How to Make Money

7 In-Demand Jobs That Pay Over $57K — No Bachelor’s Degree Required

Updated July 28, 2016
by Susan Shain
Senior Writer
High paying jobs

If you feel like it’s harder to afford things than it was before, it’s not your imagination.

“In 2014 the median income before taxes had declined by 13% since 2004 — even as expenditures had increased by almost 14%,” according to a new report from Indeed.

Those numbers are crazy. Put another way: “The economic crisis is over, but the wage crisis persists.”

So what are you supposed to do? If you have the ability to go back to school, it might be time to try a new career.

More specifically, consider a switch to one of the seven “opportunity jobs” identified in Indeed’s report. Not only do these growing careers already pay well — their salaries are rising.

Here’s what you need to know.  

7 Hot, High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Bachelor’s Degree

Indeed defined “opportunity jobs” as meeting two requirements:

  • Jobs with salary growth greater than 25.3% from 2004 to 2014 (adjusting for inflation)
  • Jobs with average salaries of more than $57,700.

The resulting jobs inherently share a few other factors: “long-term viability,” meaning they have a lower risk for automation; “transferability of skills,” allowing you to change careers if needed; and “talent mismatch,” so there are fewer job seekers than open positions.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? “Only 170 occupations out of a total of 800 met the criteria… [amounting] to a mere 16% of 2014 total employment,” Indeed reports.

And 92% of these opportunity jobs are in just five categories: health care practitioners and technical, management, computer and mathematical, business and financial operations, as well as architecture and engineering.

Making it even more difficult, 75% of opportunity job postings require at least a four-year college degree, according to Indeed.

The other 25%? They might just be your golden ticket.

Indeed compiled a list of 10 opportunity jobs that don’t require four-year degrees — but it didn’t account for the employment projections for each career. So, a few jobs (ie: postmaster) technically met Indeed’s requirements, but weren’t in growing industries.  

I left those out, and, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included each career’s projected growth rate between now and 2024. (To give you some perspective, the average growth rate for all occupations is 7%.)

Here are the top seven opportunity jobs that are growing and don’t require a four-year degree, ranked by the number of job postings on Indeed.

1. Registered Nurses

High paying jobs
Hero Images / Getty Images

Median Pay: $67,490 per year

Job Growth: 16%

Education: Either a two- to three-year associate degree or diploma program or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

To learn more about this career, click here.

2. Administrative Services Managers

High paying jobs
Sol Stock / Getty Images

Median Pay: $86,110 per year

Job Growth: 8%

Education: Though a bachelor’s degree is often required, you can break into this career with just a high school diploma.

A “Facilities Management Professional” certification might help, which you can earn with an $1,850 self-study course from the International Facility Management Association.

To learn more about this career, click here.

3. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers

High paying jobs
Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

Median Pay: $58,320 per year

Job Growth: 4%

Education: High school diploma, plus successful completion of respective agency training academies

To learn more about this career, click here.

4. Respiratory Therapists

High paying jobs
Hero Images / Getty Images

Median Pay: $57,790 per year

Job Growth: 12%

Education: At least an associate degree, plus state license

To learn more about this career, click here.

5. Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

High paying jobs
Minerva Studio / Getty Images

Median Pay: $58,530 per year

Job Growth: 1%

Education: High school diploma, plus on-the-job training

To learn more about this career, click here.

6. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

High paying jobs
Pom 109 / Getty Images

Median Pay: $61,430

Job Growth: 6%

Education: High school diploma, plus on-the-job training

To learn more about this career, click here.

7. Construction and Building Inspectors

High paying jobs
Simazoran / Getty Images

Median Pay: $57,340

Job Growth: 8%

Education: High school diploma, plus licensing varying by state

To learn more about this career, click here.

Yes, all of these jobs have a median salary of more than $57,000 per year. And yes, their wages have increased more than 25% over the past 10 years.

They’re also growing — some much faster than average (cough, nurses and respiratory therapists, cough).

In other words? These are probably pretty good careers to get into.

But, if none of them sound like a fit, here are a few other posts that might help inspire you:

Your Turn: Which of these careers appeals to you most?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

by Susan Shain
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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