Highest paying jobs in Portland, Maine for high school graduates

Written by:
July 20, 2022
Prath // Shutterstock

Highest paying jobs in Portland, Maine 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 Portland-South Portland, ME 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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Canva

#50. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $51,430
- #253 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 540

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,280
- Employment: 402,870
- 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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U.S. Air Force photo // Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin

#48 (tie). Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $51,540
- #27 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Indypendenz // Shutterstock

#48 (tie). Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $51,540
- #59 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 350

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,440
- Employment: 105,400
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Huntsville, AL ($55,830)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,260)
--- Wausau, WI ($55,060)
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Unsplash

#47. Structural iron and steel workers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $51,570
- #107 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,650
- Employment: 71,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($95,020)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($88,250)
--- Western Washington nonmetropolitan area ($84,570)
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GolF2532 // Shutterstock

#46. Security and fire alarm systems installers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $52,950
- #58 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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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Pixabay

#45. Surveying and mapping technicians

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $53,560
- #61 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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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Kot500 // Shutterstock

#44. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $53,600
- #122 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 550

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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DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#43. Chefs and head cooks

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $53,940
- #177 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 410

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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Unsplash

#42. Tax preparers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $54,000
- #44 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,710
- Employment: 62,600
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($81,880)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,470)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($73,170)
10 / 50
Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#41. Postal service mail carriers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $54,290
- #161 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 470

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)

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Avatar_023 // Shutterstock

#40. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $54,450
- #142 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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)
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Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#39. Community health workers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $55,310
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,000
- Employment: 58,670
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($66,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($65,530)
--- Bend-Redmond, OR ($61,820)
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Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#38. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $55,500
- #30 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#37. Advertising sales agents

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $55,760
- #132 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#36. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $55,950
- #236 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 610

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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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#35. Private detectives and investigators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $56,030
- #53 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,100
- Employment: 32,200
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Jackson, MI ($93,360)
--- Bakersfield, CA ($91,080)
--- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($87,760)
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Canva

#34. Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $56,680
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,830
- Employment: 10,580
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($75,030)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($69,840)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($68,890)
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#33. Industrial machinery mechanics

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $56,780
- #263 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 380

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)
19 / 50
Loveischiangrai // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $56,840
- #69 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

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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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#31. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $56,910
- #264 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 970

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)

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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,290
- #263 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 330

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)
22 / 50
welcomia // Shutterstock

#29. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,360
- #121 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

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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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#28. Electricians

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,730
- #235 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 660

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)
24 / 50
Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#27. Occupational health and safety technicians

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,820
- #65 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)
25 / 50
Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#26. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,880
- #135 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $57,990
- #170 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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goodluz // Shutterstock

#24. Real estate sales agents

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $58,980
- #135 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#23. Food service managers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $59,270
- #227 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 340

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)
29 / 50
kittirat roekburi // Shutterstock

#22. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $60,730
- #82 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,170
- Employment: 29,550
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($106,300)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,930)
--- South Illinois nonmetropolitan area ($101,630)
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $60,990
- #148 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,470

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)

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#20. Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $61,070
- #27 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,950
- Employment: 54,960
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($81,390)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($80,460)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($73,070)
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Canva

#19. Cargo and freight agents

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $62,360
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,170
- Employment: 96,510
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($80,300)
--- Yakima, WA ($68,030)
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($64,030)
33 / 50
Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $63,430
- #213 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,200

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)
34 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#17. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $64,690
- #284 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,160

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)
35 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#16. Lodging managers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $64,740
- #94 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,270
- Employment: 31,790
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area ($122,290)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($121,090)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($111,410)

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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $65,480
- #339 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 690

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)
37 / 50
Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $65,610
- #234 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 700

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)
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Canva

#13. Construction and building inspectors

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $66,430
- #107 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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)
39 / 50
Unsplash

#12. Crane and tower operators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $66,740
- #45 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,010
- Employment: 44,060
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($131,160)
--- Syracuse, NY ($103,350)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($99,990)
40 / 50
4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $66,910
- #344 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 740

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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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $71,390
- #134 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,620

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)
42 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#9. Insurance sales agents

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $73,530
- #72 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 950

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)
43 / 50
Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#8. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $79,030
- #96 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,660
- Employment: 13,880
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($97,930)
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($96,450)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($94,460)
44 / 50
Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $81,420
- #154 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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)
45 / 50
Canva

#6. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $89,910
- #184 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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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Prath // Shutterstock

#5. Detectives and criminal investigators

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $95,040
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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)
47 / 50
Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $102,110
- #132 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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)
48 / 50
Canva

#3. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $108,220
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $86,200
- Employment: 24,730
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($130,290)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($113,590)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($113,480)
49 / 50
Canva

#2. Transportation inspectors

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $112,260
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,320
- Employment: 27,360
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($112,260)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($111,930)
--- Anchorage, AK ($108,140)
50 / 50
g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Portland-South Portland, ME
- Annual mean salary: $129,860
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 750

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)

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