An employment application form is displayed during a restaurant job career fair in New York


  • Jobs with over a $50,000 salary for high school graduates are available in different industries
  • Some roles only need more or less five years of related work experience
  • One can earn as high as $122,000 even without a bachelor's degree

The reality is that many companies accept job applicants without a bachelor's or master's degree. Some fields are even more flexible and widely available than others.

Though job descriptions mostly call for a higher education certificate because it's an easier way to screen for candidates, there are still roles that require only high school completion; some need work-related experiences, while others don't look for it at all. Below, we listed some of the highest-paying jobs for people with a high school diploma, per the U.S. Career Institute:

Only High School Diploma Required


Miscellaneous First-Line Supervisors, Protective Service Workers


Median Annual Salary: $50,490

They are the ones who supervise the work of their staff in protective service occupations. They may also be responsible for security guards, firefighters, lifeguards and others who provide protection services to the public. They should have a good understanding of safety protocols with less than five years of relevant experience.


Chefs And Head Cooks

A growing number of women in Japan are training and working as sushi chefs in some of Japan's most revered restaurants and institutions
AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

Median Annual Salary: $51,530

The chefs and head cooks must create and prepare meals in restaurants, hotels and other food service establishments. They plan menus, estimate food costs, oversee the kitchen staff and ensure food and safety regulations are followed. They must know the different types of cuisine in line with health regulations while maintaining the highest quality standards for their establishment. To be a chef or head cook, no prior experience is required.


Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer unveils its new cargo plane, the KC-390, in Gaviao Peixoto

Median Annual Salary: $53,850

They head the loading and unloading of freight in an aircraft. These supervisors may track inventory levels and coordinate work with other staff for a smoother task. They should also have a good understanding of aircraft operations and less than five years of related experience.


Lodging Managers

Hotel Manager

Median Annual Salary: $54,430

Lodging managers work on the daily operations of a lodging establishment, such as a hotel or resort. They should be able to effectively manage personnel and maintain excellent customer service in their establishment. Better have less than five years of experience relevant to the role before applying for a higher possibility of successful employment.


Computer Support Specialists

Lumbar support pillows are ideal for those spending long hours in front of the computer. Pexels

Median Annual Salary: $54,760

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance to customers, businesses and other users experiencing problems with their software and hardware systems. They may also be responsible for troubleshooting and resolving computer-related issues, installing networks and maintaining security protocols. They should be organized, detail-oriented, and able to resolve customer queries quickly. Applicants don't need to have any prior job experience to apply.


First-Line Supervisors Of Transportation And Material-Moving Workers

Workers help a crane operator unloading a container from a commercial ship in the Houthi-held Red Sea port of Hodeidah

Median Annual Salary: $55,060

They manage the daily operations of a transportation or material-moving department. Everyday tasks include coordinating and scheduling transportation services, overseeing the loading and unloading of freight, monitoring drivers' performance and ensuring safety protocols are followed. Less than five years of experience is required for this job position.


Food Service Managers

food counter worker
At least 58 unionized service industry employees have died from COVID-19 across the country. AFP / Isabel INFANTES

Median Annual Salary: $55,320

They are also known as restaurant managers; they oversee the daily operations of a restaurant and ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. They hire and train staff, handle food availabilities and manage food-related budgets. In addition, food service managers handle customer complaints, monitor safety standards and enforce health regulations. Before applying, make sure to have less than five years of work experience in the same industry.


First-Line Supervisors Of Office And Administrative Support Workers

Administrative Personnel Day
Administrative personnel are the glue that hold most office spaces together — celebrate their hard work with a gift this Administrative Professionals Day. Above: EnBW employees in Berlin working at their desks. Getty Images

Median Annual Salary: $56,620

They must be informed of the day-to-day operations of an office or other department. They manage and ensure that quality standards are met while reviewing employee performance and providing feedback to staff members. Furthermore, they may also be involved in budgeting activities, ordering supplies and managing inventory levels. To be a successful candidate in this role, one must have less than five years of related job experience.

The first-line supervisors must have strong communication skills, multitasking abilities and the capacity to handle various tasks.


Real Estate And Community Association Managers

real estate McBee

Median Annual Salary: $58,760

They manage the operations of their organization's properties. They coordinate maintenance activities, manage financial affairs and ensure compliance with relevant community rules and regulations.

They must have the required knowledge of the local building codes and other applicable laws to maintain compliance. No relevant job experience is needed to apply.


First-Line Supervisors Of Production And Operating Workers

32 Postmaster
Getty Images

Median Annual Salary: $61,310

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers must remain informed on industry standards to provide accurate guidance to their team. They collaborate with other departments to manage daily production and operations and thoroughly have their teams in check. Before being accepted to this position, one must have undergone less than five years of related experience.


First-Line Supervisors Of Correctional Officers

Correctional officers walk outside Pik Uk Prison in Hong Kong as Chan Tong-kai was set to be released from prison after serving a short jail sentence
Correctional officers walk outside Pik Uk Prison in Hong Kong as Chan Tong-kai was set to be released from prison after serving a short jail sentence AFP / Philip FONG

Median Annual Salary: $63,730

These supervisors are responsible for managing the operations of a correctional facility, including assigning tasks, developing safety strategies and conducting security inspections. Checking into each officer's performance and record is also among their assignments. To be a correctional officer's first-line supervisor, one must have less than five years of work experience related to this role.


Aircraft And Avionics Equipment Mechanics And Technicians

Air France aircraft, operated with SAF is refueled at Nice airport

Median Annual Salary: $64,310

No work experience is needed for this position. Their role is maintaining, repairing and inspecting aircraft systems. They are bound to check engines, landing gear and other critical components to ensure safety, perform repairs as needed, troubleshoot malfunctions and document their work. They may also be responsible for developing preventative maintenance strategies and conducting safety inspections.


First-Line Supervisors Of Construction Trades And Extraction Workers

Claudia Tisoy (L) and Ursulina Guaramato are among the women executing the project in a country where construction is still widely seen as the domain of men

Median Annual Salary: $66,210

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers lead their organization's construction crew. They may also be responsible for developing safety strategies and inspecting work sites before beginning any project. Among the job requirements is more than five years of related experience.


First-Line Supervisors Of Mechanics, Installers And Repairers

Gecol also has to repair damage caused by looters who have plundered electricity cables for copper to be sold on the black market

Median Annual Salary: $67,460

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers are responsible for checking the activities of their organization's maintenance personnel. They assign tasks, train new staff members and evaluate employee performance for better service. They lead all repairing and installment duties in buildings and other company facilities. You need to have less than five years of experience before applying.


Farmers And Other Agricultural Managers

U.S. farmers ramp up pressure on Mexico to soften looming GMO corn ban

Median Annual Salary: $71,160

These professionals must have more than five years of experience in this line of work. Farmers and other agricultural managers are responsible for managing the operations of an agricultural business. They must showcase their best work in planting, cultivating and harvesting crops, caring for livestock, maintaining farm equipment and keeping records on production costs.


First-Line Supervisors Of Non-Retail Sales Workers

Packages travel along a conveyor belt inside of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

Median Annual Salary: $74,760

The role is to manage the organization's sales staff. They hire, train and evaluate sales personnel, develop strategies to improve sales performance and look over the daily operations of their team.

These professionals must remain informed of new products and services to advise customers and develop innovative ideas to increase sales. Less than five years of job experience is required.


Makeup Artists

Getty Images

Median Annual Salary: $75,730

There is no work experience required to be accepted as a makeup artist. Makeup artists are responsible for enhancing the appearance of a person or character in films, television shows, photographs, theatre productions and more. They may apply subtle makeup to create a natural look or bolder looks to create special effects. Makeup artists often work closely with hair stylists and wardrobe consultants to create the desired look for the production.


Transportation, Storage And Distribution Managers

A truck leaves Celsa factory in Castellbisbal, near Barcelona

Median Annual Salary: $94,560

They plan, direct and coordinate the transportation operations of businesses and organizations. They are the ones who also develop ways to increase the efficiency of their organization's supply chain by optimizing distribution capabilities for shipping and receiving, warehousing, inventory control, packaging, order fulfillment and customer service. This type of managerial position needs more than five years of work experience.

Apprenticeship Required


Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers

Median Annual Salary: $50, 400

They have to know the workaround in metalworking techniques. Sheet metal workers may work with other tradespeople, such as electricians and boilermakers. They must be good at using specialized tools, such as shears and presses, to deliver quality and safe service. They commonly work in manufacturing plants and small shops to assemble metal products.




Median Annual Salary: $53,650

Responsible for the installation and maintenance of metal structures, such as bridges, buildings and heavy equipment, ironworkers must know welding, riveting and other tasks related to metal. They must be proficient at using specialized tools, such as cutting torches and grinders.




Median Annual Salary: $55,160

Plumbers work on the building's plumbing systems, including the installation of pipes and fixtures for water distribution, drainage and sewage disposal. Plumbers must have extensive knowledge of pipe materials and how to fix them together using specialized tools like threading machines and soldering equipment.



Keeping the lights on: electricians work on power lines near Balti, Moldova

Median Annual Salary: $56,180

They are responsible for the safe and efficient installation, maintenance and repair of electrical systems. Applicants must know the various types of wiring used in residential, commercial and industrial settings and understand how to connect different types of circuits using wire-stripping tools and other specialized equipment.

Electricians also need to be familiar with safety regulations governing the use of electricity, as well as applicable building codes. They must be able to read blueprints and diagrams for the proper installation of electrical wiring and components.




Median Annual Salary: $63,100

Boilermakers typically work in close collaboration with engineers, machinists and other professionals to ensure that all aspects of their work meet safety standards, such as maintaining boilers and tanks. They must also be comfortable working outdoors in various weather conditions since many worksites are outdoors. Anyone can apply, but one must have strong problem-solving skills and be able to troubleshoot issues that arise during the installation or maintenance of a boiler.


Elevator And Escalator Installers And Repairers

elevator shaft

Median Annual Salary: $84,990

They install, maintain and repair elevators, escalators, and other lifts. They must be well-versed in the mechanics of such equipment, including electrical wiring and hydraulic systems. They often use hand tools to make adjustments or repairs, but they may also use computerized diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot malfunctions. No need to have previous job experience to be an elevator and escalator installer and repairer.

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers must be comfortable working at heights. They must also demonstrate excellent communication skills when interacting with the building's owners or managers.

On-The-Job Training Required


Chemical Plant And System Operators

Chemical plant

Median Annual Salary: $62,550

The chemical operator is an important part of the production team and may be responsible for retrieving and mixing chemical ingredients for proper use. They need to monitor other equipment during the process. The role also includes repairing machinery if problems arise during emergencies, as directed by supervisory personnel.


Wholesale And Manufacturing Sales Representatives

Sales representative

Median Annual Salary: $63,000

Aside from marketing and selling products, the wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives analyze and monitor sales statistics, create necessary reports and handle duties like documenting expense accounts and scheduling appointments. They must also be able to answer consumer inquiries concerning products, the company and the service.


Patternmakers (Wood)

An axe

Median Annual Salary: $64,880

Patternmakers (wood) must be good in design, drafting, and woodworking. They should know how to create accurate wooden patterns that meet desired dimensions and specifications.

It is best if they can read written specifications to incorporate sizes and shapes of patterns accordingly. They will assemble wood parts to form patterns or models with the use of glue, nails, and screws.


Locomotive Engineers

Machine of a train

Median Annual Salary: $65,020

Locomotive engineers monitor the battery use, speed, air pressure, and other locomotive instruments for a good run. These engineers keep close contact with dispatchers, informing them of any delays or changes. They must be attentive and diligent in checking all equipment before, during and after use.


Police And Detectives

42 Detective
Getty Images

Median Annual Salary: $65,170

Police and detectives need to have a good understanding of the principles of criminal law and investigative techniques. They must also have extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations concerning the criminal investigation. Police and detectives must be good at conducting proper research and step-by-step procedures in solving any cases assigned to them. They need to build strong teamwork to be able to deliver fast results.


Claims Adjusters


Median Annual Salary: $65,540

They are assigned to inspect property damage thoroughly so that companies can determine how much they should pay for the loss. Claims adjusters also evaluate insurance claims and help insurance organizations decide whether they must pay a claim and if so, how much is needed to cover the damages.


Electric Power-Line Installers

Reuters/Amit Dave

Median Annual Salary: $65,700

An electrical power-line installer works with high-voltage electricity to install and maintain several power-line networks. These networks distribute electricity from a power plant to consumers. Electrical power-line installers mostly travel throughout a regional area to build and repair transmission lines and their towers.

They need endurance since installers climb electrical poles with heavy equipment to solve various issues.


Gas Compressor Operators

A view of the gas compressor station in Gabinek near Wloclawek

Median Annual Salary: $66,160

Operators operate and monitor gas or any internal combustion-engine-driven compressors. They need to transmit, compress, or recover gases, such as butane and natural gas if needed. They must know how to move controls and turn valves to start compressor engines and auxiliary equipment. The role requires technical knowledge in assessing different situations related to gas operations.


Insurance Appraisers

insurance 4
Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

Median Annual Salary: $66,540

Insurance appraisers must be willing to educate customers on insurance coverage options, such as comprehensive and collision coverage, deductibles and policy limits. They are the ones who gather data about an insurance claim by assessing the value of a person's property and the amount of property loss.

Appraisers of health or life insurance need to assess a policyholder's claim to determine if the medical treatments and procedures included are correct and covered by the insurance company.


Subway And Streetcar Operators

Credit: Pixabay / b2267969

Median Annual Salary: $67,880

Subway and streetcar operators must be able to continuously operate subways, trains, or streetcars to transport passengers. One must be diligent in driving any electric-powered vehicles that run on streets or separate tracks above ground. They must always observe signals on the tracks that indicate when they need to start, stop, or slow down.


Occupational Health And Safety Specialists

Man writing notes

Median Annual Salary: $70,480

Occupational health and safety specialists collect data and analyze work environments and procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces to ensure that they follow government and safety protocols. They take care of other employees' safety by cooperating and evaluating anything the employer does and implements. They must be keen on doing their tasks by remaining updated on all relevant laws and regulations.


Gas Plant Operators

Gas Plant

Median Annual Salary: $70,710

Gas plant operators need to manage the distribution of gas for companies. Their job also includes controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines. They have to take care of and monitor all the units for safety measurements and smoother workflow. Their duties commonly vary depending on the size of the plant.


Lighting Technicians

Lighting Technician

Median Annual Salary: $73,460

They oversee various lighting fixtures and lamps and understand how to install and troubleshoot any issues experienced by clients. Lighting technicians must also learn how to set up, assemble and filter lighting equipment for any occasion, event, or facility. They must ensure all lighting equipment is in working condition. If any unnecessary issue comes up, they must be able to fix it with complete repair tools.


Signal And Track Switch Repairers


Median Annual Salary: $73,890

They must have a thorough knowledge of railroad operations. They need to be good at repairing track switches, signals and other equipment used for the railroad. Signal and track switch repairers must also be familiar with the control systems. Their job includes installing, inspecting and testing the electric gate crossings, signals and other signal tools.


Petroleum Pump System Operators

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at the Lukoil company owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia, January 25, 2016.
Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin

Median Annual Salary: $74,180

They need to be able to properly execute the repair of pumps and related equipment used for pumping crude oil, natural gas, or other liquids. Petroleum pump system operators also control petroleum refining or processing units. They also check on the manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks.


Transportation Inspectors

Transportation Inspector

Median Annual Salary: $75,820

Transportation inspectors must understand how to assess driver performance, monitor road conditions and evaluate the efficiency of transportation operations. They need to properly discuss various transportation systems, such as rail, air, water and land, depending on the industry of their work. They must as well secure proper transport of cargo or people.



A person enters a United States Postal Service Post Office in Manhattan, New York City

Median Annual Salary: $76,900

The person for the role must have good interpersonal skills to effectively communicate with customers. They are in charge of the post office and must be familiar with tracking packages and other mail. Most importantly, they must develop and maintain good relationships with the community to establish an exceptional company identity.


First-Line Supervisors Of Firefighting And Prevention Workers

More than 2,100 US firefighters in southern Oregon continue to fight the massive Bootleg Fire

Median Annual Salary: $77,800

They must head the team in implementing proper use of hazardous materials, medical care, safety regulations, rescue operations, and emergency response.

Supervisors need strong leadership skills to manage their teams effectively and motivate them in the field. They also need to be able to evaluate and document firefighter performance and handle disciplinary action as required.


Power Plant Operators

A gas pipeline at a power plant in Nigeria

Median Annual Salary: $85,950

Among the things they have to know are the electrical generation, electrical transmission and distribution systems, as well as safety protocols and environmental regulations. Operators are responsible for monitoring and adjusting equipment to ensure power is generated efficiently and safely. They also need to be familiar with control systems used to check and control the plant's output.


First-Line Supervisors Of Police And Detectives

Private detective Dai investigates suspected infidelities

Median Annual Salary: $91,090

Strong leadership, decision-making and problem-solving skills are some traits required for this position. They also need to be familiar with the laws and regulations related to law enforcement, including arrest procedures, evidence collection and courtroom testimony. Supervisors must ensure their team adheres to all laws, department policies and ethical standards. They are in charge of training and developing their team and guiding officers when they are in the field.


Commercial Pilots

Commercial Pilots

Median Annual Salary: $121,430

In addition to flying, they need to understand the fundamentals of aviation, aircraft mechanics, navigation, meteorology, radio communications and flight safety regulations. They must also demonstrate a basic understanding of aircraft systems, such as engines, hydraulics and electrical components.

During the flight, they must navigate using instruments and maintain visual contact with landmarks below to plot a course.