When it comes to looking for stable employment, few people find an even greater difficulty than high school dropouts. Those with higher education have a significantly simpler time looking for work than those with less, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. You might have dropped out of high school and never got a diploma. Perhaps you move to a new country and the educational credentials you carry don't transfer? Regardless, you don't need to let the lack of a high school education cripple your future. There are many jobs out there that employ people without any high school diploma. To help you figure out which career path to take and what options are on the table, here are six job positions where a high school diploma is not a strict requirement.
1. Auto Mechanic
Mechanics, also referred to as service technicians, are trained and certified to inspect, maintain, and fix vehicles of all sorts including sedans, SUVs, and even 8-wheelers. Throughout the years, the job has evolved to incorporate high-tech hardware and software components to make a more accurate diagnosis of vehicles. The average annual pay for a mechanic is $35,600. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for mechanics is expected to expand by 17 percent.
Since the industrial era, welders have played a crucial role in building communities and establishing infrastructures. As a welder, you are trained to infuse metal parts together and doing finishing work in a timely, safe, and efficient manner. The day-to-day tasks range from fabricating and assembling metal structures to repairing and maintaining metal formations and equipment of different sizes. As a welder, your field of work can vary based on your skill level and experience. Different industries, such as shipbuilding, construction, automotive, and manufacturing, are always looking for welders and are more concerned with field training than a high school diploma. Currently, the average annual salary for welders is $38,150.
3. Executive Assistant
If you look at the day-to-day responsibilities that come with an executive assistant position, from routing calls to organizing schedules, you'll notice that a formal education isn't necessarily required to accomplish them. Many companies and entrepreneurs looking for executive assistants may be willing to ignore the standard high school diploma requirement if a candidate has the right skill set, personality, and drive. By 2020, the job market for executive assistants is anticipated to add another 12 percent in available jobs, which is much higher than most job markets. Currently, the average annual pay for executive assistants is $43,700.
4. Restaurant Manager
The food service industry is one of the many industries wherein a traditional high school education doesn't really have much application. Yet while most people go for a job waiting tables or washing dishes, bear in mind that it is completely possible to get a managerial position in the restaurant business even if you're a high school dropout. Candidates who lack the diploma but have solid leadership and communication skills can make upwards of $43,000. While it's one of the highest-paying jobs for high school dropouts, be prepared to work long hours, with holidays being the busiest times for restaurant managers.
5. Web Developer
Upwards of 60 percent of employed web developers consider themselves self-taught, many of which are high school or college dropouts. The great thing about web development or computer science in general is that people can learn as much, if not more, by practicing hands-on with a computer as someone who is taking the traditional four-year route. As a web developer, you'll be working on building and maintaining websites, plugins, and tools that your company uses. You'll be sniffing out bugs from your software products to try to deliver a seamless experience to your customers. Web developers often start with simpler programming languages, like HTML and CSS, and then move on to more complex technologies, like databases and server-side scripting. As a web developer without a diploma, you can make more than $60,000 per year. Employers often look for candidates who have a solid portfolio of side projects deployed.
6. Dog Walker
If you love pets, mainly dogs and cats, you can make your living walking dogs and pet sitting cats. While most companies don't provide insurance and benefits, working as a dog walker does free you from the confines of an office cubicle. It's a good fit for people who are outdoorsy and like meeting new people and dogs. As a walker, the hourly rate varies since some companies charge per hour while others charge per dog you walk. The rate ranges from as little as $6 per dog per half an hour to as much as $30 per hour.