Business Owner Taking Notes

If you search online for the top paying jobs in America, you’ll be lead to several lists that include doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Those professions, however, require some key ingredients: long hours, major brainpower and very costly educations. Let’s face it, not everyone is interested or cut out for such extensive degrees, but there is one thing everyone is interested in. Getting a good paycheck!

You may have heard about a lot about high-paying jobs in the energy industry. But aside from the C-suite executives, what kind of jobs are there in energy and can anyone besides upper-management make good money? That’s the question many of us are looking for.

The great news is, it takes all sorts of people with varying skill-sets to make up an industry, but some skill-sets offer more opportunities than others.  The energy industry is no different, but what’s unusual is the number of high-paying jobs that require little or no college degree.

Business Insider recently ranked the Top 40 highest-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and roughly 27% are related to the energy industry. Here’s a quick rundown of energy-related professions and what they pay on average:


  • #2 Nuclear power reactor operators. They operate or control nuclear reactors, move control rods, start and stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, record data in logs, and implement emergency procedures when needed. Median annual wage: $91,170.
  • #5 Power distributors and dispatchers. They coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam. Median annual wage: $81,900.
  • #7 Nuclear technicians. They assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear production. Median annual wage: $79,140.
  • #11 Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers. They inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays. Median annual wage: $75,670.
  • #12 Power plant operators. They control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators. Median annual wage: $74,690.
  • #26 Electrical power-line installers and repairers. They install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. Median annual wage: $68,010.
  • #27 Gas plant operators. They distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines. Median annual wage: $67,580.
  • #28 Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers. They operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. Median annual wage: $67,400.
  • #37 First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers. They directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers. Median annual wage: $62,980
  • #39 Electrical and electronics engineering technicians. They design, build, repair, calibrate, and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls, and machinery for subsequent evaluation and use by engineering staff. Median annual wage: $62,190.
  • #40 Boilermakers. They assemble, install, and repair boilers, closed vats, and other large vessels or containers that hold liquids and gases. Median annual wage: $62,060.


If you read through the whole list, it’ll be hard to find another industry that has this many high-paying middle-class jobs that require little to no college degree. As graduation season approaches, and some high school or junior college students contemplate what’s next, it’s comforting to know that the American energy industry is ready to put them to work and help grow paychecks for individuals and families around the country.