The conventional wisdom is that you need at least a bachelor's degree to really get ahead. So, lots of young people go to college with no passion or motivation, simply because they think you've got to have a diploma to land a good job.

But you don't. In fact, the U.S. has 30 million good jobs that do not require a four-year degree.

That's according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which defines a "good job" as paying at least $35,000 to workers under 45, and at least $45,000 to workers 45 and older.

Join us now as we go state-by-state and tell you how to find the best-paying jobs that don't demand a four-year degree. All of the median pay information comes from the Georgetown study.

Wyoming

CASPER, WYOMING. MAY 22, 2013. CIRCA: Male roofers at work outdoors on top of a housing project.
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Construction workers -- including these roofers in Casper -- are among the highest-paid workers without bachelor's degrees in Wyoming.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $62,000

Wyoming is America's least populous state, known for its national parks and outdoor tourism. It's a state with one of the largest shares of good jobs held by workers without bachelor's degrees: 62%.

Wyoming's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $80,000); manufacturing (paying $72,000); and installation, maintenance and repair (paying $70,000).

The state lost 1,000 mining jobs in 2015 and 2016 as coal production fell by nearly 100 million tons, says the Casper Star Tribune.

But the state’s construction and tourism sectors have been going strong.

Wisconsin

Realtor Showing Hispanic Family Around New Home
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Demand is growing strong in Wisconsin for non-degree financial services workers, including real estate agents.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Wisconsin, also known as "America’s Dairyland," leads the nation in milk production, but job opportunities go far beyond making cheese.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $67,000) and construction (paying $59,000).

Financial services make up the fastest-growing industry in the state. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. predicts that within five to 10 years, the state will have more jobs in finance than available workers.

Wisconsin positions in finance not requiring bachelor's degrees include jobs for real estate brokers; insurance agents; and computer programmers in the emerging field of fintech.

West Virginia

Bridge at Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, USA
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Growing tourism is creating jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree in Harpers Ferry and elsewhere in West Virginia.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $58,000

West Virginia’s economy has long relied on coal. But the industry has been in decline, so now, West Virginia is looking to tap a treasure trove of other natural resources.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $70,000); construction and extraction (paying $66,000); and management (paying $65,000).

The state has a large store of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales in the north and the Rogersville Shale in the south, say West Virginia University experts, plus raw materials for chemical and metals production.

As the Mountain State charts a course for a prosperous future, hiring is expected to expand in the tourism, energy, aerospace, and biotech sectors, says the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

Washington

EVERETT (WA), USA – JANUARY 30 2015: Unidentified Boeing employees continue work building a Boeing 787 jets at its Everett factory, including for Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).
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Aircraft maker Boeing is a major job generator in Washington.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $59,000

Between 1991 and 2015, Washington state added 30,000 good-paying blue-collar jobs and 93,000 good-paying skilled-services jobs, the Georgetown researchers say.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $71,000) and manufacturing (paying $63,000).

The largest employer in Washington is a major manufacturer: the giant aircraft maker Boeing, which has roughly 71,000 workers.

Workers without degrees can look forward to new opportunities in Washington's clean energy, maritime and technology industries — sectors the state is committed to expanding, says the Washington Department of Commerce.

Virginia

Farmer or agronomist examine tobacco plant  field using tablet
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Virginia is a major producer of tobacco.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

Historically, agriculture has been Virginia’s economic backbone, and today the state is a major producer of soy, tomatoes and tobacco. It also has a huge food production industry.

Virginia's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $72,000); public administration (paying $63,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $60,000).

Health services make up the fastest-growing industry in Virginia. The state has gained 2,400 health care jobs so far in 2018.

Virginia lost 100,000 blue-collar jobs between 1991 and 2015. But it gained 59,000 skilled-services positions during that time, and the state's unemployment rate has recently hit its lowest levels in more than 10 years.

Vermont

In Ultra Modern Electronic Manufacturing Factory Design Engineer in Sterile Coverall Holds Microchip with Gloves and Examines it.
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Computer chips are a major industry in Vermont.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Like other East Coast states, Vermont is a leader in health care and education — so it should come as no surprise that the largest employer is the University of Vermont Medical Center, with 7,860 workers.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); information and financial services, including real estate (paying $60,000); and sales ($57,000).

Though the state's top employer is tied to a public university, Vermont’s main export isn’t grads — it’s computer chips. And you don’t necessarily need a bachelor's degree to work in chip manufacturing.

The top five industries for employing people without four-year degrees are manufacturing, construction, health services, retail trade and finance.

Utah

Salt Lake City, UT/USA - circa August 2011: Huge ore trucks transporting ore at Kennecott Copper Mine in Salt Lake City, Utah
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Mining is one of Utah's major industries.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Utah has a proud mining history, and gold is still the state’s most valuable export. But tourism also is huge, thanks to the state’s five national parks, seven national monuments, six national forests and world-famous ski resorts.

Utah's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $67,000), transportation (paying $60,000) and sales (also paying $60,000).

The largest employer is Intermountain Healthcare, providing work for around 38,000 people.

Besides its many jobs in mining, farming and tourism, Utah has one of the highest concentrations of aerospace positions in the U.S., including related military jobs.

Texas

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Jobs practically gush out of the oil industry in Texas.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

Texans are doing a happy dance to the beat of the state's thriving job market. Between April 2017 and April 2018, the state added 332,300 new nonfarm jobs — an impressive 2.7% increase.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $70,000) and manufacturing (paying $61,000).

With so many job opportunities, Texas' population is growing twice as fast as California's.

The energy industry — including oil and gas extraction — is huge in the Lone Star State. And, Texas is making significant job gains in mining and logging; construction; and manufacturing, says the Texas Labor Market Review.

Tennessee

MEMPHIS, USA - NOV 12: Neon signs of famous blues clubs on Beale street on November 12, 2016  Beale street is a place for blues festivals and concerts
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Foreign tourism is helping to drive job growth in Tennessee.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Tennessee’s employment prospects are looking downright rosy — it's the state seeing the fastest growth in international visitors. Foreign travelers spent $934 million here last year, up 39% from 2012, according to Tourism Economics.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); transportation and utilities (paying $59,000); and sales (paying $58,000).

More tourism dollars flowing in means more jobs for residents.

Outpatient care is the state’s biggest industry, according to 24/7 Wall St. Wholesale trades, health care and social services have seen strong job growth in 2018, says the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

South Dakota

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Utilities offer good jobs in South Dakota.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $52,000

South Dakota’s fields and fertile farmlands were the inspiration for The Little House on the Prairie, but the state’s agriculture economy has been struggling recently. But nonfarm industries are doing OK.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in transportation and utilities (paying a median of $61,000); management (paying $59,000); and sales (paying $56,000).

South Dakota’s Department of Labor and Regulation projects that the state’s manufacturing industry will add 3,000 more workers by 2024 and that jobs will be available for welders, assemblers, machinists and inspectors.

Given the growing number of skilled jobs in this state, the employment outlook for workers without bachelor's degrees is promising. Almost 70% of workers in South Dakota do not hold four-year degrees.

South Carolina

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South Carolina offers non-degree workers an abundance of administrative jobs, including management positions that pay well.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $53,000

Though South Carolina may be known for its beaches and farms, the state's biggest export is automotive equipment. And, administrative and supportive services make up the largest industry here.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $63,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $57,000).

South Carolina's good jobs in administration include general management, human resources and clerical work — none of which requires a bachelor's degree.

Nearly half the state's workers with good jobs don’t hold four-year degrees, according to the Georgetown University study.

Rhode Island

Professional medical team with doctors and surgeon examining patient's x-ray image, discussing and pointing
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Rhode Island has been adding non-degree jobs in health care.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Little Rhody’s rebound from the Great Recession has been slow, says the New England Economic Partnership. Rhode Island still hasn't recovered all of jobs that were lost a decade ago.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $71,000); information and financial services, including real estate (paying $58,000); and construction (paying $57,000).

On the upside, Rhode Island has gained 15,000 skilled-services positions since 1991. That’s a 37% increase in good jobs for workers without four year degrees, and they're mostly in health care and financial services, says WPRI News.

The state’s biggest employer is the Lifespan system of hospitals, with around 14,000 workers.

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, USA - June 3, 2016: Cityscape or skyline with bank skyscrapers such as UPMC on overcast day
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Downtown Pittsburgh is a major financial center.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

The Keystone State has seen great development in recent years; it was one of the top five states for economic growth in 2017.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $67,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $60,000).

Pennsylvania used to be known for its steel mills. Today, its main manufactured exports are coal; medicines and vaccines; propane; aircraft engines and parts; and motorcycles, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

But the largest industry is finance, including insurance and real estate, according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Oregon

EUGENE, OR, USA - MARCH 19, 2014: A log loader or forestry machine loads the rear trailer on a log truck at the site landing in southern Oregon
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Logging is big in Oregon.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Oregon is seeing a population explosion thanks to its healthy job market and high quality of life. The state has a thriving computers-and-electronics industry that employs more than 37,000 people.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $67,000); construction (paying $60,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $58,000).

Besides technology, these other sectors will keep adding jobs, according to Business Oregon: metals, machinery, and medical products manufacturing; business services; organic food and beverages; forestry; and outdoor gear.

As in the rest of the country, Oregon’s health sector is growing, too. In fact, Providence Health & Services is the largest employer in the state, with more than 21,000 employees.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Capitol Building - The state capitol building in Oklahoma City, with famous oil well on grounds..
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Energy is so important to Oklahoma's economy and even the state Capitol building has an oil well on the grounds.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Oklahoma’s economy is growing: Unemployment is down in 75 of the state's 77 counties, and more jobs are being added each year.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $64,000); management (paying $62,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $60,000).

Some 20% of all jobs in Oklahoma are tired to oil and natural gas. The energy industry can be a volatile one, but Oklahoma has other strong sectors that can help keep the state’s economy steady even if oil prices and demand fluctuate.

Those industries include financial services; transportation and distribution; agriculture; and aerospace and defense.

Ohio

TOLEDO, OHIO-JUNE, 2015:  Sign for the Jeep manufacturing plant in Toledo, Ohio.  Jeeps have been built here since World War II.
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Ohio's automotive industry will be adding thousands of jobs over the next six years.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Ohio’s population is gaining faster than other Midwestern states despite sluggishness in northern Ohio. The state’s largest industry is health care, and its shining star is the Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest hospitals in the country.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $59,000).

Ohio’s automotive industry has a promising future and is expected to increase its workforce 19%, to 28,800 employees by 2024, according to Cleveland.com.

The state's steel, oil and gas drilling industries also are primed to grow jobs that don't require a four-year degree.

North Dakota

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Oil and natural gas drilling has been driving the growth in jobs in North Dakota.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

North Dakota is a remote state known for its strong farming culture and the recent economic boom driven by the oil and natural gas discovered beneath the state's wide plains.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $80,000); management (paying $70,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $67,000).

Although 90% of North Dakota’s land is still used for farming, its oil and gas extraction industry has outstripped agriculture as the state’s main economic engine.

But North Dakota is trying to keep its economy diversified so it doesn’t rely too heavily on energy. For non-degree workers, that means job opportunities in construction, transportation, manufacturing, and retailing.

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA JUNE 22 2916: Bank of America Corporate Center building and downtown Charlotte
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The Bank of America corporate center towers over downtown Charlotte. Financial services are a top source of non-degree jobs in North Carolina.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $53,000

Historically, North Carolina’s tobacco, furniture and textiles were its main moneymakers — but today, the state is more focused on farming and on producing wines and high-tech engineered fabrics.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); information and financial services, including real estate (paying $57,000); and sales (paying $56,000).

North Carolina is the home of banking giants Bank of America and BB&T. Other industries that are major employers include aviation and defense; trucking; IT; energy; and pharmaceuticals, says the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

In 2017, Forbes ranked North Carolina as the Best State for Business — for the first time ever.

New York

NEW YORK CITY, NY - OCT 11: The side entrance of New York Stock Exchange and a street sign of Wall Street shown on October 11, 2013 in New York City. The Exchange building was built in 1903.
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Information and financial services provide good jobs for workers without bachelor's degrees in New York.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $59,000

New York's economy is the third-largest among the states — and growing. In June 2018, the state’s private sector added 15,000 jobs, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $70,000) and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $62,000).

But the number of jobs for workers without four-year degrees has fallen significantly. New York has lost 340,000 blue-collar jobs and 120,000 skilled-services jobs since 1991, as lower-paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas.

In their place, New York has focused on the more skilled manufacturing of computer products, cellphones, video games and more. Big opportunities also exist in education; professional and technical services; and health care.

New Mexico

Family on hiking trip in beautiful mountains.Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Close to of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
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Tourism is an industry creating non-degree jobs in New Mexico.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $58,000

After decades of strong population and economic growth, New Mexico is seeing tougher times. Though the state added around 14,000 jobs between 2017 and 2018, its recovery from the recent recession has been slow.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $70,000); transportation and utilities (paying $62,000); and management (also paying $62,000).

Oil and gas production, tourism and the federal government are New Mexico's main economic drivers and job creators.

While more young adults and seniors are entering the state, taxpaying adult workers aged 30 to 59 are leaving in droves, says U.S. News. This poses a major problem for the state’s cash-poor government, and for business.

New Jersey

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New Jersey's ports are reliable sources of good jobs for workers without bachelor's degrees.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $61,000

With its three seaports and a major international airport (in Newark), New Jersey offers a successful transportation-and-distribution hub that employs legions of workers who don’t need degrees to get the job done.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's are in management (paying a median of $77,000); information and financial services, including real estate (paying $67,000); and construction (paying $66,000).

Besides transportation, New Jersey’s other major industries include biopharmaceuticals; chemical and metal manufacturing; and technology services.

And, health care is expected to see strong growth in the state, at least through 2020.

New Hampshire

Boathouse and fall colors reflecting in Echo Lake, in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire.
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Many jobs in New Hampshire are tied to tourism.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $58,000

It’s a mixed bag for workers without bachelor's degrees in New Hampshire: The state has a strong economy backed by tourism, health care and high-tech manufacturing, but job growth has been slow.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $71,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $64,000).

The state has been losing jobs in construction, the hospitality industry and retail, says New Hampshire Employment Security.

One of the reasons jobs are slipping away is that it's difficult for employers to attract workers to New Hampshire, given the state's aging population and limited housing.

Nevada

New Home Construction
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The sprawling Las Vegas area has created a steady supply of construction jobs.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

When the going gets tough, the tough get going — and Nevada’s job growth has been staggering. After losing 175,000 jobs in the recession, the state has managed to create 250,000 new ones, says the Sierra Sun.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $62,000); and construction and extraction (paying $60,000).

The multi-billion-dollar tourism and gaming industries in Las Vegas have recovered, and northern Nevada, particularly Reno, has profited from a tide of technology. That includes Tesla, which employs around 6,500 people at its Gigafactory.

While other states have lost hundreds of thousands of jobs for people without bachelor's degrees since 1991, Nevada has added 38,000 blue-collar positions and 83,000 skilled-services jobs.

Nebraska

Nebraska cattle in a field during winter.
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Nebraska's top industry is food production, including beef.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $53,000

Where there’s beef and bacon, you can thank Nebraska! Food manufacturing is the state's largest industry by total payroll dollars, and it's adding thousands of jobs per year.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $62,000); transportation and utilities (paying $61,000); and sales (paying $60,000).

Rail transportation carries the food produced in Nebraska to the rest of the country, so the two industries are closely linked. Military and defense hiring has been steady here, too.

Some of the state’s major employers include the University of Nebraska, the Union Pacific Railroad, Mutual of Omaha (insurance) and TD Ameritrade.

Montana

Butte, Montana, Old mining headframes sit in the middle of a huge copper mine
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Montana is a center of copper mining.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

Montana residents have benefited from some of the nation's largest gains in good-paying skilled-services jobs since 1991.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $75,000); transportation and utilities (paying $64,000); and management (paying $61,000).

Even though the state is nearly synonymous with copper mining and agriculture, Montana has a diverse economy. Other major industries here include travel and tourism; construction; and timber.

Health care is expected to add the most jobs over the next decade: an average of 1,300 per year.

Missouri

Lowry City, Missouri, USA10/13/2017Farmer in a Case Combine Harvester, harvesting soybean out of a field while on the phone
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Farming and food production generate non-degree jobs in Missouri.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Visitors are probably most familiar with St. Louis and Kansas City, but farmland makes up most of Missouri's footprint. For this reason, the agri-food sector has been a major moneymaker for the state.

Missouri's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $64,000); transportation and utilities (paying $60,000); and construction (paying $57,000).

Missouri government officials are determined to expand the state's businesses and bring in new investment.

The auto industry is back, thanks to big investments from GM and Ford; Missouri's natural resources are ready to be tapped for energy-sector growth; and IT is growing thanks to major retailers setting up data centers in the state.

Mississippi

Two farmer standing in a wheat field with tablet, They are examining corp at sunset.
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Farming is the leading industry in Mississippi.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $53,000

With 11 million acres of farmland and 30% of its population working in agriculture, farming is most definitely Mississippi’s leading industry. Manufacturing gets the second spot.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $66,000); transportation and utilities (paying $59,000); and construction (paying $55,000).

In recent years, Mississippi's largest employment increases — on a percentage basis — have been in natural resources and mining.

Although gambling and entertainment grew wildly a decade ago, the recession pulled the plug on all of that, as fewer visitors and locals wanted to risk their money on gambling.

Minnesota

ROCHESTER, MN/USA - JANUARY 19, 2015: Mayo Clinic entrance and sign. The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota.
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The Mayo Clinic employs thousands in Minnesota, including many non-degree workers.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Minnesota has a low unemployment rate and lots of jobs for workers without bachelor's degrees, thanks to its diversifying economy.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $68,000); construction (paying $60,000); transportation and utilities (also paying $60,000); and sales (the same).

The Mayo Clinic is the state's largest employer with nearly 35,000 workers. And, manufacturing is strong here.

The state also is the top producer of wind power in the country, and the related reduction in energy costs is helping to lure more data-center hosting companies to settle here.

Michigan

Automobile manufacturing line
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Michigan still provides good non-degree jobs in manufacturing, especially automaking.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Michigan’s famed automotive industry had a rough start to the 2010s, but it’s doing better now. And although you might find this shocking, carmaking is not the biggest industry in Detroit: It’s finance, insurance and real estate, says The Center for Michigan.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $66,000); manufacturing (paying $60,000); and transportation and utilities (also paying $60,000).

Unemployment in Michigan is lower than pre-recession levels, and the state's economy is larger. Today, tens of thousands of jobs — many not requiring bachelor's degrees — are unfilled.

General Motors is still the largest employer in Michigan, with around 53,000 workers.

Massachusetts

Carlisle, MA, USA – October 17, 2014: Workers gather bright red cranberries in flooded bog during annual fall cranberry harvest.
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Massachusetts' cranberry production is part of its long-established food-processing industry.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $60,000

Massachusetts is a highly educated state that has lost 105,000 blue-collar jobs and 20,000 skilled-services jobs since 1991.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $72,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $63,000).

The state has built a sizable health care industry and a fast-growing technology sector, and it's No. 1 in the country for high-tech research and development, and life science, according to The Boston Globe.

The good news for workers without four-year degrees is that Massachusetts has a long-established manufacturing industry, and that fishing, food processing and food storage also are reliable sources of jobs not requiring bachelor's degrees.

Maryland

System Security Specialist Working at System Control Center. Room is Full of Screens Displaying Various Information.
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Maryland has become a hub for cybersecurity.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $60,000

Maryland leads the country in producing delicious blue crabs and soft clams, but there’s a lot more going on here than seafood and fishing. The state’s top industries also include aerospace and defense, and manufacturing.

Maryland's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $73,000); public administration (paying $71,000); and professional and management services (paying $70,000).

Maryland manufacturing is focused on printing and publishing; food; and machinery and chemicals. Plus, the state is known as a center for cybersecurity.

Biomedical science and research also is a big economic and employment driver, with Johns Hopkins University and its institutions employing more than 51,000 people in the state.

Maine

older, caucasian Man in overalls standing on boat throwing lobster trap into water, Maine, USA
spwidoff / Shutterstock
Lobstering is still a big part of the economy in Maine.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

The past few decades have seen major changes in Maine's economy and the kinds of jobs available. Its technology, tourism and health care industries have grown as other sectors have contracted.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); manufacturing (paying $60,000); and production (paying $58,000).

Maine was traditionally a shipbuilding and paper-making hub, with an added focus on fishing. Maine still produces more paper and wild strawberries and ships out more lobster than most states put together, but jobs have been slipping away from those areas.

With its pretty coastline, Maine has a tourism industry that has grown to 85,500 jobs and $2.2 billion in annual revenue.

Louisiana

Roughneck (out of focus) looking at a huge oil rig being constructed.
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Louisiana relies on the oil industry to provide good jobs for workers without bachelor's degrees.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $60,000

Louisiana is famous for its jazz and awesome soul food, but the state's economic lifeblood is oil refining. Although Louisiana has some diversity in its industries, it is heavily dependent on oil and its fluctuating prices.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $77,000); management (paying $70,000); and construction and extraction (paying $66,000).

In the aftermath of the recession and due to volatility in oil prices, Louisiana has struggled to grow its economy and jobs. In 2017, it had the worst economic growth in the country for the second year in a row, according to U.S. News.

The state's strongest sectors for jobs not requiring bachelor's degrees are utilities, construction, and oil and gas extraction.

Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 2: The Humana world headquarters building in downtown Louisville, KY on October 2, 2011. Humana is the 4th largest provider of health insurance in the United States.
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock
One of Kentucky's largest employers is the giant health insurer Humana.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Kentucky has come a long way from its coal mining past (but its bourbon is still legend). Today, 4 out of 5 of the largest employers in the state are in health care and employ almost 260,000 people.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $66,000); construction and extraction (paying $60,000); and transportation and utilities (paying $59,000).

Kentucky’s fast-growing colleges — the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville — support a booming health care sector.

And, the state is now America’s shipping and logistics hub: It's home to UPS Worldport Hub, DHL’s Superhub and Amazon’s Prime Air Hub.

Kansas

Horseback riding cowboy herding cattle with lasso rope at farm on sunny day, Kansas, USA
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Kansas ranks third for beef production.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Kansas has been posting fantastic numbers for job growth, reports the Kansas Department of Labor. The economy added just over 19,000 jobs since May 2017 — a 1.4% increase.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $62,000); transportation and utilities (paying $61,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $60,000).

Kansas' agriculture industry leads the country in wheat milling and production, and the state ranks third for beef production.

While Kansas has been a strong producer of oil and natural gas, it has been embracing alternative energy sources, including wind and solar power.

Iowa

cornfield and blue sky
tomfotorama / Shutterstock
Iowa remains a major farming state.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $53,000

Iowa is having a great year! The state now has the fastest-growing housing stock in the country, personal income is rising steadily, and unemployment levels are the third-lowest in the country, reports Iowa Workforce Development.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); transportation and utilities (paying $60,000); and sales (paying $56,000).

The state’s single largest employer is the University of Iowa, with 25,000 people on staff.

Iowa has a strong agriculture and food industry; it has invested in renewable and alternative energies, including ethanol, wind and biodiesel production; and its growing tech industry employs close to 80,000 people.

Indiana

pharmacy medicine capsule pill in production line at medical factory. selective focus.
Gumpanat / Shutterstock
Pharmaceuticals have become one of Indiana's major industries.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Indiana has had a somewhat rough decade since the Great Recession, but some economists say the state is near full employment right now.

Indiana's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $63,000); transportation and utilities (paying $60,000); and construction and extraction (paying $58,000).

Hondas, Toyotas and Subarus are assembled in Indiana, and the state's auto parts industry is expected to be stable through 2018.

Plus, the state is likely to add jobs in pharmaceuticals, says the Indiana Business Review. Transportation, information technology and manufacturing research and design round out the Hoosier State’s top industries.

Illinois

A young man standing with beautiful buildings background before sunset at Chicago city : films grain concept
Pazut Wutigornsombatkul / Shutterstock
Chicago and the rest of Illinois are home to dozens of America's largest employers.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $58,000

Illinois isn’t looking so hot right now. Due to political issues and bad economic management, the state is deep in debt. This pushed legislators to raise business and property taxes, leading to an exodus of big business from the state, says U.S. News.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $70,000); and construction and extraction (paying $63,000).

As businesses have been leaving Illinois, they've taken workers with them. Today, the state has the country’s highest migration rate out of the state and the lowest credit rating ever giving to a state, according to Forbes. Double ouch!

Yet the Land of Lincoln is still home to 68 of the 1,000 largest companies in the U.S. by revenue. It also has a diverse range of industries, like its huge services sector that includes hotels, accounting firms and health care providers.

Idaho

Boise, ID, USA - September 21, 2017: Micron Technology Boise . Micron is a leading company in semiconductor manufacturing. View of top of building with name
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock
Micron Technology operates a massive computer chip plant in Boise, Idaho.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Idaho’s population is booming right now, and Boise is the fastest-growing metro area in the country, according to Forbes. Droves of out-of-staters are coming to work in Idaho's growing tech industry, centered in Boise, reports NPR.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $61,000); transportation and utilities (paying $60,000); and sales (paying $57,000).

Computer chip makers Micron Technology and ON Semiconductor are major players in the state’s tech industry. Idaho’s top industries also include food processing, chemicals, lumber/wood/paper products, mining and tourism.

Unlike many states that have posted big job losses for workers without four-year degrees, Idaho has added 34,000 blue collar jobs and 37,000 skilled-services positions since 1991.

Hawaii

LA'IE, HI - NOVEMBER 21: Students perform Hawaiian cultural dances at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC)
Sanchai Kumar / Shutterstock
Many non-degree jobs in Hawaii are linked to the state's largest industry, tourism.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

Hawaii's gorgeous island ecosystem supports its biggest industry, tourism. Tourism has been growing every year, with visitor arrivals during the first of 2018, up 8.2% compared to the same period in 2017, says the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); construction and extraction (paying $62,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $61,000).

Generally, skilled-services jobs for non-degree workers pay better in Hawaii than in other states.

Tropical Hawaii grows, processes and exports sugar cane, pineapples, flowers, coffee and macadamia nuts. The services industry, which includes hotels, finance, government, real estate and private health care, also is going strong.

Georgia

Fresh peaches at a farmer's market
Andrew Brunk / Shutterstock
Though Georgia has been diversifying its economy, it remains a major agricultural state.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Georgia's economy has been expanding continuously since 2009, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The state's economy is expected to add another 76,200 jobs in 2018, though that's about 10,000 fewer than last year.

The best jobs in Georgia not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); construction and extraction (paying $62,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $61,000).

Georgia is one of the top states for growing jobs that don't require a four-year degree. Since 1991, it has added 63,000 blue-collar jobs and 232,000 skilled-services jobs.

The state's largest industries include energy, carmaking, film, tourism and agriculture. Georgia remains the largest pecan producer in the world, and it provides peaches, blueberries, peanuts and vidalia onions.

Florida

MIAMI, USA - MARCH 18, 2016: Norwegian Sky Cruise view from South Pointe Park.
pio3 / Shutterstock
Florida's cruise industry offers ample opportunities for workers without bachelor's degrees.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

The outlook is sunnier than ever for job hunters in Florida. Researchers with the Florida Chamber Foundation expect the state to add 180,000 jobs in 2018, and say 265,000 positions are waiting to be filled right now.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $63,000 a year); transportation and utilities (paying $58,000); and sales (paying $57,000).

Given the availability of jobs, maybe it’s no wonder 900 newcomers move to Florida every day. Still, employers say it's been hard to find qualified workers to fill their openings.

Workers without four-year degrees should find plenty of opportunities in the state's cruise industry; its major international exports sector; and the many aerospace companies with operations in Florida.

Delaware

Intersection and modern buildings in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock
Wilmington, Delaware, is a major center of the financial industry.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

The First State has the fastest growing economy in the country right now, led by Delaware’s explosive finance and insurance industry, says the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $67,000 a year); health care (paying $61,000); and construction (paying $58,000).

Delaware, a small state with just under 1 million residents, has added an average of about 3,400 new jobs a year since 2008. The state's population is growing by about 10,000 residents a year.

Financial advisers,computer systems analysts, social workers, teacher assistants, office clerks, construction workers, carpenters, truck drivers and freight movers are among the state's most in-demand workers right now.

Connecticut

HARTFORD, CT - JUNE 20, 2017: A large red umbrella is with a group of people walking in the courtyard of the Travelers Companies offices.
Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock
Travelers — known by its red umbrella — is one of the insurance giants with operations in Connecticut.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $60,000

Connecticut is the top state for insurance and financial services, has the fifth-largest concentration of scientists, and is a leader for large-scale manufacturing.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $78,000); IT, finance and real estate ($66,000); and manufacturing ($62,000).

Connecticut's growing industries also include digital media (video production, software design and television) and tourism.

Workers tend to earn more in Connecticut than in other states, and good jobs are plentiful for those without four-year degrees. Work experience in a particular field can lead to a higher-than-average management salary.

Colorado

Young man working at small craft beer making factory and checking the quality of beer. Young businessman testing the beer at brewery.
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
Colorado has become a center for craft beer.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $57,000

Colorado’s economy is positively buzzing and is rated one of the best in the country. Technology, agriculture, real estate, craft beer, cannabis, energy and tourism are the fastest-growing industries defining the Colorado economy, says KMGH-TV.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $66,000); manufacturing (paying $60,000); and sales (also paying $60,000).

One of Colorado's employment engines has been Lockheed Martin, which has increased its workforce in the state by more than 1,000 since 2014 and is building a new $350 million satellite production facility.

Another jobs generator is the state's craft brewing industry. Colorado's 300 craft brewers lead the world in craft beer production.

California

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY  16: Transamerica bank building
Capture Light / Shutterstock
California's financial services industry offers good jobs to non-degree workers.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $59,000

California has the world’s fifth largest economy thanks to its diversity, new ventures and sheer number of productive workers. The state's impressive job growth has been led by financial services, real estate and manufacturing.

California's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $72,000); and information and financial services, including real estate (paying $62,000).

The University of California is the largest employer in the state, employing around 198,000 people.

In Cali, residents may not struggle to find work — but the state’s mind-bogglingly expensive real estate market can make it hard for workers to find affordable housing.

Arkansas

workers sort biscuits on a conveyor belt in a factory - production in the food industry
industryviews / Shutterstock
Food production offers plenty of jobs for Arkansas workers without bachelor's degrees.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $54,000

Arkansas is hanging on to its strong agricultural roots, but it's also becoming more of a center for transportation and logistics thanks to the presence of Walmart. Rural areas are shrinking as suburban towns expand.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $62,000); transportation and utilities (paying $60,000); and sales (paying $57,000).

Manufacturing is the industry with the most non-degree jobs: an estimated 48,000. Food production now makes up 30% of all manufacturing jobs in the state.

Arkansas' biggest export is aerospace and related aircraft parts, and logging is at an all-time high.

Arizona

Taken in 2008. A group of construction workers raising a wood frame for a house located in Arizona.
Deep Desert Photography / Shutterstock
As Arizona's population grows, workers without bachelor's degrees will be able to count on plenty of construction jobs.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $55,000

Arizona was hit hard by the recession, but the state’s current outlook is good. In 2017, Arizona was among the top 10 states for job creation, new people moving in, and population growth, reports AZ Central.

According to the Georgetown study, the state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); manufacturing (paying $59,000); and sales (paying $58,000).

Arizona State University expects the state to add a net of around 69,000 jobs in 2018, and another 85,000 in 2019.

Education, health services and construction are among the industries adding the most blue-collar and skilled-services positions not requiring four-year degrees, says the University of Arizona’s Economic and Business Research Center.

Alaska

Homer, Alaska- June 10, 2018: Local Fisherman weighs 69 pound Halibut with other smaller halibut hanging behind it. Homer is the self proclaimed halibut capital of the world.
Amanda Wayne / Shutterstock
Fishing is a huge indusry in Alaska.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $62,000

Lower oil prices have been holding back Alaska’s economic growth. Few jobs are being added, causing Moody’s to predict Alaska will have the worst employment outlook in the nation over the next five years.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in natural resources (paying a median of $83,000); construction and extraction (paying $73,000); and management (paying $72,000).

With unemployment high, Alaska’s net migration out of the state is second-worst in the country, just after Illinois.

The state's top industries are petroleum; its $1.8 billion tourism sector; and its huge fishing industry.

Alabama

MONTGOMERY, AL-CIRCA JANUARY 2015: Hyundai Motors is now assembling both the Elantra and Sonata passenger cars at its huge Alabama plant.
James R. Martin / Shutterstock
Alabama is strong in auto manufacturing.

Median pay for non-degree workers: $56,000

Alabama was historically known for coal mining and steel and iron production, but it has come a long way! State officials report new investment is creating aerospace jobs, and that Alabama’s emerging biotech industry is gaining ground.

The state's best jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree are in management (paying a median of $65,000); transportation and utilities ($61,000); installation, maintenance and repair ($59,000); and manufacturing ($58,000).

Alabama is strong in automotive manufacturing, with plants that assemble cars for Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai. Its second-biggest export is chemicals.

But the state has not yet recovered fully from the Great Recession, and the governor is concerned that new tariffs could destroy 4,000 jobs in Alabama's fragile economy.

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