Having a college degree can often increase your qualifications for jobs, and your overall earning potential. However, there are still a number of jobs that do not require a college degree which can pay very well. These jobs can be appealing to people who want to make a good amount of money without having to pay the high cost of college, or taking on lots of student loan debt. Here are the ten highest paying jobs without having a college degree.


10) Power Plant Operators

Power plant operators are the people who run power plants that supply electrical power to homes and other buildings. The median salary for power plant operators is $66,130.


9) Farmers and Ranchers

Farmers and ranchers run businesses that generate the plants and animal products that make up the food supply. The median annual wage for farmers and ranchers is $69,300. 

Three ranchers are driving a herd of horses

8) Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers

People who participate in this line of work supervise sales people who are selling in a non-retail situation. The median salary for supervisors of non-retail sales workers is $70,060.


7) Power Distributors and Dispatchers

Power distributors and dispatchers monitor and regulate the flow of steam or electricity from their power source along supply lines to their ultimate destinations. The median salary for power distributors and dispatchers is $71,690.


6) Commercial Pilots

Commercial pilots receive extensive job training. However, they do not need a college degree. Commercial pilots fly planes and helicopters to transport people and goods. The median salary for commercial pilots is $73,280.


5) Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Detectives and criminal investigators carry out the investigations of suspected criminals in order to solve crimes and/or to attempt to prevent them from happening. The median salary for detectives is $74,300.

Detective boy is investigating the crime scene with magnifying glass

4) Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators also receive extensive on-the-job training. However, a college degree is not required. These people operate the controls that run nuclear power plants. The median salary for nuclear power reactor operators is $74,990.


3) Elevator Installers and Operators

People who do these jobs maintain, install, and repair elevators. The median salary for these workers is $76,650.


2) Supervisors of Police and Detectives

Supervisors of Police and Detectives oversee and manage the operations of police forces and detective unites. The median annual salary for supervisors of police and detectives is $78,270.


1) Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

These professionals organize, manage, and coordinate supply lines, and storage. They are responsible for arranging shipments in compliance with all relevant laws. The median salary for transportation, storage, and distribution managers is $81,830.

Storage managers are checking numbers form computer

Pursuing a college education can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Also, college degrees often do not provide any relevant work experience. So, if you have been thinking to yourself, “I need money,” or have been wondering how to make money if you don’t have a college degree, then pursuing these ten career options could be worth your while. Looking for jobs in places with low unemployment rates may also be helpful, once you have chosen your career path.