The college enrollment rate has fallen in recent years, and many high school graduates are looking for lucrative opportunities that do not require four years of college tuition. While the typical job in the U.S. that requires just a high school degree pays roughly $35,000 less than professions that require a bachelor’s degree, there are a number of high paying jobs in the United States that favor experience, training, and skill over a college education.
In many of these positions — law enforcement and other supervisory roles in non-academic fields, for example — years of experience often trump formal academic education. Similarly, on-the-job training in some of these positions, such as repairs and operations of specialized equipment, is often more beneficial than anything learned in a classroom setting. Also, while not requiring a college degree, some of these jobs require licenses or other specific credentials and certification.
To identify the highest paying jobs that do not require a college degree, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median annual wage estimates for all occupations with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These 50 positions typically have no formal education requirement beyond a high school diploma, and the typical employee at the lowest-paying of these earns $56,790. By comparison, the median annual wage across all occupations in the U.S. is $37,040.