A lot of lucrative jobs in the U.S. require a four-year degree, but with some mechanical expertise and the right certifications, there are plenty of blue-collar positions available that pay well. Forbes took a look at the Bureau of Labor and collected the top ten blue collar jobs for 2013, and we’ve put the list below just for you. Even if you didn’t perform any work in the Military that relates to these professions, don’t be discouraged from taking the right courses and getting certified.
10) Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians – Responsible for keeping aircraft flying, these professionals enjoy tweaking and tuning big machines. Even if servicing vehicles or large machinery wasn’t part of your MOS, this is a trade worth checking out.
Average Salary: $54,500
9) Boilermakers – It may seem like an odd job, but steam helps run a lot of our modern world. Boilermakers can earn a tidy sum, so the job’s worth checking out if you have a knack for tinkering with machinery.
Average Salary: $56,650
8) Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas – Gas and oil are two major industries that aren’t likely to decline in the near future. Whether it’s searching for new sources, constructing new wells, or maintaining current facilities, rotary drill operators are specialists in-demand.
Average Salary: $58,540
7) Commercial Divers – There’s plenty of work to be done underwater, and it all requires a professional touch. Maintaining structures and equipment, removing wreckage, and simple inspections are all required for those willing to don a wetsuit and work with drills, torches, explosives, and cameras.
Average Salary: $58,640
6) Subway and Streetcar Operators – Most major cities run on public transportation, and they’re willing to pay operators well to keep the system efficient.
Average Salary: $59,400
5) Electrical Power-line Installers and Repairers – Working with high voltage lines is dangerous. If you think scaling a high tower to maintain hardware with deadly amounts of electricity running through it is something you’re willing to try, there’s a healthy salary waiting for you.
Average Salary: $59,450
4) Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators and Gaugers – Gas and oil require extensive piping all across the nation. No matter how big they are or what they’re made of, they all require maintenance.
Average Salary: $60,290
3) Transportation Inspectors – With all the trucks and trains running about the U.S. hauling all kinds of cargo, an army of inspectors ensures that each vehicle is carrying its cargo safely.
Average Salary: $65,770
2) Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation and Relay – Power grids nationwide require thorough inspection, repair, and maintenance.
Average Salary: $65,950
1) Elevator Installers and Repairers – Elevators are everywhere and so are the people who repair them. The job requires certifications, but the pay is well-worth the investment.
Average Salary: $73,560