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.
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 2010 was $11.98. Employment opportunities for customer service representatives were expected to grow by 18% from 2008 to 2018, reported the BLS (www.bls.gov). Most new opportunities were expected to result from an increased use of online services.
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 2010 was $8.66 for retail sales associates, as reported by Payscale.com. Job opportunities were predicted to grow by eight percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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 2010, $10.57 was the median hourly rate that Payscale.com noted. The BLS anticipated that employment from 2008 and 2018 would grow 19 %, with the reasoning that an increasingly elderly population would increase the demand for more CNAs.
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 2010, PayScale.com recorded $14.26 as the median hourly rate for office managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected an 11% employment increase for office managers in the 2008-2018 decade.
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 average hourly wage in 2010, as listed by Payscale.com, was $13.39. Job opportunities were predicted to grow by 11% between 2008 and 2018, 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 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 an hourly rate of $7.94 in 2010. The predicted employment outlook for cashiers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was slower than most occupations, with only a four percent increase between 2008 and 2018. 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 transport goods from one place to another, but some may also be required to take on sales responsibilities. Such duties are making recommendations to store managers or finding new customers to deliver goods to. The median hourly rate for truck drivers in 2010 was $16.89, noted PayScale.com. According to the BLS, truck drivers could expect a nine percent increase in job opportunities from 2008 to 2018. Approximately 291,900 new jobs were expected to be created.
Bank tellers process customer transactions at banks. Beyond cashing checks, these transactions may include deposits, withdrawals and loan payments. Payscale.com reported a median hourly wage of $10.40 for bank tellers in 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a job opportunity increase of six percent in the 2008-2018 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 six percent between 2008 and 2018; ten percent was the rate for other food service workers. 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. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following earnings:
- Servers - $8.01an hour
- Dishwashers - $8.19 an hour
- Hosts and Hostesses - $8.42 an hour
- Bartenders - $8.54 an hour
- Short-Order Cooks - $19,260 a year
- Restaurant Cooks - $21,990 a year
Enlisted Military Personnel
According to the BLS, 98% of all military recruits in 2008 held a high school diploma. 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 2008 were predicted to hold constant through 2018.
Job titles and duties determine salaries of military personnel. According to PayScale.com, the median salaries for the most popular jobs held by enlisted personnel are:
- Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officer - $34,976
- Electronics Technician - $44,673
- Information Technology Specialist - $52,065
- Intelligence Analyst - $53,165
- Mechanical Engineer - $59,200
- Electrical Engineer - $63,618
- Jet Pilot - $76,199
Related to Top 10 Careers for a High School Grad
- Recently Updated
Anyone who serves in a branch of the military gains useful skills. If you're considering college after military service, you...
Growing Vermont is a student-operated retail store at the University of Vermont. Far from being just another place to grab a...
A recent focus on veteran's issues has led to some overhaul in the Department of Veterans Affairs. One new development is the...
Last month, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into effect a law that allows employers to give veterans hiring...
- Darrin Schultz Talks to Education-Portal.com About Growing Food From Waste
- Brain Food: Myths and Realities
- Explore World Cuisine in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Food Blogs
- Plane Technician Supervisor: Job Duties & Career Requirements
- Senior Design Technician: Job Duties & Requirements
- Animal Massage Therapy Schools and Colleges: How to Choose
- CPA: Summary of How to Become a Certified Public Accountant
- Veterans: Thinking About College? Don't Miss the 2011 Guide to Military Friendly Schools
- Fast Food Worker: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Residential Carpet Installer Career Info
- Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Specialist (MCDST) Career Info
- Digital Editing Professional: Job Description & Career Info