Highest Paying Jobs If You Only Have a High School Diploma

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach on May 2, 2012

in Employment


It’s a tough job market for many people looking for work. Even though the economy is on the upswing, the jobless rate in America remains stubbornly high.

Historically, those with college degrees have fared better than those with high school diplomas when it comes to finding work. But now, even people with letters of all kind behind their names – like a B.A. M.A. or a Ph.D. – are facing stiff competition for good-paying jobs.


The good news is that a college degree – or rather, the lack of one – doesn’t have to be an insurmountable stumbling block to your career and financial success.

In fact, there are many good-paying jobs that are available to you, even if you lack a Bachelor’s degree.

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, here are five of the highest-paying jobs in the U.S. for those with high school diplomas.  1. Loan Officer

Average annual salary: $61,928

Whenever someone wants to get a home loan – or for that matter, a car loan or small business loan too – there’s typically a loan officer working to help process the transaction. Loan officers can get hired straight out of high school, particularly with companies who like to do their own specialized training of staff.

2. Medical Appliance Technician

Average annual salary: $57,484

Once a prosthetist or a podiatrist prescribes various medical devices, it’s a medical appliance technician’s job to help patients use those devices correctly. The device can range fro hearing aids to replacement legs or arms. So this is a job that not only pays well, but can also be life-changing to the people served by a medical appliance technician.

3. Boiler Operator

Average annual salary: $55,373

A boiler operator, also known as a stationary engineer, can work in any commercial building, such as a hotel, an office complex, a warehouse or even a mall. It’s the engineer’s job to oversee the HVAC units (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) so that employees, customers and others in these buildings aren’t too hot or too cold, among other things.

4. Postal Carrier

Average annual salary: $49,499

We all know what a postal carrier does: he or she delivers the mail to people’s homes and to businesses. Beyond that, postal carriers may help sort the mail too. Again, this is a position that requires no college degree, but does place a high value of dependability and reliability.

Admittedly, working for the Post Office isn’t anywhere near the stable position that used to be. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service is currently cutting 35,000 jobs. But hey, if you can get a gig with the U.S.P.S., it’s definitely decent money.

5. Cable installer or repairer

Average annual salary: $47,759

Workers who help keep your electricity lines running or your cable service running properly are also raking in pretty nice salaries. Their jobs require them to understand, update or maintain the networks that keep us all wired and connected to the world around us.

Other jobs with excellent pay that require no college degree include air traffic controller, transportation manager, and manufacturing sales representatives.


As you can see, each of these positions offers good salaries. And best of all, if you don’t have a college degree, you can still be in the running for one of these jobs.


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Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

Personal Finance Expert and Co-Founder at Ask The Money Coach.com
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of numerous books on personal finance. She appears frequently as an expert commentator on television, radio and in print.

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