Well paying careers with little schooling

Did you know that even with a high school degree, you can earn $100,000 a year? Most jobs pay six figure salaries.  There are many high-paying careers that require only a high school diploma. If you’re looking for jobs with flexible scheduling, great benefits and more, then these well paying careers with little schooling might be the right fit for you.

If you’re looking for a career that pays well and requires little schooling, consider these options.

  1. Dental hygienist: Dental hygienists are the first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. They clean teeth and examine patients’ mouths to detect problems. The average annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,010 in May 2016. Most dental hygienists need an associate degree but can get started without a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Physical therapist assistant: Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists treat patients with injuries or illnesses that affect movement, pain and function. They also provide orthotic devices that support or correct body functions or movements to improve patient comfort during therapy sessions and daily living activities, such as walking or sitting up from a reclining position. The average annual wage for physical therapist assistants was $59,250 in May 2016. Most physical therapist assistants need an associate degree but can get started without a bachelor’s degree.
  3. Pharmacist: Pharmacists dispense medications prescribed by physicians, such as antibiotics or birth control pills; answer questions about what medications should be taken together; counsel customers about prescription refills;

Well paying careers with little schooling


There are nearly a million jobs available in the US, but there’s a serious shortage of workers with skills in demand. And many of those positions require some form of postsecondary education, or at least a skill that can be easily taught by training. But not everyone needs to go back to school for the best opportunities. Some occupations—including many that require little formal education—offer enough money for the median American household to pull out of poverty, with just one job and one hour of work per week. Sadly, I don’t have time to talk about every single one, but here are six careers where you can expect to make well over $50K per year without having earned your high school diploma:

Elevator installer and repairer

  • Required education and training: The minimum requirement for this job is a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Average salary: $61,170 per year
  • Job duties and responsibilities: Elevator installers install and repair elevators, escalators and moving walkways. They also perform preventive maintenance on residential elevators using test equipment to check for problems such as worn cables, defective wiring, lubrication problems or other issues that may compromise safe operation of the equipment. When needed, they must inspect components such as switches and electrical panels to ensure proper functioning. They also troubleshoot malfunctions in hydraulic lifts by checking fluid levels or replacing parts such as seals around doors or windows if necessary.* Advancement opportunities: Advancement opportunities depend on experience level; those who work long enough may become supervisor of a crew or master mechanic.* Where to look for jobs: Elevator installers are employed by contractors who specialize in elevators; employers often have large crews working together on projects at once so there are many opportunities available throughout the country.* What you need to do if you want this career path? You must first get certified before starting your career as an elevator installer/repairer by taking classes offered through local technical colleges or trade schools; this certification will allow you to get licensed after passing an exam given by state officials (usually within just a few weeks).

Power plant operator

Power plant operators are the people who keep our energy systems running. They monitor and control various aspects of power plants, including temperature and pressure readings for boilers, feed water system flow rates and pressure, air flow into boilers, fuel oil quality, exhaust gas temperatures and pressures.

This career requires a high school diploma or equivalent plus experience in power plant operation (or an associate’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering technology or related field). The pay is quite good too: $83,000 per year on average (for example). And there should be lots of job openings in this field through 2023 as well (8.5% growth) thanks to increased demand from customers looking for more power generation capacity around the country.

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers oversee the flow of goods and services through an organization. They also manage information flow, people flow (including employees within their company), money flow (including investments), materials flow (receiving raw materials and sending finished products out), energy flow (electricity or other fuels) and waste management.

Nuclear reactor operator

As a nuclear reactor operator, you’ll be responsible for managing and maintaining the various systems that keep a nuclear reactor functioning. You’ll need to have at least a high school diploma or GED, but most employers require a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physics. You can get this training from an accredited school like Virginia Tech University.

Once you’ve completed your education and training, it will take about two years of experience before you’re eligible to take the licensing exam required by law. This exam requires demonstration of knowledge in areas such as radiation physics and containment vessel design principles as well as physical fitness (you must be able to swim 500 yards). There are also additional requirements specific to each state where you wish to work with nuclear reactors; those requirements vary widely between states so check with your local regulatory agencies before applying for these jobs.

Once hired, most operators stay with their employers for five years before moving on; however there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about tenure so there is some flexibility here if desired by both parties involved (employer/employee).

First-line supervisors of police and detectives

First-line supervisors of police and detectives often have a lot of training and schooling under their belts. The median annual salary for this position is $79,380, which means that half of the people in these positions earn more than $79,380 per year and half make less. Police officers are often required to have at least an associate’s degree or some sort of specialized training before they can work on their own as detectives or patrol officers.

It’s important to note that this is only one route into becoming a detective; there are many other methods available as well (such as attending classes at community colleges). If you choose this path for yourself, though, be prepared for long hours and lots of stress—but also plenty of opportunities for advancement!

You can make a lot of money with a little training.

You can make a lot of money with just a little training. In fact, many jobs offer you amazing opportunities for advancement and increased earning power without requiring more than a high school diploma or GED.

Some examples include:

  • Law enforcement officer: You’ll receive extensive on-the-job training at the police academy. The average starting salary for officers is $36,000 per year, but many are promoted to supervising positions and earn even more as they gain experience.
  • Medical assistant: Becoming a medical assistant requires only an associate’s degree from an accredited college, where you’ll learn about patient care procedures, medical terminology and disease prevention techniques—but with no prerequisites or auditions required! Your first day as an MA might be your last day as well because this job pays well (averaging around $33K) and offers room for growth within the healthcare industry that could lead all the way up to physician assistant or nurse practitioner status down the line!


All in all, it is possible to get a good paying job with less than four years of college. There are many careers that don’t require a lot of schooling, but instead need specialized training and experience. With the right skills or expertise, you can also take on freelance jobs as a consultant or contractor for extra cash. Just remember that these options might not have as much security as full-time employment at an established company; if you work part-time or independently, there’s always more risk involved when compared to traditional employment arrangements. Ultimately though, this can be worth it for some people who prefer greater flexibility and autonomy over income stability – so think about what your priorities are before deciding what type of work fits best into your life!

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