15 High-Demand Jobs That Pay More Than $30 an Hour

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Boost your bank account with these 15 high-paying professions.
Updated July 18, 2023
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Finding a good job can be a daunting task. Many factors determine whether a job is a good fit, but perhaps the most important is how much the role pays.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly rate for private nonfarm jobs in June was $33.58. Here are 15 jobs that pay more than $30 an hour — and a college degree is not always needed. 

Any one of these jobs can be an excellent place to start if you hope to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck. All salary data comes from the BLS.

Aircraft mechanics and technicians

Yaroslav Astakhov/Adobe technician checking airplane parts

Median hourly pay: $31.52
Typical education: Varies

Aircraft mechanics and technicians ensure planes and helicopters are in good shape and ready to fly.

How people get into the field varies. Some go to a Federal Aviation Administration-approved school. Learning the job through military training is also a possibility. FAA certification is usually a must.

Athletes

Drobot Dean/Adobe runner running on racetrack

Median hourly pay: $37.16 (from a median annual wage of $77,300)
Typical education: No formal education

People often equate athletes with million-dollar superstars seen on TV and magazine covers, but they forget that there are competitors simply working the job like anyone else.

The rub, of course, is that you have to be a talented athlete in the first place.

Commercial pilots

mrkotov/Adobe woman pilot sitting in cockpit flying aeroplane

Median hourly pay: $47.90 (from a median annual wage of $99,640)
Typical education: Varies

Commercial pilots fly the friendly skies but don't work for airlines. Instead, they usually pilot chartered or tour-based flights. They may also help fight fires or dust crops.

While airline pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree, commercial pilots need flight training and Federal Aviation Administration certification.

Digital designers and web developers

DragonImages/Adobe female web designer

Median hourly pay: $37.65
Typical education: Bachelor's degree

Digital designers and web developers create, craft, and maintain many of the websites you visit.

A bachelor’s degree is considered the typical education requirement to get into the field, but it varies from company to company. Experience and a good portfolio may be enough to satisfy employer requirements.

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Andrey Popov/Adobe technician repairing elevator

Median hourly pay: $47.05
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

As the name suggests, these installers and repairers are integral to moving people inside buildings.

Although there is a low barrier to entry, the job is not for people who are claustrophobic or suffer vertigo. Work often involves working in tight spaces and tall elevator shafts.

Information security analysts

kasto/Adobe stock broker trading online

Median hourly pay: $49.33
Typical education: Bachelor's degree

Information security analysts aim to prevent bad actors from damaging computer systems and infrastructure.

A bachelor’s degree is often required, but getting into the field with a high school diploma or equivalent coupled with certification and training is possible.

Insurance underwriters

Jacob Lund/Adobe architect working in office

Median hourly pay: $36.73
Typical education: Bachelor's degree

Insurance underwriters decide whether or not someone gets coverage after evaluating the potential policyholder’s application.

It is typical for the job to require a bachelor’s degree. However, an associate’s degree, high school diploma, and experience can be enough. Certification helps.

Line installers and repairers

Sheryl/Adobe lineman connects a new house

Median hourly pay: $35.83
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Line installers and repairers ensure electricity and telecommunication lines reach people’s homes and businesses.

The job requires a lot of on-the-job training and is physically demanding. It also has its share of hazards, like dealing with electricity while high up off the ground.

Police and detectives

Get Stock/Adobe police officers

Median hourly pay: $31.74
Typical education: Varies

“To protect and serve” is a common motto seen on the side of police cruisers. That motto basically sums up the job.

Police and detectives usually need a high school diploma or equivalent to apply, but those who do also must get through academy and on-the-job training. Some federal agencies and departments want a college degree.

Postmasters and mail superintendents

Drazen/Adobe black postal worker delivering packages in the city

Median hourly pay: $38.58 (from a median annual wage of $80,250)
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” as the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto goes.

As one might guess, postmasters and mail superintendents run the show in the nation’s post offices.

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Halfpoint/Adobe manager in warehouse using tablet

Median hourly pay: $47.23 (from a median annual wage of $98,230)
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers are key players in the supply chain, a core component of the global economy.

These workers are the ones who make sure the rules are followed and goods get to where they're supposed to go.

Power plant operators

chokniti/Adobe industry engineer

Median hourly pay: $45.57
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

The electricity we take for granted has to come from somewhere, and that is what power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers handle.

While a high school diploma or the equivalent is usually enough to get you in the door, the job does require a lot of long-term training. And if it is a nuclear plant, licensing is required.

Railroad workers

agnormark/Adobe railroad workers

Median hourly pay: $30.84
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Railroad workers make sure people and goods get where they need to go and do so safely.

Some roles in the rail industry include conductors, engineers, and yardmasters. The duration of on-the-job training varies by position.

Pro tip: If you need more money than your main job offers, consider starting a side hustle that can help you earn additional income.

Subway and streetcar operators

travelview/Adobe red trolley streetcar on rail

Median hourly pay: $36.48
Typical education: High school diploma or equivalent

Subway and streetcar operators are a critical part of the urban landscape and help get people where they need to go.

The job only requires moderate-term on-the-job training and pays well. However, it does typically demand that you work in or near a city center.

Writers and authors

Wayhome Studio/Adobe woman writes down on paper

Median hourly pay: $33.42
Typical education: Bachelor's degree

Writers and authors are all about the written word and are needed acrovarious of industries.

It is common for writers and authors to have a degree in English or a related field, but bylined experience can also lead to paid writing jobs even if you don’t have this academic background.

Bottom line

Matthew C/peopleimages.com/Adobe woman holding a digital tablet

If you hope to make at least $30 an hour, there are plenty of options, even if you do not have a degree. These jobs pay enough to help you get ahead financially if you work hard.

Even in jobs where it is typical for an applicant to have a degree, those who lack the schooling might find work if they have the right experience. So consider one of these in-demand jobs if you want to make a decent living.

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Author Details

Will Vitka Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.

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