7 High Paying Jobs That Require A Bachelor's Degree Or Less
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7 High Paying Jobs That Require A Bachelor's Degree Or Less

September 27, 2019

Americans have more degrees than they have had at any other point in our nation’s history — 90% of adults over the age of 25 have finished high school, and more than a third have earned a college degree.1 In an era when doctors, lawyers, and engineers have the highest income levels in the United States, it’s hard to believe that there are high paying jobs that don’t require an advanced degree.2

But there are plenty of options for high school and college graduates who are willing to put in the work. In lieu of an advanced degree, many of these jobs require professional licenses, certifications, and on-the-job-training. The right candidates can make more than they would have if they had earned a graduate education, while they pursue a career path that will be even more rewarding.

If you are searching for a career that doesn’t require an advanced degree, this list of high paying jobs will help you find a new position:

Computer Numerical Control Maintenance Technician

Average Annual Salary: $43,740

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 10%

A computer numerical control machinist (or CNC machinist) creates parts, tools, and components for machines with computer-operated equipment. Most CNC machinists have earned a high school diploma and completed on-the-job training, but some get specialized training through a certificate program or an associate’s degree program.

Construction Inspector

Average Annual Salary: $57,340

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 8%

Construction inspectors travel from site to site to examine new construction and renovated buildings, making sure that they are structurally sound and built to code. The main requirements for this position are a high school diploma/GED and construction experience, but most applicants have some post secondary education in architecture or engineering.

Project Manager in Construction Materials Testing

Average Annual Salary: $103,110

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 11%

Like other project manager positions, a construction materials testing project manager plays a pivotal role in the product research and development process. They supervise the production of industrial materials, making sure that they are completed on time and on budget. Employers are searching for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and work experience in construction or a related field.

Software Quality Analyst

Average Annual Salary: $58,919

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 9%

Software quality analysts make sure that the products that they are developing are fully functional, meeting industry, employer, and consumer standards. Employers are searching for candidates that have a college degree in computer science, software development, or a related technical field.

SQL Developer

Average Annual Salary: $72,343

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 24%

SQL developers create and maintain databases for their employers. Unlike many of the careers on this list, an SQL developer can enter the field with an associate’s degree in computer science; in some metropolitan areas, where competition is stiff, job seekers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree.

MRI Tech

Average Annual Salary: $67,720

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 9%

A magnetic resonance imaging (or MRI) tech uses MRI machines to diagnose patients so they can get treatment. Employers require an associate’s degree in radiography, nursing, or another related field, and some states require a license or certification for MRI candidates.

Vascular Stenographer

Average Annual Salary: $57,250

Projected Job Growth Through 2026: 10%

A vascular stenographer prepares patients for medical tests including ultrasounds and x-rays. Most candidates have a bachelor’s degree in vascular technology, but some were given on-the-job training to transition into this role.

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