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

Written by:
October 21, 2021
Flamingo Images // Shutterstock

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

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 Chicago that don’t require a college degree.

You may also like: 100 Highest paying jobs in America

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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $68,180
- #90 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 47,400

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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Canva

#49. Court reporters and simultaneous captioners

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $68,380
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,710
- Employment: 13,880
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($118,300)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($109,600)
--- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX ($92,150)
- Job description: Use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, retrieve, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. Includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.
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Canva

#47 (tie). Fence erectors

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $68,570
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,120
- Employment: 27,010
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bakersfield, CA ($75,170)
--- Columbus, OH ($72,360)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($68,570)
- Job description: Erect and repair fences and fence gates, using hand and power tools.
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#47 (tie). First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $68,570
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 39,080

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.
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Canva

#46. Plasterers and stucco masons

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $68,740
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,100
- Employment: 25,210
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($90,070)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($81,540)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($80,800)
- Job description: Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, stucco, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.
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Unsplash

#45. Railroad brake, signal, and switch operators and locomotive firers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $69,330
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,890
- Employment: 14,630
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($69,330)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($57,290)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($46,150)
- Job description: Operate or monitor railroad track switches or locomotive instruments. May couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Watch for and relay traffic signals. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes. May watch for dragging equipment or obstacles on rights-of-way.
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Stealth Communications // Wikimedia Commons

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $70,120
- #40 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,660

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.
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Canva

#43. Transportation inspectors

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $70,370
- #58 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

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.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#41 (tie). Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $71,300
- #101 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 9,150

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.
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Canva

#41 (tie). Cement masons and concrete finishers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $71,300
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,550

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,390
- Employment: 195,580
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($86,370)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($81,730)
--- Rockford, IL ($78,320)
- Job description: Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut expansion joints.
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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $71,340
- #128 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 54,500

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.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#39. Insurance sales agents

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $71,890
- #75 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 12,140

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.
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#38. Carpenters

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $72,270
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 20,140

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,200
- Employment: 699,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,950)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($82,300)
--- Hanford-Corcoran, CA ($79,870)
- Job description: Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors. May also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation. Includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.
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Pandu Agus Wismoyo // Unsplash

#37. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $72,520
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,670

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.
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Canva

#36. Chemical plant and system operators

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $72,940
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,460
- Employment: 29,710
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Corpus Christi, TX ($86,970)
--- Lima, OH ($84,710)
--- Charleston, WV ($76,830)
- Job description: Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.
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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#35. Advertising sales agents

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $73,290
- #20 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,620

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.
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Aniwat phromrungsee // Shutterstock

#34. Commercial divers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $74,520
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $71,850
- Employment: 3,460
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($182,340)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($112,310)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($77,070)
- Job description: Work below surface of water, using surface-supplied air or scuba equipment to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.
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curraheeshutter // Shutterstock

#33. Ship engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $74,930
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,110
- Employment: 7,480
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($100,170)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($95,620)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($95,380)
- Job description: Supervise and coordinate activities of crew engaged in operating and maintaining engines, boilers, deck machinery, and electrical, sanitary, and refrigeration equipment aboard ship.
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4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $75,270
- #97 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 10,600

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.
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welcomia // Shutterstock

#31. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $75,590
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,800

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.
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Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#30. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $76,050
- #39 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 780

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.
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Pixabay

#29. Gambling managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $76,490
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,440
- Employment: 3,240
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($102,700)
--- Reno, NV ($102,190)
--- Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($101,990)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate gambling operations in a casino. May formulate house rules.
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Canva

#28. Construction and building inspectors

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $76,750
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,490

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.
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#27. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $76,880
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $76,810
- Employment: 5,670
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($128,170)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($118,710)
--- Napa, CA ($116,750)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments. May hire, train, and supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the managed operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, and financial and marketing activities.
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Canva

#26. Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $79,090
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 440

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,250
- Employment: 15,380
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($79,090)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($70,180)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($66,910)
- Job description: Repair, maintain, or install electric motors, wiring, or switches.
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Nagy-Bagoly Arpad // Shutterstock

#25. Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $79,670
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,860
- Employment: 32,780
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,190)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($79,670)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($71,130)
- Job description: Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.
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Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#24. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $80,410
- #45 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 250

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.
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Igor Kardasov // Shutterstock

#23. Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $80,600
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 310

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,740
- Employment: 27,590
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($122,730)
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($111,530)
--- Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN ($111,140)
- Job description: Command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats. Required to hold license issued by U.S. Coast Guard.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $82,290
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 700

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.
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Bannafarsai_Stock // Shutterstock

#21. Terrazzo workers and finishers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $83,220
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,440
- Employment: 2,970
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($89,220)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($83,220)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,600)
- Job description: Apply a mixture of cement, sand, pigment, or marble chips to floors, stairways, and cabinet fixtures to fashion durable and decorative surfaces.
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Unsplash

#20. Structural iron and steel workers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $83,900
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,190

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,650
- Employment: 71,490
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($91,360)
--- Rockford, IL ($90,160)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,740)
- Job description: Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#19. Electricians

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $84,230
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 18,150

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Employment: 656,510
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,680)
--- Trenton, NJ ($90,210)
--- Kankakee, IL ($88,530)
- Job description: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.
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John Leung // Shutterstock

#18. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $84,350
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,460

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,420
- Employment: 59,940
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($90,610)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($90,290)
--- Pittsfield, MA ($90,070)
- Job description: Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.
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Lovely Bird // Shutterstock

#17. Power distributors and dispatchers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $84,940
- #20 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Suwin // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $85,700
- #30 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

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.
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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $85,850
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,910

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).
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Canva

#14. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $86,030
- #10 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 7,680

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,280
- Employment: 402,870
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($96,440)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($93,620)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($93,320)
- Job description: Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.
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Canva

#13. Tapers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $86,080
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 650

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,140
- Employment: 16,320
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($92,500)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($86,080)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($83,860)
- Job description: Seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surface for painting or papering.
39 / 50
sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $88,490
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,680

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.
40 / 50
kittirat roekburi // Shutterstock

#11. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $90,560
- #8 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,020

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,170
- Employment: 29,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($106,910)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($104,970)
--- Springfield, IL ($102,660)
- Job description: Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes. Operate equipment such as steam engines, generators, motors, turbines, and steam boilers.
41 / 50
g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $90,610
- #76 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,650

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.
42 / 50
Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $90,960
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,300

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.
43 / 50
Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#8. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $91,940
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 12,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,100
- Employment: 417,440
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,100)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($94,280)
--- Kankakee, IL ($93,420)
- Job description: Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.
44 / 50
Prath // Shutterstock

#7. Detectives and criminal investigators

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $94,160
- #54 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,270

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.
45 / 50
Canva

#6. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $97,130
- #10 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 610

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.
46 / 50
U.S. Air Force

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

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $99,420
- #32 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,200

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.
47 / 50
Skycolors // Shutterstock

#4. Commercial pilots

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $103,320
- #43 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 350

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.
48 / 50
Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $108,620
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,810

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.
49 / 50
Onk-Q // Shutterstock

#2. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $108,740
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 570

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,700
- Employment: 18,680
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($108,740)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($83,410)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($76,310)
- Job description: Position and secure steel bars or mesh in concrete forms in order to reinforce concrete. Use a variety of fasteners, rod-bending machines, blowtorches, and hand tools. Includes rod busters.
50 / 50
Canva

#1. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $118,040
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,250

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.

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