Highest paying jobs in Birmingham for high school graduates

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July 2, 2021
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Highest paying jobs in Birmingham for high school graduates

The average college graduate in 2019 earned $78,000 a year, while the average high school graduate takes home just $45,000, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. To put it in perspective, the average annual wage for workers in the U.S. that same year was $51,916.27.

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.

Just because you decide higher education isn’t in the cards doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of low-paying jobs. You just need to be strategic about the career you choose. Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs for high school graduates in Birmingham-Hoover, AL using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

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

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Nejron Photo // Shutterstock

#50. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,360 (#15 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,050
- Employment: 18,650
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Columbus, OH ($70,620)
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($62,530)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($62,100)
- Job description: Design, fabricate, adjust, repair, or appraise jewelry, gold, silver, other precious metals, or gems.
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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#49. Production, planning, and expediting clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,630 (#189 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 680

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,000
- Employment: 362,090
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($69,410)
--- Pine Bluff, AR ($68,850)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($66,920)
- Job description: Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, costs, and production problems.
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Pixabay

#48. Surveying and mapping technicians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,670 (#88 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,770
- Employment: 53,370
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($86,090)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($82,010)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($79,790)
- Job description: Perform surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist, to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes. May calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features. May verify accuracy and completeness of maps.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

#47. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,760 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $77,610
- Employment: 40,480
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($96,510)
--- Billings, MT ($95,130)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,800)
- Job description: Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#46. Real estate brokers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,810 (#62 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,630
- Employment: 44,610
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($134,770)
--- Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ ($129,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($116,510)
- Job description: Operate real estate office, or work for commercial real estate firm, overseeing real estate transactions. Other duties usually include selling real estate or renting properties and arranging loans.

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Onk-Q // Shutterstock

#45. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $49,930 (#21 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,700
- Employment: 18,680
- 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.
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VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

#44. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $50,000 (#17 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 240

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,710
- Employment: 110,020
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($57,110)
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($56,620)
--- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY ($54,400)
- Job description: Make and confirm reservations for transportation or lodging, or sell transportation tickets. May check baggage and direct passengers to designated concourse, pier, or track; deliver tickets and contact individuals and groups to inform them of package tours; or provide tourists with travel or transportation information.
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Jat306 // Shutterstock

#43. Millwrights

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $50,440 (#106 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,080
- Employment: 44,400
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Elmira, NY ($94,190)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($90,570)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($85,090)
- Job description: Install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.
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goodluz // Shutterstock

#42. Real estate sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $50,800 (#135 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,990
- Employment: 168,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($106,280)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($101,300)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($98,580)
- Job description: Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#41. Industrial machinery mechanics

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $51,120 (#293 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,620

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Employment: 385,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($84,180)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($84,150)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,580)
- Job description: Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems. May also install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to plans.

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#40. Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $51,510 (#65 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,440
- Employment: 105,400
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Wausau, WI ($57,620)
--- Cape Girardeau, MO-IL ($55,670)
--- Canton-Massillon, OH ($55,520)
- Job description: Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Examine, sort, and route mail. Load, operate, and occasionally adjust and repair mail processing, sorting, and canceling machinery. Keep records of shipments, pouches, and sacks, and perform other duties related to mail handling within the postal service. Includes postal service mail sorters and processors employed by USPS contractors.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,150 (#123 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,400
- Employment: 50,660
- 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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Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#38. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,240 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 800

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,750
- Employment: 160,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($76,350)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($76,220)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($73,740)
- Job description: Perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
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rlat // Shutterstock

#37. Postal service clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,250 (#135 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,200
- Employment: 86,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Monroe, MI ($58,120)
--- El Centro, CA ($58,000)
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($57,330)
- Job description: Perform any combination of tasks in a United States Postal Service (USPS) post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage. Includes postal service clerks employed by USPS contractors.
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Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#36. Occupational health and safety technicians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,280 (#76 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,870
- Employment: 20,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($80,790)
--- Knoxville, TN ($77,510)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($76,950)
- Job description: Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.

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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#35. Advertising sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,380 (#148 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 720

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

#34. Brokerage clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,500 (#67 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,460
- Employment: 44,720
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($75,240)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($73,770)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($69,860)
- Job description: Perform duties related to the purchase, sale, or holding of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases or sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
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Canva

#33. Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $52,530 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,670
- Employment: 6,080
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($75,540)
--- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($69,500)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($52,830)
- Job description: Perform precision smoothing, sharpening, polishing, or grinding of metal objects.
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Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#32. Postal service mail carriers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $53,800 (#60 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,400

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,180
- Employment: 333,570
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bismarck, ND ($56,520)
--- Burlington, NC ($55,750)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($55,680)
- Job description: Sort and deliver mail for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot. Includes postal service mail carriers employed by USPS contractors.
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#31. Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $54,880 (#39 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,330
- Employment: 93,060
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Billings, MT ($77,010)
--- Hattiesburg, MS ($73,780)
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($71,630)
- Job description: Operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.

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welcomia // Shutterstock

#30. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $56,210 (#115 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,160

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,000
- Employment: 147,680
- 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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Canva

#29. Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators, surface mining

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $58,350 (#21 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,500
- Employment: 40,240
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,100)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($84,840)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,360)
- Job description: Operate or tend machinery at surface mining site, equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets to excavate and load loose materials.
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DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#28. Chefs and head cooks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $58,810 (#70 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,740
- Employment: 101,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,210)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($90,840)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($86,460)
- Job description: Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $62,320 (#66 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 6,040

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

#26. Food service managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $62,660 (#118 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 670

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,000
- Employment: 197,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,610)
--- Trenton, NJ ($95,640)
--- Waterbury, CT ($88,100)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#25. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $63,020 (#80 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,140

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,230
- Employment: 503,390
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,040)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($89,100)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($86,180)
- Job description: Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
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Canva

#24. Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $63,820 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,830
- Employment: 10,580
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- St. Louis, MO-IL ($68,580)
--- Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($63,820)
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($63,740)
- Job description: Tend, control, or operate power-driven, stationary, or portable pumps and manifold systems to transfer gases, oil, other liquids, slurries, or powdered materials to and from various vessels and processes.
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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $63,930 (#123 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 410

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,210
- Employment: 219,800
- 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#22. Lodging managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $64,050 (#63 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,270
- Employment: 31,790
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($108,990)
--- Reno, NV ($106,060)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($105,560)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that provides lodging and other accommodations.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#21. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $66,780 (#157 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,490

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,650
- Employment: 287,150
- 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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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $66,840 (#102 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Employment: 977,070
- 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

#19. Construction and building inspectors

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $67,720 (#73 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 640

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,470
- Employment: 113,770
- 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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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $67,880 (#126 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,600

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Employment: 599,900
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($101,930)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($100,590)
--- Longview, WA ($99,590)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators. Excludes team or work leaders.
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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $69,210 (#164 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,910

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Employment: 614,080
- 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.
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Christian Lagerek // Shutterstock

#16. Gas plant operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $69,730 (#23 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,290
- Employment: 14,990
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($98,230)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($97,370)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,160)
- Job description: Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

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Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#15. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $70,470 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,600
- Employment: 53,420
- 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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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#14. Private detectives and investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $72,950 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,100
- Employment: 32,200
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,550)
--- Fresno, CA ($79,220)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,960)
- Job description: Gather, analyze, compile, and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.
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Canva

#13. Transportation inspectors

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $73,280 (#55 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,320
- Employment: 27,360
- 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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4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $73,800 (#124 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,780

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,100
- Employment: 475,000
- 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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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $74,200 (#90 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 7,640

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Employment: 1,278,670
- 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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g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $76,020 (#190 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 720

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

#9. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $78,900 (#86 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 830

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,410
- Employment: 114,930
- 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.
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Canva

#8. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $79,380 (#225 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 250

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,180
- Employment: 122,310
- 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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Canva

#7. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $79,760 (#32 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $86,200
- Employment: 24,730
- 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.
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Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#6. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $82,060 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,660
- Employment: 13,880
- 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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Prath // Shutterstock

#5. Detectives and criminal investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $88,810 (#84 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,300
- Employment: 105,980
- 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.
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Skycolors // Shutterstock

#4. Commercial pilots

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $99,970 (#49 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $110,830
- Employment: 37,120
- 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.
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Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $102,650 (#101 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 390

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,100
- Employment: 132,210
- 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.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#2. Insurance sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $105,840 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,490

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- Employment: 409,950
- 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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Lovely Bird // Shutterstock

#1. Power distributors and dispatchers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Annual mean salary: $112,160 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $93,260
- Employment: 9,940
- 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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