17 jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay over $70,000 a year

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17 jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay over $70,000 a year
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Having a college degree is still the best way to get into high-paying career — or at least to set yourself up in a career that offers you the potential to make the most money.

But of course it’s no secret that the cost of college these days is pretty out of control, depending on where you go to school and how much grant or scholarship money you’re eligible to receive. Taking out student loans can be a great way to invest in your education — and ultimately your career and future — but only if you borrow the right types of loans and the right amount of money.

Read more: 26 easy ways to make extra cash on the side

And for some people, the time and money just may not be worth it. So what are your alternatives?

There are plenty of high-paying jobs out there that require only a two-year degree or high school diploma. Some may require additional on-the-job training depending on the specific position and company.

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s a list of the top-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree — with median salaries of at least $70,000 a year.

17 jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay at least $70K a year

17. Postmasters and mail superintendents

  • Median annual wage (2015): $70,640
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 3,800
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

16. Transportation inspectors

  • Median annual wage (2015): $70,820
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 7,100
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

15. Funeral-service directors

  • Median annual wage (2015): $70,890
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 7,400
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: None

14. Power-plant operators

  • Median annual wage (2015): $71,940
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 14,100
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

13. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

  • Median annual wage (2015): $72,300
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 69,900
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: None

12. Dental hygienists

  • Median annual wage (2015): $72,330
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 70,300
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

11. Nuclear medicine technologists

  • Median annual wage (2015): $73,360
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 4,200
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

10. Commercial pilots

  • Median annual wage (2015): $76,150
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 15,100
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Read more: 29 best jobs for work-life balance

9. Detectives and criminal investigators

  • Median annual wage (2015): $77,210
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 28,300
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

8. Radiation therapists

  • Median annual wage (2015): $80,220
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 6,200
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: None

7. Nuclear technicians

  • Median annual wage (2015): $80,260
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 2,800
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

6. Power distributors and dispatchers

  • Median annual wage (2015): $80,840
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 3,900
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

5. Elevator installers and repairers

  • Median annual wage (2015): $80,870
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 5,900
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

4. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

  • Median annual wage (2015): $82,090
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 43,000
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

  • Median annual wage (2015): $86,630
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 27,100
  • Work experience: Five years or more
  • On-the-job training: None

2. Nuclear-power-reactor operators

  • Median annual wage (2015): $88,560
  • Education required: High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 2,600
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

1. Air-traffic controllers

  • Median annual wage (2015): $122,950
  • Education required: Associate degree
  • Projected job openings (through 2024): 7,500
  • Work experience: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term on-the-job training

How to increase your income without getting a pay raise!

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Alex Thomas Sadler About the author:
Alex Thomas Sadler is the Managing Editor of Clark.com and Clark Howard Digital Products. Alex is also the host of Common Cents, a new Clark.com series that makes money simple, so you can better understand and take control of your own financial life. Alex graduated from the University of Georgia with bachelor's degrees in ...Read more
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