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20 Big-Salary Jobs, No Degree Required

Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer

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While the importance of earning a college degree to secure a good job has been ingrained in our brains for as long we can remember, a four-year degree is not the only path to a successful career.

Though schooling is a great way to develop skills and will no doubt enhance your credibility, a college education is no longer a requirement to securing a well-paying salary. Despite the fact that college graduates earn an average of $1 million more than high school graduates during their careers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is possible to land a lucrative position otherwise.

Additionally, workers with a high school education or less have an abundance of positions open to them. In 2006, 66 million jobs -- about 44 percent of the total -- were available to workers with less than a high school education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2016, there are expected to be 71 million jobs available to these workers.

Just because these jobs don't require a college degree, however, doesn't mean that they don't require hard work or extensive training. Here are 20 of the highest-paying jobs that don't require a degree, according to CBSalary.com.

1.      Margin department supervisor

Salary: $83,579/year

Primary duties: Overseeing a company's credit department, which manages customer credit accounts and approves or denies credit to customers.

2.      Air traffic controller

Salary: $74,922/year

Primary duties: Controlling air traffic around airports according to established procedures and policies to ensure flight safety.

3.      Automobile service station manager

Salary: $72,246/year

Primary duties: Supervising gas stations and planning and implementing policy and procedure like hours of operation, workers' duties and prices for products and services.

4.      Real-estate broker

Salary: $71,994/year

Primary duties: Securing real-estate transactions, selling real estate, renting properties and arranging loans.

5.      Web surfer

Salary: $70,604/year

Primary duties: Scouring through multiple Web sites to analyze and compare information and user experiences to collect information to help companies understand online users' behaviors.

6.      Lead carpenter

Salary: $63,345/year

Primary duties: Leading the on-site completion of construction projects and performing all types of carpentry work and finishing.

7.      Cable supervisor

Salary: $60,887/year

Primary duties: Supervising the activities of workers engaged in installation, maintenance and cable repair.

8.      Chemical supervisor

Salary: $57,472/year

Primary duties: Overseeing workers who make chemical products, verifying that chemical processes are followed.

9.      Home-care aide supervisor

Salary: $56,157/year

Primary duties: Directing aides who care for elderly or disabled people in a home environment, and monitoring the quality and quantity of services provided.

10.  Medical facility housekeeping manager

Salary: $55,368/year

Primary duties: Managing the workers and housekeeping program in medical facilities to uphold sanitary and orderly conditions.

11.  Flight service manager

Salary: $54,350/year

Primary duties: Ensuring that flight attendants conform to personal appearance and preflight requirements; compiling flight reports.

12.  Locomotive engineer

Salary: $54,084/year

Primary duties: Driving electric, diesel-electric or gas-turbine-electric trains to transport passengers or freight.

13.  Interior aircraft assembly supervisor

Salary: $53,606/year

Primary duties: Supervising the assembly of everything for the inside of an aircraft from mechanics to furniture.

14.  Painting supervisor

Salary: $51,977/year

Primary duties: Overseeing all painting activities such as mixing paint, preparing surfaces before painting and applying decorative or protective finishes to various structures.

15.  Gas plant operator

Salary: $51,676/year

Primary duties: Maintaining certain pressures in pipelines to produce and/or transport natural gas.

16.  Payroll supervisor

Salary: $51,410/year

Primary duties: Managing employees working on company payroll, ensuring that pay calculation is in accordance with company policy, government regulations and tax codes.

17.  Assembly supervisor

Salary: $50,462/year

Primary duties: Overseeing workers who use power tools and other equipment to assemble products.

18.  Credit and collection supervisor

Salary: $50,330/year

Primary duties: Supervising employees engaged in the review of credit risks and collections; may also review client credit history to grant or deny extensions of credit.

19.  Data control supervisor

Salary: $50,310/year

Primary duties: Managing data entry workers and assuming responsibility for those workers' tasks to be complete and accurate; may sometimes assist with assignments.

20.  Reimbursement recovery specialist

Salary: $49,246/year

Primary duties: Negotiating cases where third-party liability reimbursement exists by investigating and identifying responsible third parties, then paying out those parties.

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.



Last Updated: 03/04/2009 - 10:03 AM


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