Employment Trends Getting Started

Your Top 10 Job Options with a High School Diploma

Written by Miranda Pennington

top media’s unusual career correspondent is reporting that the 10 highest paying jobs that don’t require a college degree are:

10. court reporter

this field requires attention to detail, fast typing skills, a background check, and a few certification classes. salary ranges from $29k-$104k

9. power distributors and dispatchers

responsibilities: coordinate, regulate, and distribute power like electricity and steam. hs diploma, long term on the job training. avg wage $71k.

8. pilots

commercial, private, corporations: you get to fly planes! $73-110k average salary, but with huge variety depending on the type of license and specific responsibilities.

7. detectives and criminal investigators

pursue investigations of potential breaches of state and federal laws, work like agents on csi, and earn $74k on average! hs diploma required.

6. nuclear power reactor operators

don’t let homer simpson fool you, you use advanced equipment to monitor and record data. high school diploma required, along with long term on-the-job training.

5. elevator installers and technicians

think how many elevators there are in the world and how often they break. this is clearly a career with lucrative potential and longevity.

4. radiation therapist

rts use radiation to target cancer cells, observe patients, and complete documentation. $77k average salary. this requires a 2-year associate degree or certificate.

3. construction manager

this will need a few years of experience, but you can advance quickly to an on-call position where you administer corporate policies and supervise workers on projects. $41k – $130k.

2. transportation, storage, distribution managers

planning, directing, and coordinating logistics in accordance with company policies and government laws. average wages are $81k.

1. air traffic controllers

after lots of tests, screenings, background exams, and classes, you can be eligible to direct planes on runways! median salary is $122k per year and you earn every penny because this gig is stressful.


About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.