UPS Drivers, Air Traffic Controllers, And 15 Other Professions That Don’t Require A College Education — But Pay As Much As One That Requires Four Years Of It

People who are or have been in college are no strangers to the world of student debt. With total student loan debt in the US approaching nearly two trillion dollars, it's no surprise that some may question whether or not getting a college degree is actually worth it — especially since we live in a day and age when earning a degree doesn't necessarily equate to financial stability or success.

A college graduate is being handed their degree
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Though finding a job that pays a living wage without requiring a college degree can be a daunting task, it's certainly possible. Recently, UPS made headlines for this exact reason; after narrowly avoiding a strike, their new contract went into effect, and it boasts a serious pay bump for their drivers. But even beyond UPS, there are still plenty of jobs that will pay just as much (if not more) than many jobs that require a degree. These are just some of the jobs that will pay $65,000 or more on an annual basis — no degree required.

Note: Nationwide average annual and hourly wages are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1.UPS Driver — $170,000/year

UPS workers "practicing" for protest

2.Plumber — $65,190/year

A plumber is working on a sink

A skilled trade job, plumbers make an average hourly rate of $31.34.

Though you don't need a college degree, becoming a plumber will require you to go to technical or trade school, get an apprenticeship, and then take an exam to acquire a license.

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3.Power Plant Operator — $88,960/year

Two women are investigating a pipe

The minimum requirements to become a power plant operator is a high school diploma or equivalent, along with, of course, a lot of extensive on-the-job training.

The average hourly pay for a power plant operator is $42.77.

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4.Performance and Theatre Makeup Artist — $81,600/year

A makeup artist is doing a woman's makeup

5.Subway and Streetcar Operator — $75,880/year

A subway operator is speaking into a walkie-talkie

If you've ever wondered how the subway system even works, you can thank subway and streetcar operators for looking out for railway obstacles, enforcing emergency protocols, and more.

The hourly wage, on average, is $36.48.

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6.Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager —$108,910/year

Two women are loading boxes into a van

7.Claims Adjuster — $73,380/year

A man is taking a photo of a damaged car

If you like drama and money, being a claims adjuster might be in your wheelhouse.

In charge of reviewing settlements and payments, this role makes an average hourly rate of $35.28.

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8.Boilermaker — $69,780/year

A boilermaker is doing an evaluation on a boiler

Responsible for constructing, repairing, and inspecting boiler furnaces, this job has an hourly average of $33.55.

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9.Media and Communication Equipment Worker — $74,490/year

A woman is working in her office

If you're into music and tech, you might want to look into the media and communication equipment industry. Common duties of those in this role include installing, maintaining, and repairing audio and visual systems.

The mean hourly wage for this job title is $35.81.

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10.Patrol Officer — $71,380/year

A police car's sirens are shown

11.Construction and Building Inspector — $70,130/year

An inspector is writing in their binder

12.Escalator and Elevator Installer and Repairer — $93,960/year

Two elevator repairmen are fixing the elevator

13.Commercial Diver — $85,630/year

A diver is submerged in the ocean

Commercial divers do construction underwater, and if that doesn't already impress you, then I don't know what to tell you.

The average hourly rate for a commercial diver is $41.17.

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14.Aircraft Mechanic — $72,640/year

A mechanic is working on a plane

15.Electrical Lineman — $82,770/year

A man is fixing electric lines

In order to become an electrical lineman and be a pro with wires, you must have at least a high school diploma, go through vocational training, and obtain a license.

Electrical linemen receive an average hourly wage of $39.79.

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16.Gambling Manager — $95,830/year

People are shown gambling at a casino

If you want a job in a fast-paced, unpredictable setting, a gambling manager job might be calling your name. This role oversees gambling operations in casinos, which includes planning, directing, and coordinating.

The mean hourly wage for this role is $46.07.

Sean Murphy / Getty Images

17.And finally: Air Traffic Controller — $130,840/year

A crew of air traffic controllers are working in the tower

Everyone deserves to make a livable wage, regardless of whether or not they graduated from college. If you don't have a college degree but still make a good wage, what do you do? And if you do have a college degree, do you work in the field you majored in? Let me know in the comments!