DENVER (Stacker) — The average college graduate in 2020 earned $1,305 a week, while the average high school graduate takes home just $781, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of course, college isn’t for everyone. There are many reasons high-school graduates may choose to not continue on to college, not the least of which being cost. Average tuition costs continue to rise each year, the exception being the 2020-2021 school year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Average tuition at a public, in-state university coming in at $9,687; tuition for out-of-state students at public schools, and for everyone at private universities, is significantly higher at $21,874 and $35,087, respectively.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest paying jobs for high school graduates in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

Keep reading to see which jobs in your city pay the most for high school graduates.

#50. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $60,710
– #95 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 760

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,860
– Employment: 122,480
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($90,680)
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($90,370)
— Salinas, CA ($88,050)

#49. Aircraft cargo handling supervisors

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $60,970
– #25 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 210

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,620
– Employment: 10,020
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN ($79,660)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($72,800)
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($71,910)

#48. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $61,060
– #70 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 330

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,420
– Employment: 59,940
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($95,980)
— Decatur, IL ($92,670)
— Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($89,340)

#47. Industrial machinery mechanics

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $62,710
– #96 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,920

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,350
– Employment: 385,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Fairbanks, AK ($85,900)
— Lake Charles, LA ($85,360)
— Anchorage, AK ($82,890)

#46. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $63,000
– #12 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

National
– Annual mean salary: $54,700
– Employment: 18,680
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($97,000)
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($88,350)
— Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($75,440)

#45. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $63,680
– #97 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 5,070

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,230
– Employment: 503,390
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,590)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($87,760)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,420)

#44. Bailiffs

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $64,060
– #9 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,730
– Employment: 18,120
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN ($69,600)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($69,050)
— Glens Falls, NY ($66,980)

#43. Meter readers, utilities

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $64,160
– #6 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 70

National
– Annual mean salary: $46,160
– Employment: 26,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($74,040)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($69,530)
— Springfield, MA-CT ($67,510)

#42. Millwrights

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $64,210
– #46 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 230

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,080
– Employment: 44,400
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Kennewick-Richland, WA ($91,590)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($90,580)
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($80,780)

#41. Automotive body and related repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $64,950
– #4 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,430

National
– Annual mean salary: $49,430
– Employment: 137,120
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Ann Arbor, MI ($71,350)
— Ames, IA ($68,340)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($68,060)

#40. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $65,430
– #5 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,110

National
– Annual mean salary: $52,750
– Employment: 160,950
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area ($84,640)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($78,320)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,210)

#39. Advertising sales agents

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $66,320
– #31 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 690

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,040
– Employment: 110,040
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($97,840)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($97,720)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($83,050)

#38. Motorboat mechanics and service technicians

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $66,390
– #1 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $45,490
– Employment: 20,440
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($66,390)
— Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($59,690)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($57,930)

#37. Insurance sales agents

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $68,410
– #126 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 6,910

National
– Annual mean salary: $69,100
– Employment: 409,950
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,230)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,470)
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($95,620)

#36. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $69,730
– #15 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 13,620

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,010
– Employment: 1,427,260
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($82,050)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($79,520)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,430)

#35. Stationary engineers and boiler operators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $69,790
– #40 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 340

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,170
– Employment: 29,550
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($106,300)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,930)
— South Illinois nonmetropolitan area ($101,630)

#34. First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $71,650
– #87 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 4,060

National
– Annual mean salary: $66,800
– Employment: 599,900
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Baton Rouge, LA ($98,170)
— Lake Charles, LA ($97,910)
— West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($96,900)

#33. Construction and building inspectors

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $72,590
– #63 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,030

National
– Annual mean salary: $66,470
– Employment: 113,770
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New Haven, CT ($121,510)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,330)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,190)

#32. Tax preparers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $73,170
– #3 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,110

National
– Annual mean salary: $52,710
– Employment: 62,600
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Anchorage, AK ($81,880)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($79,470)
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($73,170)

#31. Airfield operations specialists

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $74,830
– #5 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,360
– Employment: 10,590
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Austin-Round Rock, TX ($88,510)
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($80,230)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($79,230)

#30. Real estate sales agents

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $75,090
– #27 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 4,180

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,990
– Employment: 168,740
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Midland, TX ($100,060)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($99,880)
— Worcester, MA-CT ($93,400)

#29. Occupational health and safety technicians

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $75,800
– #8 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 300

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,870
– Employment: 20,950
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Evansville, IN-KY ($77,880)
— Anchorage, AK ($77,690)
— Oklahoma City, OK ($77,100)

#28. Rail car repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $76,530
– #2 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,250
– Employment: 22,310
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($86,690)
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($76,530)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($74,740)

#27. Crane and tower operators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $76,700
– #20 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 480

National
– Annual mean salary: $64,010
– Employment: 44,060
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($131,160)
— Syracuse, NY ($103,350)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($99,990)

#26. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $77,080
– #102 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 10,320

National
– Annual mean salary: $72,990
– Employment: 614,080
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($112,020)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($103,820)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($101,210)

#25. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $77,900
– #38 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 19,090

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,500
– Employment: 1,278,670
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($102,280)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($92,660)
— Napa, CA ($92,620)

#24. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $79,230
– #25 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 3,920

National
– Annual mean salary: $70,650
– Employment: 287,150
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Kennewick-Richland, WA ($104,350)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($95,200)
— Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area ($92,500)

#23. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $79,960
– #48 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 5,290

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,100
– Employment: 475,000
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,830)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($93,030)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,870)

#22. Real estate brokers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $80,020
– #44 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,010

National
– Annual mean salary: $81,630
– Employment: 44,610
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($152,460)
— Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($133,810)
— Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($132,320)

#21. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $80,200
– #82 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $79,660
– Employment: 13,880
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL ($97,930)
— Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ ($96,450)
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($94,460)

#20. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $80,240
– #163 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,430

National
– Annual mean salary: $74,410
– Employment: 114,930
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($117,700)
— Salinas, CA ($110,180)
— North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area ($109,740)

#19. Gas plant operators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $80,250
– #20 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,290
– Employment: 14,990
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($99,600)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($98,750)
— Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($97,080)

#18. Food service managers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $81,430
– #11 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 610

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,000
– Employment: 197,010
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Trenton, NJ ($91,320)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($89,860)
— Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($87,750)

#17. Transportation inspectors

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $81,860
– #37 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 330

National
– Annual mean salary: $81,320
– Employment: 27,360
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Portland-South Portland, ME ($112,260)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($111,930)
— Anchorage, AK ($108,140)

#16. Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $83,310
– #10 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 22,440

National
– Annual mean salary: $70,490
– Employment: 977,070
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($103,810)
— Boulder, CO ($101,630)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($97,360)

#15. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $83,830
– #38 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 250

National
– Annual mean salary: $67,600
– Employment: 53,420
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($114,400)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($113,220)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($112,950)

#14. Private detectives and investigators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $87,020
– #4 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 260

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,100
– Employment: 32,200
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Jackson, MI ($93,360)
— Bakersfield, CA ($91,080)
— Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($87,760)

#13. Lodging managers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $90,500
– #10 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 230

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,270
– Employment: 31,790
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area ($122,290)
— Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($121,090)
— Urban Honolulu, HI ($111,410)

#12. Power distributors and dispatchers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $91,430
– #29 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $93,260
– Employment: 9,940
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($131,560)
— Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($129,570)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($123,540)

#11. Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $92,210
– #9 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 380

National
– Annual mean salary: $77,610
– Employment: 40,480
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($105,090)
— Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($101,900)
— St. Louis, MO-IL ($97,860)

#10. Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $92,260
– #1 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $63,770
– Employment: 3,800
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($92,260)
— Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area ($80,820)
— West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($79,570)

#9. Gambling managers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $95,440
– #8 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $85,440
– Employment: 3,240
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($106,830)
— Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ ($104,140)
— Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($103,210)

#8. Power plant operators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $96,950
– #16 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

National
– Annual mean salary: $81,890
– Employment: 32,960
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Fresno, CA ($129,650)
— Wenatchee, WA ($123,180)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($114,660)

#7. Elevator and escalator installers and repairers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $97,360
– #18 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 450

National
– Annual mean salary: $86,200
– Employment: 24,730
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($130,290)
— Kansas City, MO-KS ($113,590)
— Urban Honolulu, HI ($113,480)

#6. Detectives and criminal investigators

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $101,330
– #30 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,120

National
– Annual mean salary: $89,300
– Employment: 105,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($132,210)
— Anchorage, AK ($127,070)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($123,460)

#5. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $102,550
– #20 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 4,600

National
– Annual mean salary: $90,120
– Employment: 240,290
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Portland-South Portland, ME ($129,860)
— Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($121,360)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($121,250)

#4. Property, real estate, and community association managers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $106,420
– #2 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,350

National
– Annual mean salary: $73,210
– Employment: 219,800
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($109,540)
— Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($106,420)
— Piedmont North Carolina nonmetropolitan area ($105,220)

#3. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $115,860
– #21 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 810

National
– Annual mean salary: $105,100
– Employment: 132,210
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($159,890)
— Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($154,170)
— Trenton, NJ ($144,620)

#2. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $120,540
– #37 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 960

National
– Annual mean salary: $97,180
– Employment: 122,310
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($182,700)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($170,740)
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($164,600)

#1. Commercial pilots

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
– Annual mean salary: $130,160
– #18 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 710

National
– Annual mean salary: $110,830
– Employment: 37,120
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($185,920)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($184,260)
— Savannah, GA ($177,450)


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