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 Knoxville, TN 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.

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#50. Control and valve installers and repairers, except mechanical door

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,230
– #228 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,400
– Employment: 50,660
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($98,380)
— Salt Lake City, UT ($94,070)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($92,800)

#49. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,410
– #237 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 360

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,890
– Employment: 119,380
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,980)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,370)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($87,990)

#48. Mechanical door repairers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,560
– #17 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

National
– Annual mean salary: $45,350
– Employment: 22,680
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($61,630)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($58,550)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($57,020)

#47. Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,740
– #129 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 490

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,440
– Employment: 105,400
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Huntsville, AL ($55,830)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,260)
— Wausau, WI ($55,060)

#46. Machinists

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,790
– #138 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,270

National
– Annual mean salary: $47,800
– Employment: 360,340
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($76,230)
— Urban Honolulu, HI ($71,070)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,300)

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#45. Production, planning, and expediting clerks

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,880
– #239 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,350

National
– Annual mean salary: $52,000
– Employment: 362,090
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Idaho Falls, ID ($74,970)
— Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($71,160)
— West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area ($67,770)

#44. Maintenance workers, machinery

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $49,990
– #174 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 730

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,960
– Employment: 65,240
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area ($77,890)
— Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($77,690)
— Savannah, GA ($76,260)

#43. Brickmasons and blockmasons

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $50,860
– #150 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 110

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)

#42. Brokerage clerks

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $50,900
– #60 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,460
– Employment: 44,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($74,310)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($69,330)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($68,970)

#41. Crane and tower operators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $51,230
– #170 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

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)

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#40. Food service managers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $51,310
– #439 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,020

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)

#39. Lodging managers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $51,850
– #191 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 150

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)

#38. Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $52,380
– #293 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 240

National
– Annual mean salary: $57,000
– Employment: 147,680
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Fairbanks, AK ($86,740)
— Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,520)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($79,470)

#37. Sheet metal workers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $52,480
– #172 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 430

National
– Annual mean salary: $55,320
– Employment: 128,220
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Fairbanks, AK ($101,150)
— Kennewick-Richland, WA ($94,930)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($93,840)

#36. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $52,580
– #197 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

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)

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#35. Traffic technicians

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $53,150
– #15 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,140
– Employment: 7,430
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($85,160)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($77,500)
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($76,460)

#34. Electricians

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $53,190
– #322 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,420

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,550
– Employment: 656,510
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,900)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($91,090)
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($86,600)

#33. Construction and building inspectors

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $54,090
– #321 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

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. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $54,600
– #257 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,400

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,100
– Employment: 417,440
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($94,580)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($89,500)
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($89,190)

#31. Structural iron and steel workers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $54,810
– #96 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 480

National
– Annual mean salary: $58,650
– Employment: 71,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($95,020)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($88,250)
— Western Washington nonmetropolitan area ($84,570)

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#30. Postal service mail carriers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $55,120
– #62 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 900

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,180
– Employment: 333,570
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Modesto, CA ($57,160)
— Bismarck, ND ($57,090)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,820)

#29. Postal service clerks

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $55,380
– #55 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 160

National
– Annual mean salary: $51,200
– Employment: 86,950
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($59,410)
— Florence, SC ($59,360)
— Monroe, MI ($59,320)

#28. Chemical plant and system operators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $55,640
– #32 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,460
– Employment: 29,710
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Lima, OH ($92,450)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($91,210)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($90,170)

#27. First-line supervisors of correctional officers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $56,200
– #156 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 190

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)

#26. Industrial machinery mechanics

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $56,330
– #276 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,090

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)

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#25. Advertising sales agents

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $56,430
– #116 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 220

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $57,710
– #241 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 6,510

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $58,260
– #348 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,980

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)

#22. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $58,610
– #438 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 570

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)

#21. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $59,130
– #197 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 520

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)

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#20. Riggers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $59,920
– #15 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,020
– Employment: 21,700
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($89,080)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($73,310)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($73,160)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $61,270
– #193 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 570

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $62,870
– #397 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,730

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)

#16 (tie). Real estate brokers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $64,050
– #69 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

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)

#16 (tie). Chemical equipment operators and tenders

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $64,050
– #18 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 810

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,330
– Employment: 93,060
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Southwest Louisiana nonmetropolitan area ($91,300)
— Billings, MT ($88,420)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($76,050)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $65,090
– #403 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,200

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)

#14. Insurance sales agents

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $65,360
– #166 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 710

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $65,470
– #241 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,310

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $65,980
– #279 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,520

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)

#11. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $66,310
– #254 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 490

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)

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#10. Boilermakers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $67,290
– #20 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $67,430
– Employment: 14,020
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,660)
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($96,080)
— Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD ($90,620)

#9. Hazardous materials removal workers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $70,000
– #3 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

National
– Annual mean salary: $49,170
– Employment: 44,010
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($76,120)
— Amarillo, TX ($73,270)
— Knoxville, TN ($70,000)

#8. Occupational health and safety technicians

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $70,370
– #17 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

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)

#7. Transportation inspectors

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $70,810
– #63 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

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)

#6. Detectives and criminal investigators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $74,200
– #209 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

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)

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#5. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $74,870
– #217 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 340

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)

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

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $77,950
– #260 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 740

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)

#3. Power plant operators

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $86,120
– #62 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 150

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)

#2. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $94,580
– #223 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 450

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)

#1. Commercial pilots

Knoxville, TN
– Annual mean salary: $127,490
– #23 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

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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