Highest paying jobs in Chattanooga for high school graduates

Written by:
July 20, 2022
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Highest paying jobs in Chattanooga for high school graduates

The average college graduate in 2020 earned $1,305 a week, while the average high school graduate takes home just $781, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of course, college isn’t for everyone. There are many reasons high-school graduates may choose to not continue on to college, not the least of which being cost. Average tuition costs continue to rise each year, the exception being the 2020-2021 school year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Average tuition at a public, in-state university coming in at $9,687; tuition for out-of-state students at public schools, and for everyone at private universities, is significantly higher at $21,874 and $35,087, respectively.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs for high school graduates in Chattanooga, TN-GA using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

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

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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#50. Machinists

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $45,630
- #285 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 720

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,800
- Employment: 360,340
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($76,230)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($71,070)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,300)
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Kot500 // Shutterstock

#49. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $45,770
- #399 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 520

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,090
- Employment: 253,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($73,400)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($70,480)
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Canva

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $45,950
- #116 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $48,500
- Employment: 40,240
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($87,740)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($86,630)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($83,090)
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Canva

#47. Automotive body and related repairers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $46,380
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 380

National
- Annual mean salary: $49,430
- Employment: 137,120
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($71,350)
--- Ames, IA ($68,340)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($68,060)
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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#46. Advertising sales agents

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $46,540
- #249 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,040
- Employment: 110,040
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($97,840)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($97,720)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($83,050)

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Unsplash

#45. Structural iron and steel workers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $47,030
- #143 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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

#44. Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $47,190
- #128 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,330
- Employment: 93,060
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Southwest Louisiana nonmetropolitan area ($91,300)
--- Billings, MT ($88,420)
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($76,050)
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Pixabay

#43. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $47,310
- #202 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,290

National
- Annual mean salary: $46,690
- Employment: 397,550
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($72,500)
--- Anchorage, AK ($71,840)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($71,250)
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Canva

#42. Dental laboratory technicians

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $47,670
- #50 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $45,230
- Employment: 30,800
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($67,730)
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($59,560)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($55,140)
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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#41. Production, planning, and expediting clerks

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $47,980
- #333 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 900

National
- Annual mean salary: $52,000
- Employment: 362,090
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($74,970)
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($71,160)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($67,770)

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Canva

#40. Computer numerically controlled tool operators

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $48,260
- #65 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $44,300
- Employment: 149,120
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($70,030)
--- Waco, TX ($63,080)
--- Springfield, MA-CT ($57,930)
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Canva

#39. Construction and building inspectors

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $49,050
- #391 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,470
- Employment: 113,770
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($121,510)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,330)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,190)
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Ramon Espelt Photography // Shutterstock

#38. Home appliance repairers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,030
- #23 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $43,810
- Employment: 27,640
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($61,210)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($58,670)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($57,420)
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Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#37. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,040
- #250 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,860
- Employment: 122,480
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($90,680)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($90,370)
--- Salinas, CA ($88,050)
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Canva

#36. Traffic technicians

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,210
- #17 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,140
- Employment: 7,430
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($85,160)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($77,500)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($76,460)

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#35. Lodging managers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,470
- #195 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

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

#34. Community health workers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $50,860
- #48 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $51,140
- #70 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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

#32. Occupational health and safety technicians

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $51,430
- #91 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,870
- Employment: 20,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($77,880)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,690)
--- Oklahoma City, OK ($77,100)
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Jat306 // Shutterstock

#31. Millwrights

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $51,440
- #162 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,080
- Employment: 44,400
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($91,590)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($90,580)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($80,780)

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#30. Electricians

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $51,700
- #360 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,290

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Employment: 656,510
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,900)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($91,090)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($86,600)
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Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#29. Food service managers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $52,060
- #425 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 730

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,000
- Employment: 197,010
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($91,320)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,860)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($87,750)
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Pxhere

#28. Maintenance workers, machinery

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $52,090
- #129 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 430

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,960
- Employment: 65,240
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area ($77,890)
--- Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($77,690)
--- Savannah, GA ($76,260)
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Erin Deleon // Shutterstock

#27. Postal service mail carriers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $52,670
- #399 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 560

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,180
- Employment: 333,570
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($57,160)
--- Bismarck, ND ($57,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,820)
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Unsplash

#26. Crane and tower operators

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $53,390
- #151 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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

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Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#25. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $53,960
- #268 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 590

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,100
- Employment: 417,440
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,580)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($89,500)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($89,190)
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#24. Industrial machinery mechanics

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $54,740
- #336 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,010

National
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Employment: 385,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($85,900)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($85,360)
--- Anchorage, AK ($82,890)
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Rebekah Zemansky // Shutterstock

#23. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $54,860
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,600
- Employment: 53,420
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($114,400)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($113,220)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($112,950)
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#22. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $54,880
- #337 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,230
- Employment: 503,390
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,590)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($87,760)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,420)
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $56,470
- #273 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,320

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,010
- Employment: 1,427,260
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($82,050)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($79,520)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,430)

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DenisProduction.com // Shutterstock

#20. Chefs and head cooks

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $56,530
- #120 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 270

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,740
- Employment: 101,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Leominster-Gardner, MA ($81,020)
--- Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area ($79,820)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,600)
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $57,470
- #371 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,340

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Employment: 977,070
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($103,810)
--- Boulder, CO ($101,630)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($97,360)
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rlat // Shutterstock

#18. Postal service clerks

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $57,560
- #7 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $51,200
- Employment: 86,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($59,410)
--- Florence, SC ($59,360)
--- Monroe, MI ($59,320)
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Canva

#17. Boilermakers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $59,030
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $67,430
- Employment: 14,020
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,660)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($96,080)
--- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($90,620)
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#16. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $60,780
- #330 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 650

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,650
- Employment: 287,150
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kennewick-Richland, WA ($104,350)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($95,200)
--- Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area ($92,500)

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Canva

#15. Transportation inspectors

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $60,850
- #76 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,320
- Employment: 27,360
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($112,260)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($111,930)
--- Anchorage, AK ($108,140)
37 / 50
sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $60,980
- #442 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 990

National
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Employment: 614,080
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($112,020)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($101,210)
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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $61,190
- #425 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,180

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Employment: 1,278,670
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,280)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($92,660)
--- Napa, CA ($92,620)
39 / 50
Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $62,420
- #354 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,810

National
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Employment: 599,900
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($98,170)
--- Lake Charles, LA ($97,910)
--- West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($96,900)
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John Leung // Shutterstock

#11. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $62,480
- #62 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $58,420
- Employment: 59,940
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($95,980)
--- Decatur, IL ($92,670)
--- Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($89,340)

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4 PM production // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $64,560
- #425 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 890

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,100
- Employment: 475,000
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,830)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($93,030)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,870)
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Canva

#9. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $65,170
- #398 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 350

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,180
- Employment: 122,310
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($182,700)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($170,740)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($164,600)
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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#8. Real estate brokers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $66,670
- #65 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,630
- Employment: 44,610
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($152,460)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($133,810)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($132,320)
44 / 50
Luisa Leal Photography // Shutterstock

#7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $67,360
- #310 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,410
- Employment: 114,930
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($117,700)
--- Salinas, CA ($110,180)
--- North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area ($109,740)
45 / 50
Leszek Glasner // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $70,590
- #91 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $73,210
- Employment: 219,800
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($109,540)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($106,420)
--- Piedmont North Carolina nonmetropolitan area ($105,220)

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#5. Insurance sales agents

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $70,680
- #97 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 690

National
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- Employment: 409,950
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,230)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,470)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($95,620)
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Prath // Shutterstock

#4. Detectives and criminal investigators

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $71,480
- #228 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,300
- Employment: 105,980
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($132,210)
--- Anchorage, AK ($127,070)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($123,460)
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michaeljung // Shutterstock

#3. Power plant operators

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $87,530
- #53 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,890
- Employment: 32,960
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($129,650)
--- Wenatchee, WA ($123,180)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($114,660)
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g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

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

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $90,560
- #92 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 380

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,120
- Employment: 240,290
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($129,860)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($121,360)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($121,250)
50 / 50
Kelly Ogden // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Chattanooga, TN-GA
- Annual mean salary: $92,430
- #253 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 350

National
- Annual mean salary: $105,100
- Employment: 132,210
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($159,890)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($154,170)
--- Trenton, NJ ($144,620)

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