Highest paying jobs in Columbus, Georgia for high school graduates

Written by:
April 25, 2022
Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

Highest paying jobs in Columbus, Georgia for high school graduates

The average college graduate in 2020 earned $1,305 a week, while the average high school graduate takes home just $781, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of course, college isn’t for everyone. There are many reasons high-school graduates may choose to not continue on to college, not the least of which being cost. Average tuition costs continue to rise each year, the exception being the 2020-2021 school year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Average tuition at a public, in-state university coming in at $9,687; tuition for out-of-state students at public schools, and for everyone at private universities, is significantly higher at $21,874 and $35,087, respectively.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs for high school graduates in Columbus, GA-AL using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

Keep reading to see which jobs in your city pay the most for high school graduates.

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U.S. Air Force photo // Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin

#50. Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $38,820
- #335 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,140
- Employment: 137,510
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Midland, MI ($60,190)
--- Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($58,940)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($58,790)
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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#49. Machinists

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $39,270
- #479 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,800
- Employment: 360,340
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($76,230)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($71,070)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,300)
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Rido // Shutterstock

#48. Opticians, dispensing

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $39,700
- #185 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $41,380
- Employment: 68,180
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($70,300)
--- New Haven, CT ($69,460)
--- Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area ($66,670)
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Pixabay

#47. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $39,950
- #484 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 260

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,690
- Employment: 397,550
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($72,500)
--- Anchorage, AK ($71,840)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($71,250)
5 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#46. Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $40,150
- #233 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,070
- Employment: 240,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($60,830)
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($59,120)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($58,380)

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Pixabay

#45. Surveying and mapping technicians

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $40,540
- #282 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,770
- Employment: 53,370
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($84,710)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($77,840)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($76,960)
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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#44. Carpenters

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $40,560
- #421 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,200
- Employment: 699,300
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($81,730)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,280)
8 / 50
GolF2532 // Shutterstock

#43. Security and fire alarm systems installers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $41,100
- #204 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,150
- Employment: 68,920
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Eugene, OR ($70,940)
--- Salem, OR ($68,640)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($68,520)
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Brian S. Hagberg // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Self-enrichment teachers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $41,990
- #186 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,930
- Employment: 222,700
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($70,350)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($66,650)
--- Utica-Rome, NY ($63,470)
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Canva

#41. Automotive body and related repairers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $42,210
- #429 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,430
- Employment: 137,120
- 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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#40. Advertising sales agents

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $42,480
- #290 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,040
- Employment: 110,040
- 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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Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#39. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $42,850
- #188 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,750
- Employment: 160,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area ($84,640)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,320)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,210)
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Vera Larina // Shutterstock

#38. Sheet metal workers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $42,930
- #310 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,320
- Employment: 128,220
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($101,150)
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($94,930)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($93,840)
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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#37. Payroll and timekeeping clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $43,060
- #317 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,290
- Employment: 133,870
- 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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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#36. Production, planning, and expediting clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $43,770
- #461 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,000
- Employment: 362,090
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($74,970)
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($71,160)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($67,770)

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Hunter Bliss Images // Shutterstock

#35. Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $43,960
- #94 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,960
- Employment: 116,190
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan area ($69,070)
--- South Illinois nonmetropolitan area ($61,970)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($60,690)
17 / 50
Loveischiangrai // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $44,000
- #397 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,040
- Employment: 103,730
- 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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Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#33. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $45,040
- #219 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,600
- Employment: 53,420
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($114,400)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($113,220)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($112,950)
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Kot500 // Shutterstock

#32. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $45,050
- #421 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,090
- Employment: 253,010
- 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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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#31. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $45,100
- #464 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,100
- Employment: 417,440
- 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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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#30. Procurement clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $45,210
- #94 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,400
- Employment: 61,000
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area ($58,310)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,800)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($56,330)
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#29. Electricians

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $45,520
- #486 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 400

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Employment: 656,510
- 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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Avatar_023 // Shutterstock

#28. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $47,160
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,890
- Employment: 119,380
- 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)
24 / 50
DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#27. Chefs and head cooks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $48,070
- #300 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,740
- Employment: 101,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Leominster-Gardner, MA ($81,020)
--- Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area ($79,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,600)
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goodluz // Shutterstock

#26. Real estate sales agents

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $48,110
- #275 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,990
- Employment: 168,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Midland, TX ($100,060)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($99,880)
--- Worcester, MA-CT ($93,400)

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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $48,170
- #233 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,400
- Employment: 50,660
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($98,380)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($94,070)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($92,800)
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welcomia // Shutterstock

#24. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $48,620
- #399 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,000
- Employment: 147,680
- 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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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#23. Industrial machinery mechanics

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,870
- #477 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Employment: 385,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($85,900)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($85,360)
--- Anchorage, AK ($82,890)
29 / 50
Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#22. Occupational health and safety technicians

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,990
- #101 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,870
- Employment: 20,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($77,880)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,690)
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($77,100)
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Canva

#21. Construction and building inspectors

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $50,390
- #379 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,470
- Employment: 113,770
- 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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Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#20. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $50,790
- #234 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,860
- Employment: 122,480
- 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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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,280
- #339 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,210
- Employment: 219,800
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($109,540)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($106,420)
--- Piedmont North Carolina nonmetropolitan area ($105,220)
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Pixabay

#18. Meter readers, utilities

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $53,240
- #34 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,160
- Employment: 26,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($74,040)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($69,530)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($67,510)
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Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#17. Postal service mail carriers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $53,270
- #332 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,180
- Employment: 333,570
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($57,160)
--- Bismarck, ND ($57,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,820)
35 / 50
rlat // Shutterstock

#16. Postal service clerks

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $53,420
- #170 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,200
- Employment: 86,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($59,410)
--- Florence, SC ($59,360)
--- Monroe, MI ($59,320)

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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $53,540
- #368 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,090

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,010
- Employment: 1,427,260
- 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)
37 / 50
Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#14. Food service managers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $54,080
- #381 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,000
- Employment: 197,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($91,320)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,860)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($87,750)
38 / 50
sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $59,460
- #464 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 500

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Employment: 614,080
- 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)
39 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#12. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $61,180
- #326 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,650
- Employment: 287,150
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($104,350)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($95,200)
--- Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area ($92,500)
40 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#11. Insurance sales agents

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $61,360
- #228 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 620

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- Employment: 409,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,230)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,470)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($95,620)

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Canva

#10. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $61,720
- #418 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 360

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,180
- Employment: 122,310
- 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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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#9. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $62,760
- #115 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,230
- Employment: 503,390
- 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)
43 / 50
Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $63,800
- #297 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Employment: 599,900
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($98,170)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($97,910)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($96,900)
44 / 50
Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $65,920
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 680

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Employment: 1,278,670
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,280)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($92,660)
--- Napa, CA ($92,620)
45 / 50
4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $67,030
- #342 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 460

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,100
- Employment: 475,000
- 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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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $67,590
- #110 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 630

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Employment: 977,070
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($103,810)
--- Boulder, CO ($101,630)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($97,360)
47 / 50
g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $71,230
- #377 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,120
- Employment: 240,290
- 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)
48 / 50
Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#3. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $77,130
- #202 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,410
- Employment: 114,930
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($117,700)
--- Salinas, CA ($110,180)
--- North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area ($109,740)
49 / 50
Prath // Shutterstock

#2. Detectives and criminal investigators

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $80,490
- #159 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,300
- Employment: 105,980
- 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)
50 / 50
Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Columbus, GA-AL
- Annual mean salary: $93,160
- #242 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,100
- Employment: 132,210
- 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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