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August 01, 2007
25 Highest-Paying Jobs for High School Grads

While nearly all of the highest paying jobs in America require a bachelor's degree or higher, good-paying occupations still exist that require only work experience or on-the-job-training.

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Air traffic controllers had median hourly wages of $51.73 and median annual wages of $107,600 in 2005, making it the highest paid occupation that requires only work experience or on-the-job-training, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Air traffic controllers have seen their wages rise from 2005 to 2007. In July 2007, air traffic controllers earned a median of $120,842 in annual wages, according to Compensation.BLR.com's Salary Center.

Among the 25 highest paid occupations overall, air traffic controller is the only one with no requirement for a bachelor's degree or higher.

Among occupations requiring only work experience or on-the-job-training, managers and industrial production managers are the second and third highest paying jobs.

The following are the 25 highest paying occupations requiring only work experience or on-the-job training:

Occupation Median Wages 2005
Hourly Annual
1

Air Traffic Controllers

$51.73

$107,600

2

Managers, All Other

$38.06

$79,200

3

Industrial Production Managers

$36.34

$75,600

4

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

$33.23

$69,100

5

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

$31.84

$66,200

6

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Police and Detectives

$31.52

$65,600

7

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Non-Retail Sales Workers

$29.79

$62,000

8

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers

$29.25

$60,800

9

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products

$29.21

$60,800

10

Gaming Managers

$28.82

$59,900

11

Elevator Installers and Repairers

$28.46

$59,200

12

Power Distributors and Dispatchers

$28.44

$59,200

13

Real Estate Brokers

$27.49

$57,200

14

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

$26.82

$55,800

15

Locomotive Engineers

$26.69

$55,500

16

Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

$25.98

$54,000

17

Power Plant Operators

$25.56

$53,200

18

Postmasters and Mail Superintendents

$25.34

$52,700

19

Cost Estimators

$25.01

$52,000

20

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers

$24.99

$52,000

21

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

$24.98

$52,000

22

Gas Plant Operators

$24.96

$51,900

23

Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

$24.55

$51,100

24

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

$24.49

$50,900

25

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers

$24.33

$50,600

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