If you're looking to bump up to a $30 hourly wage, having a bachelor's degree helps. But, there are still plenty of careers where you can earn $30 or more per hour without a degree. From construction to health care and IT, check out our list of 10 well-paid gigs and the requirements for getting started.
Hourly pay: $25.58 - $35.75
Welding work can be rigorous and demanding. Can you imagine doing it in the dark, under 1,000 feet of water? Commercial divers do all kinds of repairs, construction work, search and rescue, and other tasks while floating over river beds or past schools of fish. Divers must be efficient workers, excellent communicators, comfortable working in teams and up for very physically demanding work. Divers attend diving school then look for work placement opportunities where they can build their skill and experience level.
Hourly pay: $22.52 - $35.17
From strip malls to 50 story office towers, construction superintendents are responsible for coordinating the building of commercial and residential structures. A person in this job needs to be an effective leader who can coordinate the teams and processes needed to complete a project on time, from hiring workers to getting materials to the site. Depending on the size of the project, there may be more than one construction manager involved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most construction managers are often self-employed and those with college degrees in construction tend to have better job prospects.
Hourly pay: $24.75 - $50.51
When non-profit groups, research institutions and community-based organizations look for funding, they often rely on grant money. And, grant writers are responsible for bringing in those dollars. Besides having excellent written communication skills, grant writers must be good researchers, know how to organize information well, be aware of the best grant sources and know how to write persuasively. Many grant writers work for themselves, though a large organization can hire them full-time. And, grant writers have the opportunity to work for a cause they believe in which can make it a very satisfying job.
Hourly pay: $29.11 - $38.04
Diagnostic medical sonography is a growing field. When compared with less portable and more expensive approaches, like CT and MRI scans, ultrasound is growing in popularity. And, as the baby boomers age, this technology will become more in demand. Technologists often work at healthcare facilities and need to be available on weekends and evenings. This career can be entered several ways, including study at vocational institutions, colleges or in the armed forces, along with on-the-job training. There are certifications available and sonographers can also specialize in certain areas of the body.
Hourly pay: $22.73 - $32.90
When a new freeway goes in or a home is being built, the undeveloped land around it often requires the care of a landscape architect. If you love the outdoors and have an eye for both beauty and function, this may be a great career for you. Landscape architects review a site, talk to their clients about their needs, create a plan, follow a budget and then work with the other members of the project team to ensure that the final landscaping is completed as planned. Landscape architects spend time indoors doing research, meeting with clients and creating proposals, but the rest of their time is spent on the job site. A bachelor's or a master's degree in landscape architecture is usually needed to enter this profession, as well as licensure in most states.
Hourly pay: $17.59 - $35.23
No matter how bad the economy gets, kitchen faucets still leak and broken stair railings must be repaired. Working as a handyman can give you plenty of autonomy and, depending on your skill level and who you are working for, you can charge a premium. While there are no official educational requirements, you need to have good business smarts. The majority of your business will likely come from referrals once you've proven yourself as a reliable and experienced worker.
Hourly pay: $25.41 - $51.61
Here is a job where you can get paid much more than $30 per hour, if you're good. Web developers work on the technical side of Web site creation. They use software languages and tools to create applications for the Web. A Web developer figures out who the users for the site will be and how best to give them information, from the organization of the site to, sometimes, its design. While a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is needed to get hired in most Web developer roles, you can also gain skills with an associate's degree and through certification courses.
Hourly pay: $22.50 - $33.41
Don't you love a shower with nice, strong water pressure? A pipefitter helped to bring you that wonderful experience. Pipefitters make sure that water, waste water, natural gas and other substances flow through pipes that are correctly connected and adequate for their job. Pipefitters install and repair both the high-pressure and low-pressure pipe systems for manufacturing, heating and cooling of buildings and more. They may also install the automatic controls used to regulate these systems. Pipefitters don't always have an easy job. They can end up working on remote oil fields or in cramped indoor spaces and may do emergency repair jobs on weekends. No degree is required for this job, but a long, intensive apprenticeship, which includes coursework and on-the-job training, is the most common route to getting started.
Hourly pay: $24.49 - $32.26
If you want a career in the booming health care field, but are more mechanically than medically-oriented, you can still find work. There is a growing demand for the repair, maintenance and calibration of medical equipment like patient monitors, scanning machines, electric wheelchairs and more. Medical equipment repairers typically have an associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Completing a bachelor's degree increases your likelihood of advancement into management. While some of the work is routine, repairers must be ready to work evenings and weekends in case of emergencies.
Hourly pay: $23.27 - $31.1
Network support engineers maintain Internet and intranet systems in office places. If you have good technical skills and a helpful nature, this job could work for you. You install and maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor the networks. You're also responsible for network security. Large corporations, small businesses and government organizations are all looking to hire network engineers. A bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is typically required to become a network support engineer, though a two-year degree or certification course and related work experience may be enough.
Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week
Bridget Quigg is the web content editor for online salary database PayScale.com.
Located in Seattle, Wash., Bridget specializes in writing and editing content for blogs, websites and feature articles.
Bridget graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English. She teaches creative writing and is also a songwriter who regularly performs music and comedic story-telling in the Seattle area and beyond. Her most recent one-woman show was titled, "Almost Female: A Jockette's Awesome Journey."