9 High-Paying Jobs That Require Little or No Experience

If you’re a new college graduate, or you’re looking to try a totally different career, you may be feeling a mixture of excitement and fear. Getting your feet wet in a brand new field is a big step. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get your foot — or even a toe — in the door. A common dilemma faced by many recent graduates or career changers is the fact that it’s hard to get a job without experience. But how do you get the skills if no one will hire you? Since many employers are reluctant to train new hires on the job, it can be an uphill battle.

If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t give up. There are some careers that pay handsomely even if you don’t have years of related work experience and advanced education under your belt. Rather, you can gain expertise on the job through an apprenticeship and other on-the-job training programs. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Here are nine high-paying jobs that require little or no experience.

1. Transit and railroad police

A police car is parked outside in Anchorage, Alaska

If you care about the safety of others then you might be interested in a career in law enforcement. | Anchorage Police Department via Facebook

  • Mean annual salary: $67,850
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term

Transit and railroad police are responsible for the safety of commuters, employees, and property. Those in the 90th percentile of earners can make $96,670 a year. Six-figure salaries are more likely to be earned by transit and railroad police who work in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Tennessee.

How to become one: If you want to become part of the transit or railroad police, you will usually be required to graduate from the agency’s training academy. You’ll also need to complete on-the-job training. If you have any felony convictions or fail the drug test, your application could be rejected.

2. Claims adjuster

Woman working in the office

If working with insurance claims is something that interests you, then you might enjoy working as a claims adjuster. | iStock.com/Poike

  • Mean annual salary: $64,990
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Work experience in a related occupation: Less than five years
  • On-the-job training: Short-term

Claims adjusters manage claims for the loss of property, property damage, and personal injury. In addition, they investigate claims, assist with settlement negotiations, and decide whether a claim will be approved or rejected. Earners who fall within the 90th percentile can earn $95,760 annually. The highest-earning claims adjusters work in New York, California, Oregon, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Colorado.

How to become one: Entry-level claims adjusters only need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. When you’re just starting out, you are usually trained under the supervision of a more senior claims adjuster. If you want to be promoted, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or basic work experience in the insurance industry. In some states, claims adjusters are required to have certifications.

3. Web developer

Young man with glasses working on his notebook

If you’re a coder and graphic designer, we recommend the career path of web developer. | iStock.com/NakoPhotography

  • Mean annual salary: $72,150
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: None

Web developers create and design websites. They are tasked with creating the look and feel of a website. Sometimes they also develop website content. The best paid web developers earn about $119,550 a year. Those who work in states such as California, New York, Virginia, and Georgia make the most money.

How to become one: If you’re interested in working as a web developer, you can start with just an associate’s degree. However, some employers will hire workers who have only earned a high school diploma. In addition, you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of programming and graphic design. More senior level developers (such as back-end web developers) may need a bachelor’s degree and advanced knowledge of various programming languages.

4. Power plant operator

Power plant

Power plant operators can earn up to $97,410. | Bigstock

  • Mean annual salary: $73,800
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term

Power plant operators control, operate, and maintain machinery to assist with the generation of electric power. The best paid power plant operators bring home $101,590. Those in states such as North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Montana, and California earn the most.

How to become one: You can become a power plant operator through long-term on-the-job training. This generally includes both classroom and hands-on training. If you want to become a nuclear power reactor operator, you’ll need a license. These jobs also include drug and alcohol screenings.

5. Elevator installers

Escalator in a building

Elevator installers can learn the skills on the job through a four-year apprenticeship. | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

  • Mean annual salary: $76,860
  • Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Apprenticeship

Elevator installers and repairers are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of elevators, escalators, and other lifting equipment. Top earners can bring home $114,980 a year. Those who work in states such as New York, Connecticut, and California earn the most.

How to become one: If you’re interested in a career in elevator installation and repair, you can learn on the job. New apprentices learn their trade through a four-year apprenticeship. Elevator safety, electronics, electrical theory, and blueprint reading are some of the exciting topics you’ll learn. In addition, some states require elevator installers and repairers to be licensed. Learn more about this field when you visit the National Association of Elevator Contractors website.

6. Nuclear technician

Power plant

A nuclear technician works alongside physicists and engineers. | iStock.com

  • Mean annual salary: $79,140
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term

Nuclear technicians help nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers, and other scientists with laboratory or production duties. Their job responsibilities may include operating, maintaining, or assessing the quality of nuclear testing and research equipment. They may also be asked to monitor radiation. Those who work in states such as South Carolina, New York, California, and North Carolina make the most money.

How to become one: An associate’s degree in nuclear science or a related field will help you get started. In addition, you can gain experience through on-the-job training.

 7. Radiation therapist

medical team

To become a radiation therapist, you’ll need to acquire an associate’s degree. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

  • Mean annual salary: $84,980
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: None

Radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients. They may also review prescriptions and the patient’s diagnosis, prepare equipment, and maintain records. Radiation therapists can earn $123,710 a year. Those who live in states such as Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Florida earn the most.

How to become one: If you’re interested in this career, you’ll need to complete a minimum of an associate’s degree in radiation therapy. You may also need to obtain a license or certification.

8. Construction manager

Manager showing the project to his colleague

If you want to work your way up to the role of construction manager, you’ll need to be an assistant first. | iStock.com/shironosov

  • Mean annual salary: $99,510
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Moderate-term

­Construction managers are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating construction activities. They may also be required to oversee the organization, scheduling, and budgeting of construction projects. Construction managers can earn $158,330. Those who live in states such as Wisconsin, Wyoming, New York, and Pennsylvania, earn the most.

How to become one: Generally, no work experience in a related occupation is required. New construction managers usually start out as assistants and learn under the supervision of a more experienced construction manager. However, if you want to work for a large construction firm, you may be required to have some construction experience and a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering.

9. Air traffic controller

airplane on runway

If you want to become an air traffic controller, you’ll want to apply before you turn 31. | Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images

  • Mean annual salary: $118,200
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Work experience in a related occupation: None
  • On-the-job training: Long-term

Air traffic controllers manage the movement of air traffic. They also authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights. Those who make top dollars earn more than $172,000 a year. Air traffic controllers in states such as Colorado, Texas, New York, and Georgia earn the most.

How to become one: Either a college degree, work experience, or a combination of the two is required to become an air traffic controller. You’ll also need to pass a Federal Aviation Administration pre-employment test, a standardized aptitude test, and a training course at the FAA Academy. If you’re an older candidate, you’re out of luck. Applicants must start training before their 31st birthday.

 Follow Sheiresa on Twitter and Facebook

More from Money & Career Cheat Sheet:

More Articles About:   ,