Top 10 Careers for a High School Grad

Individuals with a high school diploma can work in a variety of industries, such as retail, fast food and military. Although these areas do not require formal education, employees usually complete on-the-job training.

Popular Jobs for Graduates with a High School Diploma

Some of the most popular jobs for high school graduates, according to and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), include customer service representative, retail sales associate, certified nursing assistant, office manager and administrative assistant. Other common positions are cashier, truck driver, bank teller, food service worker and enlisted military personnel. Discover the job duties, median salaries and employment outlooks for the mentioned positions.

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives work for companies in call centers responding to and resolving customer inquiries and complaints. Some employers may require customer service representatives to sell products and services. According to, the median hourly rate for customer service representatives in January 2016 was $14.00. Employment opportunities for customer service representatives were expected to grow by 10% from 2014 to 2024, reported the BLS. Most new opportunities were expected to result from an increased use of online services.

Retail Sales Associates

Retail sales associates sell items, such as cars, clothing and electronics, in addition to helping store patrons find what they're looking for, describing product features, demonstrating product uses and conducting payment transactions. The median hourly rate in January 2016 was $9.00 for retail sales associates, as reported by Job opportunities were predicted to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. Due to a projected increase in the human population, retail sales were also expected to rise.

Certified Nursing Assistants

The duties of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) involve helping patients with such tasks as eating, bathing, dressing, walking and getting in and out of bed. Professionals may also clean patients' rooms, take a patient's temperature and check blood pressures. In addition to clinical training, state certification requirements must be met. For CNAs in January 2016, $11.00 was the median hourly rate that noted. The BLS anticipated that employment of nursing assistants from 2014 to 2024 would grow 18%, with the reasoning that an increasingly elderly population would increase the demand for more CNAs.

Office Managers

Office managers are responsible for making sure day-to-day office operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Specific job tasks may include distributing work assignments and overseeing employees. In January 2016, recorded $16.00 as the median hourly salary for office managers. The BLS expected a 8% employment increase for administrative services managers, a group that includes office managers, in the 2014-2024 decade.

Administrative Assistants

Like office managers, administrative assistants ensure the smooth, efficient operations of organizations. Job duties may include planning and scheduling meetings, organizing paperwork, answering phones and managing projects. Some administrative assistants work from home, and they're known as virtual assistants. The median hourly wage for these workers in January 2016, as listed by, was $14.00. Job opportunities for all secretaries and administrative assistants were predicted to grow by 3% between 2014 and 2024, reported the BLS. New jobs were expected to be found in various industries, such as education, healthcare and construction, as well as professional, scientific, social and technical services.


Cashiers record and receive customer payments from the sale of goods and services. Forms of payment may include cash, checks and debit, credit and gift cards. reported that cashiers earned a median hourly wage of $8.00 in January 2016. The predicted employment outlook for cashiers by the BLS was slower than most occupations, with only a 2% increase between 2014 and 2024. While retail sales were expected to rise, the need for cashiers was anticipated to decrease due to the popularity of online shopping and in-store technological advancements, such as self-checkout counters.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers transport goods from one place to another, but some may also be required to take on sales responsibilities. Such duties may include making recommendations to store managers or finding new customers to deliver goods to. The median hourly rate for truck drivers in January 2016 was $17.00, noted According to the BLS, truck drivers could expect a 5% increase in job opportunities from 2014 to 2024. More than 98,000 new jobs were expected to be created during this decade.

Bank Tellers

Bank tellers process customer transactions at banks. Beyond cashing checks, these transactions may include deposits, withdrawals and loan payments. For January 2016, reported a median hourly wage of $10.00 for bank tellers. The BLS predicted a job opportunity descrease of 8% over the 2014-2024 decade. The need for bank tellers was likely to increase because of industry growth and openings left by workers changing occupations.

Food Service Workers

Such titles as restaurant and short-order cook, host and hostess, server, bartender and dishwasher are among the titles for food service workers. Employers include full-service and fast food restaurants, in addition to other food establishments. Most food service jobs have very little educational requirements and attract a large number of young workers.

Employment opportunities for food and beverage service workers were predicted by the BLS to grow 10% between 2014 and 2024.

Salaries of food service workers depend on the job titles and duties. In May 2014, the BLS reported the following median earnings per hour:

  • Dishwashers - $9.03
  • Waiters and Waitresses - $9.01
  • Hosts and Hostesses - $9.00
  • Bartenders - $9.16
  • Short-Order Cooks - $9.71
  • Restaurant Cooks - $10.81

Enlisted Military Personnel

Job titles for enlisted military personnel are numerous and include patrol officer, electronics technician, information technology specialist, intelligence analyst, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and pilot. The salaries and job outlooks for military personnel vary depending on the specific job title.

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