In a world that grows ever more competitive by the day, the escalating costs of attending college have made high school graduates look around for opportunities that can be available with a certificate or even Associate's degree. Although it’s becoming indispensable more than ever to garner a college degree from a reputable institute, the sky high expenditures of attending a university is really not feasible for individuals struggling to make ends meet.
However, the great news is that the market is sprawling with a plethora of high paying jobs that only demand a high school diploma. Contrary to the general notion that jobs requiring a high school diploma are not respectable and are low paying, several of these jobs actually pay quite above the median wage.
For instance, Managers in distribution, storage, and transportation, earned a median income of approximately $83,890 in 2013. In fact, we have accumulated a list of commendable careers that have a median salary of above $60,000 annually, well over the national median wage of $35,080 as of 2013. According to the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics database, these are some of the most rewarding careers for high school graduates:
Believe it or not, your mailman is making quite a comfortable living, and might actually be very content with his earnings. According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics database, postal carriers for the United States Postal Service earn a handsome salary of up to $52,000 annually. The job responsibility of a postal carrier is to sort through and deliver the packages and mails to houses within their assigned district.
While some may say this job sounds like a bed of roses, the truth is that pursuing a career in this field is not as simple as it sounds, and is nothing short of hectic and stressful. In fact, you can gauge that from the American slang that stemmed from this vocation, known as “going postal”, which is used for someone who becomes uncontrollably outraged at the slightest trigger.
Combine this with the news that the outlook of the job isn’t as bright as it used to be, since the Postal Service’s revenue continues to be ravished by electronic communication! Still, the postal service is here to stay for time immemorial and garnering a job that pays $52,000 a year is a great prospect for a high school graduate.
A boilermaker is one of the highest paying jobs that can be acquired by a high school graduate. On average, Boilermakers earn a comfortable living of almost $55,800 a year. If you are wondering what the Job entails, boilermakers are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and constructing boiler house auxiliaries and steam boilers.
However, if you shy away from manual labor, you are not cut out for this vocation. Steam boilers are not the most spick and span of contraptions, and repairing or maintaining one involves plenty of gritty work that requires you to get drilled into a plethora of loud and hefty tools. If you can bear to get your hands dirty, this career is highly rewarding and can offer you a handsome salary package. Great news is that boilermakers only need a high school diploma to qualify for the job!
Storage, Transportation, and Distribution Managers
Here’s a fact that is going to leave your jaw hanging open in incredulous surprise; storage, transportation and distribution managers garner a medium average income of $83,000 annually! Businesses all over the country rely on the infrastructure provided by the storage, transportation and distribution managers to ship goods and products, both internationally and domestically. The storage and shipping industry form the backbone of commerce and global trade.
A commendable level of management skill is needed to devise the right strategies and direct the involved logistics around shipping and warehousing. Even though most of the managers at higher positions are found to possess a bachelor’s degree, the minimum educational requirement for this job is a high school diploma. If you prove your mettle as a leader and innovative thinker and land the job, the salary packages are quite rewarding. For some professionals in this field, especially in oil transportation, the yearly income can even exceed $140,000.
Elevator Installers and Repairers
Contrary to common notion, you do not need an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree to pursue a lucrative career as an elevator repairer and installer. However, while a high diploma suffices when it comes to the educational requirements of the job, employers do demand certain years of training and apprenticeship. In accordance with the five year program to become a successful elevator repairer and installer, apprentices are expected to have 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of related technical instruction, every year.
During this time, apprentices are taught physics, math, and electronic theory in addition to other subjects. Certain states also demand licensing before an apprentice can commence their career. In turn, workers are well compensated for completing these requirements and competing for a career in this field. A typical elevator repairer and installer can earn more than $78,000, and some can land a job that pays more than $100,000.
Detectives and Criminal Investigators
All detectives kick start their careers as police officers. To become a law enforcement officer, candidates are expected to undergo a drug test, written tests, and a host of other physical exams, in addition to training at a police academy for a certain period of time. While a lot of detectives and police officers hold a college degree, the minimum educational requirement to pursue this career is a high school diploma.
The salary is quite handsome and pays off well if you qualify for a criminal investigator or a detective. In 2013, the average annual salary in this vocation was found to be $76,730, while 10% top-paid officers even earned more than $125,000.
While larger airline companies often demand a bachelor’s degree before recruiting employees, licensed pilots who have logged the requisite number of hours are eagerly recruited by smaller companies that offer planes for tours, photos, or charters. You would need to undergo flight, written, and medical exams to acquire a flying license from the Federal Aviation Administration.
You can rely on independent instructors or flight schools to gain relevant industry experience before applying for a job. This is one of the most sought after and growing jobs in the list. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics database has predicted that the number of commercial pilots is expected to increase by 2022. The median average salary of a typical pilot is approximated at $75,000.
Power Plant Operators
Another lucrative career for high school graduates is to seek a job as a power plant operator. Power plant operators are required to manage the systems that generate and distribute electric power over a district, and earn a median pay of $68,100.
Although big companies prefer candidates with vocational or college degrees, the minimum educational requirement for the job is a high school diploma since all employees equally receive extensive on the job training sessions, both at the plant and inside the classroom. Since the power plants work around the clock, operators often work in shifts. However, due to certain drawbacks of the job, such as the variable working hours and especially the late night shifts, the salaries have soared up reasonably over the past few years.
Electrical Power-Line Repairers and Installers
Each year, several areas across the United States fall prey to natural disasters, rendering these areas devoid of phone service or power for sometimes days and weeks at a time. The responsibility for fixing and restoring the operation of the damaged wires roughly fall on the 111,000 electric power-line repairers and installers across the country.
In fact, the very challenging nature of the job and the extreme weather conditions across the country explain why this career is highly rewarding. The frequent natural disasters to hit the U.S have accounted for the increase in the number of electric power-line repairers and installers, which is expected to increase up to 9% by 2022.
As a prospective employee, you would receive extensive on the job training from your employer, which would act as a substitute for tertiary education. However, you are expected to possess a rudimentary comprehension of trigonometry and algebra before qualifying for a job
Transportation inspectors work in rewarding industries, such as urban transit systems, air transport, and rail transport. As a transport inspector, the job entails you to inspect equipment to ensure that cargo and people are safely transported. Akin to all the other jobs on this list, you would receive intensive on the job training as a substitute for formal education. The average income for transport inspectors is estimated to be $66,000, with most high end inspectors garnering a significant sum.
A recent Scotia bank report reveals that the U.S gaming sector is growing at a pace much slower when compared to the rest of the world. However, the casino and gaming industry is nonetheless sprawling in the U.S. According to the American Gaming Association, the industry has employed more than 363,000 people in 2012.
Of those, gaming managers made up almost 4,460 employees in the industry. The gaming managers are responsible for overseeing and directing the gaming operations within large casinos. Most employers prefer gaming managers who have had years of relevant experience working the table games or the slots. Although, the gaming managers are expected to be licensed by a regulatory or state agency, only a high school diploma is required to pursue a career as a gaming manager, and earn at least $66,000 annually.
For those ambitious individuals who have just stepped into a career within the construction industry, aspiring to become a construction project manager is not a far-fetched goal! The job entails budgeting for the projects, hiring contractors, scheduling work hours, and overseeing projects and employees. The median annual income of a construction manager is expected to be almost $150,000. Although certain fortune firms do demand that their employees acquire a bachelor’s degree, the best ticket to getting the job is usually protracted experience in all areas of commercial or residential construction. All you need is a high school diploma to start making big money at once.
If you are a responsible citizen who firmly sticks by the rules, why not pursue a career where you would have the authority to make sure that everybody else abides by the rules as well. As a license inspector, you responsibility is to assess the permits and licenses of everyone from larger companies, to small business, to individual contractors, to ensure that they are rigidly following the regulations and rules that their particular license and permits bind them to. When you perform these tasks perfectly, you can easily expect an annual salary as high as $64,960. While this career may seem a bit dull to some people, this peaceful and high paying career is a great choice for all high school graduates.
Air Traffic Controller
Most people are oblivious to the great careers that lay waiting for them after graduating from high school. Even if you did know of most of the career paths in this list, this particular career choice may leave you dubious. However, if you do cash in on becoming an air traffic controller, you had better be ready for take-off. You will receive a 5 week qualification training if you do not possess a college degree. After successful completion of the training, you will have to undertake a series of on-the-job salaried training programs, with your pay scale rising with each training program.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of air traffic controllers is expected to be $108,040. However, the damper on the spirit is that right now, the job prospects in this field look a bit bleak. Currently, there are only 27,000 air traffic controllers in the country and downsizing is expected due to the automation of the systems.