Highest-paying jobs in Washington, D.C. that don't require a college degree

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

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

You may also like: 100 Highest paying jobs in America

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goodluz // Shutterstock

#50. Real estate sales agents

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $67,850
- #39 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,930

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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mrak.hr // Shutterstock

#49. Rail-track laying and maintenance equipment operators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $68,630
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 330

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,430
- Employment: 17,590
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($72,960)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($70,660)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($68,630)
- Job description: Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.
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Olena Yakobchuk // Shutterstock

#48. Airfield operations specialists

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $68,790
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,360
- Employment: 10,590
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($80,910)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($77,920)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($77,840)
- Job description: Ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft. Duties include coordination between air-traffic control and maintenance personnel, dispatching, using airfield landing and navigational aids, implementing airfield safety procedures, monitoring and maintaining flight records, and applying knowledge of weather information.
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michaeljung // Shutterstock

#47. Power plant operators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- #75 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

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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Daniel Tausis // Unsplash

#46. Firefighters

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $69,370
- #30 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,360
- Employment: 311,350
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($125,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,480)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($105,670)
- Job description: Control and extinguish fires or respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk. Duties may include fire prevention, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and disaster assistance.
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Canva

#44 (tie). Fire inspectors and investigators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $69,690
- #20 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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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Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#44 (tie). Occupational health and safety technicians

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $69,690
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,870
- Employment: 20,950
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#43. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $70,420
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,760

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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Pixabay

#42. Photographers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $70,510
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 840

National
- Annual mean salary: $50,290
- Employment: 41,600
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Logan, UT-ID ($75,100)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($74,620)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($72,690)
- Job description: Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects. May use lighting equipment to enhance a subject's appearance. May use editing software to produce finished images and prints. Includes commercial and industrial photographers, scientific photographers, and photojournalists.
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Canva

#41. Construction and building inspectors

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $70,770
- #55 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,430

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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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $70,930
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $71,860
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 28,750

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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ryanivy308 // Pixabay

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $72,910
- #23 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 730

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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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $73,040
- #65 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,950

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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kittirat roekburi // Shutterstock

#36. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $73,300
- #20 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,400

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

#35. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $73,740
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,860

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,750
- Employment: 160,950
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#34. Advertising sales agents

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $73,910
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,970

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,040
- Employment: 110,040
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($112,850)
--- Winston-Salem, NC ($104,930)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,370)
- Job description: Sell or solicit advertising space, time, or media in publications, signage, TV, radio, or Internet establishments or public spaces.
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Guiderom // Shutterstock

#33. Rail car repairers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $73,970
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,250
- Employment: 22,310
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($78,660)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($73,970)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($73,790)
- Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.
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Oil and Gas Photographer // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $74,450
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 720

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,400
- Employment: 50,660
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($95,240)
--- Madison, WI ($90,020)
--- Salinas, CA ($87,650)
- Job description: Install, repair, and maintain mechanical regulating and controlling devices, such as electric meters, gas regulators, thermostats, safety and flow valves, and other mechanical governors.
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#31. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $75,090
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 14,850

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.
21 / 50
Pandu Agus Wismoyo // Unsplash

#30. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $76,130
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,740

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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Stealth Communications // Wikimedia Commons

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $77,530
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,980
- Employment: 190,510
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Elmira, NY ($94,280)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($92,920)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($87,940)
- Job description: Install, set up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers' property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.
23 / 50
sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $78,930
- #58 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 14,260

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.
24 / 50
Lovely Bird // Shutterstock

#27. Power distributors and dispatchers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $79,050
- #25 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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.
25 / 50
4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $79,130
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,260

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.
26 / 50
Viewfoto studio

#25. Signal and track switch repairers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $79,210
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,970
- Employment: 7,250
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($81,670)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($79,210)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($77,810)
- Job description: Install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system.
27 / 50
Canva

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $79,510
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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.
28 / 50
Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#23. Food service managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $80,520
- #13 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,020

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,000
- Employment: 197,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $80,810
- #43 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 11,330

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.
30 / 50
Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#21. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $81,120
- #42 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

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.
31 / 50
Unsplash

#20. Crane and tower operators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $81,140
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 550

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.
32 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#19. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $81,280
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,390

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.
33 / 50
Canva

#18. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $82,340
- #26 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 990

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.
34 / 50
DenisKlimov // Shutterstock

#17. Aircraft cargo handling supervisors

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $83,080
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,620
- Employment: 10,020
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($83,080)
--- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN ($77,290)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($71,970)
- Job description: Supervise and coordinate the activities of ground crew in the loading, unloading, securing, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. May determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures. Includes loadmasters.
35 / 50
Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#16. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $83,370
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $76,810
- Employment: 5,670
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($128,170)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($118,710)
--- Napa, CA ($116,750)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments. May hire, train, and supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the managed operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, and financial and marketing activities.
36 / 50
Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $84,380
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30,700

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.
37 / 50
Suwin // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $85,500
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 600

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.
38 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#13. Lodging managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $86,300
- #13 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 470

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.
39 / 50
Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#12. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $89,270
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 550

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,600
- Employment: 53,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($115,020)
--- Trenton, NJ ($113,630)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($113,070)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.
40 / 50
Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $92,330
- #20 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,600

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).
41 / 50
Unsplash

#10. Athletes and sports competitors

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $93,840
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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.
42 / 50
Canva

#9. Transportation inspectors

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $99,260
- #11 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 510

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.
43 / 50
rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#8. Real estate brokers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $101,280
- #10 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 910

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,630
- Employment: 44,610
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- 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.
44 / 50
Kokulina // Shutterstock

#7. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $105,840
- #3 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $99,990
- Employment: 2,780
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($121,600)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($114,600)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($105,840)
- Job description: Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.
45 / 50
U.S. Air Force

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $111,410
- #14 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,360

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.
46 / 50
Skycolors // Shutterstock

#5. Commercial pilots

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $111,480
- #32 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

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.
47 / 50
g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $117,120
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,470

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.
48 / 50
Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $120,150
- #22 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,160

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,100
- Employment: 132,210
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($163,580)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($137,680)
--- Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($136,410)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations. Includes logistics managers.
49 / 50
Canva

#2. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $121,420
- #28 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,530

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.
50 / 50
Prath // Shutterstock

#1. Detectives and criminal investigators

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Annual mean salary: $127,090
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,850

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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