Special Report

Fastest Growing Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

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History is filled with extinct occupations. Most of these jobs were accessible to people with the least formal education, from lamplighters to switchboard operators. (These are jobs that used to be common but no longer exist.)

Today, about 40% of Americans 25 and older have a high school but no higher education except perhaps for some college but no degree, according to a Pew Research Center report earlier this year. Creating jobs that do not require a college degree and pay a living wage is important to the U.S. economy. These jobs often also include access to affordable health care and educational opportunities for the workers or their children.

To determine the 25 fastest growing jobs that don’t require a college education, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Bureau of Labor Statistics employment growth projections from 2020 to 2030 per occupation. We only considered occupations that require at most some college education but no degree and that have a positive projected employment growth. Occupations were ranked based on the projected employment growth from lowest to highest. Median annual wage is for 2021, also from the BLS. 

The 25 occupational categories on this list are expected to grow employment between 2020 and 2030 by more than 26%. Eleven of these jobs, including amusement park attendants, bartenders, and animal caretakers, have a median annual wage of less than $30,000. (These are the lowest paying jobs in America.)

Several jobs, including competitive athletes and makeup artists, pay well above the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760. However, other than flight attendants, the number of people employed in the higher-paying occupations on the list, is considerably lower than other occupations on this list. The largest occupational category on this list by far is the nearly 3.5 million home health and personal care aides, but their median annual wage is below $30,000.

Here are the fastest growing jobs that don’t require a college education

Source: benedek / Getty Images

25. Locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 26.3%
> Median annual wage: $28,570 — #335 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 12,000– #299 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: grandriver / E+ via Getty Images

24. Rotary drill operators, oil and gas
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 26.4%
> Median annual wage: $56,380 — #65 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 15,200– #281 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: martin-dm / E+ / Getty Images

23. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 26.6%
> Median annual wage: $27,170 — #343 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 389,000– #63 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: Lacheev / iStock via Getty Images

22. Gambling service workers, all other
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 27.2%
> Median annual wage: $28,990 — #330 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 9,200– #310 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

21. Gambling and sports book writers and runners
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 28.5%
> Median annual wage: $27,530 — #340 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 8,000– #317 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: SbytovaMN / iStock via Getty Images

20. Animal trainers
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 28.5%
> Median annual wage: $31,280 — #287 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 60,200– #178 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: gorodenkoff / iStock via Getty Images

19. Skincare specialists
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 28.8%
> Median annual wage: $37,300 — #228 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 68,700– #169 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: SolStock / E+ via Getty Images

18. Tour and travel guides
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 29.1%
> Median annual wage: $29,780 — #305 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 44,000– #202 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: miflippo / iStock via Getty Images

17. Umpires, referees, and other sports officials
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 29.4%
> Median annual wage: $35,860 — #264 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 20,200– #262 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: Joey Ingelhart / E+ via Getty Images

16. Roustabouts, oil and gas
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 29.5%
> Median annual wage: $38,920 — #182 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 43,500– #203 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: ronniechua / iStock via Getty Images

15. Derrick operators, oil and gas
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 29.7%
> Median annual wage: $47,230 — #116 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 9,000– #311 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: Ivanko_Brnjakovic / iStock via Getty Images

14. Shampooers
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 29.8%
> Median annual wage: $24,440 — #350 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 10,800– #305 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: izusek / Getty Images

13. Flight attendants
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 30.4%
> Median annual wage: $61,640 — #34 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 102,500– #144 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: danr13 / iStock via Getty Images

12. Choreographers
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.1%
> Median annual wage: $42,700 — #165 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 4,600– #333 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: Wavebreakmedia / iStock via Getty Images

11. Massage therapists
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.2%
> Median annual wage: $46,910 — #124 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 144,600– #114 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: jimd_stock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

10. Amusement and recreation attendants
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.3%
> Median annual wage: $24,500 — #349 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 264,400– #82 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: santypan / iStock via Getty Images

9. Bartenders
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.5%
> Median annual wage: $26,350 — #344 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 492,300– #50 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: Foremniakowski / Getty Images

8. Manicurists and pedicurists
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.6%
> Median annual wage: $29,210 — #328 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 123,000– #129 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock via Getty Images

7. Home health and personal care aides
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 32.6%
> Median annual wage: $29,430 — #320 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 3,470,700– #2 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: Brand X Pictures / Stockbyte via Getty Images

6. Animal caretakers
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 34.4%
> Median annual wage: $28,600 — #334 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 272,400– #81 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: lokisurina / Getty Images

5. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 37.0%
> Median annual wage: $134,750 — #1 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 3,100– #345 highest out of 350 jobs

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Source: RyanJLane / E+ via Getty Images

4. Athletes and sports competitors
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 38.0%
> Median annual wage: $77,300 — #11 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 16,700– #273 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: Erdark / E+ via Getty Images

3. Model makers, wood
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 38.6%
> Median annual wage: $60,780 — #39 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 1,000– #349 highest out of 350 jobs

Source: Alessandro Biascioli / iStock via Getty Images

2. Exercise trainers and group fitness instructors
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 39.3%
> Median annual wage: $40,700 — #169 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 309,800– #79 highest out of 350 jobs

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1. Wind turbine service technicians
> Employment growth projection (2020-2030): 68.2%
> Median annual wage: $56,260 — #66 highest out of 350 jobs
> Total employment: 6,900– #323 highest out of 350 jobs

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