Career Information for a Degree or Certification in Basic Skills

Basic skills is generally a program that helps an individual attain his or her GED. Continue reading for an overview of the training programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

With certification in basic skills there are many employment options to consider. Some career titles include an orderly, a cook or a general maintenance worker. Additional vocational training is recommended for maintenance workers, and cooks who attend culinary school or complete an apprenticeship may have better job prospects.

Essential Information

Learn how completing a basic skills program that leads to a GED or high school diploma can help you find a job in several fields, including, but not limited to, health care, the culinary arts or general maintenance for buildings, properties and businesses. Many of these fields require a GED or high school diploma, vocational training or on-the-job training. Get the skills necessary to earn your high school diploma or GED so you can get the job that is right for you.

Career Orderlies Cooks General Maintenance Worker
Education Requirements GED/High School diploma recommended* High school diploma recommended, apprenticeship, or culinary school* On the job training or vocational training recommended*
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 11% 4% 6%
Median Salary (2015)* $25,580 $23,100 for restaurant cooks $36,630

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Basic Skills Programs

Not finishing high school can make it very difficult for a person to find a job. Many community college programs offer basic skills programs that teach the basic reading, writing and math skills that can help a person earn a GED or high school diploma. Even if a person is unable or unwilling to earn a GED or to complete high school, additional training in basic skills can increase his or her chances of being able to find employment.


Orderlies assist doctors, nurses and other health care professionals with the care of hospital and nursing home patients, although they may not perform health care services themselves. They transport patients around a health care facility and assist with keeping facilities and equipment clean.


Hospital orderlies may need a high school diploma, especially if they assist with direct patient care services. Typically, they receive their training on the job.

Career and Wage Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for orderlies will increase by 11% between 2014 and 2024, in part due to an expected increase in the number of elderly people requiring hospital or nursing home care. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for orderlies was $25,580 according to the BLS.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts


Cooks prepare food in restaurants, for catering firms, in institutions and in private homes. Many cooks begin their careers serving as assistants in kitchens, preparing food for more experienced cooks and chefs. As cooks gain experience, they can assume more responsibility in the kitchen and may eventually manage other cooks and food workers. Some cooks go on to open their own restaurants or catering businesses or work in people's homes as personal chefs.


Many cooks learn their trade on the job, although formal apprenticeships are also available. Aspiring cooks also have the option of entering culinary school, where they can earn a certificate, diploma or even a degree in culinary arts.

Career and Wage Outlook

The BLS states that the job market for cooks will grow by 4% between 2014 and 2024 and that cooks that receive formal training are likely to have the best chances at getting jobs. The median annual salary for restaurant cooks in May 2015 was $23,100. For that same time, fast food and short order cooks earned slightly less, with median annual salaries of $19,080 and $20,780, respectively.

General Maintenance Worker

Maintenance workers care for properties and buildings, assuming responsibility for keeping them clean and in good condition. A maintenance worker makes sure that building systems, such as furnaces, and machines used during the course of business are in good repair.


Many maintenance workers receive on-the-job training, although they can also complete a formal education program offered at vocational schools or community colleges. Some maintenance workers branch out into general maintenance work after learning a relevant trade, such as plumbing or construction.

Career and Wage Outlook

The BLS predicts average job growth in this field between 2014 and 2024, with an expected 6% growth for maintenance and repair workers. The median annual wage for maintenance workers as of May 2015 was $36,630, according to the BLS.

Orderlies work in hospitals and nursing homes and are expected to experience a job growth rate that's faster than average from 2014 to 2024, due to the aging population. Cooks will see nominal job growth during this same time period and will have better prospects for employment if they have training. General maintenance workers keep buildings and properties clean and ensure the building systems are working properly, and they will see an average rate of job growth from 2014 to 2024.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?