8 Jobs That Pay at Least $20 an Hour

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Searching for a new job is a time-consuming and stressful process — sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start! While there are obvious low-paying jobs at fast-food joints and dollar stores, with a little gumption you can find yourself an entry-level job that pays over $20 an hour. 

After many former students were left holding the proverbial bag following a college education that netted them few job opportunities, many people are looking to skip to the traditional undergraduate degree route. Here are a few jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree but still pay over $20 an hour.


National Average Pay: $21.29 per hour

The primary role of an academic tutor is to help students achieve more in academics. There are a variety of tutor roles, from those that specialize in early childhood education to elementary and middle school, or high school and college. Usually, a high school diploma is enough qualification to tutor young students, but if you want to earn more and tutor older students, you may need an advanced degree.

Hot Tip: When applying as a tutor, be sure to brush up on basic math skills!

Massage Therapist

National Average Pay: $28.32 per hour

A massage therapist is a health and wellness professional who uses touch therapy to relieve pain or injuries, ease stress, and promote relaxation. While this is a high-paying position that doesn’t require a college degree, you likely need to obtain a certificate in massage therapy before being hired.

Heavy Equipment Operator

National Average Pay: $20.36 per hour

Heavy equipment operators control and drive various construction equipment such as forklifts, bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, cranes, and other heavy equipment. You’ll be working in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator, but you can be hired by both public and private sector entities.

In order to work as a heavy equipment operator, you need a commercial driver’s license and then pass an equipment driving exam. You don’t need an advanced degree to become a heavy equipment operator.


National Average Pay: $25.27 per hour 

Plumbing technicians and plumbers specialize in repairing water supply components like pipelines, gas lines, and waste disposal systems. In addition to installing plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, and bathtubs, plumbers may also install appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. 

Like many trades, plumbers are required to attend a certification program and work as an apprentice before they are allowed to operate on their own. 

Dental Hygienist 

National Average Pay: $38.29 per hour 

Patients are provided with routine procedures by dental hygienists under the supervision of a general dentist or associate dentist. Some of the procedures done by dental hygienists include routine cleanings, exams, and preventative dental care.

Dental hygienists are also responsible for educating and helping patients maintain their oral health. To become a dental hygienist, you’ll be required to complete a certification course.

Technical Writer 

National Average Pay: $20.02 per hour 

Technical writers are often used to visually depict how a product works through the creation of diagrams. Additionally, they may develop instruction and user manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other documents that communicate technical information to consumers. Most technical writers hold an associate’s degree or certification, but they can also be experience-based workers.

Freelance Designer

National Average Pay: $28.43 per hour

Graphic designers and visual artists create images, graphics, illustrations, and logos for their clients. It is typically the designer’s job to develop layouts, sketches, and ideas into a working product for their clients using computer software and applications. It’s not necessary to complete any additional training, however, developing a compelling portfolio of previous work is key to generating clients. 

Freelance Editor

National Average Pay: $22.54 per hour 

A freelance editor is an independent contractor hired by writers to proofread manuscripts and publications. In addition to proofreading grammar and mechanics, editors may also work with syntax and word choice within articles, manuscripts, and other written materials.

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