If you're looking to move up the career ladder or find a lucrative career, you don't want to start at minimum wage. Not only do minimum wage jobs not pay well, they usually don't offer a lot of opportunities to advance.
Looking for good hourly pay right away is a great way to make sure you're going into a career that will give you opportunities over time.
Labor statistics and job search sites are a good way to start finding careers, but if you want to make more money it makes sense to look for jobs that pay $30 an hour.
In this post, I'll explore some of the jobs that pay $30 an hour, either hourly or in your yearly salary, across a wide range of fields.
The best part, not all of these jobs require a degree, so literally, everyone can access this kind of pay.
Let's take a closer look at these lucrative careers. But first, a look at some important labor statistics.
What Is The Median Annual Salary In The United States?
According to PolicyAdvice.net, the median annual pay in the United States is a little over $34k a year, while the average was a little over $51k.
That means that if you manage to get a job that pays $30 an hour, you're already going to be making almost twice the median wage in the country, and earning more than average as well.
Average Pay With A High School Diploma
Ziprecruiter places average pay with a high school diploma at just over $43k per year, or roughly $21 an hour.
Average Pay With A Bachelor's Degree
Th average pay of someone with a bachelor's degree, according to Northeastern.edu, is about $64k per year.
50 Best Jobs That Pay $30 An Hour
Each of these jobs pays at least $30 per hour on average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of these jobs pay more in some areas, while others may pay slightly less depending on your location, but you can count on your wage being around $30 per hour in the United States.
Of course, market fluctuations can change what $30 an hour jobs pay, and you might not always get that rate right away if you start your own business. But, for the most part, these jobs offer good financial and job security.
Here are some of the jobs that pay $30 an hour.
These aren't the only jobs that command that rate by any means, but they are some of the most common and most consistent. Some of these jobs are in person only, but there is a mix of online jobs here as well.
Jobs That Pay $30 An Hour With No Degree
An education isn't always a requirement for high-paid work and lucrative careers. Here are some of the jobs you can get that pay $30 an hour, or better, but don't require an associate's or bachelor's degree.
Power Distributors And Dispatchers
Power distributors and dispatchers keep an eye on the complicated network of equipment and power lines that compost the electrical grid.
You may also be called on to do repairs on some kinds of equipment, but a lot of this job is noticing problems and dispatching the appropriate workers to take care of the problem. Working as a power distributor can be challenging, but it's also important rewarding work.
Commercial pilots are distinct from passenger pilots, and one of the differences is that commercial pilots usually don't need a degree.
The Federal Aviation Administration does still require certifications and pilot's licenses for this kind of work, but those are usually much easier to get. Plus, you can work as a commercial pilot while working on the required degree and certifications to be a passenger pilot.
Transportation, Storage, And Distribution Managers
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers work with goods and make sure they get where they need to be when they need to be there.
The hourly rate for distribution managers varies, but your everyday operations involve looking for available storage and balancing inventory and goods needs with available space and transportation. It's a great job that requires an analytical mind, but not a degree.
Theater Lighting Technicians
The hourly pay for theater lighting technicians depends on the location, what kind of work they're doing, and whether they work for themselves or for a company, but they consistently get high pay.
Hourly rates are among the highest in theater tech, and lighting technicians are also often higher by marketing teams, photographers, and other specialties, which gives you a lot more work flexibility.
Power Line Technicians
Power line technicians are the people who go out and install and maintain overhead power lines. This work is lucrative for people with the necessary skills, not to mention critical for the general population.
You can usually learn this trade through an apprenticeship program or by working with an independent contractor who specializes in this work.
Police Officers And Detectives
Police officers are another job that gets high hourly pay but doesn't require a degree. Granted, having a degree can help and may make it easier to get promoted as a police officer, but anyone with the right mindset and skills can get hired.
You'll need to deal with criminals, interview witnesses, and do a wide range of other tasks on the job.
Being a freelance salesperson is a job that requires charisma and dedication, but it's a good way to earn money without a degree. Plus, there are a lot of different sales opportunities, so you can find a product you really believe in.
As long as you have the relevant experience, you don't need to have a degree to get a job as a web developer. Developer jobs are usually lucrative, but you'll need to work with various clients to succeed.
Web development is also a growing field, so you'll have a lot of job security as either a web developer or a web designer.
Freelance writers can also command impressive hourly pay, though the range of hourly pay is wide in this profession.
Some freelance writers make minimum wage (or less) while others can make hundreds of dollars an hour.
If you have the skills and dedication to keep working while you grow your hourly pay, freelance writing is a good option.
Digital marketers create online marketing materials for companies, and like freelance writers, they command a wide range of hourly pay.
But if you're looking for jobs that pay well for the work you put in, digital marketing is a good option. With the right skills, you can succeed as a digital marketer without a college diploma.
Makeup artists can be almost entirely self-taught, but the most successful makeup artists command fantastic hourly pay and can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single job.
This is a great opportunity if you have an eye for makeup and the dedication to turn it into a full-time job.
Landscape designers create beautiful landscapes with plants, stone, and even by changing the shape of the ground.
Landscape designers sometimes work with real estate agents, but more often you'll be working with homeowners and businesses directly.
Landscape designers also help address environmental problems but are usually limited to working in their local area.
Construction managers oversee all elements of a construction site, including the employees, supplies, and make sure safety requirements are met on the job.
The hourly pay of a construction manager varies depending on your experience and location, but construction managers are almost always jobs that pay well.
Film And Video Editors
If you have an eye for editing and have the software you need, you can get impressive hourly pay even without a university degree.
This is one of the few online jobs that pay well that you can get without a degree. All you need is a portfolio that shows what you can do so you can start attracting clients.
Subway And Streetcar Operators
Subway and streetcar operators are another job that pay $30 an hour or more.
These positions usually require some experience and certifications to make sure you can drive the vehicles safely, but you can usually qualify for the position in as little as a few months.
Working as a dog walker is a good option if you're looking for something more active than other jobs or if you're an animal lover but don't want to get a four-year degree to work with animals. The trick is that you have to be able to walk multiple dogs at the same time if you want to make high hourly pay.
Jobs That Pay $30 An Hour That Require A Degree
While there are jobs that don't require a university education, there are definitely more jobs that pay well if you do have a degree.
These jobs require a wide range of different degrees, but most require a degree for entry-level positions and may need advanced degrees as you move up in the workplace.
That said, even for entry-level positions, these jobs have higher than average hourly pay.
Civil engineers have a job that requires a degree and works to make sure the things a city or region needs to function are available and safe.
A civil engineer might help design bridges, utilities, and other important projects, and can earn different hourly pay in different markets.
Accountants can work in personal finance or business finance, and both options earn high hourly pay. If you're looking to earn more money with a degree, working as an accountant is one of the best options to get the hourly pay you're looking for.
Loan officers are the people behind credit loans, looking at the terms and doing the work of figuring out whether someone is a good candidate for a loan.
This position offers good hourly pay almost anywhere and is an in-demand job that gives you a lot of security and mobility to move wherever you want to live.
Food scientists analyze and look at exactly what goes into different food products.
They use scientific methods to help create new recipes, and sometimes even look for new food additives and preservatives. The job requires attention to detail but can be incredibly lucrative.
Urban planners work to make sure cities or regions are functional and productive.
They think about things like resource availability, traffic needs, and other services to make sure everything is well placed. For instance, urban planners might be called in to help decide where new educational facilities should be built.
Market Research Analysts
Skilled market research analysts command high hourly pay, and many employers are in the market for a good market analyst. Marketing is only getting more competitive, which means this is a career with great business potential in addition to lucrative pay.
It might not seem like dental hygienists get high hourly pay, but working as a dental hygienist can be a great way to make money in the medical field.
They work to help keep people's teeth clean and follow physicians' order to assist with dental procedures. This career does take a few years of specialized education, but the hourly pay is worth the extra work.
Political advisors help politicians strategize, appeal to certain demographics, and improve their on-stage performance. In some cases, political advisors might help their politicians overcome language barriers, or use polling and other scientific methods to gather information about the politician's constituents.
This is an important career for people who care about politics and can be a great entry-level job into a political career.
School psychologists are an important part of the health care system of schools. They specialize in helping students, and can also be consulted for help with the overall mental health of a school, or designing developmentally appropriate lesson plans.
Occupational therapists are health care providers that focus on helping people recover specific abilities they need for their day-to-day lives, or who help people learn how to build supportive muscles that make their day-to-day activities safer and easier to complete. They're similar to personal trainers and physical therapists, but with a slightly different emphasis.
Sociologists use their degrees to study and take a closer look at society. They might also work with politicians and other civil servants to help create more functional or productive systems in society. They get high hourly pay on average, though the exact hourly pay depends on location, education, and the kind of research they focus on.
Related: Best Jobs That Pay Weekly
Architects design buildings and help with interior design as well. They are an in-demand role for housing developers, businesses looking to create innovative new kinds of offices or retail spaces, and more.
The hourly pay as an architect tends to go up the more work you've done and the more well-known you become. Architects usually have to take a licensing exam before they can start working.
Psychical therapists follow physicians' order to help their clients recover from an injury or medical procedure, or to help correct physical issues noticed by a doctor.
They usually only work with patients referred by a doctor, but use a wide variety of techniques to help get the desired outcome for their patients.
Set and Exhibit Designers
Set and exhibit designers work with media companies, museums, and even entertainment companies to build interesting sets that meet the goals of a project. They get high hourly pay, but the work can be inconsistent and sometimes requires long hours thanks to the pace of many projects.
Speech and Language Pathologists
Speech and language pathologists get high hourly pay even for members of the health care community and work to help patients correct language barriers and difficulties.
Speech and language pathologists use a range of different techniques, and it can take years to gain the necessary skill to go into this profession, but the compensation usually is worth it.
Education administrators help oversee the general function of a school, meeting educational requirements, and also oversee moral and enrichment programs.
Often teachers first, this is a highly respected, but also high-pressure position.
Environmental engineers work to help preserve ecosystems, resolve environmental problems and to predict and prepare for environmental disasters.
These important engineers consider the life cycle of local flora and fauna, as well as details of the topography, local soil composition, and
Materials scientists work with materials, examining the chemical composition, looking at specific properties, and recommending different materials for different uses. One of the biggest roles of a materials scientist is to use the scientific method to find new better materials for different applications.
Chemists often work in research and development, or in verification roles.
They use their knowledge of chemistry to come up with new chemical compounds or to make sure the composition of a product is within the guidelines for that compound.
Geographers use a wide variety of techniques to study the earth and have a similarly wide range of specialties.
However, this is one career that may require advanced degrees to command high hourly pay.
Animal scientists often work with farm animals, studying their entire life cycle and looking at their overall health and wellness.
Many animal scientists also look at related biological issues in farm animals, looking for effective cures, treatments, or preventative measures for those related biological issues.
Nuclear Medical Technologists
Nuclear medicine technologists work directly with nuclear materials as needed for a range of different conditions.
Since they work with radioactive materials, these professionals need a lot of specialized training, and their hourly pay reflects that skill.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Diagnostic medical sonographers are the health care professionals that provide ultrasounds in care settings.
These professionals often don't need the kind of degree other medical professionals do, but they do need medical training and certifications to use the equipment they use.
Arbiters and Mediators
Arbiters and mediators are professionals that help settle disagreements. They can be hired to work in legal settings, interpersonal, or a wide range of other areas.
Training managers work in almost any company or with almost any position. For instance, a training manager might work with the sales team and sales director to help make sure sales new hires are ready for their role.
Ship engineers work with cruise lines, the navy, and naval shipping companies to help design more effective and more efficient naval technologies.
Technical writers work to produce a wide range of materials, especially technical documents. However, they also might work with an organization's marketing team to produce marketing material, or meet specific training goals.
Post Secondary Education Administrators
This type of educational administrator focuses on managing the complexities of post-secondary and college education.
Post Secondary Education Art, Music, Drama Instructors
If you want to make high hourly pay as an art, music, or drama instructor, working in a post-secondary or college setting is the best way to go.
Post Secondary Education, Chemistry, Science, and STEM Instructors
STEM instructors tend to make the best hourly pay when they work in college and other post-secondary educational settings.
If you have a degree, almost any degree, you can work as an online tutor. These professionals work with students to improve their skills and meet grades and skills goals.
Software developers use computer programming skills to create unique software to meet specific goals or needs.
As a software developer, you can work as a freelancer or for an employer, whichever you'd prefer. If you work independently you should expect to work for a while before you command high hourly pay for your work.
Business consultants have some kind of expertise that businesses are willing to pay to benefit from. These professionals are usually highly specialized, but they command high hourly pay in return for their specialization and experience.
Personal trainers work with clients to help them meet specific fitness goals by creating workout plans, spotting for difficult exercises, and sometimes even recommending diet changes.
Working as a personal trainer can have variable hourly pay, but the most successful personal trainers can have incredibly high rates.
Real Estate Agent
Working as a real estate agent you'll help people buy and sell real estate, usually within a specific specialty. This can be a high-paid career, though your hourly pay may be hard to calculate because of the nature of the work and how most real estate agents get paid.
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Final Thoughts on Jobs that Pay $30 an Hour
There are many jobs that pay $30 an hour or more.
From working as a real estate agent to driving for food delivery services you're sure to find a job that suits your skills.
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