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Top 10 highest-paying jobs for high school graduates

The smartest young people go to university and then get the best jobs: that is the general opinion in North America. Yet the 24/7 Wall St. website informs us that this assumption no longer holds true. There are many graduates – laden with debt – who are unable to find work. Of course, this has always been the case in some fields of study – your degree in Oriental philosophy is very useful, isn’t it?

Courage, comrades. According to 24/7 researchers, there are “hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs that can be obtained without a university degree”. While this statement seems exaggerated to say the least, the article does list the top 10 highest-paid jobs that require only a high school diploma – a statement that, admittedly, is a bit misleading. Post-secondary education or training is often very helpful in getting these kinds of jobs, if it is not mandatory. Interesting, though, isn’t it?

So here they are:


10. Captain, chief mate, or ship’s pilot

Median annual income : 64 180 $

Upper end of the salary range : 117 310 $

Some of the reasons why jobs on commercial ships pay well include: long hours, insulation and potential hazards. To become a deckhand on a merchant ship, you can enroll in a maritime school or apply as a deckhand, which requires no prior training and pays an average annual salary of $35,000 – an experience worthy of a musical or old pirate movie. The next step is to move up the ladder. Moussaillon, clean the bridge.


9. Casino Manager

Median annual income : 66 960 $

Upper end of the salary range : 116 070 $

This type of job is not easy to get, since there are not many casinos: there are only 6,900 casino manager jobs in the United States, and even fewer in Canada. In addition, the 24/7 Wall St. site states that you must first be a croupier, “one of the lowest paying jobs”, before you can become a manager. In my research, I discovered that the average annual salary for a dealer is $14,000. Ouch. The potential salary of a casino manager is $110,000 a year, based on 24/7. Instead, I found out that the average salary of a casino manager in Canada is $60,000.
8. Criminal Detective and Investigator

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Median annual income : 68 820 $

Upper end of the salary range : 119 320 $

“Usually a city, state and federal government only requires a high school diploma from its detectives. Detectives, as well as police officers, are subject to “rigorous personal and physical examinations”; very rarely is a university degree required,” according to 24/7. How does this translate into Canadian? The RCMP does not use the rank of “detective”. Post-secondary education, while useful, is not a requirement for joining the RCMP. A police officer’s salary is initially between $48,000 and $78,000 and then increases, according to information obtained from the RCMP press office.


7. Elevator installer

Median annual income : 70 910 $

Upper end of the salary range : 101 390 $

Really? Really? Hmm. (Chuckles) The elevator installer is also called upon to install “escalators, chairlifts, dumbwaiters, moving walkways and other similar equipment. “Good pay off offsets the hours spent climbing building pipes and the high risk of workplace injuries. Participation in an apprenticeship program consisting of practical and theoretical training is required.


6. Web Developer

Median annual income : 75 650 $

Upper end of the salary range : 119 940 $

24/7 says, “While most Web developers are now required to have an undergraduate or associate degree, certification may be enough to get a position in a large company. Become an expert, and your services will be in high demand. Web developer tasks include network management, corporate site design and construction, and web security.


5. Nuclear Power Plant Operator

Median annual income : 75 650 $

Upper end of the salary range : 119 940 $

Post-secondary education seems to be helpful, but not mandatory, in this case. The 24/7 postulates that employees are trained on-site, on the job and in the plant’s classrooms. Operators are subject to drug and alcohol testing and medical examination. They are also required to be licensed and undergo refresher training.


4. Chief of Police

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Median annual income : 78 260 $

Upper end of the salary range : 123 630 $

You don’t need post-secondary education to join a police force – you can move up the ladder. At the Toronto Police Service, post-secondary education is “good” but not required. However, a certificate from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and no criminal record is required (sorry).


3. Construction Manager

Median annual income : 83 860 $

Upper end of the salary range : 150 250 $

Some employers require a bachelor’s degree, but most construction companies do not. The 24/7 states: “Any construction worker with experience and talent has the potential to become a manager after taking classroom training. »


2. Software Developer

Median annual income : 87 970 $

Upper end of the salary range : 133 110 $

Software developers research, design, create and test software. A certificate usually (but not always) allows them to get jobs. Good experience is also very useful. Certification courses are available everywhere, and many candidates train themselves: self-taught geeks, alone in their rooms with their computers. In 2007, Katherine Spencer, general manager of Robert Half Technology, a “leading provider of IT professionals,” told Forbes: “It would be quite amazing if a high school graduate could get a developer position with a salary in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, if a candidate has good experience in good markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, Seattle or Washington, D.C., where technical skills are in high demand, a talented person could make $100,000 without a university education. »


1. Commercial Pilot

Median annual income : 103 210 $

Upper end of the salary range : 139 330 $

“Commercial licences are traditionally issued to retired Air Force and Navy pilots, as they are experienced and have accumulated several hours of flight time. This is still the case today. Most major airlines also require post-secondary training. However, there are smaller airlines that will hire anyone who has enough flying hours and a good knowledge of aircraft,” reports 24/7.

So there you go. Drop out of school, and have fun! I’m kidding, of course.

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