Special Report

The Highest Paying Jobs You Can Get Without a College Degree

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25. Gambling Managers
> Median income $76,910
> Typical educational level required: High school diploma or equivalent
> Total workforce: 3,660
> Projected employment change, 2020-2030: +24%

Gambling manager is one of the 25 highest paying jobs in America that does not require a college degree. Gambling managers plan, direct, and coordinate gaming operations at casinos. The career has a median income of nearly $77,000.

Though a relatively small number of people, 3,660, work in this job, the occupation’s workforce is projected to grow by 24% from 2020 to 2030. This is largely attributed to the predicted growing popularity of gambling establishments as well as states amending their laws to allow more such businesses to operate.

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24. Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment
> Median income $77,250
> Typical educational level required: Postsecondary nondegree award
> Total workforce: 10,710
> Projected employment change, 2020-2030: +2%

Transportation equipment electronics installers and repairers work with mobile electronics communication equipment on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment. This includes sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems.

These workers typically earn over $77,000 per year. The field is projected to expand relatively slowly, growing by just 2% from 2020 to 2030, according to BLS projections.

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23. Athletes and Sports Competitors
> Median income $77,300
> Typical educational level required: No formal educational credential
> Total workforce: 12,320
> Projected employment change, 2020-2030: +38%

Professional athlete ranks as one of the highest-paying jobs one can get without a college degree, with an median annual wage of $77,300.

Though there is technically no educational requirement, many of the largest pro sports leagues in America like the NFL and the NBA generally require players to be of a certain age before they are draft eligible. This generally means athletes play in college before heading to the majors, though some players have opted for foreign leagues instead. With a unanimous Supreme Court ruling striking down the NCAA’s amateurism rules, even college athletes can now profit off their name, image, and likeness via endorsements and other opportunities.

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22. Gas Plant Operators
> Median income $77,850
> Typical educational level required: High school diploma or equivalent
> Total workforce: 15,110
> Projected employment change, 2020-2030: -14%

Gas plant operators are in charge of regulating the facilities that pump gas for utility companies and ensuring pipelines are at the proper pressure to keep operations running smoothly and safely.

These workers are typically required to have a high school diploma (as well as long-term on-the-job training) to get the job. Workers have a median annual wage of $77,850, one of the highest-paying jobs you can get without a college degree. Nationwide, the median annual wage for all jobs is $45,760.

21. First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers
> Median income $78,230
> Typical educational level required: Postsecondary nondegree award
> Total workforce: 80,890
> Projected employment change, 2020-2030: +8%

First-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers ensure that people battling fires and working to stop them from starting or advancing are doing their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. This difficult and dangerous job has a median annual wage of $78,230 and requires certification, on-the-job training, and similar work experience.

The number of firefighting supervisors working in the U.S. is projected to increase by 8% from 2020 to 2030, roughly in line with the growth rate across all jobs.

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