A college degree isn’t a guarantee of a well-paying job, but it can certainly help, as can trading skills that allow you to enter a field like plumbing or electrical. But what can you do if you have a high school diploma (or equivalent) and lack specific skills, experience or certifications? How can you make a decent living without having to put your life on hold and borrow a lot of money to go back to school or get a lot of unpaid experience?
You have options: Here are eight decently paying jobs you can conceivably get today, with just a high school diploma to your name.
If you have basic secretarial and computer skills, you can find work as an administrative assistant, which pays average more than $62,000 annually– but note that some employers Want require a college degree for this type of position, especially at the higher end of the salary scale. The main qualification for these jobs is to be highly organized and detail oriented. There’s a lot of typing, filing, scheduling, and travel arrangements involved, and you’ll need to be comfortable talking to people on the phone and in person.
Sales isn’t for everyone and it’s not an easy job in many ways. But it can be a lucrative work, depending on your personality and the field you enter. The average income of a sales representative in the United States it’s about $60,710. If you are new to sales, you can target “no experiencesales jobs, which may not initially be at the high end of the income bracket. But these types of sales jobs will allow you to gain experience and sharpen your skills, leading to better opportunities in the future, and many don’t require a college degree.
Your average real estate agent averages $50,000 close to $100,000 one year. Each state has its own requirements to become a licensed real estate agent, so you’ll need to do some research, but generally speaking, all you need is a high school diploma or GED and the ability to take pre-license courses and pass an exam. There are costs involved: Courses typically cost a few hundred dollars and can take anywhere from 60 to 100+ hours to complete, the exam will also cost a few hundred dollars, and license activation costs another few hundred. But if you have the time and money, this career is open to you. (If now is a great time to become a real estate the agent is another matter altogether.)
Many flight attendant positions only require you to have a high school diploma (some airlines require a college degree, but not all) and pay an average salary just over $60,000. You can apply for a flight attendant position without any relevant experience or certification, but you will need to complete basic training after becoming an applicant. There are specific flight attendant training programs that you can attend and you will need to be certified by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), although sometimes this is “built-in” into your training stint with an airline.
It’s a wildly dangerous workbut pays decently enough, with an average salary of just over $50,000. While some firefighters require college degrees, many still only require a high school diploma or equivalent. The main requirement for the job is physical fitness – most firefighters’ physical exams are quite difficult. You may also need to obtain Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. You will definitely need to get your own Firefighter Certification 1which you can do by attending a fire academy or by finding a local program, such as at a community college.
There is a national team shortage of bus driverswhich means that many companies are offering sweet bonuses plus an average salary of approx $50,000 a year. All you need is a high school diploma or GED, a clean driving record, and a Class C Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Get your CDL requires trainingbut some companies are so desperate for drivers that they will include CDL training in your employmentit typically requires committing to a certain length of employment with them (usually a year) as a compromise.
Another potentially dangerous job, and certainly not for everyone, but not just police officers get paid quite well (an average salary of over $64,000), they also generally enjoy strong benefits, including robust retirement packages. While there is a ongoing debate As for the educational requirements for police officers, many police departments require only a high school education. If you have it, chances are you can take a law enforcement entrance exam and attend a local police academy program. After graduation, you can start your new career.
The United States Post Office employs more than half a million peopleand the median pay is just over $50,000 (although many postal jobs start much lower and you only reach that level after working for a few years). They also offer a pretty good benefits package. Jobs range from office workers who work with customers; to the postmen who, uh, deliver the mail; to recruiters, machine operators and administrative positions. Many of these jobs only require you to have completed a high school education and to pass an exam.