40 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require A Bachelor's Degree

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In today's uncertain economy, a college education no longer guarantees you a high-paying job. But on the flip side, if you don't want to go to college, you don't have to - you can still get a high-paying job without a bachelor's degree.

According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the 40 highest-paying jobs that don't require workers to have a four-year college degree. Each has an annual salary of at least $58,000.

The median annual wages listed are calculated to include hourly, weekly, and annual pay, as well as sales commissions and production bonuses. Overtime wages are not included in the data. We also provided the expected job openings through 2022 and the work experience or on-the-job training needed for a particular job.

Compared to last year's list, newcomer jobs include makeup artists, transportation inspectors, and funeral service managers. Out of all of the jobs, registered nurses have the most projected openings through 2022 with 1,052,600 estimated positions.

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40. Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products

40. Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products

Median annual wage (2012): $58,760

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 61,600

Work experience: None

Description: Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

39. Computer network support specialists

39. Computer network support specialists

Median annual wage (2012): $59,090

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 39,600

Work experience: None

Description: Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

38. Engineering technicians, except drafters

38. Engineering technicians, except drafters

Median annual wage (2012): $59,440

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 14,600

Work experience: None

Description: Solve technical problems. Some help engineers and scientists do research and development.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

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

Median annual wage (2012): $59,700

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 187,100

Work experience: Five years or more

Description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

36. Artists and related workers

36. Artists and related workers

Median annual wage (2012): $59,840

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 2,700

Work experience: None

Description: Represents creative occupations with a wide range of characteristics.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

35. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

35. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Median annual wage (2012): $59,960

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 80,300

Work experience: None

Description: Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators evaluate insurance claims.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

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

Median annual wage (2012): $60,250

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 152,000

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Coordinate mechanic's activities.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

33. Gas plant operators

33. Gas plant operators

Median annual wage (2012): $61,140

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 4,700

Work experience: None

Description: Control systems and do round checks to make sure everything is working properly.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

32. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

32. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $61,530

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 2,100

Work experience: None

Description: Aerospace engineering and operations technicians operate and maintain equipment used in developing, testing, and producing new aircraft and spacecraft

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

31. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

31. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

Median annual wage (2012): $61,850

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 15,500

Work experience: None

Description: Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

30. Web developers

30. Web developers

Median annual wage (2012): $62,500

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 50,700

Work experience: None

Description: Design, create, and modify websites.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

29. Subway and streetcar operators

29. Subway and streetcar operators

Median annual wage (2012): $62,730

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 3,300

Work experience: None

Description: Transport passengers.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

28. Postmasters and mail superintendents

28. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median annual wage (2012): $63,050

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 5,000

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and supportive services of a U.S. post office.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

27. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

27. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Median annual wage (2012): $63,250

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 49,900

Work experience: None

Description: Install or repair electrical power systems and telecommunications cables, including fiber optics.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

26. Transportation Inspectors

26. Transportation Inspectors

Median annual wage (2012): $63,680

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 11,700

Work experience: None

Description: Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

25. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

25. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

Median annual wage (2012): $64,450

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (through 2022): 300

Work experience: None

Description: Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

24. Business operations specialists

24. Business operations specialists

Median annual wage (2012): $65,120

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 209,400

Work experience: None

Description: Coordinate the operations of companies, such as training and planning.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

23. Gaming managers

23. Gaming managers

Median annual wage (2012): $65,220

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 1,400

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate gaming operations in a casino.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

22. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

22. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

Median annual wage (2012): $65,360

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 11,300

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Monitor patient safety and comfort, and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

21. Registered nurses

21. Registered nurses

Median annual wage (2012): $65,470

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 1,052,600

Work experience: None

Description: Provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

20. Diagnostic medical sonographers

20. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Median annual wage (2012): $65,860

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 35,300

Work experience: None

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

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

19. Power plant operators

19. Power plant operators

Median annual wage (2012): $66,130

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 12,900

Work experience: None

Description: Control the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

18. Funeral service managers

18. Funeral service managers

Median annual wage (2012): $66,720

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 3,200

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the services or resources of funeral homes.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

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

Median annual wage (2012): $68,210

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (through 2022): 30,500

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Coordinate activities of workers engaged in fire fighting and fire prevention and control.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

16. Media and communication equipment workers, all other

16. Media and communication equipment workers, all other

Median annual wage (2012): $68,810

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 1,900

Work experience: None

Description: Set up, operate, and monitor audio, video, and digital equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences.

On-the-job training: Short-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

15. Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

15. Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

Median annual wage (2012): $68,810

Degree required: Postsecondary non-degree award

Projected job openings (through 2022): 5,000

Work experience: None

Description: Inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

14. Nuclear technicians

14. Nuclear technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $69,069

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 4,100

Work experience: None

Description: Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear production.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

13. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

13. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

Median annual wage (2012): $69,300

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 150,200

Work experience: Five years or more

Description: Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers run establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

12. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

12. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

Median annual wage (2012): $70,060

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 50,300

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics



11. Nuclear medicine technologists

11. Nuclear medicine technologists

Median annual wage (2012): $70,180

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 7,200

Work experience: None

Description: 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.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

10. Dental hygienists

10. Dental hygienists

Median annual wage (2012): $70,210

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 113,500

Work experience: None

Description: Clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

9. Power distributors and dispatchers

9. Power distributors and dispatchers

Median annual wage (2012): $71,690

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 3,600

Work experience: None

Description: Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

8. Commercial pilots

8. Commercial pilots

Median annual wage (2012): $73,280

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 14,400

Work experience: None

Description: Fly and navigate airplanes or helicopters.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

7. Detectives and criminal investigators

7. Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual wage (2012): $74,300

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 27,700

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of Federal, State, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

6. Nuclear power reactor operators

6. Nuclear power reactor operators

Median annual wage (2012): $74,990

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 2,300

Work experience: None

Description: Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

5. Elevator installers and repairers

5. Elevator installers and repairers

Median annual wage (2012): $76,650

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,000

Work experience: None

Description: Elevator installers and repairers install, fix, and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

4. Radiation therapists

4. Radiation therapists

Median annual wage (2012): $77,560

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,400

Work experience: None

Description: Check equipment, observe patients’ reactions to treatment, and document the session.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

3. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

3. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Median annual wage (2012): $78,270

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 35,700

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Coordinate activities of members of police force.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

2. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

2. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Median annual wage (2012): $81,830

Degree required: High school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 29,100

Work experience: Five years or more

Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

1. Air Traffic Controller

1. Air Traffic Controller

Median annual wage (2012): $122,530

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 11,400

Work experience: None

Description: 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.

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Now see the booming industries:

Now see the booming industries:

Click here to see 10 American industries that are going to boom in the next decade >

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