A high school diploma can get you a well-paying job.
Is it possible to get a well-paying job if you don't have a college degree? You may find it hard to believe but you can. You can even earn a six-figure salary if you're really good at what you do! And while it may take more than just your high school diploma to land a well-paying job in this category, it is definitely something worth striving for.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are about 80 different jobs across all industries that will allow you to earn a median annual salary of $50,000 or even higher. Compare it to the median annual salary of the average high school graduate aged 25 and above (about $28,070 in 2011) and you can see the great difference.
So, what are some of the jobs that pay well but do not require a college diploma? Here are some of the best paying jobs that typically require nothing more than a high school diploma plus some experience and/or on-the-job training:
Manager. You can work as a security manager, supply chain manager and even wind-energy project manager, provided you have earned your high school diploma and have at least one to five years of experience in any related field. While most of those who hold these positions are self-employed, there are also a lot who are working for the federal, state and local governments as well as hospitals, universities and colleges, management firms, and insurance carriers.
How much do these people earn? According to the BLS data for 2011, managers earn a median annual salary of about $96,450. And with about 240,000 projected job openings from 2010 to 2020, it's time you consider getting the right experience to be able to snag a job along these lines.
First line supervisors in law enforcement. If you are interested in working in the law enforcement arena, you can be considered for this position provided you have at least one year experience in any related occupation and have completed on-the-job training. People holding these positions earn a median annual salary amounting to more than $78,000.
Nuclear power reactor operator. The BLS projects that there will only be about 2,000 job openings for nuclear power reactor operators from 2010 to 2020 but this job can really pay you well (about $75,000 per year). You need to undergo long-term on-the-job training to snag a job in the field but the financial rewards are definitely well worth the wait.
You can also expect to get paid well by choosing to work as an elevator installer and repairer, power distributor and dispatcher, detective or criminal investigator, fashion designer, business operations specialist or first line supervisor for non-retail sales workers, mechanics, and construction trades, to name a few.
Summing it up, you don't need a bachelor's degree to land a well-paying job. All you need is to learn about the available opportunities out there, pick a career you like and work hard to get it.