Copyright

Top 10 Careers for a High School Grad

Individuals with a high school diploma can work in a variety of industries, such as retail, fast food and military. Although these areas do not require formal education, employees usually complete on-the-job training.

View 1 Popular School »

What Are Some Popular Jobs for Graduates with a High School Diploma?

Some of the most popular jobs for high school graduates, according to PayScale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), include customer service representative, retail sales associate, certified nursing assistant, office manager and administrative assistant. Other common positions are cashier, truck driver, bank teller, food service worker and enlisted military personnel. A high school diploma is typically necessary. The job duties, median salary and employment outlook for the mentioned positions are outlined below.

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives work for companies in call centers responding to and resolving customer inquiries and complaints. Some employers may require customer service representatives to sell products and services. According to PayScale.com, the median hourly rate for customer service representatives in March 2014 was $12.00. Employment opportunities for customer service representatives were expected to grow by 13% from 2012 to 2022, reported the BLS (www.bls.gov). Most new opportunities were expected to result from an increased use of online services.

Retail Sales Associates

Retail sales associates sell items, such as cars, clothing and electronics, in addition to helping store patrons find what they're looking for, describing product features, demonstrating product uses and conducting payment transactions. The median hourly rate in March 2014 was $9.00 for retail sales associates, as reported by PayScale.com. Job opportunities were predicted to grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS. Due to a projected increase in human population, retail sales were also expected to rise.

Certified Nursing Assistants

The duties of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) involve helping patients with such tasks as eating, bathing, dressing, walking and getting in and out of bed. Professionals may also clean patients' rooms, take a patient's temperature and check blood pressure rates. In addition to clinical training, state certification requirements must be met. For CNAs in March 2014, $10.00 was the median hourly rate that PayScale.com noted. The BLS anticipated that employment from 2012 and 2022 would grow 21%, with the reasoning that an increasingly elderly population would increase the demand for more CNAs.

Office Managers

Office managers are responsible for making sure day-to-day office operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Specific job tasks may include distributing work assignments and overseeing employees. In March 2014, PayScale.com recorded $41,346 as the median salary for office managers. The BLS expected a 12% employment increase for office managers in the 2012-2022 decade.

Administrative Assistants

Like office managers, administrative assistants ensure the smooth, efficient operations of organizations. Job duties may include planning and scheduling meetings, organizing paperwork, answering phones and managing projects. Some administrative assistants work from home, and they're known as virtual assistants. The median hourly wage in March 2014, as listed by PayScale.com, was $14.00. Job opportunities were predicted to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022, reported the BLS. Most new jobs were expected to be found in various industries, such as education, healthcare and construction, as well as professional, scientific, social and technical service.

Cashiers

Cashiers record and receive customer payments from the sale of goods and services. Forms of payment may include cash or checks and debit, credit and gift cards. PayScale.com reported that cashiers earned a median hourly rate of $8.00 in March 2014. The predicted employment outlook for cashiers by the BLS was slower than most occupations, with only a 3% increase between 2012 and 2022. While retail sales were expected to rise, the need for cashiers was anticipated to decrease due to the popularity of online shopping and in-store technological advancements such as self-checkout counters.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers transport goods from one place to another, but some may also be required to take on sales responsibilities. Such duties may include making recommendations to store managers or finding new customers to deliver goods to. The median hourly rate for truck drivers in March 2014 was $16.00, noted PayScale.com. According to the BLS, truck drivers could expect an 11% increase in job opportunities from 2012 to 2022. Approximately 192,600 new jobs were expected to be created during this decade.

Bank Tellers

Bank tellers process customer transactions at banks. Beyond cashing checks, these transactions may include deposits, withdrawals and loan payments. For March 2014, PayScale.com reported a median hourly wage of $10.00 for bank tellers. The BLS predicted a job opportunity increase of 1% in the 2012-2022 timeframe. The need for bank tellers was likely to arise because of industry growth and openings left by workers changing occupations.

Food Service Workers

Such titles as restaurant and short-order cook, host and hostess, server, bartender and dishwasher are among titles for food service workers. Employers include full-service and fast food restaurants, in addition to other food establishments. Most food service jobs have very little educational requirements and attract a large amount of young workers.

Employment opportunities for cooks and food preparation workers was predicted by the BLS to grow 4% between 2012 and 2022; 9% was the rate for food service workers and servers. Actual growth may vary, however, depending upon the type of establishment an employee works in.

Average salaries of food service workers depend on job titles and duties. In May 2012, the BLS reported the following median earnings per hour:

  • Dishwashers - $8.88
  • Waiters and Waitresses - $8.92
  • Hosts and Hostesses - $8.93
  • Bartenders - $9.09
  • Short-Order Cooks - $9.48
  • Restaurant Cooks - $10.59

Enlisted Military Personnel

Job titles for enlisted military personnel are numerous and include patrol officer, electronics technician, information technology specialist, intelligence analyst, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and pilot. Employment opportunities for active-duty military personnel in 2012 were predicted to hold constant through 2022.

Job titles and duties determine salaries of military personnel. According to PayScale.com, the median salaries for March 2014 for the most popular jobs held by enlisted personnel are:

  • Avionics Technician - $42,450
  • Intelligence Analyst - $54,000
  • Mechanical Engineer - $70,031
  • Electrical Engineer - $71,370
  • Software Engineer - $101,478
Show me popular schools

Related to Top 10 Careers for a High School Grad

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
10 Perfect Majors for Students with Military Experience

Anyone who serves in a branch of the military gains useful skills. If you're considering college after military service, you...

Talking Shop: A Retail Store Transforms a College Curriculum

Growing Vermont is a student-operated retail store at the University of Vermont. Far from being just another place to grab a...

The Military Service Option: Saving College for Later

A recent focus on veteran's issues has led to some overhaul in the Department of Veterans Affairs. One new development is the...

New Washington State Law Aids Military Veterans in Job Market

Last month, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into effect a law that allows employers to give veterans hiring...

May Is National Military Appreciation Month

Popular School

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
    • Architecture
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Business
    • Communications and Journalism
    • Computer Sciences
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Legal
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Medical and Health Professions
    • Physical Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Visual and Performing Arts

Popular Schools