need to be licensed from a state regulatory board. Most managers start working as entry-level casino gaming workers, and need to be familiar with the ins-and-outs of casino operations before being promoted.
Additional qualifications: Communication skills are paramount. Casino managers need to have an outgoing personality and must have the patience to remain calm even when dealing with irate or demanding customers.
9. Ship CaptainAverage salary: $64,180
Top 10% salary: $99,690+
Job description: Ship captains command water vessels. This can range from small fishing boats, to tugboats or ferry boats, to private yachts, and even large cruise ships or military vessels. Ship captains must navigate their ship and manage crew members to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the ship.
Experience and training: Ship captains almost always start off as deck hands or officers before being promoted to captain. Deck hands often have at least a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation, where they learn about seamanship, navigation, and maritime business. Ship captains also undergo an apprenticeship under another ship captain, and must also obtain Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and Transportation Worker Identification Certification (TWIC) from the United States Coast Guard.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): 16,700
10. In-Flight Service ManagerAverage salary: $72,200
Job description: The in-flight service manager is the flight attendant in charge of the cabin. They’re responsible for managing flight attendants and ensuring that customers receive a comfortable experience while in the air. They’re also responsible for ensuring that the cabin is safe for take off and landing.
Experience and training: High school diploma or GED is required. On the job training is provided by the airline. In-flight service managers are promoted from flight attendant.
Job prospects (New positions expected in 2010-2020): -200