We live in a society that prizes getting a college degree. The belief is that you absolutely need one to land high-paying jobs. In some cases that is a myth. You can land in a solid career with a high-school diploma. Here are 13 high-paying careers that require no more than a high school diploma or some certifications.
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Being a plumber isn’t glamorous, but it pays well. You don’t need a college degree, either. The median pay for a plumber is nearly $60,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A high school diploma is the only requirement, though attending a trade school may also be beneficial.
A fire chief manages a fire department.
If you enjoy managing people, working with budgets and of course, planning emergency responses, this could be a good job for you.
Plus, the national average salary for a fire chief is more than $100,000 a year.
Do you have an eye for what makes a good picture, or do you enjoy capturing others’ special moments? Being a freelance photographer is a fantastic opportunity. Indeed reports the average salary for a freelance photographer is $38 per hour.
This is a great way to make money on the side, or you can make a career of it.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Do you like to improve procedures and create improvements? If so, being an occupational health and safety specialist could be a career for you.
A degree is helpful in this field, but it’s not required.
The national average yearly salary for a radiation therapist is more than $70,000 a year.
Elevator Installer and Repair Person
Are you good at math and have a mechanical aptitude? You can make good money as an elevator installer and repair person.
The median salary is $99,000 according to the BLS. All you need is a high school diploma, or equivalent.
Are you at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen? You can protect and serve and earn a good living. Police officers typically don’t need to have a college degree to be successful.
You will need to pass a written and physical exam, attend training, and go through on-the-job training. The median salary is roughly $65,000 annually, according to the BLS.
Do you love to work on cars and have a good, overall, technical knowledge? You can earn a decent living as an auto mechanic.
According to Indeed, the average auto mechanic earns $53,000 annually. Pay can get as high as nearly $90,000 a year.
No degree is required, though you may want to become certified to increase earning potential.
If you live in a temperate climate, there’s always demand for HVAC technicians. You can expect a median annual income of nearly $49,000, according to the BLS.
A high school diploma and apprenticeship are all that’s required.
Love real estate? If you’re a people person, you can make a good living as a realtor. The median salary is over $62,000 per year, according to the BLS.
All that’s needed is a high school diploma and industry licensing.
Want to get into the medical field? You can do that as a MRI technician. They operate the MRI machine and decipher the results.
MRI techs can expect a median salary of over $77,000, according to the BLS. An Associate’s degree, or completing MRI tech training is required.
Postal Service Worker
Don’t mind the occasional weather or dog? As a postal service worker you can earn a median salary of over $51,000, according to the BLS.
A high school diploma, or equivalent, is the only requirement.
Do you like to work with your hands and have an understanding of electronics? Licensed electricians earn a median salary of over $60,000 a year, according to the BLS.
A high school diploma, or equivalent is required. You may also need to become licensed in your state to operate.
Are you a jack of all trades and good with your hands? A general maintenance and repair worker is a fantastic opportunity to make a living.
The median salary is roughly $45,000 annually, according to the BLS. All you need is a high school diploma, or equivalent.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.