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Jobs That Don't Require a High School Diploma

Feb 12, 2021

Can You Get a Job Without a GED or Diploma?

Yes, there are jobs you can get without a high school diploma. People who do not have a high school diploma still have plenty of career opportunities available to them across various occupational fields. Most of these jobs require on-the-job training and can be learned over time. Here we'll discuss some jobs for 18-year-olds with no high school diploma as well as older adults that lack the credential.

Job Title Median Annual Wage (2019)* Job Growth (2019-2029)*
Craft Artists $48,760 0%
Construction Workers $36,000 5%
Grounds Maintenance Workers $30,890 10%
Custodians $27,430 4%
Fishing and Hunting Workers $27,180** -8% (Decline)
Agricultural Workers $25,840 1%
Retail Sales Workers $25,440 0%
Petsitters $24,990 22%
Housekeepers $24,850** 0%
Cashiers $23,650 -7% (Decline)
Waitstaff $22,890 4%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **O*NET

What Jobs Can You Get Without a High School Diploma?

There are a number of industries in which you can find careers without high school diploma requirements. These include:

  • Car maintenance and repair
  • Construction companies
  • Customer service
  • Delivery services
  • Restaurant services

Read on for a more in-depth look at specific jobs you can get without a high school diploma.

Craft Artists

Craft artists do not need a formal education and continue to perfect their skills through repetition. Craft artists specialize in creating functional objects and pieces of art, like pottery, jewelry, quilts, furniture and glassware. They may utilize many of the same artistic skills as fine artists to incorporate various color schemes, perspectives and textures into their work. Craft artists usually sell their work online or at craft fairs, but may display some pieces in galleries and other shops.

Construction Workers

There are plenty of available jobs that don't require a high school diploma for construction workers. Construction workers are physical laborers who perform various tasks on construction sites, such as building scaffolding, laying bricks and operating equipment like pneumatic drills and concrete mixers. While there are usually no academic requirements for becoming a construction worker, it is necessary to be physically fit in order to be able to carry out heavy lifting and work on your feet for long hours.

Grounds Maintenance Workers

The majority of grounds maintenance workers are trained on-the-job and do not need a formal education, although some workers may need to obtain a license to apply pesticides or herbicides. These workers may apply those chemicals, as well as mow, water and care for plants and trees on various properties. Some workers specialize in landscaping, groundskeeping or tree trimming to help create safe, healthy outdoor spaces.

Custodian

A custodian is someone who carries out maintenance work and ensures that a building meets a high standard of hygiene and safety. There are plenty of no high school diploma jobs available in this line of work, although if you do not have a diploma, it is certainly a boost for your resumé to have completed a course in occupational health and safety. It is also beneficial to have some proven experience as a handyman or woman, cleaner, or administrative clerk.

Fishing and Hunting Workers

Fishing and hunting workers do not need a formal education and usually learn the trade while on the job. These workers are responsible for tracking and capturing different kinds of animals, which are then used for food, decorations and other purposes. Fishermen specialize in tracking schools of fish or other desirable sea creatures using special equipment on their boats, and then catching the animals in nets or cages. Hunters and trappers track animals on land and may use traps, snares, guns, bows and other weapons to capture and/or kill the animal.

Agricultural Workers

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma and are trained on-the-job. This group of workers includes job titles like farm and ranch animal farmworkers, agricultural equipment operators and farmworkers or laborers who work in nurseries and greenhouses. They usually work under the direction of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers to perform a wide variety of physical tasks to help maintain and care for farms and other establishments. Depending on their job title, agricultural workers may harvest crops, feed livestock, spray pesticides or fertilizers, herd livestock and operate farming equipment.

Retail Sales Workers

Most retail sales workers do not require a formal education and receive on-the-job training. These workers aim to sell a variety of products to consumers, including cars, electronics, clothing and furniture. They answer any questions that the customer may have about a particular product and make recommendations about what product may best meet the customer's needs. Retail sales workers will also inform customers about any sales and estimate the total cost of their purchases.

Petsitter

If you like spending time with animals, then consider becoming a petsitter. Petsitters usually are not expected to have a high school diploma or GED, but a talent for handling and looking after animals is a basic requirement. As a petsitter, you will ensure your employer's furry companion is fed, clean and exercised while their owner is at work or traveling. You may also have to administer medication to the pet if they suffer from a health issue. A good petsitter is compassionate, organized, and ready to rise to any challenge. If you'd like to land one of the many no-diploma jobs available for petsitters but don't yet have any hands-on experience with animals, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter before beginning your job search.

Housekeeper

Housekeepers perform everyday domestic tasks for their employers, like doing laundry, vacuum cleaning, washing dishes, and changing bedsheets. A formal education is not needed to become a housekeeper, but experience carrying out domestic duties is a must. Some employers may expect their housekeeper to collect their children from school and keep them entertained in the afternoons. For this reason, some experience as an au pair or babysitter can also be useful.

Cashiers

Cashiers do not require a formal education and are trained on-the-job. They may work for a wide array of businesses to handle the financial transactions between the business and the customers for purchases. This requires them to bag purchases after scanning and totaling the cost, and then taking various forms of payment. Cashiers often provide quality customer service by greeting customers, answering questions and processing any necessary exchanges or returns.

Baristas/Wait Staff

Most cafés and restaurants will readily take on hirees with no high school diploma as baristas, waiters and waitresses if they have good interpersonal skills and a willingness to learn on the job. In fact, some of the most accessible no-diploma jobs are in the catering industry, although having some experience is a must for a large number of employers. For those looking to land barista jobs that don't require a GED, it is possible to earn a barista certification without having completed high school.

How Can I Get a Job Without a High School Diploma?

Are you trying to figure out how to find a job with no high school diploma? Securing a job without a high school diploma can be a daunting prospect, but there are many steps you can take to boost your chances of success. The first item to check off your to-do list is choosing an occupational field and honing in on your ideal position within that field. It's important to be realistic without limiting yourself too much. Keep in mind that it is usually only entry-level jobs you can get without a high school diploma if you are new to the profession, but that it is possible to rise up the ranks as you gain experience. For example, someone looking to break into retail may start out as a stockroom assistant, before being promoted to supervisor, and then manager.

When applying for jobs, be sure to tailor your resumé to the relevant position. A classic mistake that job hunters make is sending out applications that are too broad and therefore vague. It's always a good idea to personalize your application by explicitly mentioning skills that are listed as requirements in the job posting. Highlight your hands-on experience - for many jobs, practical skills are far more desirable to employers than academic excellence. Practice your interviewing skills regularly so that you are prepared for any questions a potential employer may throw at you. Staging mock interviews with a friend or family member will help you develop your confidence and teach you how to emphasize your strengths.

If you're struggling to find work, don't give up. There are numerous ways to make your resumé stand out without a high school diploma. Consider pursuing an internship or apprenticeship in order to get your foot in the door of the working world. While most internships and apprenticeships are fixed-term contracts, they can give way to full-time employment if a vacancy opens up within the company you're working for. If not, they are at least a great asset for your resumé. It's also worth considering enrolling in an occupational course, especially one that leads to a credential. Many such courses are available to those who do not have a high school diploma or GED.

Employment agencies can be extremely helpful to those who are having trouble securing work through traditional job-hunting methods. These agencies match you with job openings and employers according to your specific profile and take the tedium out of the job application process. With an employment agency, it is possible to find full-time, part-time, and temporary work.

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