Employment Trends

These Are The Best Jobs for High School Dropouts

best-jobs-for-high-school-dropouts
Written by Kate Lopaze

Not every job listing calls for a college degree, but a vast majority of them do call for a high school diploma. If you don’t have that, it can feel like every job listing is out of your reach. Don’t despair! You have options, even if a diploma or GED isn’t in your near future. It’s all about the strategy, and we’re going to give you strategies you can use to find your opportunities, and some of the best jobs available even without a high school diploma. You can always sign up to receive the jobs that match your skills and goals right here on TheJobNetwork.

First, the prep work. Here are three things you should do as you get started on your job search.

  1. Come up with a plan. Just because you don’t have a diploma doesn’t mean you have to limit your professional goals. What do you like to do? What skills do you already have? What would you like to be doing in 10 years?
  2. Build your skills. Based on what you want to do, what skills will you need to a) get in the door; and b) succeed in that field and nab future opportunities? Try taking an online class to improve your software skills, or learn basic computer skills like coding. Your skills can be your best asset in a job hunt, so it’s important to put as much care and effort into building them as you can.
  3. Trick out your resume. Your resume is your biggest opportunity to frame your professional narrative. Rather than focus on what you don’t have, you can build your resume around what you do have (skills, experience, etc.).  You can also get started with one of our resume templates from our resume library. Resume templates are a great way to get started building your own resume with the right foundation.

Next, the hunt itself. Where should you look, if you didn’t graduate high school? Let’s look at some of the best jobs for high school dropouts with the most potential:

Heavy Truck Driver

The job: While many trucker job openings prefer a high school diploma, the most important elements are the driver’s license (a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL, is a must) and a clean driving record. Without a diploma or GED, you can still enroll in a training program to build the necessary skills and experience to get started.

The pay: Median salary of $40,260 per year, or $19.36 per hour, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need for construction workers is predicted to grow by about 5% by 2024.

Home Health Aide

The job: While this may not be the most glamorous job around, it can be a great way to get into the booming healthcare industry if you have an excellent bedside manner. Home health aides are responsible for visiting patients in their homes and providing help with daily activities like feeding, bathing, taking medicine, and mobility.

The pay: Median salary of $21,920 per year, or $10.54 per hour, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need for home health aides is predicted to grow by about 38% by 2024.

Construction Worker

The job: If you’re good with your hands and can do heavy lifting, construction can be a lucrative career path with a lot of growth opportunity. Construction laborers may work for towns and cities, agencies, or private companies/contractors doing project-based labor.

The pay: Median salary of $30,890 per year, or $14.85 per hour, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need for construction workers is predicted to grow by about 13% by 2024.

Food Service Manager

The job: If you’re willing to put in your time in the food service trenches as an entry-level employee, getting on the managerial track is a solid opportunity for your future. It’s a field that is continually hiring even when others aren’t, in a tough economy.

The pay: Median salary of $48,690 per year, or $23.41 per hour, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need for home health aides is predicted to grow by about 5% by 2024.

Cosmetologist

The job: Who wouldn’t want to help make the world a more attractive place? Cosmetologists (which can include hairdressers and barbers) need to complete an accredited training and licensing program, but in many states you can do this while completing your GED at the same time.

The pay: Median salary of $23,710 per year, or $11.40 per hour, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need for construction workers is predicted to grow by about 13% by 2024.

If you don’t have your diploma, don’t get discouraged. You have options—you just need to make sure you’re looking for the best opportunities that match your skills and your goals. TheJobNetwork is a great place to find the perfect opportunities that match your skills. You can even get the new job opportunities delivered to your email when they get posted, so you would never miss the right job. You can sign up here. Good luck!

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About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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