Longshoreman load and unload cargo at docks and shipyards using cranes and other heavy machinery. Although longshoremen do not need to have college degrees, they need to be unionized in a harbor workers’ union. Longshoremen work in all kinds of weather condition and need to be in very good physical condition because the job requires manual labor. Although the job starts off at around $20/hour, those with experience can make up to $55 an hour, well above $100,000. Often longshoremen are offered overtime in addition to their regular hours and can therefore get paid much more on top of their already-impressive regular salary.
One reason for the high rate of pay in this profession is the heavy equipment skills required. This is also a physical job that requires you to be in decent shape to perform it. Because they are often involved with the handling of incoming and outgoing freight at ports of entry to our country, you will need to get a TWIC card and experience as a casual worker before joining a union. This would be the ILWU, on the west coast, and the ILA, on the east.
While gaining experience, it is likely you might not work full time. But, once you prove yourself to the local union and become a trusted casual worker, they will offer to certify you. At that point, you become eligible to join the union and gain access to the longer hours that make this profession one of the 6 figure jobs that are available to people without a college degree.