Top 10 Highest Paid Careers with a High School Diploma

This is a list of the top ten highest paid careers with a high school diploma or equivalent. The top career pays almost $100,000 a year. It’s important to note though, these jobs may be difficult to attain and may not even be available in your area. For example, in order to be a nuclear power reactor operator or a power plant operator, you must live near a power plant.

top ten highest paid careers with a high school diploma

  1. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators | $91,200
    Nuclear power reactor operators have the responsibility to control nuclear reactors. This means that along with operating the equipment necessary to control the reactors, they must monitor their equipment to ensure the safety of those inside and near their facility are safe. Learn how to become a nuclear power reactor operator.
  2. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers | $89,200
    A transportation manager works for a company in order to run the logistics of the transportation side of operations. Learn how to become a transportation, storage, and distribution manager.
  3. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives | $84,800
    Police and detective supervisors assist their police force and ensure staff are properly trained, deliver important communications, and ensure that proper procedures are followed. Learn how to become a police and detective supervisor.
  4. Power Distributors and Dispatchers | $81,900
    A power distributor and dispatcher helps areas with their power needs when there is a power outage or an increased power need. Learn how to become a power distributor and dispatcher.
  5. Elevator Installers and Repairers | $78,900
    Elevator installers and repairers maintain, install, and fix elevators, moving walkways, stair lifts, and escalators. Learn how to become an elevator installer and repairer.
  6. Detectives and Criminal Investigators | $78,100
    Police detectives investigate the root cause of a crime by analyzing crime scene evidence to help solve criminal cases. Learn how to become a police detective.
  7. Commercial Pilots | $77,200
    Commercial pilots require a high school diploma or the equivalent and have a commercial pilots license. However, most employers do like to see a bachelor’s degree. Learn how to become a pilot.
  8. Media and Communication Equipment Workers, All Other | $75,700
    A media and communication equipment worker installs, maintains, and repairs audio and visual systems in homes and businesses. Learn how to become a media and communication equipment worker.
  9. Power Plant Operators | $74,700
    A power plant operator controls the various systems required to run a power plant to produce electricity. Learn how to become a power plant operator.
  10. First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers | $73,200
    A first-line supervisor of non-retail workers handle the day-to-day management of employees and sometimes overseeing a budget. Learn how to become a first-line supervisor.

Though these careers are listed as the highest paid careers with a high school diploma or equivalent, research each career’s growth rate as well. You can also visit an online job board and search for positions in your area. Sometimes a career’s growth rate heavily depends on the location you are in. For instance, solar panel installers have a high growth rate but if you live in an area that receives very little sunlight, there may not be positions in that career field. You may do better researching careers in wind energy.

You can also use these careers as a means to pay for your living expenses if you choose to continue your education. The highest paid careers requiring only an associates degree all pay at least $60,000 a year with the one career paying well over $100,000.

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CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Highest Paying Careers.