1. Quick Summary
  2. Airline Pilot and Air Traffic Controller
  3. Transportation Storage and Distribution Manager
  4. Power Plant Operator, Distributor and Dispatcher
  5. Elevator and Escalator Installer and Mechanic
  6. Postmaster and Mail Superintendent
  7. Transportation Inspector
  8. Petroleum Pump System Operator, Refinery Operator and Gauger
  9. Signal and Track Switch Repairer
  10. Farmer, Rancher and Other Agricultural Manager
  11. Occupational Health Safety Specialist and Technician
  12. Subway and Streetcar Operator
  13. Risk Manager
  14. Sales Director
  15. Senior Consultant
  16. Development Director
  17. Conclusion

High paying jobs are available even if you don’t have a four-year degree. There are jobs that, with a little training, can be very lucrative. Here are 15 jobs that pay over $75 thousand that don’t require a four-year college degree.

1. Airline Pilot and Air Traffic Controller

Airline Pilot and Air Traffic Controller

Annual Salary $219,140

You might be surprised that an airline pilot doesn’t need a college degree. All they need is a high school diploma and training. Most of the experience needed is found through on the job training as you're required to fly a certain number of miles every year to keep your flight status. An air traffic controller helps ensure airports, flights, runways, and routes are running smoothly and makes last minute changes in the event of emergencies or weather related events.

2. Transportation Storage and Distribution Manager

Transportation Storage and Distribution Manager

Annual Salary $100,168

These are also known as logistics managers. They plan, organize and coordinate transportation, storage and distribution activities. Transportation Storage and Distribution Managers ensure that the organization’s stock is maintained and moves efficiently.

There is a clear career path for those in this role, with opportunities for advancement and skill development while obtaining on the job training.

3. Power Plant Operator, Distributor and Dispatcher

Solar Energy Systems Engineers

Annual Salary $100,890

Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers control power plants. They oversee and supervise electrical systems, managing the flow of electricity from plants to substations, which distribute it to homes and businesses. Most power plant operators only need a high school diploma, so no college degree is required, and some even can get into an apprenticeship program to start working right out of high school.

4. Elevator and Escalator Installer and Mechanic

Elevator Inspector

Annual Salary $113,086

Elevator and escalator installers assemble, install and maintain elevators, escalators, chairlifts, moving walkways and similar equipment. An elevator mechanic might help inspect the parts of the elevator to ensure smooth operation.

5. Postmaster and Mail Superintendent

Postal Worker

Annual Salary $88,670

Postmasters and mail superintendents direct or coordinate operational, administrative, and support services in the U.S. post office. These roles are always in demand - there's several different career paths within the U.S. post office that aren't just going house to house to deliver mail so look into this industry more if you're interested.

6. Transportation Inspector

Transportation Inspector

Annual Salary $87,290

Many of these inspectors only hold a high school diploma. They inspect equipment or goods concerning the safe transport of people or cargo.

7. Petroleum Pump System Operator, Refinery Operator and Gauger

Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators and Gaugers

Annual Salary $88,120

These operators operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. Many of these roles require some sort of post secondary education but a 4-year degree isn't a necessity.

8. Signal and Track Switch Repairer

Signal and Track Switch Repairers

Annual Salary $81,810

Signal and Track Switch Repairers install, test, maintain or repair electric gate crossings. They service signals, signal equipment, track switches, etc.

9. Farmer, Rancher and Other Agricultural Manager

Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Manager

Annual Salary $83,770

These agriculturists work in agriculture and agribusiness. It’s a demanding job and involves indoor and outdoor activities. They work in colleges, government agencies or with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

10. Occupational Health Safety Specialist and Technician

Occupational Health Safety Specialists and Technicians

Annual Salary $77,580

These specialists collect data, analyze, and design improvements to many types of environments and procedures. They adhere to regulations on safety, health and environment.

11. Subway and Streetcar Operator

Subway and Streetcar Operators

Annual Salary $84,270

Subway and Streetcar Operators operate controls to open and close transit vehicle doors. They guide and control rail-guided public transportation.

12. Risk Manager

Risk Manager

Annual Salary $105,930

These managers determine current and potential risks affecting a company's profitability. They manage insurance policies, present a risk-management budget, and review third-party contracts and proposals to determine a possible risk.

13. Sales Director

Sales Director

Annual Salary $102,449

A sales director manages sales managers, develops sales training programs for new employees and develops sales strategies. Typically, sales directors more upward in their role from gaining invaluable on the job training in a sales role.

14. Senior Consultant

Senior Consultant

Annual Salary $106,305

Senior consultants work with department managers to implement new, improved operations and processes. They analyze business data and observe various department operations. They then make recommendations to managers.

15. Development Director

Development Director

Annual Salary $85,479

These directors collaborate with marketing, development, and communication teams to build and maintain relationships with sponsors for non-profit organizations. Development directors organize and host fundraising events and identify opportunities for strategic partnerships.


All 15 of these jobs have on-the-job training opportunities where you don't have to earn a bachelor's degree to start growing in your career field. There's several other jobs that are well-paying similar to these listed above. You may not start your career in these positions, but you can work your way up to them. Alternatively, vocational training or a two year degree program can provide the specific skills and expertise required for these roles, often in less time than a traditional four-year degree program.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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