Highest-paying jobs in Boulder that don't require a college degree

Written by:
June 13, 2022
Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

Highest-paying jobs in Boulder that don't require a college degree

From the moment they arrive 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, and coaches. 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 nondegree 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 2021 annual mean wage.

Keep reading to discover the highest paying jobs in Boulder, CO that don’t require a college degree.

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Viktoriia Hnatiuk // Shutterstock

#50. Travel agents

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $56,210
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,580
- Employment: 37,190
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($72,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($59,110)
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($57,990)
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Rob Kim // Getty Images

#49. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $56,520
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,450

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,890
- Employment: 1,143,260
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($57,830)
--- Boulder, CO ($56,520)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,930)
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Canva

#47 (tie). Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $56,820
- #174 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 270

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,280
- Employment: 404,820
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,910)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($91,860)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($91,120)
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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#47 (tie). Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $56,820
- #89 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,850
- Employment: 641,240
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($76,890)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,880)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,410)
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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#46. Machinists

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $56,850
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,020
- Employment: 333,220
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($71,070)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,300)
--- Monroe, MI ($66,560)

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fizkes // Shutterstock

#45. Public safety telecommunicators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,180
- #38 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,030
- Employment: 97,050
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($97,380)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,790)
--- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($76,950)
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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#44. Advertising sales agents

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,200
- #105 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,540
- Employment: 96,660
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($97,840)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($97,720)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($83,050)
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Canva

#43. Automotive body and related repairers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,610
- #30 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $50,660
- Employment: 137,300
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($71,350)
--- Ames, IA ($68,340)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($68,060)
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Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#42. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,720
- #119 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,250
- Employment: 101,530
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($90,680)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($90,370)
--- Salinas, CA ($88,050)
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#41. Electricians

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,810
- #233 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 630

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,310
- Employment: 650,580
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,900)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($91,090)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($86,600)

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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#40. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $57,820
- #210 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 350

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,350
- Employment: 417,620
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,580)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($89,500)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($89,190)
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welcomia // Shutterstock

#39. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $58,810
- #90 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,280
- Employment: 145,230
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($86,740)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,520)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($79,470)
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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#38. Payroll and timekeeping clerks

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $58,850
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,560
- Employment: 149,290
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($66,600)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($66,240)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($60,930)
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Loveischiangrai // Shutterstock

#37. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $59,230
- #42 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,270
- Employment: 116,380
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($76,040)
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($74,800)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($73,360)
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DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#36. Chefs and head cooks

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $60,100
- #63 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,920
- Employment: 129,810
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Leominster-Gardner, MA ($81,020)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,600)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($79,430)

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Avatar_023 // Shutterstock

#35. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $60,240
- #67 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,320
- Employment: 121,150
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,980)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,370)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($87,990)
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Unsplash

#34. Tax preparers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $60,690
- #18 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,080
- Employment: 83,190
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($81,880)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,470)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($73,170)
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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#33. Production, planning, and expediting clerks

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $61,710
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,220
- Employment: 367,200
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($74,970)
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($71,160)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($67,140)
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Daniel Tausis // Unsplash

#32. Firefighters

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $62,050
- #75 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,290
- Employment: 317,310
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($114,210)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($98,150)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($97,470)
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David Spates // Shutterstock

#31. Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $62,230
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,690
- Employment: 356,960
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,020)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($76,750)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($71,710)

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Stealth Communications // Wikimedia Commons

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $64,720
- #83 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,350
- Employment: 172,830
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($88,140)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($84,690)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($80,570)
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Canva

#29. Chemical plant and system operators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $64,970
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,020
- Employment: 21,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Lima, OH ($92,450)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($91,210)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($90,170)
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Peter Braakmann // Shutterstock

#28. First-line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $65,200
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,450
- Employment: 25,770
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Longview, WA ($74,500)
--- Redding, CA ($72,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($71,740)
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Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#27. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $65,370
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,540
- Employment: 155,250
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,320)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,210)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($72,760)
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#26. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $65,430
- #75 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 990

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,870
- Employment: 466,910
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,590)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($87,760)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,420)

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Kot500 // Shutterstock

#25. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $65,440
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,020
- Employment: 261,420
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($73,400)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($70,480)
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#24. Industrial machinery mechanics

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $66,540
- #44 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,780
- Employment: 373,090
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($85,900)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($85,360)
--- Anchorage, AK ($82,890)
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ryanivy308 // Pixabay

#23. Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $68,810
- #64 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,230
- Employment: 50,780
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($87,890)
--- Fresno, CA ($86,230)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($85,640)
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $68,830
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,530

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,380
- Employment: 1,443,630
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($82,050)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($79,520)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,430)
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Pandu Agus Wismoyo // Unsplash

#21. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $71,140
- #55 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,470
- Employment: 125,440
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($86,470)
--- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($86,370)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($85,860)

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Canva

#20. Construction and building inspectors

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $71,420
- #69 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,480
- Employment: 117,830
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($121,510)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,330)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,190)
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John Leung // Shutterstock

#19. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $71,780
- #26 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,430
- Employment: 55,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($95,980)
--- Decatur, IL ($92,670)
--- Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($89,340)
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Shift Drive // Shutterstock

#18. Computer user support specialists

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $72,630
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,040

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,650
- Employment: 654,310
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($90,480)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($76,920)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($76,510)
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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $72,860
- #64 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 770

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,330
- Employment: 629,420
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($98,170)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($97,910)
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($90,410)
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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $74,690
- #131 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 570

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,060
- Employment: 665,870
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($112,020)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($101,210)

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#15. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $75,730
- #72 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,960
- Employment: 278,140
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($104,350)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($95,200)
--- Salinas, CA ($90,800)
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Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#14. Occupational health and safety technicians

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $76,140
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,560
- Employment: 21,750
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($77,880)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,690)
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($77,100)
38 / 50
goodluz // Shutterstock

#13. Real estate sales agents

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $78,400
- #14 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 470

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,480
- Employment: 175,920
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Midland, TX ($100,060)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($99,880)
--- Worcester, MA-CT ($93,400)
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#12. Lodging managers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $81,150
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,770
- Employment: 35,920
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($121,090)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($111,410)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($99,600)
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Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#11. Food service managers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $83,050
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,970
- Employment: 210,680
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($91,320)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,860)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($87,750)

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4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $83,630
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 460

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,590
- Employment: 526,240
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,830)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($93,030)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,870)
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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $85,960
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,200

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,390
- Employment: 1,242,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,280)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($92,660)
--- Napa, CA ($92,620)
43 / 50
Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $86,390
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,030
- Employment: 234,680
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($109,540)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($106,420)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($103,610)
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Prath // Shutterstock

#7. Detectives and criminal investigators

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $90,080
- #86 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,370
- Employment: 107,890
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($132,210)
--- Anchorage, AK ($127,070)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($123,460)
45 / 50
U.S. Air Force

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $91,090
- #65 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,270
- Employment: 80,890
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($171,060)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($145,740)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($135,860)

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Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#5. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $94,210
- #50 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,060
- Employment: 123,940
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($117,700)
--- Salinas, CA ($110,180)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,490)
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $101,630
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,100

National
- Annual mean salary: $71,110
- Employment: 1,026,390
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($103,810)
--- Boulder, CO ($101,630)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($97,360)
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Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $115,410
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,580
- Employment: 144,640
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($159,890)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($154,170)
--- Trenton, NJ ($144,620)
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g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $118,270
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 530

National
- Annual mean salary: $92,320
- Employment: 243,920
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($129,860)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($121,360)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($121,250)
50 / 50
Canva

#1. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Boulder, CO
- Annual mean salary: $120,460
- #38 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $98,760
- Employment: 128,230
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($182,700)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($170,740)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($164,600)

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