Surprisingly Good Paying Jobs

For the most part, when a person starts thinking about the better-paying jobs in the workforce, our minds shift towards those at the end of a college career. After all, that’s probably why most people go to college in the first place. We have been trained to believe that the only way a person can make it in the world is to load up on college credits and plug on for that higher salary.

However, that might not always be the case. And, while I would never discourage a person from continuing their education (we should never stop learning), I would admit that college might not be in the cards for everyone. Nearly a year ago, I took a position with US Steel as an entry-level employee. I didn’t realize how much money an individual could make with that company until I began talking to the longer-tenured workers. I was surprised to learn that there were many six-figure salaries coming out of that place for workers who had no college education. They were simply willing to work hard and put in the hours.

Daniella Emanuel, at Buzzfeed, recently posted an article about 16 jobs that make a killing in regards to income. These are all jobs that you would not consider to have lucrative salaries but pay out well regardless. Many of them require no education or a minimum amount.


Who here is avoiding checking their bank account after an indulgent weekend and wondering how on earth they’ll ever be able to make enough money to sustain their expensive habits? Can I get a woot-woot?

Well, we’ve got a few ideas for you! Reddit user ShanChabasked the Redditsphere, “What’s an unexpectedly well-paid job?” Here are some responses that might have you questioning your degree, career, and just overall life choices:

1. Garbage collectors in New York ($100k+).

"Garbage collectors in New York are paid up to $112,000 – a solid salary considering you don’t even need a degree."–BenRS7
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“Garbage collectors in New York are paid up to $112,000 – a solid salary considering you don’t even need a degree.”

BenRS7

2. A closed-caption broadcaster for the news (up to $72k).

"I work at home as a closed caption broadcaster for the news. I make my own schedule and make between $35-$65 per hour depending on the job. Large investment to get started but significantly worth the payout."–Ishtastic08The highest paid closed caption television specialists make an average of $72,000/year in Washington, D.C. and and $71,000/year in New York.
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“I work at home as a closed caption broadcaster for the news. I make my own schedule and make between $35-$65 per hour depending on the job. Large investment to get started but significantly worth the payout.”

Ishtastic08

The highest paid closed caption television specialists make an average of $72,000/year in Washington, D.C. and $71,000/year in New York.

3. A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority worker ($100k+).

"I don't know if this is true in other cities but T and bus operators in Boston make bank. I've rarely met a higher paid, less engaged group of employees in my life and I work in recruiting."-staffsargentOne in three MTBA workers made over $100,000 in 2017.
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“I don’t know if this is true in other cities but T and bus operators in Boston make bank. I’ve rarely met a higher paid, less engaged group of employees in my life and I work in recruiting.”

staffsargent

One in three MTBA workers made over $100,000 in 2017.

4. A court reporter ($100k+).

"Stenography is a tough skill to learn, but plenty of court reporters earn over $100,000. And no college degree required (although most court reporters will need to be certified)."–tracygee
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“Stenography is a tough skill to learn, but plenty of court reporters earn over $100,000. And no college degree required (although most court reporters will need to be certified).”

tracygee

5. An aircraft dispatcher ($100k+).

"I met a girl many years ago because she was living in my town training to be an airline dispatcher. There are just a handful of schools that [offer training] – it gives you a lot of options to advance at an airline, like being station chief."–TheGonz75After they gain several years of experience, aircraft dispatchers can make more than $100,000 a year. Dispatch managers can make even higher than that.
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“I met a girl many years ago because she was living in my town training to be an airline dispatcher. There are just a handful of schools that [offer training] – it gives you a lot of options to advance at an airline, like being station chief.”

TheGonz75

After they gain several years of experience, aircraft dispatchers can make more than $100,000 a year. Dispatch managers can make even higher than that.

6. A mobile crane operator ($200k+).

"Mobile crane operator. Union guys pull over $200,000."–fistmyliverApparently crane operators in NYC can make upwards of $500,000 a year.
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“Mobile crane operator. Union guys pull over $200,000.”

fistmyliver

Apparently, crane operators in NYC can make upwards of $500,000 a year.

7. A bathroom attendant in a fancy restaurant ($100+ per night).

"I made hundreds of dollars a night in cash to do next to nothing."–FireAndBees
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“I made hundreds of dollars a night in cash to do next to nothing.”

FireAndBees

8. A boiler operator ($35+/hour).

"I get paid $35/hour to play Skyrim on Switch while watching Netflix. You just have to find one that's all operator and no maintenance."–DlrlcktdThe highest-paid 10 percent of boiler operators make $78,050 a year on average.
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“I get paid $35/hour to play Skyrim on Switch while watching Netflix. You just have to find one that’s all operator and no maintenance.”

Dlrlcktd

The highest-paid 10 percent of boiler operators make $78,050 a year on average.

9. A funeral director ($75k+).

"Funeral Director is a great paying job with not a whole lot of schooling required. That’s what I do and I make about $75,000."–Undertaker89The top 10% of funeral directors made more than $97,200/year as of May 2011.
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“Funeral Director is a great paying job with not a whole lot of schooling required. That’s what I do and I make about $75,000.”

Undertaker89

The top 10% of funeral directors made more than $97,200/year as of May 2011.

10. A Trader Joe’s manager ($100k+).

"General managers of stores make $100,000+. Assistant store managers make $60,000-80,000/year. Not bad for working [at a grocery store]."–shabazoid
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“General managers of stores make $100,000+. Assistant store managers make $60,000-80,000/year. Not bad for working [at a grocery store].”

shabazoid

11. A technical writer ($100k+).

"Technical writing. If you have the ability to take complex technical information and simplify it according to the reading audience, you can make well over $100,000 annually.People ridicule English degrees until they find out how much can be earned as a technical writer."–WriteAway1
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“Technical writing. If you have the ability to take complex technical information and simplify it according to the reading audience, you can make well over $100,000 annually.

People ridicule English degrees until they find out how much can be earned as a technical writer.”

WriteAway1

12. An optician ($30+/hour).

"I get $30+ an hour to sell you glasses and contacts."–vabunucBoston is the highest paying optician city with an average salary of $77,150.
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“I get $30+ an hour to sell you glasses and contacts.”

vabunuc

Boston is the highest paying optician city with an average salary of $77,150.

13. A dental hygienist ($48+/hour).

"My wife is a dental hygienist and makes $48/hr."–drcpdltdThe top 10% of dental hygienists can pull in over $101,330 a year.
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“My wife is a dental hygienist and makes $48/hr.”

drcpdltd

The top 10% of dental hygienists can pull in over $101,330 a year.

14. A sign language interpreter ($35+/hour).

"We pay our interpreters $35/hr. They get time-and-a-half for assignments after 5 p.m. or on the weekends. If a gig cancels with less than 24 hours notice, the interpreter still gets paid."–CatflappyThe highest average wage for sign language interpreters was in Washington D.C. at $92,420 per year.
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“We pay our interpreters $35/hr. They get time-and-a-half for assignments after 5 p.m. or on the weekends. If a gig cancels with less than 24 hours notice, the interpreter still gets paid.”

Catflappy

The highest average wage for sign language interpreters was in Washington D.C. at $92,420 per year.

15. Internal corporate IT ($100k+).

"I get paid $100k+ (with stock and health insurance, not a contractor) to read basic instructions and set up your company phone because you can't be bothered."–pm_me_ur_wrasseThere are a wide range of salaries depending on exact role and specific company – you can read more about IT salaries here.
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“I get paid $100k+ (with stock and health insurance, not a contractor) to read basic instructions and set up your company phone because you can’t be bothered.”

pm_me_ur_wrasse

There is a wide range of salaries depending on the exact role and specific company – you can read more about IT salaries here.

16. An occupational therapist ($100k+).

"My friend is studying occupational therapy, and apparently one of the jobs you can get from that is teaching new mothers how to hold their babies. Six figure income."–DreaDreamerOccupational therapists make a median salary of $83,200.
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“My friend is studying occupational therapy, and apparently one of the jobs you can get from that is teaching new mothers how to hold their babies. Six figure income.”

DreaDreamer

Occupational therapists make a median salary of $83,200.


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