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The Highest Paying Jobs for Non-College Grads

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When it comes to facts and figures a college degree really is the only option even though grads will carry some debt into their new careers. In fact, most American workers with a four-year college degree will earn over one million dollars more than their non-degreed young professionals during their career path, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

It takes several years as a young professional, equipped with a degree, to make it worthwhile. And when it does pay off, its worth the effort.

So unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg or some transplanted suburban kid that spawned from a rich family, the only way it doesn’t pay to have a four-year degree is to have a career in one of the following highest paying jobs available for non-college grads:

Pastry Chef

  • Pay Scale: $19,680-$48,765
  • Median Pay: $38,000

Pastry chefs are in high demand at first-class restaurants and bakeries. They supervise the production of baked goods, including breads and desserts. If you have a steady hand, knack for beauty and some taste-testing skills, this job may be for you. If you’re interested in working at a restaurant, grocery store or on a cruise ship, research pastry chef jobs online at to find the right position for you.

Personal Trainer

  • Pay Scale: $20,034-$81,597
  • Median Pay: $36,453

If you enjoy working out, living a healthy lifestyle and being around other people, working as a [easyazon_link asin=”0764556843″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”caree07-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]personal trainer[/easyazon_link] could be an ideal situation for you. All day long you would design training programs for clients, provide evaluations and assessments, develop rapport, and even get in a few workout hours for yourself. Most personal trainers are employed by fitness clubs, but after establishing yourself among your clients, you could employ yourself.

Massage Therapist

  • Pay Scale: $20,390-$107,448
  • Median Pay; $39,270

According to labor statistics, massage therapists have a track record for the most salary growth. Generally paid anywhere from $10-$59 per hour, massage therapists provide relief for patients with medical conditions, injuries and sore muscles and tissues. Certification and licensing is required and different depending on where you live.


  • Pay Scale: $18,248-$83,953
  • Median Pay: $34,509

Good photographers know more than just how to take a nice picture, but how to frame and design an image to be the best it can be. As a full-time photographer, you have the flexibility to specialize in portrait or still-life photography, photojournalism or travel documenting. The options are endless, and all you need is a camera, computer and an eye for what looks good in front of the lens.

Flight Attendant

  • Pay Scale: $21,207-92,698
  • Median pay: $41,628

Flight attendants have the luxury of traveling all around the world and getting paid for it. As a flight attendant, you’d be in charge of serving and selling meals, beverages and in-flight entertainment. You’d need to be capable of making announcements, answering questions and resolving sometimes urgent issues. Bonus: as an employee of an airline, you’d most likely get either free or reduced flights to anywhere your airline travels.


– more – Entry Level Jobs

*Salary information gathered from, a salary comparison and survey research company.


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