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Ten Highest Paying Jobs without a Bachelor’s Degree

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10. First-line supervisors of non retail sales workers

Description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.

Median annual wage (2012): $70,060

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 50,300

On-the-job training: None

supervisor

9. Nuclear medicine technologists

Description: Use a scanner to create images of various areas of a patient’s body. They prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients undergoing the scans.

Median annual wage (2012): $70,180

Education required: Associate degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 7,200

On-the-job training: None

nuclear

8. Dental hygienists

Description: Clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases like gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

Median annual wage (2012): $70,210

Education required: Associate degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 113,500

On-the-job training: None

dental

7. Power distributors and dispatchers

Description: Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

Median annual wage (2012): $71,690

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 3,600

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

powerplant

6. Commercial pilots

Description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air-carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires commercial-pilot certificate.

Median annual wage (2012): $73,280

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 14,400

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

pilot thumbs up

5. Detectives and criminal investigators

Description: Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Median annual wage (2012): $74,300

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 27,700

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

dect

4. Nuclear-reactor operators

Description: Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs. Implement emergency procedures when needed.

Median annual wage (2012): $74,990

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 2,300

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

nuclear

3. Elevator installers and repairers

Description: Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

Median annual wage (2012): $76,650

Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,000

On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

elevatorrepair

2. Radiation therapists

Description: Check equipment, observe patients reactions to treatment, and document the session.

Median annual wage (2012): $77,560

Education required: Associate degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,400

On-the-job training: None

Radiologic technician smiling at mature female patient lying on a CT Scan bed

1. Air Traffic Controllers

Description: Monitor and direct the movement of aircraft. Median annual wages of air-traffic controllers are the highest of any occupation in which workers typically do not need a bachelor’s degree.

Median annual wage (2012): $122,530

Education required: zilch.

Projected job openings (through 2022): 11,400

On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

air traffic controller

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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