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No High School Diploma? No Problem: Here Are The Best Paying Jobs For You

Tyler Durden's picture


While we hope that the attached Bloomberg chart showing the best paying jobs for people without a high-school diploma will be of no use to our readers (for the simple reason that we assume Zero Hedge readers are well-educated in anything but conventional economics - that subset will likely be found at the end of a Krugman column), as more and more Americans finds themselves questioning not only the utility of a university education (and especially the associated loans) but the educational system in general, the reality is that there are many well-paying jobs available regardless of one's educational level, most of which pay above the median US income. Some notable omissions - any position on Wall Street. Some notable inclusions - tapers. Maybe this is why the Fed never wants to mention the "trimming the pace of asset purchases" by its true name.

Source: Bloomberg


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Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:37 | Link to Comment Black Warrior W...
Black Warrior Waterdog's picture

The world needs ditch-diggers too, son.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:45 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

If I had to start all over again, I would have no problems being a plumber or electrician, and I would no doubt do very well versus any of these "higher skilled" jobs.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:50 | Link to Comment knukles
Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:36 | Link to Comment clymer
clymer's picture

haha they left out contracted blog  / web site comment-section trolls. You can pick those morons out a mile away. Neck deep into a discussion about cryptographic algorithms used for salted hashes in digital currency, and they respond with a "Doomers are fucked" or "Obama didn't build that".

but shit - I dropped out of high school myself, so wtf

edit: went from dropout to tradesman (builder) to college grad (U-Mass) to IT sales to IT support and always made a decent buck, so to my way of thinking the whole graduate vs. non-grad thing to me is immaterial to what someone can produce


Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:38 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

the reality is that there are many well-paying jobs available regardless of one's educational level, most of which pay above the median US income. 

Apparently not. Top they come up with is 52k? 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:49 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Lifeguards in Southern California: $180K

Firemen in Southern California: $250K

Fare takers for BART: $120K

Longshoremen: $200K

...  and all these jobs have enormous benefits and early retirements. 



Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:09 | Link to Comment in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

Good luck getting a job as a fireman in California. You better have some very compromising pictures of a chief. There are at least 200 applicants for every paying job. Most academy grads have to work for free for several years before even getting a shot at a paying job now.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:03 | Link to Comment FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

My plumber makes $100K+ every single year, pays taxes on half of that, takes at least four scuba diving trips to exotic locations every year for a week or more each trip.  No folks, there are plenty of ways to make a good buck without a college degree.  Almost forgot my car mechanic bills $85/hour labor (plus parts mark up) that should be good for $100K+

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:22 | Link to Comment Stackers
Stackers's picture

Good crane operator can make $125k+ easy.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:41 | Link to Comment icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Obamacare navigator, $96k/year.


Wish I were joking, but I'm not this time.


These fuckers are recycled ACORN assholes.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 09:00 | Link to Comment vxpatel
vxpatel's picture

isn't this little more than a baleout for the little people?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 09:41 | Link to Comment Indian_Goldsmith
Indian_Goldsmith's picture

A Taper's Job? Nice LoL

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 10:26 | Link to Comment cro_maat
cro_maat's picture

Yellen ain't gonna hire no Taper!!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:42 | Link to Comment californiagirl
californiagirl's picture

My plumber told me he is retiring at the age of 55.  He has a pension plan and post retirement healthcare benefits that kicks in at that age and will allow him to maintain his current lifestyle.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:33 | Link to Comment quintago
quintago's picture

If you refer to a plumber as "my plumber", you should prob switch up your diet

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:51 | Link to Comment Larry Dallas
Larry Dallas's picture

FTMFW!!! Very good Quuntago!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:55 | Link to Comment wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

Scalding plumber's rates. Shocking electrician's fees.

Neither a bad gig.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:09 | Link to Comment Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

There used to be classes for kids who liked using their hands, Woodshop, metal shop, and electronics. Not everyone needed or wanted to get a four year degree in Interior Semiotics. Hell where I graudated from a lot of those kids we ridiculed in votech are probably pulling down more than the kids who went on to bogus four year degrees.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:46 | Link to Comment onelight
onelight's picture

Right on, Dave...perhaps you would enjoy this book and the article that launched it, concerning that very topic:

Here's the original article in 2006; sent it to comm college educators who put it to work with students then busy rebuilding shop programs, diesel engine training programs; it was great the enthusiasm this article triggered:

Here's the author's website:

Longshoreman Eric Hoffer showed that working folks can be several kinds of smart and useful, reading from the local library and perceiving clearly and helpfully (to the rest of us) across the spectrum of learning:

We have de-dignified at least half of what work needs to be done everywhere we look, inculcating instead a dumbed-down, celebrity-of-nothingness model of aspiring, and we're paying for it.

There is a way back, if we want to move ahead as a nation, whether one's sentiments are to the political right or left or whatever; it begins with appreciating what we have, what was earned before we came along, renewing the means of sharing in that, and carrying it onward (not necessarily 'forward'). 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:07 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

Excellent post and by my lowly standards well written. Have read Hoffer back in the 60's.              Milestones

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:51 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

I was born in UK and went through the grammar school system (The Wall - Pink Floyd)

First year at school had the highest marks in the whole year (90 kids split into 3 'streams') in woodwork, metal work and art.

Second year, because I also did well in academic stuff like math, science etc., I was prevented from doing all three and forced to do a second language (Already doing compulsory French).

I went to uni and studied chemistry and astronomy.

I then became a sign painter and now make a living in graphics.

Life leads you down strange paths!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:30 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Sorry to hear that. The Brits pay the shits.
No wonder they leave for Australia, Canada, US, if they can. Even for France (the weather) and Germany (the pay).

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:40 | Link to Comment logicalman
logicalman's picture

I now live in Canada

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:52 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

So, you sucked at chemistry and math, and started doodling.  That's logical.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 10:06 | Link to Comment superflex
superflex's picture


Someboby needs to get laid.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 21:05 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

Bend over.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:51 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

I did really well at getting kicked out of the classes you cunts pride yourself in.  You know what?  I still think your priveleged, snotty ass ain't worth pissin' in.  Take that bit down your strange path, cunt.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:22 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

*yawn* is that all you got troll?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 21:04 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

Nah.  Yo momma got a titty wit' a kickstand.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:52 | Link to Comment Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

My neighbor has his own plumbing business with his son's.  He has his f150 for work, a mercedes s class benz and a mercedes GL for his wife

Just sayin

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 08:46 | Link to Comment Incubus
Incubus's picture

sorry, I'm not into eurotrash cars.


I've always had a place for japanese & american cars, though.   Everyone has a mercedes or bmw in my neck of the woods.



Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:32 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

As Frank Zappa said, “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Everyone is mentioning work training and that's essential, of course. Thats important whether youre an electrician or a doctor.

There's more to being truly educated than this. You're not likely to find it in many schools and colleges today. That is learning how to learn, and learning how to think for yourself, and learning how to see through b.s.

Websearch the Trivium to find out more. It'll take effort on your part, but little (or no) money to pursue this.

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 01:56 | Link to Comment onelight
onelight's picture

Agreed -- those 3 things you mention are essential, beginning with learning how to learn.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Saro
Saro's picture

College it is!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:36 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

and they married the hot hair dresser chicks

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:23 | Link to Comment infinity8
infinity8's picture

And both require "education", of a different sort. And, willingness and ability to work with your hands. Plumb on, Plumahs!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:26 | Link to Comment analyzer_66
analyzer_66's picture

Indeed if you don't mind unbacking sewer lines and the smell of feces. Have you ever seen a utility worker get killed from accidentally grabbing onto a power line?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:36 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Better to sit home with no job, a backed up sewer line and the smell of feces.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:01 | Link to Comment Ness.
Ness.'s picture

Accidentally grabbing powerlines!?  That Darwin dude might have been on to something.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:41 | Link to Comment GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Hell, been working in sewer utilitlies fror 36 years now earning over 82K a year not including a take home vehicle, almost free medical insurance, and a  uniform allowance.  Not a bad pension plan too so long as the money lasts.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 21:30 | Link to Comment acetinker
acetinker's picture

Been sayin' for years that plumbers and garbage collectors will one day rule the earth.  How is it that "educated" folks can be so blind?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:41 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

I want to be a Plastered Mason....or whatever

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:01 | Link to Comment joeknows
joeknows's picture

Electrician just upped the amps to my house.  It took him 3 hours cost me $1500.  Where else can you make that kind of dough in 3 hours besides trading options...

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:24 | Link to Comment Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Yes, and which of those two options is productive?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 03:07 | Link to Comment yogibear
yogibear's picture

Many people don't mind doing electrical work themselves. Not the case with plumbing.

When a switch goes out you can live with it. 

Try it with a leaking pipe, faucet or backed up sewer.

The pumber is one you need the majority of the time.

See how much a plumber charges  on a weekend or holiday and you can see how they can retire at 55.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:59 | Link to Comment DESMO_RR
DESMO_RR's picture

About 5 yrs ago my neighbors "plumber" showed up at his house to show him his brand new Ford GT. I don't mean Mustang GT, I mean Ford GT, 120K + sticker. Yeah! He's doing ok!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:08 | Link to Comment AGuy
AGuy's picture

", I mean Ford GT, 120K + sticker. Yeah! He's doing ok!"

Wanna bet he has very little saved for retirement?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:19 | Link to Comment CvlDobd
CvlDobd's picture

I want to save a bunch of money for when my body is fucking useless and spend it on Directv premium packages!

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 08:49 | Link to Comment de3de8
de3de8's picture

GT's were 158k in 05 and 168k in 06. Most went for more than list.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:50 | Link to Comment F-Tipp
F-Tipp's picture

Look at how many of these professions add to actual GDP. We had better find a way to securitize them, quickly.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment wareco
wareco's picture

Caddyshack - Nice!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:54 | Link to Comment Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Well, Black Warrior W ... Ditch-diggers, like those jobs above, could be eliminated in the foreseeable future by robots, as reviewed here:

Will Work For Free

There is no reasonable doubt that within the foreseeable future there could be robots that were far better ditch-diggers than any human beings could be.

Tragically, our current economic system is based on as much deliberate ignorance about itself as possible. There is an exponentially growing, extremely paradoxical contradiction between advances in most sciences and their related technologies, while human systems are based on legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which only work because the vast majority of people are deliberately kept ignorant and afraid by the dishonesty, backed by violence, of the ruling classes having created a civilization based upon the maximum deceits and frauds, which necessarily has to suppress the truth about itself as much as possible, and is actually getting away with doing that, since the more radical truth about those things is also too different than the vast majority people who begin to be aware of the real social facts are so far willing to consider.

Within the foreseeable future, the increasing social insanities regarding the ways that technologies get employed inside of the established social pyramid systems are going to result in the runaway economic destruction of most of the people now employed. However, when it comes to realistic solutions to those problems, those few who think about that tend to still be Luddites, and reactionary revolutionaries, rather than going through the even more profound intellectual scientific revolutions that they should go through, in order to keep up with everything else going forwards.


There are NO solutions for those kinds of problems other than profoundly different radical truths about everything regarding human sciences, since they are almost totally based on the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, while the controlled opposition to those also stays within the same false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, when discussing bullshit "solutions" to those problems.

This kind of news about which jobs provide the best pay for people who otherwise do not have much formal education are fast becoming "ONCE UPON A TIME" stories. Our civilization maintains the maximum possible blind spot with respect to looking at itself. That applies to BOTH the establishment, as well as its controlled opposition. There are no good reasons to doubt that, IF our civilization survives, the kinds of jobs listed above could be replaced by automated systems. Therefore, a profound revolution in the ways we think about human ecology and political economy are becoming increasingly imperative!

However, my conclusions, after thinking about these things for decades, as well as doing many political experiments and court cases, is that the overwhelming tendencies of the vast majority of people will be to continue to deliberately ignore the bigger picture, as much as they can, for as long as they can, while the ruling classes will work hard to make sure that stays the same, because otherwise it would be revealed that our whole civilization has become based on legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, operating its social systems through the maximum possible deceits and frauds, and, moreover, the controlled opposition to those systems do the same things too!

Therefore, the fact that those kinds of jobs could be replaced by robots, that do those jobs better than any human beings could do, will continue to not be dealt with, other than through a continuation of the maximum possible stupidities and greed, ... unless there was some series of political miracles ???  The contradictions between the specialized applications of technologies becoming trillions of times more powerful and capable, inside of the context of a social pyramid system based on maintaining ignorance and fear with lies and violence, is growing at an exponentially accelerating rate.

Given those social facts, I find it harder and harder to maintain even irrational hopes for the future. ... Where are the social preparations for the apparent high probability that all those kinds of jobs listed in this article above could be replaced by robots?  As far as I can tell, there are NONE, other than preparations being made by the ruling classes to mass murder the majority of the human population through more genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 02:01 | Link to Comment Andre
Andre's picture

Replaced by robots? I love hearing that kind of talk.

Given the education system, nobody will be able to make the robots, much less fix them when they break. This country is basically held together with gum and baling wire as it is. Any economic implosion and you can kiss those robotic dreams goodbye.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 03:34 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Digging a ditch sounds simple, but it's not simple, because of the non-virgin environment most ditches are dug in.

On the easy side you have a suburban road no buildings and with buried water, sewage, drainage, and nat gas lines (assuming power, telco, and CATV are all above ground), and on the hard side there's my house which is terraced into a hillside with outbuildings, retaining walls and drain fields and has over 100 buried lines interconnecting things.

To dig a ditch without human operation requires a level a mechanical dexterity and judgement that machines just don't have yet.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:38 | Link to Comment BullyBearish
BullyBearish's picture

Politicians and porn starts are missing...

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:10 | Link to Comment NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

As well as pimps and hos.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:14 | Link to Comment Running On Bing...
Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

So are High Plains Drifters. I sell 'cans', I have a website in the deep web: 'Clandestine Industries, LLC'.

Shipping is extra and NO, prices are non-negotiable.

No doc stamps required, and no serial numbers.

Our corporate mission statement:
"Let's keep this hush-hush, shall we?".
Our value proposition:
* Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
* Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
* Integrity: Be real
* Accountability: If it is to be, it's up to me
* Passion: Committed in heart and mind
* Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
* Quality: What we do, we do well



Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:38 | Link to Comment the 300000000th...
the 300000000th percent's picture

IDK you can make a lot of money doing tile if you are any good at it. A hell of a lot more than 37K 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:43 | Link to Comment Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Sniffing tile glue all day while working on your knees in an un-painted bathroom. Is actually worth a lot more than that.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:06 | Link to Comment Boondocker
Boondocker's picture

Obviously you dont do high end tile

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:24 | Link to Comment Pig Circus
Pig Circus's picture

Who needs tile setters? Pultie is building a bunch of $300,000 dollar homes with no back yards near my place. I walked thru a few a couple months back. They glued up that plastic tile board in the half bath right off the kitchen and "great room".

These new homes are total POS.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:53 | Link to Comment Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Dipshits who buy Pulte homes deserve their own tax bills. And bankruptcies.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:43 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Fuck these have to work outside and besides SSI AND SNAP pay moar better......back to bed

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:59 | Link to Comment Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

I am well educated in conventional economics which is precisely why I am a big fan of ZH. Krugman is an imbecile 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:41 | Link to Comment hognutz
hognutz's picture

All I have is a high skool diploma, and I make more than double of the highest payin' job on the list.  One can do better if'n one wants...

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:18 | Link to Comment SymforniX
SymforniX's picture

Here here! Learned how computers function back in the day when "going online" meant you had a Prodigy or Compuserve account. Tons of money to be made at that time - college didn't matter, and still doesn't in IT.

Results are the only thing that matters. If you can produce them, you get paid. Simple as that.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:09 | Link to Comment Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

I just bumped into a person who has been using computers for the last 30 years or so, and has till recently just found out what the Num Lock key is for. Your options are limitless.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:43 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Getting a HS diploma and a job 30 years bacl, and now having 30 years experience, is a lot different than getting a HS diploma, and no job, today.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:43 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Funny you posted this article Tyler. I watched "Soylent Green" on the oldies channel last night, and at this point that's about the only way I see the Fed.s unemployment target ever reaching 6.5%.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:17 | Link to Comment SDShack
SDShack's picture

Waste Disposal Operator or Truck Driver would be a good one...
 "The scoops are on the way...The scoops are on the way!" 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:53 | Link to Comment ChanceIs
ChanceIs's picture

"Bring out yer dead, bring out yer dead." .... "I'm not dead yet."

That schtick always needed moar cowbell. ;-)

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:48 | Link to Comment californiagirl
californiagirl's picture

They are working on it.  Gelatin made with Human DNA, to be embraced for all those gel caps used by Big Pharma and the nutitional supplements industires.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:42 | Link to Comment dcohen
dcohen's picture

The "Tapers" looks interesting

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:46 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture

Sorry! you cant have that atm





Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:43 | Link to Comment Wen_Dat
Wen_Dat's picture

#8 Tapers. That seems easy enough, if the bernak would get out of the way

Edit: same time :)

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:44 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Given the state of today's public education, the high school diploma doesn't exactly mean what it used to.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:02 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It means 'high in school', doesn't it?
It used to mean 'high on school' where I came from.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:43 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture


i want 8 with fries

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:44 | Link to Comment Running On Bing...
Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

You can make a lot more as a card carrying member of the FSA.


Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:45 | Link to Comment knukles
knukles's picture

Where be dah pimps and dealahs?
And de welfhair cheats like yo momma wif all dem damn cards o hers, yo?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:21 | Link to Comment AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

You be buggin dog. You keep jivin like dat the fed ghetto bird be rollin up on yo crib.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 02:13 | Link to Comment Tsunami Wave
Tsunami Wave's picture

Plus wun fo' da video... Imma get me some EBT! All I n33d to d0 is fuck!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:46 | Link to Comment Dr. Venkman
Dr. Venkman's picture

A taper will cost much more the 45k

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:06 | Link to Comment AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

I thought taperers needed a PhD from MIT.
Or at least one from Haaavad.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:11 | Link to Comment Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

Lower the boom ol Bean, mummmy wants to go Yaaahting, Hawww haaaaaw!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:50 | Link to Comment jean paul marat
jean paul marat's picture




Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:53 | Link to Comment lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

i'm unknowledgable in this, but looks like could be some fcking fracking in this.  and then - that leads to do the jobs doing the de-pollution clean up.

but - you'd probably need some higher education to do the health care clean ups, heavy metals, cancers.

but then again - the sink hole clean up.  nice.  lots of jobs and then clean up.  i heard pay is up at fukushima.


Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:31 | Link to Comment optimator
optimator's picture

....and electricians.  If working for yourself be sure to marry a girl whose job has benefits.  Nice off book cash, and better yet barter your labor for the nicer things in life for you and family.  take a few courses and or start with a company as an electricians helper.


Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:52 | Link to Comment Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

I think I remember a post Tyler made about a single mom with two kids "earning" the equivalent of $65K per year... Sounds to me like making babies wins this one!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 20:53 | Link to Comment wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,

It's a wonder I can think at all.

But my lack of education has'nt hurt me none.



Thanks Paul Simon and Zero Hedge

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:00 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   TOTUS is doing a great job of trying to eliminate about 1/2 the jobs on that list with his EPA henchmen.

   Mining and Drilling for coal, gas & oil cover the top 1/2 of that list.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:05 | Link to Comment GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Amateur porn.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:07 | Link to Comment Platinum
Platinum's picture

My best education, was just paying attention to what other people do, and what happens as a result of their actions. I used to sit on the bench during recess as a kid and just watch people interact with each other. I'd hear the gossip, watch events unfold, and note it all down in my head.

I'm many years past school, but I've continued to do the same thing with my fellow adults. First, in the blue collar workforce, then the white collar workforce. I've watched many a person with fancy degree and a "I'm wiser than all" attitude fall flat on their face when faced with real challenges. Lots of drinking, which catches up with you, especially when your clients are all rich lawyer lushes. I would often go home and smoke a blunt and laugh at people making $60,000/yr, but $3500/mo for a 2bd/1ba apartment (San Francisco).

Not that poor people don't make mistakes as well. The biggest mistake, is having kids before you're finacially able to take care of them on your own. I've lost count of how many people I grew up around or knew as a very young adult, that have multiple kids. They're all on government assistance. They keep having kids. They keep buying their family cheap crap to play with, cheap gmo fast food to eat, send them off to public school to be indoctrinated with all sorts of bullshit that conflicts with simple logic, then wonder why they have physical and mental health problems. Add in child meds and "presto", you have a zombie you can milk for money for years.

The earlier article from ZH on degrowth movement just reminded me why I'm glad I grew up poor w/o welfare. I appreciate everything I have, and don't care what "image" I portray. One doesn't get noticed so much when all you're wearing is jeans and a t-shirt and are sporting a 5 o'clock shadow. People look for signs of wealth, and gravitate towards that person for their various reasons depending on your gender/fuck preferences.

All the people who would become my friends, knew nothing of what money I do have, nor the things I'm capable of doing (self educated/ing in multiple fields), when they met me. I knew nothing of them. As we all each got to know each other, we realized that we were not like the others.

Find your passion, and see if you can find a way to make money off of it. Avoid feeding the beast with your labor (if possible) as well as your money.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:20 | Link to Comment SDShack
SDShack's picture

Yep, the millionaire next door. It can be done if you just have a plan and stick to it.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:07 | Link to Comment Tim Knight from...
Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

Mine shuttle car operator. Jesus. That sounds like shit.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:17 | Link to Comment ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Nah...theyre always in the dark about stuff like that

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

less chance of hitting a jumper than a subway car operator so it has that going for it.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:26 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Just a little black lung, then at 50 you can go on S.S. disability and retire to the Keys and play shuffleboard and seduce the old Widows who can cook and know how to play cards.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:13 | Link to Comment steelrules
steelrules's picture

Question: Just how many of those construction jobs on the list are working more than 6 months out of a year, if at all?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:17 | Link to Comment Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

But, you have to be willing to work under the Denver it done yet?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:35 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I see "Tapers" on that list. Nice.

Edit: seems my fellow ZHers have noticed this job as well. I yield. Does "Fed Gimp" need an Associates Degree or it's Tech School equivalent?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:35 | Link to Comment MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

I would have guessed fluffers out earned tapers any day....

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:28 | Link to Comment Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

I love woodworking, it's my happy place.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment Blano
Blano's picture

Chubbs would be most appreciative.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:43 | Link to Comment Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

delete. duplicated post

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:46 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Having my wood worked on puts me in my happy place.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:30 | Link to Comment SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

You'd think mayor of LA would be on the list

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:32 | Link to Comment Blano
Blano's picture

Just cause we ZHers be ejumacated doesn't mean we haz jibs right now (raises hand first). 

So this list might come in handy for some of us degreed types as well.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:42 | Link to Comment Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

I love it when my woodie's working too !

But seriously folks,it's great and natural medium to work with, and i wish i'd gone down that line of work too after school : my woodwork teacher banned me from taking the woodwork exams in final grade ( a malicious and spiteful little shit he must have been).

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:55 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Sign up for a zero hedge account. Become a asset to form the lower IQ minds. Become government user blacklisted. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 21:59 | Link to Comment williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I have a friend from when I was a kid. Just stopped through here recently.

Five siblings graduated from college, but not him. A few in finance.  He decided university was not something he wanted to do.

Imagine all the chaffing.

After working in a Deli for 10 years and then restaurants and bars, he started on his own in NYC 10 years ago. Purely an accident. Someone wanted him to work through a disasterous restaurant deal.

Long or short of it. He now has 6 bars and restaurants in NYC and all of the partners are employees whom he trusts. 45 years old.

I discussed his business strategies with great interest since I have some experience with restaurant deals, disasterous and successful.

In the end I congratulated him and said to him: everything you just told me is precisely the oppostie of what a fucking MBA would have done.

Now everyone, go and read The Verger by W Somerset Maugham. That is the story I sent him afterwords and it made him very happy. 

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:02 | Link to Comment Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

Cocaine dealer: $100,000.


CIA sponsored cocaine dealer: $500,000

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:33 | Link to Comment alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Attorney for cocaine dealer: $1,000,000 plus unlimited supply of blow (for personal consumption only).

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:09 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I went to school but never got a high school or college diploma because I won't be regimented. As a dropout, I was too god damn dumb to be an employee so I had to become a boss (true).

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:24 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


I'm taking any education off my resume.

"Can replace a water heater, alternator, and cook a turkey" will be my tagline.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:41 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Many of these jobs once were middle class jobs in America. If they aren’t anymore, it’s because of Congress’s deliberate immigration policies to displace America’s white male and the living wage he established through years and years of negotiations and contributions that built this nation and supported her families on a one-worker salary.

I don’t know the basis for Bloomberg’s figures but in my area in California the wages for these jobs, many of them requiring skilled labor, have dropped because of a willing illegal labor pool.

These jobs are open to non high school graduates only when a high school graduate or a Third world laborer is not available because the employer does not want to take a chance on poor learning skills or poor ambition .

These depressed salaries remind me of the arrogance and advice of Mayor Michael Bloomberg to students during his weekly radio show in March of this year, according to the New York Daily News

"The people who are going to have the biggest problem are college graduates who aren't rocket scientists, if you will, not at the top of their class," Bloomberg said. "Compare a plumber to going to Harvard College -- being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal."

Says MSN Money,: “Bloomberg, himself a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School, pointed out that plumbers make a good living and don't have to deal with paying off huge college loans. …

“Bloomberg, whose net worth is estimated at $27 billion by Forbes, added that plumbing has another benefit in that it isn't suitable for outsourcing. ‘It's hard to farm that out, . . . and it's hard to automate that,’ Bloomberg said.“ As for that, Bloomberg oughta know; it's the profit-seeking bankers and banker-connected corporations that farmed out Americans' good jobs to low-wage countries and wrote America's anti-white 1965 Immigration Law.

And have we fallen so low now that the rich are pointing to the advantages of not having a high school education? Could it be they are afraid that workers will learn how this country was established, who the Founders were, and the value of knowledge in a nation that would be free.

As for a plumber, for a long time one of the highest paid of the trades people, the next time Bloomberg needs a plumber for his clogged sewer system, let him fix it himself. …  If a non high schooler can do it, why can't Bloomberg?

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:29 | Link to Comment OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

"Could it be they are afraid that workers will learn how this country was established, who the Founders were, and the value of knowledge in a nation that would be free." that shit is taught anymore.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 02:01 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

How right you are regarding the State schools. In testimony on Hillary’s “School to Work; Goals 2000; Outcome Based Education,” Rep. Henry Hyde on May 15, 1997, quoted Dr. D.L. Cuddy, a former senior associate with the U.S. Department of Education as follows:

“With `School-to-Work' (STW) legislation (H.R. 1617/S. 143) soon going to conference committee in Congress, it’s important to look at the background of this concept. Plank 10 of Marx’s Communist Manifesto provides for a `combination of education with industrial production,’ and in 1913 when Stalin was having difficulty getting his Marxist cadres into key positions for the `class struggle,’ he described a `regionalism’ strategy (e.g., NAFTA, later) against nationalism and used the slogan `workers of the world unite.”

Michael Lerner, author of The New Socialist Revolution who would become an important advisor to Hillary Clinton, proclaimed: `Education will be radically transformed in our socialist community ... the main emphasis will be on learning how to ... live and work collectively ...

As Sheldon Emry wrote a few years back: “Only an educated people will be able to resist the lies of the bankers’ stooges. This is why it is important for you to know the truth about how the bankers make billions for themselves and debt to the people.”

Unfortunately, we are now up against the lies in Obama’s new Common Core school curriculum designed by progressives on which already 45 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have all built their educational curriculum.

Common Core  de-emphasizes literature (American culture) in favor of informational texts and government documents (ie state propaganda) in such texts as “Fed Views” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2009) or “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental Energy, and Transportation Management” published by the General Services Administration.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:53 | Link to Comment NFX
NFX's picture

I don't know if those wages reflect at the height of ones career or not. I don't see welders, machinests or pipe fitters. I work in a engineering type position and am not an engineer. I am a piping designer. I have never been out of work! I have not graduated fm high school. In my profession I work in an office. I make $86.00 per hour. That is correct! $86.00 per hour. Many times I work 20 hrs per week at time and one half. For years on end. I am at the height of my career now. There are alternatives to a college education. You must find them.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:32 | Link to Comment MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

Is that what a Midtown Glory Hole worker is getting these days?

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 22:55 | Link to Comment Honey Badger
Honey Badger's picture

You could make a few bitcoins being an assassin.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:04 | Link to Comment TomGa
TomGa's picture

One weekend a highly respected heart surgeon had to call a plumber to his house to unblock his crapper.  After an hour of cleaning out the sewer line, the plumber finished up and handed the surgeon his bill.

"$450* !!! Holy smokes. That's a hundred dollars more per hour than I charge, and I'm a board certified heart surgeon with multiple degrees."

The plumber looked at him and laughed,"$350 an hour?  Heck, that's all I charged back when I was a heart surgeon too."


(*  Not adjusted for Obamacare)

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:07 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

How amazing it is that one man had so many answers to the economic ills facing our country. And that the rulers who created these problems saw fit to keep him from the presidency. That man is Ron Paul. And a perfect example of his many ideas concerns the employment of America’s next working generation:

Internet Sales Tax Could Crush Small Businesses

By Ron Paul - September 25, 2013

One unique aspect of my homeschool curriculum is that students can start and manage their own online business. Students will be responsible for deciding what products or services to offer, getting the business up and running, and marketing the business’s products. Students and their families will get to keep the profits made from the business. Hopefully, participants in this program will develop a business that can either provide them with a full-time career or a way to supplement their income.

Internet commerce is the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the American economy. Not surprisingly, the Internet is also relatively free of taxes and regulations, although many in Washington are working to change that. For example, earlier this year the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, more accurately referred to as the national Internet sales tax act. This bill, which passed the Senate earlier this year, would require Internet businesses to collect sales tax for all 10,000 American jurisdictions that assess sales taxes. Internet business would thus be subject to audits from 46 states, six territories, and over 500 Native American tribal nations.

Proponents of the bill deny it will hurt small business because the bill only applies to Internet business that make over a million dollars in out-of-state revenue. However, many small Internet businesses with over a million dollars in out-of-state revenues operate on extremely thin profit margins, so even the slightest increase in expenses could put them out of businesses.

Some businesses may even try to avoid increasing their sales so as to not have to comply with the Internet sales tax. …

The main proponents of this bill are large retailers and established Internet business. Big business can more easily afford to comply with a national Internet sales tax. In many cases, they are large enough that they already have a “physical presence” in most states and thus already have to collect state sales taxes. These businesses are seeking to manipulate the political process to disadvantage their existing and future small competitors. The Internet sales tax is a bad idea for consumers, small Internet business, and perhaps most importantly, the next generation of online entrepreneurs.

For more information about the small business program well as all other aspects of the Homeschool curriculum please go here. And to purchase a copy of my new book, The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System please go here.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:36 | Link to Comment californiagirl
californiagirl's picture

Your forgot Bay Area BART employee.  When excluding high-paid police officers and executives, the average gross pay for the blue-collar BART workers was $76,551 last year.  BART's best-paid janitor made $82,752.  BART's electrician with the highest paycheck made $149,957. 

Based on latest contract talks, BART employees will have to contribute toward their pensions for the first time, from 1% in the 1st year increasing to 4% in the last year.  They contribute $132 a month toward their excellent health and dental plans, growing to $144 per month by 4th year. Employees who opt out of health insurance because they are on another plan, such as from a spouse's employer, get paid an additional $100-$350 per month.  And somehow the BART union snuck 6 weeks of PAID Family Leave into the contract (in addition to paid vacatins, holidays and sick leave), which puts what was a finalized contract, back on the negotiating table with more strikes possible disrupting Bay Area commutes.  No one in the private sector gets paid Family Leave. They also get receive a minimum 15.38% pay increase over the next 4 years.

There is also Tree Trimmer in the City of Oakland.  Some of them make close to $100k, excluding benefits.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:43 | Link to Comment whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

The trades can be extremely rewarding. there is nothing like doing a fine job and watching people enjoy the space you built. I'll never be rich, but there aint no rich fuckers that can do what I can. I know, small consolation but I can tell obama fuck you, I did build that. On the flip side, I'm capable of saying fuck you build it yourself... I sleep good

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:48 | Link to Comment MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

My street mechanic does 20-30 brakes jobs every week at $40-$120 a pop (cash only/+parts).....then he takes a bunch of scrap rotors to the junkman...thats just the brake jobs.....20 year astro van....I sincerely doubt he is paying a penny in state/fed taxes. And he earns every goddamn penny out there in the weather crawling around on the street.



Wed, 11/20/2013 - 23:50 | Link to Comment bubblemania
bubblemania's picture

The guys that clean the skyscrapper windows make a lot more than that. The list is half baked.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 00:28 | Link to Comment FreeMktFisherMN
FreeMktFisherMN's picture

Few summers ago didn't have any internship or anything 'prestigious' lined up, but knew had to find some work (industrial shop I'd worked at previous summer as manual laborer type didn't need someone that summer again) so just advertised on Craigslist yard worker can work anywhere in SW metro, sod, weeding, mulch, painting, mowing, etc. And wound up literally each day with a job and paid well, too. I also bought and sold in a crude form of 'arbitrage' old classic video games I knew hte value of and would buy from people who were just trying to unload them at garage sales.


Was a great experience. Also read a lot about the markets, followed them, definitely was reading ZH a ton as I do still. Nothing tangible there like an actual internship, but aware of what is going on very valuable definitely.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 01:39 | Link to Comment jtlien
jtlien's picture

I saw an add for a Lock/Dam operator a year or so ago.   I think it was $50K-$60k.  I wrote a nice application but said since the US government

was running a huge deficit, I would do the work for $30K a year.   I had all the qualifications.    (Degree in Engineering from a Big Ten University).

They came back an said they wanted someone with more experience fixing lawn mowers!   Never even got a call for an interview.

Even I $30k a year I would have been willing to buy them a new

mower every year.   The job probably went to someone politically connected.   I think this is nowdays with automatic controls a push buttons kind of job.


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 02:05 | Link to Comment Geruda
Geruda's picture

I'm guessing the majority of dumbfucks who post their drivel here gasp at how much money the roofers make.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 04:30 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Not being sure what you mean by drivel, nonetheless, your remark reminds me of a Lebanese union buster in a small Midwestern town where roofs had suffered hail damage. Speaking to young white workers he’d hired at minimum wage for furniture deliveries, he let them know who now was boss in America, i.e., the international carpetbaggers who have come to exploit.

"White men won’t work," he told them. "We hire Mexican laborers to repair the roofs because they’re willing to work -- from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m in the morning." That's not "work" of course; it's exploitation.

I am reminded also of an Asian executive of a US company speaking at a roundtable seminar in San Jose a few years back. He told attendees that American workers needed to emulate Chinese laborers and work longer hours at less pay. He was dead serious.

What Americans are seeing is a constant lowering of their wage scales and benefits as they are pitted by corporations and small businesses against a continuing influx of Third world workers, a situation that is erasing decades of advancement via labor negotiations by hardworking Americans.

Hopefully, Americans’ struggles for free enterprise and workers’ rights won’t all be relinquished before the international bankers and multinational profiteers are sent packing.  Hopefully, Americans’ belief that a man is entitled to his share of the production of his own labors will prevail and Americans once again will regain their lost prosperity and hard fought decent standard of living.

Prosperity can only be for the free, not for the banker-controlled. Americans will be free and prosperous again only if and when they abolish the Fed. Only then will America regain her position as patent king and producer of the world.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 05:16 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Where's DHS/TSA/FEMA mercenaries? Bankers are hiring them to squash Americans. The job sucks but the pay ain't that bad. Actually it is being done indirectly like in increased costs for college parking and in other ways. Then the FED subsidies pay those fees indirectly. The semester right after my parking fees doubled because of DHS is when the shooter came onto campus and killed students. Entered right in front of the police station. Coincidence? He wasn't DHS but what the bankers/FEDs are doing is creating the atmosphere so that when the psychic contagion goes off in response to Federal agitation financial repression/terrorism and aggressiveness their mercenaries will be there to fight back.

Strangest thing but for certain the DHS is not there to protect citizens of the United States of America or students. At least there is no evidence of it.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 06:38 | Link to Comment damicol
damicol's picture

How many people realise that Diplomas taken in the Philippines are accpeted in the US in general, especially such Degrees as nursing diplomas. with the US short of around one million nurses more and more Americans are finding that 4 years away in a tropical country to get a BS Diploma at a top University in Manila costs in total including all the travel expenses and living expenses  just about one years tuition in the US.

Get a diploma but starve the US government of its ponzi  student loan scam if you want more info

We are helping US students get on these courses here and the numbers are growing every week  up now to around double every week from the beginning of the year.


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 07:35 | Link to Comment rwl160
rwl160's picture

i'm a union licencsed chicago plumber..annual salary about $89,000 not including my..benefits. and of course the mutilple side jobs i do on weekends... snicker....

you smell crap.. i smell money..


Thu, 11/21/2013 - 10:41 | Link to Comment el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

Considering tomorrow's 50th aniversity, we might note that Lee Harvey Oswald, patsy extraordinaire, never "earned" a high school diploma.  Yet he spoke Russian so perfectly at the age of 23 during the time of his "defection," that his future wife, Marina, thought him to be a Russian native when she first met him.  We might add "patsy" to the list if you don't mind being paid in hot lead.

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