Best Jobs for High School Grads

jobs for high school grads

There are plenty of great jobs available that pay an excellent salary, provide good benefits, and do not require higher education. College isn’t for everyone, but finding the right career without these credentials can be hard. The job market is competitive, so figuring out ways to separate yourself from the pack is important. Typically for higher paying jobs some degree of training or completion of a certificate program is necessary, but it’s usually a cheaper and faster option than attending a four year bachelor’s degree program. Finding a great job with only your high school diploma won’t be easy. You might have to attend multiple job interviews and work at an und­esirable position while you wait. But with hard work and determination, it’s certainly a possibility. Take a look at some of the following jobs—they are excellent career options for those with a high school diploma / GED.

1.)    Sales

Some companies prefer sales associates with a collegiate background, but it’s not always a requirement. Being a quality salesperson requires a charismatic attitude, excellent communication skills, and a motivated personality. Most of the salary is commission-based, although many companies offer a competitive base salary. In sales, you get what you put in. Working extended hours to meet quotas is commonplace. Good sales associates are recognized for their accomplishments. Their success is vital to the overall well-being of the company. Pinning down an average for sales associates is difficult, because it depends on many factors. As an entry-level sales worker, the salary might be lower than you’d expect. It takes time to build a solid client base and expand your sales portfolio. However, in most positions workers make at least $40,000-$50,000 per year or more. Top salespeople can earn significantly more.

2.)    Administrative / Executive Assistant

Administrative and executive assistants are essential because they help reduce the workload of senior management. Projects can get overwhelming, and sometimes a manger’s time is best served in another area. Office assistants have a broad range of responsibilities. They specialize in handling excel-based projects, such as data entry. They file, organize, scan, and fax documents and maintain an orderly work area. Executive assistants have a similar role but they typically report to senior executives and make more money. Many executive assistants started their careers as administrative assistants or receptionists and worked their way up. It’s a great job and the opportunities are plentiful. It helps to have experience, although it’s not a requirement. If you lack experience, consider working for an employment agency. They usually have multiple job opportunities for administrative assistants, and it’s a good way to get your foot in the door at a good company. The average salary for an office assistant is $30,000 per year, but it’s a great way to gain exposure in other areas.

3.)    Truck Driver

In order to become a truck driver, students must complete driving school. It can be an expensive program, but there is a way around this. Many companies offer “student driver” programs, where they will pay for your certifications if you sign on for a few years. It can be a good tradeoff, but you need to be careful if you take this route. Often times these drivers will land over the road positions and will be required to make regular trips across the country. This means a lot of time away from family. Do your research and choose wisely. Truck driving is an excellent career. There are unions, benefits, and the pay is usually good. Overtime isn’t mandatory but it’s very common, and the extra money can really make a difference. The average salary for truck drivers is $40,000 per year, but there is definitely potential to make more. In fact, if you become an owner-operator and purchase your own rig, a six-figure income is a realistic possibility. Trucking is a great career and it will never go away. As long as America exists there will be a need to move freight across the country.

4.)    Auto Mechanic

There are plenty of tech schools that offer programs for automotive techs, and they are usually a good investment. The career matching is usually excellent—companies love to hire fresh graduates because they are cheaper and just as competent. They can do things as simple as rotating tires, changing oil, and performing tune ups. Or, more complex activities, like rebuilding engines or transmissions. The mechanically inclined should definitely consider this career option. The salary will start low, but managers in this field can earn upwards of $30/hr. This is an excellent pay rate for a blue collar position.

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Matthew Welch

Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist, content marketer, blog manager, and sports enthusiast from Boston, MA with a collegiate background in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

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