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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Looking for a new job during the pandemic? Although plenty of careers require their workers to have a college degree or years of special training, that’s not the case for every line of work. A new study finds Americans can actually apply for many high-paying jobs which require little to no work experience at the start.

A report by The Interview Guys finds recreation and fitness studies teachers and plumbers are among the best-paying careers where you don’t need anything on your resume to get the job. Pipefitters, steamfitters, and insurance sales agents also need little to no experience, yet pay very well.

Across the United States, the median income sits around $42,000. Although jobs that don’t require a college education have a reputation of being low-paying, the study finds several which buck that trend significantly.

List of highest-paying jobs without work experience
Click to enlarge. (Credit: The Interview Guys)

No work history? No problem

Recreation and fitness studies teachers top the list of jobs making well over the national average. These professionals make over $66,000 a year, despite employers not requiring a significant work history. Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters average around $56,000 in salary, while insurance agents, heating/cooling installers, and refrigeration mechanics all make over $50,000 a year as well.

For students graduating with that pricy college degree but no experience in the working world, you’re in luck. The study finds many careers pay handsomely even though most of your experience comes from a classroom.

Topping the list of jobs needing a college degree or higher but little work experience are occupational therapists. Nearly 80 percent of the jobs in this field require very little prior work experience. However, the average salary of an occupational therapist is more than $86,000 — more than twice the national average! Occupational therapists generally need a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in a related field. However, researchers find many start with an associate degree in occupational therapy and go from there.

Audiologists (who work with hearing and ear problems) come in second, earning over $81,000. Thinking about going to dental school? Good choice! Dental hygienists make over $77,000 a year, despite 80 percent of the jobs in this field requiring very little work experience.

College optional

For youngsters looking to jump right into the job market after high school or people who never completed college, plenty of good-paying jobs don’t place an emphasis on higher education.

Mechanic and construction work top this list of jobs where a high school diploma (or less) is enough for employment. The study finds a promotion to the job of first-line supervisor of mechanics also comes with a nice increase in salary — around $70,000 a year. Three out of four workers applying for this role don’t need a high school diploma to get consideration from their employers.

Other jobs making over $50,000 that generally don’t require more than a high school education include aircraft mechanics, police and sheriff’s patrol officers, and office or administrative support jobs.

“When it comes to making a career shift, it’s never too late. Some jobs may require you to go back to school or establish certain accreditations, but still don’t require years of experience for consideration,” The Interview Guys’ Jeff Gillis and Mike Simpson write in a statement.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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