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

Written by:
July 30, 2021
Flamingo Images // Shutterstock

Highest-paying jobs in Houston 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 Houston that don’t require a college degree.

You may also like: 100 Highest paying jobs in America

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Peter Braakmann // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $59,520
- #22 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,420
- Employment: 22,640
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($76,240)
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($75,500)
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($75,140)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of agricultural, forestry, aquacultural, and related workers.
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Siemens AG // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Wind turbine service technicians

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $59,670
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,340
- Employment: 5,860
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($81,250)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($63,650)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($59,670)
- Job description: Inspect, diagnose, adjust, or repair wind turbines. Perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.
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LStockStudio // Shutterstock

#48. Brokerage clerks

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $60,090
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,460
- Employment: 44,720
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Unsplash

#47. Crane and tower operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $60,460
- #52 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,710

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,010
- Employment: 44,060
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($89,250)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($84,670)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($84,410)
- Job description: Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#46. Insurance sales agents

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $61,910
- #176 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,440

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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $61,990
- #77 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 28,700

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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goodluz // Shutterstock

#44. Real estate sales agents

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $62,630
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,800

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,990
- Employment: 168,740
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Dmitry Dven // Shutterstock

#43. Motorboat operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,120
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,500
- Employment: 2,380
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($63,120)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($61,010)
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($59,410)
- Job description: Operate small motor-driven boats. May assist in navigational activities.
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Canva

#42. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers, transportation equipment

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,380
- #13 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,440
- Employment: 10,390
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($102,210)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($89,680)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($81,550)
- Job description: Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment.
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Canva

#41. Boilermakers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,490
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,430
- Employment: 14,020
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($103,050)
--- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($87,180)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,050)
- Job description: Construct, assemble, maintain, and repair stationary steam boilers and boiler house auxiliaries. Align structures or plate sections to assemble boiler frame tanks or vats, following blueprints. Work involves use of hand and power tools, plumb bobs, levels, wedges, dogs, or turnbuckles. Assist in testing assembled vessels. Direct cleaning of boilers and boiler furnaces. Inspect and repair boiler fittings, such as safety valves, regulators, automatic-control mechanisms, water columns, and auxiliary machines.
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,600
- #140 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 23,820

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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Unsplash

#39. Choreographers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,610
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,000
- Employment: 3,580
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($91,380)
--- Spartanburg, SC ($70,940)
--- New Haven, CT ($68,140)
- Job description: Create new dance routines. Rehearse performance of routines. May direct and stage presentations.
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#38. Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $63,790
- #14 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 7,890

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,330
- Employment: 93,060
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Canva

#37. Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $65,120
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,290

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,940
- Employment: 15,650
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($94,610)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($87,290)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($81,210)
- Job description: Set up or operate a variety of drills to remove underground oil and gas, or remove core samples for testing during oil and gas exploration.
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ryanivy308 // Pixabay

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $65,420
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,790

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,350
- Employment: 55,200
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($96,510)
--- Jackson, TN ($92,200)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($86,640)
- Job description: Repair, test, adjust, or install electronic equipment, such as industrial controls, transmitters, and antennas.
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#35. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $65,720
- #46 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,830

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,230
- Employment: 503,390
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#34. Insurance appraisers, auto damage

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $66,760
- #24 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,540
- Employment: 13,220
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($85,150)
--- Richmond, VA ($80,870)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($79,510)
- Job description: Appraise automobile or other vehicle damage to determine repair costs for insurance claim settlement. Prepare insurance forms to indicate repair cost or cost estimates and recommendations. May seek agreement with automotive repair shop on repair costs.
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#33. Industrial machinery mechanics

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $66,950
- #28 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 14,170

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Employment: 385,980
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Canva

#32. Construction and building inspectors

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $68,330
- #68 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,420

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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ded pixto // Shutterstock

#31. Wellhead pumpers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $69,220
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,090

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,500
- Employment: 12,050
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($79,020)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($75,580)
--- Greeley, CO ($74,100)
- Job description: Operate power pumps and auxiliary equipment to produce flow of oil or gas from wells in oil field.
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Pandu Agus Wismoyo // Unsplash

#30. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $69,840
- #48 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,510

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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First Class Photography // Shutterstock

#29. Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $71,150
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,510
- Employment: 38,460
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($71,150)
--- Mobile, AL ($59,990)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($59,790)
- Job description: Assemble, fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
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Christian Lagerek // Shutterstock

#28. Gas plant operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $71,740
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,390

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,290
- Employment: 14,990
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $71,930
- #124 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 21,220

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.
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Suwin // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $71,950
- #60 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 890

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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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#25. Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $71,970
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,950
- Employment: 54,960
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salem, OR ($73,530)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($71,970)
--- Greeley, CO ($71,560)
- Job description: Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance documents or details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.
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Canva

#24. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $72,950
- #48 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 580

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.
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Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#23. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $73,860
- #24 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,740

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,860
- Employment: 122,480
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($93,060)
--- Salinas, CA ($91,790)
--- Champaign-Urbana, IL ($89,000)
- Job description: Install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.
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Canva

#22. Fire inspectors and investigators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $73,970
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,680
- Employment: 14,010
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($129,790)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($123,610)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($102,370)
- Job description: Inspect buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and state laws, or investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.
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Canva

#21. Chemical plant and system operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $74,660
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,750

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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4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $75,070
- #101 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 11,260

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#19. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $77,820
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,700

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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U.S. Air Force

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $78,170
- #102 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 810

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.
34 / 50
Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $78,300
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 14,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Employment: 599,900
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $79,250
- #48 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 29,890

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.
36 / 50
Igor Kardasov // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $81,290
- #18 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,550

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.
37 / 50
michaeljung // Shutterstock

#14. Power plant operators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $81,870
- #45 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 720

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,890
- Employment: 32,960
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($114,420)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,830)
--- Redding, CA ($106,030)
- Job description: Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $82,600
- #11 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,890

National
- Annual mean salary: $77,610
- Employment: 40,480
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Canva

#12. Transportation inspectors

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $82,740
- #41 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,290

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

#11. Lodging managers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $83,310
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 420

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,270
- Employment: 31,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#10. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $87,300
- #13 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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Lovely Bird // Shutterstock

#9. Power distributors and dispatchers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $89,060
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

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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Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $92,640
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $92,650
- #63 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,440

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.
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curraheeshutter // Shutterstock

#6. Ship engineers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $95,620
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Skycolors // Shutterstock

#5. Commercial pilots

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $95,860
- #60 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 960

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.
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Prath // Shutterstock

#4. Detectives and criminal investigators

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $95,880
- #45 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,910

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.
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Canva

#3. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $100,630
- #85 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,380

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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Unsplash

#2. Athletes and sports competitors

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $102,400
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $94,740
- Employment: 8,380
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($197,690)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($182,290)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($102,400)
- Job description: Compete in athletic events.
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Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Annual mean salary: $112,760
- #41 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,660

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.

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