Top 71 best paying jobs with little schooling

Top 71 best paying jobs with little schooling

Top 71 best paying jobs with little schooling

Top High-Paying Jobs With Little Schooling – Glassdoor Career Guides

Are you interested in finding a well-paying career but not ready to commit to a four-year degree? Many trade schools and colleges have short career programs that can qualify you for a professional role that pays well. There are also plenty of high-paying jobs with little schooling required, especially when it comes to salary and job outlook. Areas like healthcare, technology, and skilled trades offer many opportunities.

There are a number of options for students looking for a job that pays well without attending a traditional four-year university. Trade schools may offer training that could lead to good jobs.

Many people choose to bypass a four-year degree and go straight to some of the highest-paying jobs in America. Without a degree like a bachelor’s, they can still outearn many college graduates.

There are many fast-paced careers that offer good salaries, and you can find them by taking a broader view of your educational options. A two-year or less vocational training program may be all you need to get started in one of these fields.

Below is a list of the current highest paying jobs with little schooling.

1. Civil engineering technician

Average base pay: $76,540 per year

A civil engineering technician assists licensed civil engineers in developing and inspecting building projects. They also manage cost estimations and organize project plans, after completing a two-year associate degree course in civil engineering technology. Becoming certified as a civil engineer through certification exams is another option available to those with the requisite education and experience.

Civil engineering technician

Civil engineering technician

2. Computer programmer

Average base pay: $76,526 per year

Computer programming is a process of designing and building software. Programmers are responsible for testing the software to ensure that it meets current performance and security standards. Many people who want to become computer programmers do not need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but can learn the basics through online courses. It takes about six months to develop tangible skills as a programmer through online courses.

Computer programmer

Computer programmer

3. Construction manager

Average base pay: $74,730 per year

Construction managers oversee all construction activities and recruit and supervise construction workers. They also work with other professionals and key stakeholders, such as the client and company management, to set project requirements. To become a construction manager, you can complete a two-year degree program instead of a bachelor’s degree in construction management.

Construction manager

Construction manager

4. Website developer

Average base pay: $68,524 per year

Websites are created by website developers, who oversee and upgrade a website’s performance and capacity from time to time. Comprehensive web development courses can teach you the skills necessary to develop websites.

Website developer

Website developer

5. Registered nurse

Average base pay: $65,870 per year

Nurses play an important role in the health care of patients in the hospital. They manage and record patients’ medications, procedures, and other daily activities. They also work with other health care professionals to ensure that their patients get the best possible care. Nurses typically complete a diploma or associate degree program in nursing before taking the licensure exam to become a nurse.

Registered nurse

Registered nurse

6. Clinical laboratory assistant

Average base pay: $29,455 per year

A clinical laboratory assistant performs blood tests and analyses body fluid samples, sterilizes the laboratory environment, and stocks it with reagents and chemicals for performing tests. It takes two years to complete the associate degree program for clinical laboratory technicians.

Clinical laboratory assistant

Clinical laboratory assistant

7. Diagnostic medical sonographer

Average base pay: $57,278 per year

A diagnostic medical sonographer uses ultrasound equipment to capture images of different organs in order to help doctors make accurate diagnoses of illnesses. To become a certified diagnostic medical sonographer, you must take a two-year associate degree course from a reputable university.

Diagnostic medical sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographer

8. Games manager

Average base pay: $56,515 per year

A gaming manager oversees the activities of a casino, recruits and train casino employees, manages the casino budget, and attends to customers’ complaints during conflicts. If you want to be successful in this field, it is important to have a two-year associate degree in hospitality.

Games manager

Games manager

9. Physical therapist assistant

Average base pay: $52,418 per year

Physical therapist assistants help develop and monitor treatment plans for patients undergoing physical therapy, documenting the results and delivering them to physical therapists for final evaluation. To become a Physical Therapist Assistant, you need a two-year associate degree and the Physical Ther therapist Assistant Exam.

Physical therapist assistant

Physical therapist assistant

10. Funeral director

Average base pay: $50,377 per year

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To become a funeral service director, you must complete a two-year associate degree program and pass the National Funeral Service Exam.

Funeral director

Funeral director

11. Paralegal

Average base pay: $50,169 per year

Paralegals are legal assistants that help lawyers with their cases. They collect and file important information, so it’s easy to become one if you have an associate degree in paralegal studies.



12. Police officer

Average base pay: $49,667 per year

Police officers are responsible for maintaining law and order within local areas. They protect people and their property, and ensure that citizens obey traffic laws. It takes about six months to complete police training and be certified as a police officer.

Police officer

Police officer

13. Architectural drafter

Average base pay: $48,763 per year

An architectural drafter typically uses computer software to convert intricate architectural drawings into plans that construction managers can use. A two-year degree in architectural drafting will help you get a job in this field.

Architectural drafter

Architectural drafter

14. Claims adjuster

Average base pay: $46,954 per year

Adjusters are responsible for evaluating and adjusting insurance claims when necessary. They help insure that insurance companies pay out claims fairly and in a timely manner. With the right skills, an adjuster with a high school diploma can find work in this field.

Claims adjuster

Claims adjuster

15. Graphic designer

Average base pay: $45,677 per year

A graphic designer can create designs for advertisements, software, reports, and magazines. A beginner’s graphic design course can teach you how to create sample designs and start applying for jobs. However, it is best to take advanced graphic design courses to improve your mastery as you progress in your career.

Graphic designer

Graphic designer

16. Transportation inspector

Average base pay: $44,877 per year

Transportation inspectors work to ensure that vehicles and goods are safe for transportation, and report any violations to the authorities. They may inspect vehicles, goods, or equipment before they are shipped out of an area. To become a certified transportation inspector, you need to take a one-year Transportation Inspector training course and pass the Inspector Certification Exam.

Transportation inspector

Transportation inspector

17. Aircraft mechanic

Average base pay: $41,440 per year

An aircraft mechanic inspects, maintains, and repairs airplanes. The training for aircraft mechanics lasts for an average of two years.

Aircraft mechanic

Aircraft mechanic

18. Surgical technologist

Average base pay: $39,712 per year

A surgical technologist prepares and organizes surgical equipment in the surgery room, assists surgeons during procedures, and can become a registered nurse or doctor after completing an associate degree program and passing the National Surgical Technology exam.

Surgical technologist

Surgical technologist

19. Emergency medical technician

Average base pay: $39,333 per year

Emergency medical technicians are medically trained professionals who receive emergency calls at health centers and treat patients in ambulances. They also help medical officials during emergencies. Emergency medical assistants may need between eight months and two years of training to be able to effectively provide care.

Emergency medical technician

Emergency medical technician

20. Train operator

Average base pay: $35,569 per year

Train operators need a high school diploma and six-month operator training course to become certified. They then drive trains and other modes of rail transport to convey passengers and freight from one place to another.

Train operator

Train operator

21. Gas plant operator

Average base pay: $35,569 per year

Gas plant operators are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, repairing, and monitoring mechanical equipment at gas plants. If you have a knack for handling heavy machinery, you may be a good fit for this job. To get started in this field, obtain a one-year vocational training to gain the necessary skills.

Gas plant operator

Gas plant operator

22. Medical coding specialist

Average base pay: $33,716 per year

Medical coding specialists use specific codes to record data from patients’ procedures, diagnoses, and treatments. They are also responsible for processing billing and payment transactions between health care centers and patients’ health insurance companies.

Medical coding specialist

Medical coding specialist

23. Medical assistant

Average base pay: $31,508 per year

To become a medical assistant, you must complete a two-year program and pass an exam. After that, you will need to obtain a certificate and license from your state’s board of medicine.

Medical assistant

Medical assistant

24. Refinery operator

Average base pay: $31,125 per year

The job of a refinery operator is to run mechanical equipment that turns natural gas into commercial petroleum products. A high school diploma and one year of apprenticeship are required to become a refinery operator.

Refinery operator

Refinery operator

25. Phlebotomist

Average base pay: $28,722 per year

A phlebotomist collects blood from patients for blood donations and laboratory tests. To become a phlebotomist, you need to complete a two-year professional training program and pass the Phlebotomy Technician Certification Examination.



26. Logistics manager

Average salary: $60,538 per year

A logistics manager is responsible for overseeing activities in a supply chain, most notably working in warehouses. They ensure inventory is correct, and employees distribute merchandise in a timely manner. They also keep track of the routes associates are using to transport products from the warehouse.

Logistics manager

Logistics manager

27. Boilermaker

Average salary: $62,319 per year

Boilermakers install and inspect boilers on large vessels, using blueprints to measure space and fix leaks.



28. Massage therapist

Average salary: $65,042 per year

Massage therapists are licensed professionals who help relieve tension and pain in the body through a variety of relaxing techniques. They also may suggest ways to improve one’s posture, as well as helping the body recover from injuries.

Massage therapist

Massage therapist

29. Electrical power line operator

Average salary: $68,030 per year

An electrical power line technician is responsible for keeping city streets and electrical lines functioning properly. They may work for energy companies, fixing cables underground or working on lines that extend above buildings.

Electrical power line operator

Electrical power line operator

30. Agricultural manager

Average salary: $68,090 per year

The agricultural manager oversees farming activities and purchases supplies to ensure a smooth harvest. They also consider the weather and market prices when making decisions about planting new crops.

Agricultural manager

Agricultural manager

31. Aerospace engineering technician

Average salary: $68,570 per year

A technician in aerospace engineering helps design spacecraft and missiles, working with aerospace engineers to identify and fix issues with machines. They also document their work throughout the development process.

Aerospace engineering technician

Aerospace engineering technician

32. Aircraft mechanic

Average salary: $69,098 per year

A mechanic repairs parts of an aircraft, such as brakes and wings. They use hand tools to mend the mechanical and electrical systems. Mechanics perform regular inspections on the plane to identify issues and ensure its safety standards are met.

Aircraft mechanic

Aircraft mechanic

33. Commercial driver

Average salary: $69,308 per year

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Commercial drivers transport and deliver materials, such as merchandise or hazardous substances. Drivers must have a commercial driver’s license and undergo regular inspections of their trucks. They can also operate heavy equipment to unload shipments.

Commercial driver

Commercial driver

34. Occupational therapy assistant

Average salary: $69,618 per year

An occupational therapist assistant assists the occupational therapist during therapy sessions, demonstrating therapeutic exercises that encourage movement and enhance fine motor skills. They also record the patients’ performance.

35. Surgical technician

Average salary: $69,650 per year

A surgical technician helps with the surgery by disinfecting tools, organizing them, and tracking the progress of the surgery.

36. Network systems administrator

Average salary: $69,731 per year

A network systems administrator is responsible for maintaining the security of networks and protecting company information. They work to identify and prevent data issues before they occur, in order to safeguard sensitive information.

37. Diagnostic imaging manager

Average salary: $70,245 per year

A diagnostic imaging manager oversees a department of imaging specialists in a health care facility. They assess the quality of images and help train employees on how to use the equipment safely and efficiently.

38. Locomotive engineer

Average salary: $70,660 per year

As a locomotive engineer, your responsibility is to keep the railroad clear for trains to pass, inspect the speed and air pressure of train equipment, and operate the trains from one station to another.

39. Transit police officer

Average salary: $71,000 per year

A transit police officer protects the safety of passengers on public transportation, such as subways and streetcars. They also respond to emergencies.

40. Radiation therapist

Average salary: $72,963 per year

A radiation therapist is a healthcare professional who helps cancer patients receive radiation therapy. They work with oncologists to plan treatments and help keep patients safe while they are undergoing treatment. Radiation therapists often wear protective gear to avoid exposure to radiation.]

41. Web developer

Average salary: $74,861 per year

A web developer is a professional who creates and maintains websites. They work to ensure the applications run smoothly, while also making the interface user-friendly.

42. Signal and track switch repairer

Average salary: $75,970 per year

A signal and track switch repairer repairs and installs the signals, switches, and related mechanisms on railroads. To ensure system reliability, repairers test their functions and use hand tools to make bolts tighter. They also focus on crossing gates, ensuring that the circuits open and close properly.

43. Gas plant operator

Average salary: $77,610 per year

Gas plant operators adhere to safety protocols within energy companies or industrial plants, inspecting the temperature of equipment, using compressors and evaporators to monitor levels, and minimizing fire hazards.

44. Petroleum pump system operator

Average salary: $77,610 per year

The petroleum pump system operator is responsible for operating special equipment to control valves and command the flow of petroleum into a pipeline. They work in coordination with professionals at other pump systems to avoid contamination.

45. Registered nurse

Average salary: $78,461 per year

Registered nurses (RNs) are health care professionals who work with physicians to provide care for patients. RNs may specialize in providing care in emergency rooms, for example. They often work with families to understand the patient’s medical history and plan treatment.

46. Construction manager

Average salary: $78,938 per year

A construction manager is responsible for overseeing a construction project. They set budgets and make sure that employees are meeting expectations. They also keep clients updated on the progress of the project.

47. Dental hygienist

Average salary: $79,174 per year

Dentists rely on dental hygienists to help keep their patients’ mouths healthy by performing routine procedures such as teeth cleanings and screenings. Dental hygienists also work in dentist’s offices, where they are responsible for explaining treatment plans to patients.

48. MRI Technologist

Average salary: $80,362 per year

A magnetic resonance imaging technician operates an MRI machine to help diagnose patients with medical conditions. The scanning may require technicians to inject patients with contrast, which enables the machine to evaluate their internal organs. Technologists consult with radiologists to interpret MRI results.

49. Ship engineer

Average salary: $81,110 per year

A ship engineer is responsible for keeping the major parts of a ship running, such as the engine, pumps and generator. They also make sure the sewage plant and purifier are working properly.

50. Transportation inspector

Average salary: 81,320 per year

The transportation inspector is responsible for inspecting the operation of transportation modes and ensuring both safety and efficiency are upheld. They check communication equipment to ensure operators can contact someone in an emergency, and also repair any problems with brakes to avoid accidents.

51. Criminal investigator

Average salary: $82,927 per year

A criminal investigator is a law enforcement officer who works to solve crimes. They collect evidence at the scene of the crime and interview eyewitnesses to try and understand what happened. They also participate in suspect interrogations to make sure everyone’s alibi is correct.

52. Elevator installer

Average salary: $88,540 per year

Elevators and escalators can be a huge pain to fix, so installers are responsible for making them work correctly. They also perform tests to ensure everything is running smoothly.

53. Nuclear medicine technologist

Average salary: $89,828 per year

A nuclear medicine technologist administers radioactive substances to patients in order to obtain images of their bodies. The images obtained from these tests can be used by medical professionals to see the inside of a patient’s body and make diagnoses. Nuclear medicine technicians also inspect the equipment used in these tests to ensure it is working properly.

54. Power plant operator

Average salary: $90,875 per year

A power plant operator is responsible for managing electric equipment within a power plant and ensuring the distribution of energy is functioning as intended. They also conduct troubleshooting in order to ensure generations are running properly.

55. Real estate broker

Average salary: $91,294 per year

A real estate broker is a professional who helps agents buy and sell property. They are also responsible for recommending ways to make the houses appear more attractive to prospective buyers, as well as reviewing the transactions that agents make.

56. Software developer

Average salary: $105,564 per year

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A software developer is a professional who creates new software programs. They work with a team of other designers and engineers to keep track of their budget and make sure the product performs as expected. They use programming languages to help create the program.

57. Loan officer

Average salary: $178,203 per year

A loan officer is a licensed professional who helps customers apply for loans. They are typically in a customer service position and will suggest financial products that match the customer’s monetary circumstances. Once the customer invests, they will process the application

58. Respiratory Therapist

The demand for respiratory therapists is high, expected to stay high for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Respiratory therapist schools can be completed in as little as two years or less.

  • Median pay: $62,810
  • Top pay: $89,170 or more

59. Cardiovascular Technologist/Technician

Cardiovascular technicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related conditions, and often receive specialized training in order to perform tests, take ultrasound images, or provide assistance during surgery.

  • Median pay: $59,100
  • Top pay: $96,790 or more

60. Electrician

Most electricians can enter the trade through a short apprenticeship and training at an electrician trade school.

  • Median pay: $56,900
  • Top pay: $98,720 or more

61. Commercial Diver

This tradesperson is skilled in diving, and works underwater in special scuba gear to help build, repair, or remove large structures or equipment. For someone who loves diving and wants to become a professional diver, training to do this can be one of the most exciting options among other programs in skilled trades.

  • Median pay: $54,800
  • Top pay: $111,130 or more


Associates who work in the legal field are often expected to do a variety of tasks, such as LEGAL RESEARCH, ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS, or DRAFTING DOCUMENTS. A two-year associate degree program in Legal Assisting or Paralegal Studies can provide the skills necessary for these responsibilities.

  • Median pay: $52,920
  • Top pay: $85,160 or more

63. HVAC Technician

To become a technician in the field of heating and cooling, you can attend a short HVAC program at a skilled trade school. This program will teach you all about how to install, maintain, and repair systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. It typically takes 8 to 24 months to complete this course of study.

    • Median pay: $48,630 (May, 2021)

Top pay: $78,210 or more (May, 2021)

64. Cargo and Freight Agents  

Cargo and freight agents work to expedite the movement of cargo and freight shipments, arranging for them to be transported by ship, air carriers, or truck. They help with completing import/export documents as well as safety paperwork related to the shipment.

Median salary:$21.03 hourly, $43,740 annual

65. Correctional Officers and Jailers 

Correctional officers and jailers are professionals who staff prisons and jails. They play a crucial role in keeping inmates safe and facilitating their secure travel between court appearances, jail transfers, and appointments. They also process new inmates, watch for contraband, and take any necessary disciplinary action.

Median salary:$21.72 hourly, $45,180 annual

66. Dental Laboratory Technicians 

Dental laboratory technicians use x-ray, digital imaging, or mold impressions of the mouth to create dentures, crowns, bridges and other dental prostheses. They work closely with dentists and orthodontists but are not typically involved in patient care.

Median salary:$19.87 hourly, $41,340 annual

67. Locksmiths and Safe Repairers 

Locksmiths are trained in the art of repairing and opening locks, as well as replacing and adjusting keys. Safe repairers are also educated in the installation and maintenance of safe systems, so if you ever find yourself locked out, they’re your best bet for getting inside. They can also break into safes if necessary to retrieve important documents or items.

Median salary:$20.16 hourly, $41,940 annual

68. Millwrights

Millwrights are responsible for assembling and disassembling heavy machinery, as well as installing equipment in factories and industrial complexes. They typically work in factories and industrial complexes.

Median salary:$26.71 hourly, $55,560 annual

69. Commercial Divers

Commercial divers are responsible for repairing, installing, and replacing underwater equipment. They must be extremely careful while working, stay in constant contact with each other, and make sure that their equipment is still functioning properly. Most commercial divers work for oil or gas companies, but others use their skills in fields such as the military, police force, media outlets or science labs.

Median salary:$24.03 hourly, $49,980 annual

70. Crane and Tower Operators 

Operators of construction cranes work with remote controls to move building materials and often climb ladders to gain access the control pad. Their job is comprehensive, including everything from lubricating pulleys to rigging inspection and packaging.

Median salary:$27.26 hourly, $56,690 annual

71. Respiratory Therapist

A respiratory therapist assists patients with breathing issues caused by a variety of diseases, as well as people who have had heart attacks or sleep disorders. They also work with infants who are born prematurely.

The occupational health and safety specialist assists physicians with developing patient treatment plans, monitors and records patients’ progress, and visits patients at home to check for hazards.

Median salary:$29.48 hourly, $61,330 annual.

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Top 18 Highest Paying Easy JobsHouse Sitter. If you’re looking for easy high paying jobs, don’t discount house sitter. … Personal Trainer. … Optometrist. … Flight Attendant. … Dog Walker. … Toll Booth Attendant. … Massage Therapist. … Librarian.Top 18 Easy Jobs That Pay Well in 2022 – The Interview › The Interview Guys BlogAbout Featured Snippets

What jobs make the most money with the least education?

Top high-paying jobs that require little schoolingCivil engineering technician. Average base pay: $76,540 per year. … Computer programmer. Average base pay: $76,526 per year. … Construction manager. … Website developer. … Registered nurse. … Clinical laboratory assistant. … Diagnostic medical sonographer. … Physical therapist assistant.Top High-Paying Jobs With Little Schooling – › blog › guide › high-paying-jobs-with-little-schoolingAbout Featured Snippets

How can I make 60000 a year without a degree?

25 jobs that pay at least $60,000 without a bachelor’s degreeClaims adjuster.Instrument technician.Web developer.Electrical foreman.Aircraft mechanic.Insurance agent.Solar installer.Truck driver.25 Jobs That Pay $60K Per Year Without a Degree | › Career Guide › Finding a jobAbout Featured Snippets

What jobs make a lot of money without a lot of school?

The 10 highest-paying jobs you can get without a college degree all pay more than $79,000Transportation, storage, and distribution managers.Nuclear power reactor operators. … First-line supervisors of police and detectives. … Power distributors and dispatchers. … Commercial pilots. … Detectives and criminal investigators. … The 10 highest-paying jobs you can get without a college › 2019/04/24 › the-10-highest-paying-jobs-you-can-get-wi…About Featured Snippets

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