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High Paying Jobs for Veterans Without a Degree

Mar 16, 2018

Military veterans may be happy to find a number of high-paying civilian careers open to them that don't require a college degree. Discover high-paying jobs for veterans.

With specialized training and experience, many veterans are good-to-go in the civilian workforce as soon as they leave the service. Below are high paying jobs that don't require degrees.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Wage (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers $67,400 3% Experience working with petroleum or pumping systems
Gaming Managers $69,180 3% Ability to give and follow directions, as well as follow regulations and procedures
Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels $72,680 9% Sea-going experience
First-line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers $74,450 7% Leadership and fire suppression training
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers $78,370 -1% Performance of maintenance and repairs on power motors or generators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

High-Paying No-Degree-Needed Civilian Jobs for Vets

For veterans who are anxious to enter the workforce right away these jobs may be just the ticket. They are good paying jobs in which experience, rather than college degrees, is often the most important factor in landing a position. In these fields, vets with the right background are likely to do well.

Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

Veterans with experience in petroleum storage or transportation, mechanical installation or repair, or with water systems, may find this a good career choice. Veterans are regarded by many employers as punctual and safety conscious, which may open doors in this career.

Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the safe movement of oil through the refining plant. This requires monitoring and adjusting pressure in various pipelines and systems throughout the plant. It may also require testing oil within storage tanks for quality control. This position requires a high school diploma.

Gaming Managers

Veterans may find gaming to be a suitable industry for their experience, particularly if they have worked in record keeping or a law enforcement job within the military. Both of these skill sets may be essential to success as a gaming manager.

Gaming managers are responsible for the proper operations of the games within a casino. They oversee personnel, create schedules, and assign work tasks to staff. They may participate in policy and formulation of house rules and help the casino enforce the rules and regulations. This position requires a high school diploma.

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

Veterans who have seagoing experience, either through the Navy, Marine Corps, or any of the services, may find this a good career choice. Veterans with sufficient documented seatime may have an advantage over others and be able to enter this career with little delay.

Captains, mates, and pilots are in charge of ships and boats at sea, as well as in rivers and lakes. They command and supervise operations and adhere to regulations for water transportation safety. To enter this field in a management role, veterans will need to obtain an appropriate postsecondary certificate. This may require logged time at sea and on task under supervision, items which may be easily managed by those who have had sea duty.

First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers

This may be a good career for veterans who served as firefighters, as well as those with leadership skills. Many veterans from all types of units have fire fighting and prevention training as part of their skill set, as well as emergency first aid training, and they may find this a job choice in which military background could provide opportunities.

First-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers manage the teams under them on a day-to-day basis. They assign tasks and duties and schedule workers' assignments. They ensure that supplies and necessary equipment are available and ready to go. They also perform safety inspections and checks. Some training and a postsecondary award is needed to pursue this career.

Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

This might be a good career for those veterans who have had power plant experience, and that includes those who have worked on nuclear submarine power plants. Veterans are recognized for their training, hands-on skills, and safety emphasis, factors which are likely to allow veterans to attract notice and success in this career.

Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers oversee the operations of power plants, including nuclear power plants. These plants generate electricity which is then distributed throughout the power grid. They are required to monitor systems to ensure safety and reliability in the power grid and within the plant. Only a high school diploma is needed, but extensive experience is essential. Nuclear power plant operators need to have a license.


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