10 high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree

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Four years of traditional college aren’t required for you to get on a path to a successful career. 

Read more: Top 10 jobs in demand right now

With student loan debt now reaching more than $1 trillion — and counting — loans for education have become the second-largest source of consumer debt in the United States. But while the typical college graduate still earns more than a worker with only a high school diploma, it isn’t the only way to get into a successful and high-paying career.

Kiplinger analyzed 784 occupations and found 10 of the best high-paying jobs in expanding fields that don’t require a college degree.

Best jobs that don’t require a college degree

1. Licensed Practical Nurse
Total number of jobs: 741,993
Job growth, 2004-2014: 17.5% (All jobs: 5.2%)
Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 20.0% (All jobs: 11.1%)
Median annual salary: $41,974 (All jobs: $41,683)
Typical education: Postsecondary non-degree award

2. Surgical Technologist
Total number of jobs: 101,504
​Job growth, 2004-2014: 24.7%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 23.5%

Median annual salary: $42,786
Typical education: Postsecondary non-degree award

3. Computer User Support Specialist
Total number of jobs: 623,886

Job growth, 2004-2014: 17.0%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 19.8%

Median annual salary: $46,592

Typical education: Some college

Read more: Top 10 hot jobs and top 20 best-paying college majors

4. Commercial Pilot
Total number of jobs: 40,980

Job growth, 2004-2014: 3.8% 

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 15.0%

Median annual salary: $73,528

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

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5. Electrical Power-Line Installer
Total number of jobs: 115,770

Job growth, 2004-2014: 8.9%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 13.7%

Median annual salary: $64,168

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

6. Industrial Machinery Mechanic
Total number of jobs: 332,094

Job growth, 2004-2014: 9.9%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 19.5%

Median annual salary: $47,507

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

7. Office Support Supervisor
Total number of jobs: 1.4 million

Job growth, 2004-2014: 5.7%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 12.4%

Median annual salary: $50,211

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

8. Insurance Sales Agent
Total number of jobs: 749,193

Job growth, 2004-2014: 26.6%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 9.8%

Median annual salary: $47,632

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Read more: New ways to pay down your student loan debt

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9. Plumber
Total number of jobs: 428,705

Job growth, 2004-2014: 0.9%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 17.6%

Median annual salary: $48,194

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

10. Private Detective
Total number of jobs: 35,884

Job growth, 2004-2014: 12.5%

Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 11.7%

Median annual salary: $45,698

Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Click here for more details on each occupation and field.

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