Many Without A Bachelor's Degree
Have High Earnings
1
(This is a partial list of the 50 occupations listed, see footnotes 2-4 for related occupations.)
(The median weekly earnings for someone with at least a bachelor's degree in 1998 was $821.)

 

Most Workers
Don't Have a Degree
Many No Degree Earn Over $821
Median   Earnings for No Degree Top Earnings for No Degree
Some Occupations With Over 50,000 Workers
Making Over $821/week in 1998
Total Workers
(000)
# No Degree

(000)
% No Degree # No Degree
>$821
(000)
% of No Degree >$821 Median earnings Minimum earnings of top 10%
All Occupations 84,549 58,917 70

9,008

15 $486 $939
Accounting/auditing 1,211 427 35 65 15 547 914
Administrators and officials, public administrators 579 246 42 75 30 628 1,140
Automotive mechanics 536 513 96 87 17 520 938
Carpenters 743 712 96 135 19 518 988
Computer system analysts/scientists 1,205 366 30 196 54 860 1,389
Electricians 608 575 95 203 35 694 1,094
Fire Fighting Occupations 198 177 89 74 42 751 1,194
Health technologists and technicians 1,161 908 78 83 9 492 805
Managers and administrators not elsewhere classified2 5,087 2,565 50 1,002 40 721 1,373
Plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters 375 360 96 89 25 628 1,056
Police and detectives 982 735 75 200 27 635 1,026
Real Estate Sales 337 194 58 56 29 618 1,582
Registered nurses 1,439 694 48 187 27 705 1,002
Sales representatives, finance, and business services3 1,609 778 48 196 25 587 1,257
Supervisors, administrative support4 654 469 72 80 17 566 915
Truck Drivers 2,216 2,132 96 383 18 542 963
Welders and cutters 479 473 99 75 16 543 930
All other occupations 40,024 27,073 68 2,426 9 not calculated
1 Data is from High-Earnings Workers Who Don't Have a Bachelor's Degree as published in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly of the U.S. Department of Labor, Fall, 1999 pp. 9-15. Chart titles and data arrangement are from www.businessbookmall.com.
2I chose this manager category because it was by far the largest and data was in the middle of food, marketing, and health managers.
3I chose this finance category because it was by far the largest and data was about the same as that for manufacturing, wholesaling, and sales occupations (other business services). Motor vehicle sales people were a little less educated with a little lower earnings.
4I chose this finance category because it was the best educated and earned less than production, repair, and sales supervisory positions.
According to the bureau, the annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. For those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from reported survey data.
Rank Occupation Annual pay Search
1 Elevator installers and repairers $63,620 Job listings on MSN Careers
2 Locomotive engineers $57,990 Job listings on MSN Careers
3 Electrical and electronics repairers $57,400 Job listings on MSN Careers
4 Railroad conductors and yard masters $55,530 Job listings on MSN Careers
5 Power-plant operators $55,000 Job listings on MSN Careers
6 Ship engineers $54,820 Job listings on MSN Careers
7 Construction and mining supervisors $53,850 Job listings on MSN Careers
8 Gas-plant operators $53,670 Job listings on MSN Careers
9 Farm managers $52,070 Job listings on MSN Careers
10 Transportation inspectors $50,370 Job listings on MSN Careers

This data is from an article was reported and written by Matthew Kirdahy for Forbes.com.  Published Aug. 22, 2007

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