Highest-paying jobs in Birmingham that don’t require a college degree

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A carpenter aligns a beam for a wall frame at a new house site in Madison County, Miss., Tuesday, March 16, 2021. U.S. home construction fell by a bigger-than-expected amount in April but the drop came after housing had risen to the highest level in 15 years. The Commerce Department said Tuesday, May 18, that construction dropped 9.5% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units. % in April to an annual rate of 1.76 million units, a good sign that the April dip in construction will be temporary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — From the moment they first set foot on campus, today’s high-school students are inundated with messages about the importance of receiving a college education. They hear it from their guidance counselors, teachers, parents, family members, neighbors, coaches—the list goes on and on.

While graduation from a four-year college can certainly work wonders for students’ future careers, it’s not necessary for all fields—something admissions officers and guidance counselors sometimes fail to mention.

To find the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, Stacker consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to compile a list of all jobs that don’t require higher education. All professions that listed a high-school diploma, some college education (without a degree conferred), postsecondary non-degree award, or no formal education requirements for entry-level positions were considered. Jobs that didn’t list any entry-level education requirement were excluded, as were job titles that grouped several positions together. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

Keep reading to discover the highest-paying jobs in Birmingham that don’t require a college degree.

You may also like: 100 Highest paying jobs in America

SritanaN // Shutterstock

#50. Industrial machinery mechanics

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $51,120
– #293 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,620

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,350
– Employment: 385,980
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($84,180)
— San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($84,150)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,580)
– Job description: Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems. May also install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to plans.

Canva

#49. Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $51,390
– #15 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $43,790
– Employment: 91,930
– Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Salt Lake City, UT ($80,010)
— Fort Collins, CO ($63,680)
— Wichita Falls, TX ($59,520)
– Job description: Repair, maintain, or install computers, word processing systems, automated teller machines, and electronic office machines, such as duplicating and fax machines.

Indypendenz // Shutterstock

#48. Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $51,510
– #65 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 520

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,440
– Employment: 105,400
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Wausau, WI ($57,620)
— Cape Girardeau, MO-IL ($55,670)
— Canton-Massillon, OH ($55,520)
– Job description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Examine, sort, and route mail. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks, and perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Includes postal service mail sorters and processors employed by USPS contractors.

Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

#47. Control and valve installers and repairers, except mechanical door

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,150
– #123 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 300

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,400
– Employment: 50,660
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Santa Rosa, CA ($95,240)
— Madison, WI ($90,020)
— Salinas, CA ($87,650)
– Job description: Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors.

Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#46. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,240
– #51 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 800

National
– Annual mean salary: $52,750
– Employment: 160,950
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($76,350)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($76,220)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($73,740)
– Job description: Perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.

rlat // Shutterstock

#45. Postal service clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,250
– #135 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 320

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,200
– Employment: 86,950
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Monroe, MI ($58,120)
— El Centro, CA ($58,000)
— Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($57,330)
– Job description: Perform any combination of tasks in a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage. Includes postal service clerks employed by USPS contractors.

Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#44. Occupational health and safety technicians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,280
– #76 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,870
– Employment: 20,950
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($80,790)
— Knoxville, TN ($77,510)
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($76,950)
– Job description: Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.

Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#43. Advertising sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,380
– #148 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 720

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,040
– Employment: 110,040
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($112,850)
— Winston-Salem, NC ($104,930)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,370)
– Job description: Sell or solicit advertising space, time, or media in publications, signage, TV, radio, or Internet establishments or public spaces.

LStockStudio // Shutterstock

#42. Brokerage clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,500
– #67 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,460
– Employment: 44,720
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($75,240)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($73,770)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($69,860)
– Job description: Perform duties related to the purchase, sale, or holding of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases or sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.

Canva

#41. Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $52,530
– #6 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $43,670
– Employment: 6,080
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($75,540)
— Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($69,500)
— Pittsburgh, PA ($52,830)
– Job description: Perform precision smoothing, sharpening, polishing, or grinding of metal objects.

Canva

#40. Tool and die makers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $53,370
– #103 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 160

National
– Annual mean salary: $55,520
– Employment: 61,190
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Flint, MI ($74,390)
— New Haven, CT ($73,530)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($72,420)
– Job description: Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists’ hand tools.

Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#39. Postal service mail carriers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $53,800
– #60 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,400

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,180
– Employment: 333,570
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bismarck, ND ($56,520)
— Burlington, NC ($55,750)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($55,680)
– Job description: Sort and deliver mail for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot. Includes postal service mail carriers employed by USPS contractors.

Shift Drive // Shutterstock

#38. Computer user support specialists

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $53,890
– #135 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,910

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,000
– Employment: 634,820
– Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($86,350)
— Napa, CA ($78,740)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,670)
– Job description: Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone, or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.

Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#37. Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $54,880
– #39 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,330
– Employment: 93,060
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Billings, MT ($77,010)
— Hattiesburg, MS ($73,780)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($71,630)
– Job description: Operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.

Canva

#36. Loading and moving machine operators, underground mining

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $55,130
– #3 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,100
– Employment: 3,520
– Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Wheeling, WV-OH ($65,220)
— Pittsburgh, PA ($57,910)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($55,130)
– Job description: Operate underground loading or moving machine to load or move coal, ore, or rock using shuttle or mine car or conveyors. Equipment may include power shovels, hoisting engines equipped with cable-drawn scraper or scoop, or machines equipped with gathering arms and conveyor.

Pandu Agus Wismoyo // Unsplash

#35. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $55,720
– #154 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 240

National
– Annual mean salary: $69,040
– Employment: 128,300
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX ($95,680)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($89,710)
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($87,830)
– Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

welcomia // Shutterstock

#34. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $56,210
– #115 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,160

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,000
– Employment: 147,680
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Urban Honolulu, HI ($84,460)
— Fairbanks, AK ($81,920)
— Bismarck, ND ($78,350)
– Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul mobile mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic equipment, such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, and conveyors, used in construction, logging, and mining.

Canva

#33. Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators, surface mining

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $58,350
– #21 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

National
– Annual mean salary: $48,500
– Employment: 40,240
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,100)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($84,840)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,360)
– Job description: Operate or tend machinery at surface mining site, equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets to excavate and load loose materials.

DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#32. Chefs and head cooks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $58,810
– #70 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 110

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,740
– Employment: 101,490
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,210)
— Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($90,840)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($86,460)
– Job description: Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#31. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $62,320
– #66 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 6,040

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,010
– Employment: 1,427,260
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($78,770)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($77,030)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($75,820)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.https://05bbd3886ed71c4887b3e9d3be4b510e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#30. Food service managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $62,660
– #118 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 670

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,000
– Employment: 197,010
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,610)
— Trenton, NJ ($95,640)
— Waterbury, CT ($88,100)
– Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#29. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $63,020
– #80 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,140

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,230
– Employment: 503,390
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,040)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($89,100)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($86,180)
– Job description: Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

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#28. Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $63,820
– #2 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,830
– Employment: 10,580
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— St. Louis, MO-IL ($68,580)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($63,820)
— Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($63,740)
– Job description: Tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.

Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

#27. Property, real estate, and community association managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $63,930
– #123 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 410

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,210
– Employment: 219,800
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Charleston-North Charleston, SC ($117,770)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($113,800)
— Boulder, CO ($107,230)
– Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the selling, buying, leasing, or governance activities of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate properties. Includes managers of homeowner and condominium associations, rented or leased housing units, buildings, or land (including rights-of-way).https://05bbd3886ed71c4887b3e9d3be4b510e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#26. Lodging managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $64,050
– #63 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,270
– Employment: 31,790
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($108,990)
— Reno, NV ($106,060)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($105,560)
– Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that provides lodging and other accommodations.

Stealth Communications // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $64,090
– #80 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,220

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,980
– Employment: 190,510
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Elmira, NY ($94,280)
— Springfield, MA-CT ($92,920)
— Fairbanks, AK ($87,940)
– Job description: Install, set up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers’ property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#24. Insurance appraisers, auto damage

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $65,390
– #29 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,540
– Employment: 13,220
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Salt Lake City, UT ($85,150)
— Richmond, VA ($80,870)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($79,510)
– Job description: Appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine repair costs for insurance claim settlement. Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost or cost estimates and recommendations. May seek agreement with automotive repair shop on repair costs.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#23. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $66,780
– #157 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,490

National
– Annual mean salary: $70,650
– Employment: 287,150
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,980)
— Waterbury, CT ($92,160)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,750)
– Job description: Review settled claims to determine that payments and settlements are made in accordance with company practices and procedures. Confer with legal counsel on claims requiring litigation. May also settle insurance claims.

Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

#22. Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $66,840
– #102 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,930

National
– Annual mean salary: $70,490
– Employment: 977,070
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($115,620)
— Lawrence, KS ($97,910)
— Boulder, CO ($94,870)
– Job description: Sell services to individuals or businesses. May describe options or resolve client problems.

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#21. Construction and building inspectors

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $67,720
– #73 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 640

National
– Annual mean salary: $66,470
– Employment: 113,770
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,920)
— Salinas, CA ($98,360)
– Job description: Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

#20. First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $67,880
– #126 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,600

National
– Annual mean salary: $66,800
– Employment: 599,900
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Baton Rouge, LA ($101,930)
— Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($100,590)
— Longview, WA ($99,590)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators. Excludes team or work leaders.

sculpies // Shutterstock

#19. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $69,210
– #164 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 3,910

National
– Annual mean salary: $72,990
– Employment: 614,080
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,870)
— Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($103,930)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($100,620)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.https://05bbd3886ed71c4887b3e9d3be4b510e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Christian Lagerek // Shutterstock

#18. Gas plant operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $69,730
– #23 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,290
– Employment: 14,990
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,230)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($97,370)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,160)
– Job description: Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#17. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $70,470
– #48 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $67,600
– Employment: 53,420
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($115,020)
— Trenton, NJ ($113,630)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($113,070)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.

Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#16. Private detectives and investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $72,950
– #6 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,100
– Employment: 32,200
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,550)
— Fresno, CA ($79,220)
— Anchorage, AK ($77,960)
– Job description: Gather, analyze, compile, and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.

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#15. Transportation inspectors

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $73,280
– #55 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $81,320
– Employment: 27,360
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Portland-South Portland, ME ($119,270)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($117,900)
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($104,370)
– Job description: Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors, rail inspectors, and other inspectors of transportation vehicles not elsewhere classified.https://05bbd3886ed71c4887b3e9d3be4b510e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

4 PM production // Shutterstock

#14. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $73,800
– #124 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,780

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,100
– Employment: 475,000
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($95,680)
— Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,140)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,810)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers. May also advise customers on recommended services. Excludes team or work leaders.

Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

#13. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $74,200
– #90 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 7,640

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,500
– Employment: 1,278,670
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Danbury, CT ($112,810)
— Napa, CA ($101,850)
— Santa Fe, NM ($93,680)
– Job description: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

Shutterstock

#12. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $76,020
– #190 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 720

National
– Annual mean salary: $90,120
– Employment: 240,290
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN ($124,150)
— Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($122,460)
— Leominster-Gardner, MA ($119,130)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.

Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#11. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $78,900
– #86 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 830

National
– Annual mean salary: $74,410
– Employment: 114,930
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($114,820)
— Redding, CA ($112,850)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($111,810)
– Job description: Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

Canva

#10. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $79,380
– #225 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 250

National
– Annual mean salary: $97,180
– Employment: 122,310
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($200,090)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($182,810)
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($182,720)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

Canva

#9. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $79,760
– #32 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

National
– Annual mean salary: $86,200
– Employment: 24,730
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($109,710)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($105,080)
— Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($101,990)
– Job description: Assemble, install, repair, or maintain electric or hydraulic freight or passenger elevators, escalators, or dumbwaiters.

U.S. Air Force

#8. First-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $80,650
– #89 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 270

National
– Annual mean salary: $83,170
– Employment: 69,000
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($187,890)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($181,340)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($176,050)
– Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in firefighting and fire prevention and control.

Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#7. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $82,060
– #38 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $79,660
– Employment: 13,880
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($96,130)
— Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($95,920)
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($92,630)
– Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate operational, administrative, management, and support services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

Suwin // Shutterstock

#6. Electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $88,680
– #27 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 410

National
– Annual mean salary: $83,150
– Employment: 23,070
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($113,410)
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($111,660)
— Anchorage, AK ($111,470)
– Job description: Inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

Prath // Shutterstock

#5. Detectives and criminal investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $88,810
– #84 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

National
– Annual mean salary: $89,300
– Employment: 105,980
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,380)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($127,090)
— Anchorage, AK ($126,530)
– Job description: Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Skycolors // Shutterstock

#4. Commercial pilots

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $99,970
– #49 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 110

National
– Annual mean salary: $110,830
– Employment: 37,120
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sioux City, IA-NE-SD ($153,990)
— Medford, OR ($152,730)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($152,290)
– Job description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots. Excludes regional, national, and international airline pilots.

Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $102,650
– #101 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 390

National
– Annual mean salary: $105,100
– Employment: 132,210
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($163,580)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($137,680)
— Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($136,410)
– Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations. Includes logistics managers.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#2. Insurance sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $105,840
– #2 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,490

National
– Annual mean salary: $69,100
– Employment: 409,950
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,540)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($105,840)
— Fond du Lac, WI ($105,190)
– Job description: Sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as an independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.

Lovely Bird // Shutterstock

#1. Power distributors and dispatchers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
– Annual mean salary: $112,160
– #4 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 160

National
– Annual mean salary: $93,260
– Employment: 9,940
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($141,200)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($126,870)
— Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($120,200)
– Job description: Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

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