May 19, 2024

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Highest-paying trade jobs without a college degree

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Highest-paying trade jobs without a college degree

(NewsNation) — While four-year colleges and universities have long been seen as the path to a successful life, many are finding similar financial and professional benefits in trade jobs.

“As a society, we’ve been doing a better job of promoting potential careers in the trades and working with your hands,” Michael Krupnicki, president of the American Welding Society, said in a recent interview with NewsNation.

Tune in on Wednesday, April 10 at 8/7p Central for a special edition of [CUOMO] with Mike Rowe, media personality and CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation which is focused on elevating and encouraging blue-collar jobs. Not sure how to watch NewsNation? Use our ChannelFinder App to locate us on your TV.

A good number of these jobs, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay at least $80,000, or even $90,000 a year.

List and job description are based on BLS data of jobs that require a high school diploma (with on-the-job training, in some cases) for entry-level positions. Salary information is from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program.

Elevator Mechanics, Escalator Repairers

Median annual salary: $99,000 per year

About the job: The job of elevator and escalator installers and repairers includes installing, maintaining and fixing elevators, escalators, moving walkways and other lifts.

Expected job growth or decline: Over the next ten years, it is expected to grow by 1%, with a projected change in employment of 400 jobs. (A projected change in employment, defined by Projections Central, a site that partners with the U.S. Department of Labor, is the difference in the number of jobs between the base and projected years.)

Transportation, storage and distribution managers

Median annual salary: $98,560

About the job: Managers plan, direct and coordinate transportation, storage and distribution per their organization’s policies and government laws and regulations.

Expected job growth or decline: Over the next ten years, this industry will see faster than average growth: 8%, or a projected numeric change in employment of 14,600.

Power Plant Operators

Median annual salary: $97,570

About the job: Operators, distributors and dispatchers control systems that create and distribute electric power.

Expected job growth or decline: The job is projected to see a 10% decline from now until 2032, with a projected numeric loss in employment of 4,700 jobs.

Police, detectives supervisors

Median annual salary: $96,290

About the job: First-line police and detective supervisors oversee and coordinate members of police forces.

Expected job growth or decline: This line of work will see a projected numeric change in employment of 4,300, with a 3% growth rate.

While cities and states nationwide are looking to spur this growth with new benefits due to what they say is a shortage in recruits, there has been mixed success in these initiatives. In San Francisco, for instance, the salary for new police officers was raised to  $112,398, as the number of officers in the city has fallen by at least 13% since 2020. Other departments like in New Haven, Connecticut, police tried bold recruitment tactics like going door to door to look for potential recruits.

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 78% of agencies said they had issues recruiting qualified candidates, and 50% reported changing internal policies to do so.

Train drivers, subway and streetcar operators

Median Annual Salary: $88,260

About the job: BLS defines subway and streetcar operators as those who transport passengers via subways, electric-powered streetcars or elevated suburban trains that don’t have separate locomotives. They also might have to handle fares.

Expected job growth or decline: The projected numeric change in employment is 4%, with a projected numeric change in employment of 300.

Petroleum pump system operators, oil refinery operators and gaugers

Median Annual Salary: $85,090

About the job: People in this line of work operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. Sometimes they specialize in “controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.”

Expected job growth or decline: This industry is expected to see a 2% decline, with a projected numeric change of employment of -700.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration U.S. refinery utilization has decreased by 11% since January 2024. The EIA cited a sharp decline of plant operations in the Midwest and Gulf Coast, as well as “more intense seasonal patterns” as the reason.

Non-retail sales workers’ supervisor

Median Annual Salary: $82,850

About the job: In addition to supervising and coordinating the activities of sales workers under them, first-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers also take on budgeting, accounting, and personnel work.

Expected job growth or decline: The growth rate for the job in the next ten years is a 2% decline, with a -8,000 projected change in numeric employment.

Postmasters and mail superintendents

Median Annual Salary: $82,760

About the job: Postmasters and mail superintendents’ main tasks are to coordinate operational, administrative, management, and support services for their local U.S. post office.

Expected job growth or decline: The job will see a 7% decline in its growth rate, with a projected numeric loss of employment of -900.

The United States Postal Service has seen several complaints over mail delays over staffing shortages. An audit by the Inspector General’s Office found there was a turnover rate in “non-career,” or new hire, postal workers of 58.9% in 2022. USPS data also shows a 12.5% decrease in the number of retail counter clerks at post offices.

In an attempt to combat this, USPS has opened hiring hubs in places such as Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland saw 300 full-time letter carrier positions added when one opened last October.

Chemical plant and system operators

Median Annual Salary: $82,670

About the job: Job duties primarily consist of controlling and operating entire chemical processes or systems of machines.

Expected job growth or decline: The chemical plant and system operation industry is expected to see a -3% decline over the decade, with a -600 projected numeric change of employment.

Gambling Managers

Median Annual Salary: $82,380

About the job: Gambling managers plan, direct, or coordinate the slots operation in a casino, and sometimes come up with house rules.

Expected job growth or decline: There’s a projected numeric change in employment of 1,700, and 1% growth is expected.

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Electric Power Line Installers and Repairers

Median Annual Salary: $82,340

About the job: Electrical power-line installers and repairers take care of cables or wires used in power or distribution systems.

Expected job growth or decline: There’s an expected 3% growth rate, the average for most jobs tracked by BLS.

Signal and track switch repairers

Median Annual Salary: $81,300

About the job: People in this line of work install, inspect, test, maintain or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems on the railroad.

Expected job growth or decline: The projected numeric change in employment is 100, giving it a growth rate of 1%.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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