Top 32 best paying jobs without a high school diploma

Top 32 best paying jobs without a high school diploma

Top 32 best paying jobs without a high school diploma

32 Jobs You Can Get Without a High School Diploma

The Indeed Editorial Team is a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts who use Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

To find the best job opportunities without a high school diploma, research job positions and their education requirements. Skill assessment and available job options will help you find a job with decent pay.

Although most of these jobs can be acquired by obtaining the necessary skills instead of earning your diploma, you may need to complete additional training or earn industry certifications to improve your employability. In this article, explore 16 jobs you can pursue with very little formal education along with their primary duties and salary expectations.

Can I get a high-paying job without a high school diploma?

Many jobs that pay well do not require the applicant to have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and instead rely on work experience. These jobs are available across industries and can provide opportunities for those without a high school diploma.

A candidate without a high school diploma will enter the workforce in an entry-level capacity. They will learn the on-the-job skills required for the position. Once an employee learns all the skills needed for the job, they will have opportunities to advance their career. Jobs that require more experience and specialized skills tend to pay more.

Jobs that do not require a high school diploma can still be a stepping stone in your career. These jobs can provide you with valuable work experience and help you develop new skills. As your skill set grows and you gain more work experience, you can begin to achieve your long-term career goals.

What fields should I apply in?

Some career fields that offer employment without a high school diploma include:

  • Restaurant service
  • Construction
  • Delivery
  • Automotive maintenance
  • Customer service

Career options are available for those without formal high school diplomas. However, it is important to pay attention to job postings to ensure qualification and requirements are met before applying. Creating a personal SWOT analysis may also be helpful in identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will narrow the job search to only those positions that best utilize your individual skill set.

Jobs that pay well without a high school diploma

The following list provides an overview of a variety of job options for someone who does not have a high school diploma. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, please click on each salary link below:

1. Packer

National average salary: $10.24 per hour

Primary duties:

As a packer, you are responsible for reviewing the products needed for an order that is scheduled to be shipped out. You will then find and pack the order into the appropriate container(s) to protect them from breaking or getting ruined during transport. You are also in charge of labeling the packages with the correct outgoing address and organizing packages in preparation for shipment.

3. Warehouse worker

National average salary: $12.92 per hour

Primary duties:

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A warehouse worker is responsible for loading and unloading materials from trucks, taking inventory of products, and adhering to a schedule to organize stock.

4. Security guard

National average salary: $13.28 per hour

Primary duties:

Security guards are responsible for keeping a property safe from potential criminals. They do this by completing routine checks of the property, identifying weak areas that could be broken into, and responding to potentially dangerous situations. Security guards might also be tasked with locking and unlocking a property each day.

5. Telemarketer

National average salary: $13.42 per hour

Primary duties:

A telemarketer is employed in a call center as part of the sales team. They contact customers that their company has acquired and deliver sales pitches for products. They might also be employed to help gather donations for a charity.

6. Receptionist

National average salary: $13.53 per hour

Primary duties:

Almost every company employs a receptionist who serves as the first point of contact with prospective clients. Receptionists answer calls, complete data entry, schedule appointments, organize files, and perform other clerical duties as needed.

7. Gardener

National average salary: $14.08 per hour

Primary duties:

A gardener can work for a municipality, a public department or a private property owner, taking care of horticultural needs to ensure the exterior of a building looks aesthetically pleasing. They might also be responsible for watering and maintaining plant life at shopping centers or parks.

8. Forklift operator

National average salary: $14.89 per hour

Primary duties:

A forklift operator is needed to operate forklifts and other heavy machinery in factories, warehouses, construction sites and manufacturing plants. This job requires good coordination skills to maneuver the forklift safely. A forklift operator uses their knowledge of machinery to lift heavy objects and transport them to vehicles or different areas of a property.

9. Restaurant manager

National average salary: $15.12 per hour

Primary duties:

A restaurant manager does not require a formal education but it is beneficial for this profession. Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing the productivity of a restaurant and making sure that the restaurant staff provide an enjoyable experience to guests. Individuals in this position might be tasked with recording food and equipment inventory, working with kitchen staff on menu items and handling any guest complaints.

10. Construction worker

National average salary: $16.32 per hour

Primary duties:

A construction worker is employed by a construction company and assigned to perform contractual jobs. Their job responsibilities are diverse and depend on the project location. They might be tasked with unloading building materials, pouring cement, participating in alternating traffic patterns, assembling scaffolding, transporting materials or operating heavy machinery to aid in the construction process.

11. Welder

National average salary: $17.94 per hour

Primary duties:

A welder is responsible for fusing metal components as part of a construction company. This work is necessary for the support of buildings, bridges, ships, and other types of infrastructure. In some cases, welders may also be responsible for repairing damage to metal components of infrastructure.

12. Truck driver

National average salary: $20.52 per hour

Primary duties:

As a truck driver, you will transport goods from a manufacturing point to its desired location. This profession requires driving for extended periods of time and delivering goods on time. To become a certified truck driver, you will need to complete a company’s required training and possess a valid driver’s license.

13. Carpenter

National average salary: $20.70 per hour

Primary duties:

As a carpenter, you can be self-employed or work in construction. Your craft can be used in a vast number of ways – from working on the wooden structural foundations for houses and public buildings, to being artistic and creating chairs, tables, kitchen cabinets and decorative furniture items for sale.

14. Automation technician

National average salary: $22.87 per hour

Primary duties:

An automation technician job may require a high school diploma, but an equivalent certification that is specific to the job is also acceptable. Automation technicians are mainly employed in manufacturing facilities. They specialize in making sure that the automatic machinery being used to produce a product is functioning efficiently. They perform quality checks and run diagnostic tests to see if the machinery is producing the amount it is expected to at a given time. If there is a problem, automation technicians are responsible for repairing the machinery.

15. Diesel mechanic

National average salary: $23.24 per hour

Primary duties:

Diesel mechanics work specifically with transportation that uses diesel fuel instead of gasoline. They must inspect and diagnose any flaws in the mechanical functions of a vehicle that could violate pollution regulations. They also have to repair and replace engine parts to make sure the vehicle is up to code.

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16. Musician

National average salary: $32.42 per hour

Primary duties:

A musician can further their education by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, but it is not required. If the musician is skilled in a particular instrument, they can find work in a variety of settings such as theater companies, bands, orchestras, or offering private lessons to those who want to learn the instrument.

17. Barista

National average salary: $13.73 per hour

Primary duties:

A barista is responsible for preparing and serving coffee, tea, and other food items such as sandwiches, muffins, and cookies. They also handle customer service and keep the restaurant clean. On-the-job training is provided.

18. Personal shopper

National average salary: $13.94 per hour

Primary duties:

As a personal shopper, you will provide advice, guidance and buying services to customers. You will have advanced knowledge of products, trends and services, and be able to counsel the customer during the buying process. Typical duties include communicating with clients to determine what they’re looking for, providing knowledge of the best products to purchase, processing orders and assisting with exchanges or returns. This job requires creativity and excellent communication and customer service skills.

19. Custodian

National average salary: $14.16 per hour

Primary duties:

Custodians play an important role in ensuring that office buildings, schools, churches and sports parks are kept clean. Their responsibilities include picking up garbage, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning and stocking bathrooms and cleaning windows. In addition, they are responsible for taking care of minor building maintenance and any necessary repairs. Training is provided.

20. Housekeeper

National average salary: $14.29 per hour

Primary duties:

Housekeepers are responsible for cleaning office buildings, hotels and hospitals. This includes tasks such as replacing bedding, cleaning rooms and bathrooms, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, replacing toiletries and making beds. No formal education is required, though on-the-job training may be necessary.

21. Server

National average salary: $15.21 per hour, plus $100 in tips per day

Primary duties:

Servers receive customer orders, answer questions about menu items, sell food and drinks, process payments, and relay orders to kitchen staff. A server provides outstanding customer service and helps keep the restaurant running smoothly. Training is required as part of the job.

22. Customer support representative

National average salary: $16.40 per hour

Primary duties:

Customer support representatives are responsible for assisting customers with questions, providing information about products and services, accepting orders, processing returns, and handling complaints. This role focuses on helping the customer with all aspects of their purchase and ensuring their satisfaction. This job requires excellent communication skills.

23. Butcher

National average salary: $16.54 per hour

Primary duties:

Butchers cut and prepare meats for sale. They clean and maintain tools and equipment, and weigh, package, price and display products. A butcher can be employed in a standalone shop or through a grocery store. No formal education is required; however, extensive training is needed to learn how to prepare and cut meat safely and sanitarily.

24. Shuttle driver

National average salary: $16.88 per hour

Primary duties:

Shuttle drivers are responsible for transporting passengers and luggage along a predetermined route. They may pick passengers up at a hotel and drive them to the airport and vice versa. This job requires safe driving practices, the ability to memorize a route, organization and punctuality. Additionally, shuttle drivers should be courteous and friendly toward passengers and assist with luggage. Training is provided, though drivers need a CDL permit and sometimes a passenger endorsement on their licenses.

25. Landscaper

National average salary: $16.90 per hour

Primary duties:

A landscaper is responsible for plant growth, cleaning outdoor facilities, and trimming overgrown plants in gardens, parks, and other landscapes. Landscapers may work for private companies or as city or state employees. Although no formal education is required, landscapers should enjoy working outside.

26. Dog walker

National average salary: $17.13 per hour

Primary duties:

As a professional dog walker, you will be responsible for taking dogs outside for walks and playing with them. You may also be required to feed and water the dogs, as well as take them out afterward. You may have several clients at once or work for an agency. To be successful in this role, you should be comfortable handling and caring for different breeds of dogs. Having experience around animals is beneficial for this job.

27. Delivery driver

National average salary: $17.68 per hour

Primary duties:

Delivery drivers are responsible for picking up and dropping off a wide range of items according to their assigned routes and schedules. This may include transporting items to businesses or individual homes. Drivers must ensure that the order is correct and that they have the right address for delivery. Skills needed for this position include organization, time management, safe driving and teamwork.

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28. Nanny

National average salary: $20.97 per hour

Primary duties:

Nannies provide in-home child care, typically for children under age five. They may also be responsible for light housekeeping tasks related to the care of the children they are supervising. A nanny typically works long hours, often including evenings and weekends, and may live in or out of the home of the family they work for. A successful nanny is patient, reliable, and good at multitasking. Previous experience in child care is beneficial but not required.

29. Automotive technician

National average salary: $23.01 per hour

Primary duties:

As an automotive technician, you will be responsible for repairing and providing preventive maintenance to vehicles. This will involve emissions inspections and diagnostic testing of vehicles, as well as replacing any damaged or worn components. You will work on all parts of the vehicle, including the brakes, engine, steering and electrical systems. This job requires on-the-job training. However, technicians should have some knowledge of vehicle engines and other parts, and prior automotive experience is beneficial.

30. Care taker

Average Annual Salary: $23,904

The term caretaker encompasses a wide range of positions, from working with children to working with the elderly or disabled individuals. People working in this role may work at their client’s residency or a group home.

Some typical caretaker responsibilities include monitoring activities, preparing meals, and handling medications.

While no formal education is required for these positions, having experience taking care of people is a plus. Additionally, certain positions may require you to take medical tests and other exams.

31. Photographer

Average Annual Salary: $49,000

Photographers have an eye for aesthetics and can create a well-composed picture. They typically work for a company or client and will take photoshoots for a variety of reasons and special occasions.

Though many companies require some photographers to have a high school diploma or college degree, neither is a requirement to get into the field. Apprenticeships and internships can also provide worthwhile experience and industry knowledge.

32. Florist
Average Annual Salary: $48,525

Most often, florists work in either a grocery store or at a specific flower shop. This job entails cutting and selling flowers to customers, as well as designing arrangements for weddings, funerals, and holidays. Experience taking care of flowers and other plants is preferred by employers.


What jobs make a lot of money without a lot of school?

The 10 highest-paying jobs you can get without a college degree all pay more than $79,000Transportation, storage, and distribution managers.Nuclear power reactor operators. … First-line supervisors of police and detectives. … Power distributors and dispatchers. … Commercial pilots. … Detectives and criminal investigators. … The 10 highest-paying jobs you can get without a college › 2019/04/24 › the-10-highest-paying-jobs-you-can-get-wi…About Featured Snippets

What is the highest paid job without qualifications?

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:Patrol Officer.Executive Assistant.Sales Representative.Flight Attendant.Electrician.Plumber.Wind Turbine Technician.Highest Paying Jobs Without A Degree – US News › Money › Careers › Best JobsAbout Featured Snippets

What’s the highest paying job without a highschool diploma?

What jobs can I get without a high school diploma?Barista. National average salary: $13.73 per hour. … Personal shopper. National average salary: $13.94 per hour. … Custodian. National average salary: $14.16 per hour. … Housekeeper. … Server. … Security guard. … Florist. … Customer support representative.17 No High School Diploma Jobs That Pay Well | › Career Guide › Finding a jobAbout Featured Snippets

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