Some people love school so much they could be considered professional students. They may get a bachelor’s degree, and then a master’s degree, and then another master’s degree, and then a Ph.D. and then they start the process all over again.
On the other hand, some people graduate from high school and decide that they’ve spent enough time in school to last a lifetime. Some will go to college for a year or two, but that’s it. Game over. However, they still want a high-paying job that utilizes their skills and talents.
This list is for those people: the get-in-get-out-and-get-on-with-my-life people. Each of the jobs on this list requires either a high school diploma or an associate (no, it’s not “associate’s”) degree. The highest paying job on the list pays well over 100K, and the lowest paying job pays $23K more than the $34,750 earned by the average American worker.
So keep reading to discover which high-paying jobs don’t have ball-and-chain educational requirements.
10. Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians – $57,850
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians assist engineers in developing such products as computers, medical monitoring devices, and communications and navigational equipment. Electrical engineering technicians construct and repair electrical instruments and systems, and also create diagrams and write specs. Electronics engineering technicians devise circuitry, create prototypes, and make coils, terminal boards, and other parts. They also repair electronic components. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians need an associate degree, reports the Department of Labor.
9. Purchasing Agents – $58,760
Purchasing agents buy products for their companies to either resell or use internally. To learn about products and services, they attend trade shows and conferences, and also meet with suppliers and vendors. In addition, purchasing agents evaluate proposals, negotiate contracts, and review records and contracts to ensure compliance with agreed-upon conditions. According to the Department of Labor, educational requirements vary by organization and product. A high school diploma is sufficient for many employers since on-the-job training is provided. However, some companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
8. Claims Adjusters, Examiners, Investigators – $59,850
Claims adjusters inspect residential homes, commercial buildings, or vehicles to determine the extent of the damage and how much the insurance company should pay for it. Examiners analyze submitted claims and either approve or deny the claim, or they may send the claim to an investigator. Investigators determine if claims are fraudulent (such as staged events, arson, inflated medical bills). According to the Department of Labor, a high school diploma is sufficient for entry-level positions. However, some firms may prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or experience working in the insurance industry.
7. Web Developers – $62,500
As the name implies, web developers are responsible for developing websites. The web programmers handle technical aspects of development, and use programming languages to write code. Web designers create the look of the website. They pick the colors, fonts and text sizes, graphics, videos, and special effects. Once the site is up and running, web masters ensure that it functions as designed. They also test the website for errors and respond to requests for assistance from website users. Educational requirements vary for web developers and may range from a high school diploma to an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree.
6. Power Plant Operators, Distributors and Dispatchers – $68,230
Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers control the systems that generate coal, nuclear gas, nuclear fuel, and other types of fuel. They stop, start, adjust and monitor the flow of power from plants to substations, and also monitor equipment to ensure that it works properly. According to the Department of Labor, the educational requirement to be a power plant operator, distributor, or dispatcher is a high school diploma, although some employers prefer candidates with a vocational degree. In addition, nuclear power reactor operators must be licensed.
5. Nuclear Medicine Technicians – $70,180
Nuclear medicine technicians operate scanning equipment to take images of a patient’s body. They prepare radioactive medications and have patients consume these meds so that questionable parts of the body will be highly visible during the scan. They also observe the patients to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the meds. In addition, nuclear medicine technicians answer questions from patients and explain the imaging process, and they also ensure that patients are not exposed to more radiation than necessary. The Department of Labor reports that either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree meets the educational requirement for this position.
4. Dental Hygienists – $70,210
Dental hygienists perform a variety of dental services, including examining patients for cavities, gingivitis, or other dental problems. They also take and develop x-rays, and remove plaque, stains, and other substances from the patient’s teeth. In addition, dental hygienists polish teeth and apply sealants to help provide protection, and they instruct patients in proper at-home dental techniques. An associate degree in dental hygiene is the usual requirement to be a dental hygienist, according to the Department of Labor. Those who want to teach or engage in research typically need a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.
3. Elevator Installers and Repairers – $76,650
Elevator installers and repairers install elevators, moving walkways, escalators, and other types of lifts. They also test and troubleshoot this equipment, and make adjustments to counterweights, brakes, electric motors, switches, and other parts, in addition to ensuring that the equipment meets specification, building codes, and regulations. The educational requirement to be an elevator installer and repairer is a high school diploma, and a five year apprenticeship, which combines at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid-on-the job training each year, according to the Department of Labor.
2. Radiation Therapists – $77,560
Radiation therapists treat cancer and other types of diseases in patients by administering radiation to them. They use linear accelerators, which are machines that focus an intense level of x-rays at targeted areas of the body. Radiation therapists also ensure that the linear accelerators function properly and administer the appropriate dose of radiation. The Department of Labor states that educational requirements to be a radiation therapist include three options: a 12-month certificate program, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy.
1. Air Traffic Controllers – $122,530
Air traffic controllers authorize flight movement to ensure efficiency and safety. This includes directing planes and employees on the runways, and issuing takeoff and landing instructions. Air traffic controllers also monitor aircraft in the sky, notify the appropriate personnel of any aircraft-related emergency, and update pilots regarding changes in the weather and other pertinent information. According to the Department of Labor, applicants with only a high school diploma need experience as a pilot, flight dispatcher, or other aviation-related area. In addition, the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative offers both 2-year and 4-year degrees.