Top Jobs for People without a Degree

Many people think that you need a college degree to land a great job . or at least, a job that will pay good money. But ┬áthink again. Many jobs are available even for high-school graduates. Some people call them the big blue-collar jobs, and some people think that they are ‘last chance’ jobs. But if you haven’t graduated yet, and you need a job, think of these jobs as your beast options, until you can build enough savings to finish your studies. And if you end up enjoying the job, well, then, you may have just found your calling.

Electric powerhouse repairman

Median annual salary: $65,000 +

Electrical power is the lifeblood of modern society, and as an electrical powerhouse repairman, you will be the one who not only repairs power generation stations and plants, you’ll also be the one monitoring them, so you’ll know when maintenance has to be done.

If you travel from place to place, or you check on power lines, then you’re also called a field technician. To become a field technician or powerhouse repairman, you will have to take extra classes after graduating from high school. Most of these classes will be in basic electronics, with a specific concentration on repairing damaged systems.

Power plant operator

Median annual salary: $65,000 +

Think of yourself as a machine operator, except that your machine is a power-generating station or plant. As part of your job, you are tasked to adjust settings for more stable power output, monitoring power production to make sure that everything is within normal parameters, and you should also be able to maintain and do some basic or minor repairs to the system that will hold until a field technician comes in. You don’t need any special training beyond that which you will have to go through in learning how to operate the station or the plant. However, it may be a good idea to study more about electrical engineering and electronics during your free times.

Casino management

Median annual salary: $66,000 +

Also known as gaming managers, casino managers oversee the daily operations for gaming facilities. Just as in a standard office, this means supervising personnel, monitoring the ‘work floor,’ and making sure that the premises are secure. Casino managers also have to be familiar with local laws that may pertain to any activity in the casino.

Although you don’t need a college degree, it may be a good idea to take some accounting classes, and to polish your communication skills. You should also be prepared to have legal papers, such as a gaming license, in order to operate in some states.

Detectives and criminal investigators

Median annual salary: $68,000 +

Police procedural shows only scratch the surface of how detectives and investigators do their work. And the crazy thing is, aside from gathering facts that pertain to a case, and finding enough evidence to find out if a person committed a crime or not, detectives and criminal investigators all have to develop their own special skill sets by going up the ladder of experience, be it as a private investigator or as a police officer.

It’s important to note that what a private detective can do varies from state to state, so it’s a good idea to take up some law classes, aside from criminology, when you can.

Power dispatcher

Median annual salary: $70,000 +

Dispatchers are one level above power plant operators, with their jobs focusing on coordinating and monitoring electrical loads across a network. Their job includes knowing how to operate power distribution machines, and how to read and respond to power readings to keep levels stable. They should also be able to make quick judgments if they feel that they have to shut down or divert power to preserve the larger network from damage. At this level, although some classes in electrical engineering and basic electronics can help, all you need is a high school diploma.

Elevator installer and repairman

Median annual salary: $70,000 +

While the job may not sound like much, do remember that they have to make sure that the elevator is operating within industry, state, and production specifications. They should be able to diagnose what’s wrong from observing how the elevator is performing. Although you don’t need more than a high school diploma to get this job, you may need training to receive a course certificate. You should also be aware of building, machinery, and specifically elevator safety codes that apply to the current job. Elevator technicians can also be found working in industrial areas, particularly in mines, ports, and work areas where elevators are necessary, or handle large loads.

Nuclear power plant operator

Median annual salary: $75,000 +

Homer Simpson’s example notwithstanding, nuclear plant operators are primarily in charge of controlling and monitoring the nuclear reactions that create the power output for nuclear reactors. As part of their job, they are supposed to know what to do when minor and major emergencies happen, and they should be able to deal with this immediately, or have the presence or mind to alert their superiors if they think that the issue merits a closer look. These reactor operators are, in effect, our last remaining human safeguards within the context of nuclear power plant operation.

Commercial pilot

Median annual salary: $92,000 +

This is probably one of the most enjoyable jobs that you can get on a high school degree. While the main job is to simply pilot the planes that people use to get from one place to the other, pilots also have to take care of other jobs, such as baggage load confirmation, flight path planning, and coordination with the ground control and maintenance crews to make sure that the plane itself is in good condition. You will need to take up flight school, and earn a license that allows you to fly passenger planes.

Air traffic controllers

Median annual salary: $108,000 +

If you think the pilot has it easy, then you couldn’t be more wrong. While an air traffic controller’s job may be legendary in terms of stress levels, they are paid much more than commercial pilots. And it’s no surprise, given that they coordinate the flight paths for all incoming and outgoing flights from an airport or airfield.

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