10 High-Paying Jobs That Gen Z Just Aren't Interested In

Billion-dollar salaries await, but Gen Z turns a blind eye.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Are you an older worker looking to boost your bank account with a better-paying job? Thanks to the reluctance of members of Generation Z to work certain jobs, opportunities abound for you.

Plenty of high-paying, in-demand jobs are just waiting for someone — including older workers — to fill them.

Here are some of the most understaffed, best-paying jobs that Gen Z is steering clear of for now, leaving these career options wide open for older workers.

All job data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Plumber

Drobot Dean/Adobe A uniformed plumber repairing a broken sink in a kitchen while attending to his mobile phone.

From homeowners to landlords, everyone eventually needs a plumber. Since the job is in such high demand, even entry-level positions tend to pay well.

The median pay for plumbers is $28.89 an hour, and the field is expected to grow 2% through 2032.

Electrician

pressmaster/Adobe Female technician wearing yellow safety halmet is fixing a part of machinery with screwdriver in factory.

Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, inspecting, repairing, and replacing electrical systems, wires, and their components. 

While you can attend a technical college to start your career as an electrician, most workers complete an apprenticeship to become licensed.

Like plumbers, electricians are always in high demand. The field is expected to grow by 6% through 2032. The median pay of $28.96 an hour might lower your financial stress too.

Restaurant manager

Monkey Business/Adobe A female restaurant manager, with a digital tablet, giving a motivational talk to her contented staff.

Restaurants are the biggest employers of food service managers, but other potential employers include hospital cafeterias and elementary and high schools. You'll also find jobs in bars and transportation systems such as trains and ferries.

Entry-level restaurant managers typically need a high school diploma (or the equivalent) and several years of experience in restaurants, management, or a related field. 

In regards to salary, they can expect to earn $29.48 per hour.

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Trucker

DusanJelicic/Adobe A happy truck driver is sitting in his truck and giving a thumbs up

Overland trucking remains the most common form of short-term shipping in the U.S. today.

Trucking definitely isn’t a career choice for everyone: Drivers spend long stretches on the road, which also means spending extended periods away from their homes and families.

But the job doesn’t require too much training, and the median amount of money truckers earn is $24 an hour. Job growth of 4% is expected through 2032.

Medical technologist

Gorodenkoff/Adobe neurologist having discussions with CT and MRI scans displayed on multiple monitors around them.

Along with doctors and nurses, medical technologists (med techs) are essential to any care team or medical facility.

Instead of dealing directly with patients, med techs perform lab tests that ensure doctors and nurses can correctly diagnose and treat their patients.

While many med techs work in hospitals, others work at blood banks, physician offices, or anywhere else, requiring careful handling of fluids and tissues.

The median pay for these positions is nearly $27.59 an hour, and the job is expected to grow 5% through 2032.

Automotive mechanic

Dragana Gordic/Adobe  A focused female mechanic is working on a car in an auto repair shop.

Have you always been interested in working with cars? As a mechanic, you'll work with your hands and computers to run diagnostics and as an essential component of modern vehicles.

Typically, mechanics must earn a certificate and take a training course through a technical school to get a foot in the door. Once you’ve made it into the career, though, the median salary for mechanics is around $22.58 an hour. Job growth will be 2% through 2032.

Construction worker

bannafarsai/Adobe  A construction worker is controlling a pouring concrete pump on a construction site, with a sunset background.

Construction workers generally learn specialized skills on the job rather than through a trade school. That means there’s a relatively low entry bar for anyone interested in this field.

The amount of money you make as a construction worker can differ depending on what type of work you do. Residential construction workers earn a mean wage of $19 an hour, while construction workers who build natural gas pipelines earn a mean wage of $39.27.

Job growth will be 4% through 2032.

Ironworker

mailsonpignata/Adobe Two civil enigineers wearing safety halmets working on building frames during construction of industrial scale building,

As the name suggests, ironworkers work with steel and iron to build and repair anything from bridges to roads to apartment complexes.

As a hands-on job that often requires you to work at a great height in open construction sites, ironworking is generally considered more dangerous than a career in plumbing or restaurant management.

However, ironworkers are crucial to ensuring the safety of nearly every structure or transportation system in the country, which can make it an exciting and fulfilling job.

The median pay is $28.04 per hour, and the job is expected to grow 2% through 2032.

Delivery driver

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe  A driver sitting in his delivery truck is calling a customer to receive a parcel placed on the seat.

If long-haul trucking isn’t for you, a shorter delivery job could be a better fit. Amazon, FedEx, and UPS (among others) all need local delivery drivers who can take packages from a warehouse and distribute them across town.

Other common delivery-driver employers include restaurants and other wholesale and retail trade companies that ship goods across cities and states.

Note that delivery drivers often load and unload light trucks, which can make delivery driving a physically demanding job with an above-average rate of job-related injuries.

Median pay is $18.38 an hour, and job growth is forecast to be 10% through 2032.

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Mass transit driver

Tomasz Zajda/Adobe  A business owner who operates a shuttle bus transportation business is standing in front of the buses.

Public transit keeps people moving in cities around the country, and demand is only expected to increase as the population — and the reliance on alternate modes of transportation beyond cars — continues to grow.

Driver jobs in this industry should grow by 3% over the next decade, and median pay is $21.36 per hour.

Depending on your vehicle type, working in mass transit can be more flexible than many other careers. School bus drivers, for instance, only drive during the school year.

Bottom line

djile/Adobe A team of freelancers from different cultural backgrounds working on a project and addressing problems within the project.

Whether you’re in the mood for a career change or hoping to pick up some extra cash before retirement, there are thousands of jobs to explore.

Most of these jobs have relatively low bars of entry, pay a solid salary, and are consistently overlooked by younger generations. That leaves these jobs wide open if you're looking for meaningful work with a good rate of pay that will put more money in your wallet.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.