July 6, 2011

Jobs for High School Grads

In general I think that a good college education is the best route to getting a good job.   But college isn't for everyone.   What if for one reason or another you don't go to college, then what kind of jobs should you pursue?

Here is a list of what I'd consider to be decent jobs / careers for individuals with high school diplomas but without college degrees (in no particular order):

Electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc.
Elevator installer, repairer
Waiter/ waitress
Truck drivers, UPS driver, taxi drivers, etc.
Railroad workers
Casino dealer
Postal workers
Flight attendant
Real Estate agent
Auto mechanic, auto body repair
Meter reader
Insurance claim clerk
Business owner

See the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook for details on wages and employment outlook for these and other jobs.

Jobs on this list may start out with relatively low pay, but all should offer the chance to make an OK wage at least after you have some experience. In any of the fields listed you can also potentially work up to a manager or supervisor role and then earn even higher wages.  

In some cases a few of these jobs might require some college at least in some areas.  For example police and firefighters sometimes require some college.    Certain jobs on the list may require apprenticeship training which may include some community college courses like Electrician for example.   Some of the jobs may be competitive and hard to get.   Jobs like waiter, casino dealer, salesperson and realtor would all have variable wages that are based on tips or commissions.   You could make very little money or pretty good wages depending on how much tips or commissions you get.

I have business owner on the list.  Of course starting your own business doesn't require a college degree but being a business owner isn't suited for everyone and generally requires some start up funding.  Still there is a lot of opportunity in owning your own business.

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