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College dropout? Here are 10 high-paying jobs you can get

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By Laura Woods/GOBankingRates

Planning to look for a more fulfilling, higher-paying job in 2015? If so, you're not alone. Getting a better job is a fairly common New Year's resolution, year after year -- especially lately, when so many Americans are concerned with boosting their income. Many mistakenly believe they need to spend years in school or have a vast amount of work experience under their belt before they can start earning a decent salary; this is simply a misconception.

In fact, there are a number of lucrative jobs out there that don't even require a college degree. If you're ready to reach your earning potential in 2015, the following 10 jobs can help you get there.

Waste disposal personnel

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These professionals collect, treat and dispose of waste materials; they might work in recycling centers, provide remediation services, offer septic pumping or perform other services related to waste removal. The average salary of waste disposal personnel is $25 per hour as of November 2014, according to the BLS, even though the only requirement for the job is typically a high school diploma.

Sommelier

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Turn your passion for wine tasting into a fruitful career. A sommelier works in a restaurant, assisting customers in finding a bottle of wine to complement their meal. Technically, the only requirement to become a sommelier is being at least 21 years of age, but those who enroll in a certificate or diploma program will get better jobs and earn more money.

According to the Court of Master Sommeliers, a sommelier without much experience may earn roughly $28,000 per year, while a Master Sommelier can earn anywhere from $80,000 to $160,000 annually.

Bingo manager

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A bingo manager is responsible for ensuring a company complies with federal and state gaming regulations. They're responsible for the day-to-day activities of the bingo department, ensuring jackpots and payouts are approved and appropriate forms are completed. The only required education for the job is a high school diploma or equivalent. A bingo manager earns an average salary of $59,322 per year as of January 2015, according to Salary.com.

Lodging manager

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The lodging manager runs a hotel, motel or resort. Responsibilities include keeping the property running efficiently and ensuring all guests have everything they need to enjoy a pleasant stay. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum required education for the job. The average lodging manager earns $55,810 per year, according to the BLS.

Massage therapist

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Embark on a new career path that promotes wellness and helps clients feel better in their own skin. A massage therapist works in a spa or clinic, evaluating clients and working to manipulate their muscles to treat injuries and tense areas of the body. Requirements to become a massage therapist vary by state, but typically require enrollment in a post-secondary program offering around 500 hours of classroom training and experience. A massage therapist earns an average salary of $40,400 as of May 2013, according to the BLS.

Insurance agent

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An insurance agent is a sales professional responsible for selling policies to new customers and maintaining existing clients. As an insurance agent, you'll need to be knowledgeable about the different types of policies sold by the company so you can help customers choose the best option for their needs. The minimum required education to become an insurance agent is a high school diploma. The average salary of an insurance agent is $63,610 as of May 2013, according to the BLS.

Equipment operators

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Construction equipment operators, such as pile-drivers, control heavy machinery to construct buildings, bridges and roads. Most workers are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and many are trained on the job. The average annual salary of a construction equipment operator is $40,980, according to the BLS.

Claims adjuster

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When a customer submits a claim to an insurance company, the claims adjuster evaluates the situation to decide whether the company should pay the claim and determines the total amount of compensation to be paid. A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the required education to become an entry-level claims adjuster. The average salary of a claims adjuster is $62,340 as of May 2013, according to the BLS.

Real estate broker

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As a real estate broker, you'll be licensed to run your own business helping clients buy, sell, purchase, and rent residential and commercial properties. Brokers can represent the buyer or seller, helping them to get the best possible deal. A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum required education and you'll need to check with your state for specific licensing requirements. The average salary of a real estate broker is $53,140 per year as of May 2013, according to the BLS.

Telecom technician

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A telecommunications equipment installer and repairer sets up and maintains devices with internet access, a telephone connection or those carrying a communications signal. Some type of post-secondary education is typically required to be eligible for work in the field, such as a certificate or diploma from a local community college, but most employers also provide on-the-job training. A telecom technician earns an average annual salary of $54,530, according to the BLS.

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