A CV boasting an Ivy League degree or years of work experience with an elite business house is all very well for those who have them.
But what do you do if you are fresh out of school with no work experience and need to find work on the steam of just your high-school diploma and high spirits? The answer is “plenty.”
Many employers out there are ready to give you a well-paying and satisfying job if you have the right attitude and a hard-working nature.
What’s more, along with stability and a decent pay, many of these jobs come with paid on-the-job training that can help you learn skills and go up the career ladder to earn more.
Here’s a look at jobs that don’t require either a degree or work experience.
Some may still ask for an alternative qualification (like a high-school diploma). And of course, having some experience for the role you’re applying to can improve your odds of getting the job.
Nuclear-power reactor operators: Nuclear reactor operators require only a high-school diploma in the US. They do technical and mechanical work around nuclear reactors to earn $94,000 a year. Operators monitor and operate equipment, record data, and are called upon to manage emergencies. About 2,300 operators might be required in a few years at a job growth rate of 10 percent through 2026.
Power distributor and dispatcher: Power distributor and dispatchers in the US manage the distribution of power from generating stations and sub-stations and ensure that distribution lines work smoothly. Although only a high-school diploma is required, there may be some training on the job for a long period. The salary is $83,000 per year and the job growth rate of 4 percent through 2026 is forecast.
Commercial pilot: A job for which you need only a high-school diploma to earn $82,000 a year is commercial pilot. You will be expected to fly commercial planes including private aircraft and helicopters for unscheduled flights including charters and aerial tours. You also require to earn a pilot’s license after completing a course at certified training institutions. The job growth outlook is 4 percent rise through 2027.
Detective/criminal investigator: Some federal agencies and governments require a degree for this job, but many ask only for a high-school diploma. Detectives and investigators collect criminal-case evidence for individuals and the police. Most work on specialized braches such as homicide or fraud. The salary is around $82,000 and the job growth rate through 2027 is 5 percent.
Media and communication equipment worker: These professionals install and maintain audio-visual equipment for individuals and businesses. Only a high-school diploma is required, though if you have any experience in electrical installation and repair, or certification in the field, you will find jobs easier to come by. But you can first find a job and get on-the-job training. The salary? $80,000 a year. A job growth rate of 8 percent is forecast through 2026.
Elevator technician: Elevator installers and repairmen require only a high-school diploma although starting technicians are put through an apprenticeship. They are much-sought-after professionals in the US, and the job growth is expected at 12 percent by 2026 to touch 8,000 technicians. The annual starting salary after training is $79,000.
Power-plant operator: Long-term on-the-job training is provided to new power-plant operators, who go on to earn an annual salary of $77,000. The requirement is only a high-school diploma. A job growth rate of 1 percent is projected till 2026.
Transportation inspector: In the US, transportation inspectors require only a high-school diploma and a medium-period on-the-job training. They earn an average annual salary of $72,000.
Web developer: Web developer is another job that requires no formal training, and job-seekers can learn the trade online. Courses also help web developers refine their skills to earn high salaries in the range of $68,000 to $133,000.
Computer-support technician: This professional is in high demand, and job growth is expected to even rise in the next few years. The median annual salary is $63,000. Although, you may want to earn an associate degree as you move along, it is not an essential requirement for an entry-level position.
Public relations assistant/publicity assistant: If you have good writing skills and are a people’s person, this job may be a perfect fit for you. If you come across as a good candidate, companies will hire and train you so that you come up to their standards. The average salary for the profession is $55,000.
Catering manager: If you don’t mind working weekends and a little late into the night, you can take a look at catering manager jobs, to manage the requirements of big and small events for an annual salary of $54,000.
Costume attendant: If you like to hang around tinsel town, you can become a costume attendant for the screen and stage and earn up to $53,000 a year. The job only requires a high-school diploma and involves selecting costumes and ensuring proper fitting for actors.
Fire-fighter: In the UK, fire-fighters make up to £40,000 a year ($52,000) depending on their rank. Fire station managers, too, earn around the same salary. To get your first job, you need to pass written tests and aptitude tests, besides a health check-up for fitness.
Training/project/sales manager: In the UK, companies across all sectors require training managers to plan and implement programs for their new recruits and also experienced employees. The median national training manager salary in the UK is £37,000 (around $48,000). Similarly, project managers play various roles such as planning, overseeing, budgeting, and documenting to earn £40,000 a year depending on their cities. Sales manager is another avenue if you have IT and leadership skills. Basic salary is usually £18,000 and can go up to £100,000 with experience.
HR assistant: Human resources assistants help in corporate activities including employee recruitment and relations. Often, a high-school diploma is the only requirement in the US, but a candidate who has some customer-facing experience will get a look-in. On the job experience and secretarial skills may help HR assistants go ahead in their careers to become managers. The annual salary can go up to $46,000.
Legal assistant: If you have an eye for detail, excel at writing, and are a good organizer, a legal assistant’s job may be just right for you. Along with senior positions, entry-level positions are also advertised. After you gain experience, you can improve your job level and earnings. You can also become a paralegal. The salary is usually around $46,000.
Administrative assistant: An administrative assistant facilitates the smooth functioning of a company or department, handling paperwork, attending phone calls and other communication, and scheduling meetings for top officials and teams. It is a good position that can teach you how a company works and help you decide to work for a specialized department. The average salary for this position is $41,000.
Medical biller: In the US and some other countries, a medical biller liaisons between hospitals and insurance companies. You may need to attend a three-month course and gain experience in functions you would have to perform on the job. There will be a lot of paperwork, and you may have to sit in front of the computer all day. But it may be worth it at $39,000 annual salary.
Customer-service representative: This job involves acting as a liaison officer between a company and its customers and answering customer questions, solving customer problems, and handling customer emergencies. You need good communication skills and a people-friendly attitude. You may also require to attend a training course before you go out into the field. The average salary in the US is about $37,000.
Sales account representative: This is another job where you natural traits of friendliness and communication skills will help you promote and sell just about any product to not only individual customers but also other businesses. The jobs that are clearly marked “entry-level” are the ones that you should target. Your salary will be around $33,000.
Medical assistant: You can look for a position as medical assistant and work in a doctor’s or a hospital’s office. You will interact with doctors and patients and manage or assist the front office. The average salary is around $33,000.
Veterinary assistant: With only a high school diploma, you can apply for a veterinary assistant’s post, provided you are also physically strong and have computer skills. You may be able to start work at a vet’s clinic or hospital and learn on the job to complete a certification process. Your salary: around $32,000.
Real-estate broker: People starting their career as real-estate agents go on to become real-estate brokers after attending a 60-hour course in the US and getting a broker’s license. The agent salary starts around $30,000 and goes up to $227,000 for brokers. Broker salary depends on the network that they can build and they benefit from return customers.
Police official: Careers in police require only a high-school diploma in the US. Candidates are, however, required to clear a background check and a polygraph test. They are trained at police academies before they are posted. Although a police official’s salary is hardly a 9-5 job, the pay is in the range of $30,000-$80,000. In the UK, police constables start with a salary of around £20,000 and can progress to Sergeant with a salary of £45,000 and Inspector (£50,000).
Library assistant: Brick-and-mortar libraries that stock printed books are still popular in these days of e-book readers and audiobooks, and library assistant jobs are available in many cities. A high-school diploma is adequate for the job that involves organizing books, ordering new books and copies, shelving then, and helping library members. The salary usually starts at around $20,000 and goes up to $43,000.
Among other well-paying jobs that don’t require that you have a degree are insurance-claims examiners ($65,000), auto-insurance appraisers ($62,000), aircraft service technicians ($61,000), executive secretary ($57,410), tool-and die-maker (annual salary $44,000), pharmacy technician ($32,000), and various online jobs such as data entry.
Of course, instead of hunting for jobs, you can become an entrepreneur with a brilliant business idea and a good plan. You will need a lot of drive and the ability to work tirelessly. How successful you become will depend on mostly you alone.