College isn’t for everyone.
But not going to college doesn’t mean you can’t get a good job.
Many people work in satisfying and even high-paying jobs you can get with a high school diploma.
Table of Contents
- Jobs You Can Get with a High School Diploma
- 1. Plumber
- 2. Licensed Practical Nurse and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
- 3. Massage Therapist
- 4. Sales Representative
- 5. Elevator Installers and Repairers
- 6. Physical Therapist Aide
- 7. Maintenance and Repair Worker
- 8. Real Estate Brokers
- 9. Wind Turbine Technician
- 10. Locomotive Engineers
- Ready to Work?
Jobs You Can Get with a High School Diploma
We’ll take a look at ten jobs below that don’t require you to attend four years of college.
For several of them, all you’ll need to qualify for additional training is your high school diploma. If you don’t have it immediately on hand, learn how to get same-day access to it.
Although no college degree is required to become a plumber, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program.
This is usually a paid program offered by unions or businesses and combines classroom instruction with hands-on work. The program lasts four to five years.
Once training is complete, you will be a licensed plumber. You will need to participate in continuing education though to maintain that license.
2. Licensed Practical Nurse and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)
An LPN/LVN offers basic healthcare in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
While registered nurses are required to go to nursing school and attend a four-year college or university, an LPN/LVN must complete a certificate program.
This program usually takes at least a year and includes both classroom instruction as well as clinical work.
You are also required to pass a national exam to attain your license.
3. Massage Therapist
The healthcare industry is finally recognizing the importance and benefits of massage. This is especially the case when treating an ever-aging society.
It is possible to work in the healthcare industry at a hospital or other clinics. But many massage therapists prefer to work at fitness centers, hotels, or spas.
You can even work from your home, or travel to clients’ homes or offices.
A 500+ hour postsecondary education program is required to become a certified massage therapist. Training requirements vary from state to state, however.
4. Sales Representative
There will always be salespeople.
Since salespeople work largely on commission, the larger and more expensive the item you’re selling, the more money you stand to make.
In other words, the larger the upfront cost of the item, the bigger your commission. Sales representatives working in wholesale, manufacturing, and technical products can earn a substantial living wage.
Most jobs in sales require no formal training or education beyond the high school level. So if you’re great with people while also being focused and driven, you could be a perfect fit as a sales representative.
5. Elevator Installers and Repairers
If you’ve ever truly considered what goes into riding an elevator every day, you realize how much you depend on the elevator to be safe and secure.
So it’s no wonder that those who install and repair them are paid so well.
Once again, you don’t need to go to college to get this job. But just as with plumbing, you do need to learn the trade through an apprenticeship program most commonly sponsored by the International Union of Elevator Constructors.
These programs typically last four years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction in mathematics, physics, blueprint reading, electrical and electronic theory, and safety.
6. Physical Therapist Aide
Are you interested in physical therapy?
Physical therapist aides provide physical therapists and physical therapy assistants with the support they need to do their jobs.
They generally perform the less-skilled work such as office tasks and sanitizing treatment areas. And though you might receive on-the-job training, you’ll ultimately need to get an associate degree from an accredited program to get your license and certification.
Becoming a physical therapist aide is a terrific stepping stone toward eventually getting more education to become a physical therapist assistant or even a physical therapist.
7. Maintenance and Repair Worker
If you were one of those kids who was always taking things apart and then putting them back together again, then you’re a natural-born fixer.
Fortunately, with your high school diploma, you can make a lucrative career out of this skill.
In some cases, you may be able to go out on your own and establish a name for yourself as a jack of all trades.
Just as with most of the above jobs though, you may be required to complete an apprenticeship first. This is especially crucial if you’ll be involved in any sort of electrical work or dealing with complex machinery.
8. Real Estate Brokers
Being a real estate broker is hard work.
All agents and brokers are required to have high school diplomas. Some have even attained a level of college education to give them an edge when dealing with business, economics, and mathematics.
If you do choose some college, it would be to your advantage. Because of the increasing complexity of the market, agencies are leaning more toward candidates with at least some college education.
In addition, to get your license, you must pass a written examination and complete 60-90 hours of study. You can also expect to receive on-the-job training that lasts 1-3 years.
9. Wind Turbine Technician
With renewable energy being the wave of the future, there will be more and more jobs in this sector.
And if you have no fear of heights, then becoming a wind turbine technician might be just for you.
Turbine technicians inspect and repair wind turbines. That means you’ll be spending ample time up there performing maintenance or troubleshooting the turbine’s electrical, mechanical or hydraulic components and/or replacing or fixing malfunctioning components.
There is some training on the job. But you’ll also need to spend some time studying wind energy technology through a tech program at a community college or vocational school.
10. Locomotive Engineers
With this important job, you’ll be responsible for safely transporting people and property all around the country.
As with every other job on our list, it does require some additional education and training through company programs and on-the-job training.
But once those are complete, you’ll be riding the rails and getting paid well to do it.
Ready to Work?
The above list illustrates just some of the jobs you can get with a high school diploma. There are many more – so don’t limit yourself!
And if you’re currently looking for work, be sure to check out our listing of available jobs!