The Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs That Don’t Require College Degrees

With college costs continuing to rise, many are starting to wonder if the degree is really worth it and are looking for alternative methods of education, training and employment.

While for the most part, most individuals with degrees to tend to out earn their counterparts without one over the years, by as much as $1 million, there are still many careers where you can make a great living if you are unable to attend college for financial, familial or whatever other reasons.

A Business Insider article earlier this summer highlighted a few of these options. Check them out below and share with others!

10. Communications Equipment Mechanic

Average pay: $54,500

Education: Post-secondary certification

There are many trade schools and vocational programs that offer courses and certifications in this field; most require a high school degree or GED and can also offer an Associate’s degree upon completion. You’ll work on making sure communications equipment, such as land lines, cell phones and computers are working properly.

9. Aircraft Mechanic

Average pay: $55,000

Education: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-accredited Aviation Maintenance Technician School.

Accredited schools teach the necessary skills for this field and passing an FAA exam is a requirement as well. You’ll inspect and perform maintenance on aircraft systems such as planes and jets.

8. Respiratory Therapist

Average pay: $56,000

Education: Associate’s degree and licensing from your state of practice

Programs for training exist throughout the country and certification is necessary from the National Board for Respiratory Care. You’ll care for patients with breathing difficulties, like asthma and emphysema. You’ll perform diagnostic tests to determine the reasons for their breathing difficulties and administer the necessary treatments.

7. Police Officer

Average pay: $57,000

Education: High school diploma or GED and graduation from police academy

You’ll be required to pass rigorous physical and mental tests and take extensive law enforcement training. You’ll perform all types of tasks involved in keeping the peace or ensuring the members of your community abide by the law.

6. Electrical Technician

Average pay: $58,000

Education: Associate’s degree

Many vocation schools offer programs and training in this industry. You’ll help create, maintain and repair the electronic components and equipment that involves electricity, such as circuits, lighting and electric grids.

5. Retail Buyer

Average pay: $60,000

Education: High school diploma

Educational requirements will vary from company to company, but some stores are willing to hire you for an entry-level buying position with just a high school diploma. You’ll identify, select and purchase stock that matches your retailer’s requirements. You’ll work to build relationships with vendors and ensure your company is getting the best deals on merchandise, allowing them to pass those savings onto the consumers.

4. Web Developer

Average pay: $62,500

Education: Associate’s degree

Training in various web-building platforms, such as HTML, CSS and Java are necessary to succeed in this industry. There are career opportunities in all types of organizations for this field, from government agencies to private companies, large public institutions and non-profits. You’ll design, code and modify websites to create ones that are appealing, easy to use and fully functional.

3. Registered Nurse

Average pay: $65,500

Education: Associate’s degree and nurse license from state of practice

While a bachelor’s degree is widely preferred, with the proper Associate’s degree, training and licensing, you can be just as desirable of a candidate to potential employers. You’ll care for and educate patients on their conditions and health needs and consult with physicians to create and help administer necessary health treatments for the patients’ ailments.

2. Farmer-Rancher

Average pay: $69,300

Education: High school diploma or GED

Contrary to popular belief, farmers get PAID. Take a look at their huge amounts of land and large houses and you’ll realize it may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but you are well compensated for your work. You will breed and grow livestock, fruits and vegetable for sale to retailers.

1. Commercial Pilot

Average pay: $73,000

Education: High school diploma or GED, FAA commercial pilot license and Airline Transport Pilot certificate

While at some point you may need to earn your bachelor’s to work for the bigger airlines, you can begin your career with just the above certifications and hopefully join an airline willing to finance your continued studies. As is implied in the title, you will be responsible for flying commercial flights, which can be domestically or internationally.