14 Good Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

CareerCast.com releases its list of best jobs for high school grads. As tough as the labor market is, college grads still have an easier time than those with only a high school degree. In February, college graduates had an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent -- compared to a staggering 11 percent for those with only a high school diploma. Still, a new study released Tuesday shows that there are some good careers out there for those who lack a four-year degree.

CareerCast.com, the job-portal site, compiled a list of 14 good careers that require only a high school degree (though some require additional training). The site used a variety of criteria to assess the quality of the careers, including salary, how physically demanding the positions are, and emotional factors such as the fields' competitiveness, potential hazards and stress. Those with the lowest score received the highest ranking. CareerCast.com also looked at the potential income and employment growth for the decade ending in 2020, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, the 14 jobs for high school grads offer an average median salary of $41,307, which means the group is in line with the overall average salary for all Americans. The highest paying job on the list offers a median salary of $77,000 a year. But several of the careers on Careercast's list offer incomes of around $20,000.

More: 10 Things HR Won't Tell You About Your Resume


The list includes careers that have long been popular trades for Americans who don't attend college. But Careercast also identified tech positions that are in high demand, and often don't require a degree, just skill. Still, expect to be paid less without a college degree. "Business owners don't always want to pay market rate if you don't have a degree," Sol Hershkowitz, of New York-based Viasoft.com, told CareerCast, according to its news release.

Check out CareerCast.com's list of "14 Great Jobs Without a College Degree":

1. Administrative/executive assistant
Jobs-rated rank: 75.
Median salary: $34,660.
Job growth: 12 percent.

2. Automobile body repairer
Jobs-rated rank: 77.
Median salary: $34,660.
Job growth: 17 percent.

3. Bookkeeper
Jobs-rated rank: 71.
Median salary: $34,040.
Job growth: 14 percent.

4. Communications equipment mechanic
Jobs-rated rank: 84.
Median salary: $54,710.
Job growth: 15 percent.

5. Electrician
Jobs-rated rank: 76.
Median salary: $48,250.
Job growth: 23 percent.

6. Glazier
Jobs-rated rank: 59.
Median salary: $36,640.
Job growth: 42 percent.

7. Hair stylist
Jobs-rated rank: 83.
Median salary: $22,500.
Job growth: 14 percent.

8. Industrial machine repairer
Jobs-rated rank: 44.
Median salary: $44,160.
Job growth: 19 percent.

9. Paralegal assistant
Jobs-rated rank: 41.
Median Salary: $46,680.
Job Growth: 18 percent.

10. Pest control worker
Jobs-rated rank: 95.
Median salary: $30,340.
Job growth: 24 percent.

11. Plumber
Jobs-rated rank: 66.
Median salary: $46,660.
Job growth: 26 percent.

12. Receptionist
Jobs-rated rank: 86.
Median salary: $25,240.
Job growth: 24 percent.

13. Skincare specialist
Jobs-rated rank: 43.
Median salary: $28,920.
Job growth: 25 percent.

14. Web developer
Jobs-rated rank: 24.
Median salary: $75,660.
Job growth: 22 percent.


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8 Comments

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Troy Allen

I came out of the navy as enlisted.....I make over 100k a yr base pay. It's all how you carry yourself....and your work ethic.....that means more than a degree.

April 16 2014 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ObiaMan

Yall are right about the trucking industry. I was talking to a grandson today about jobs. Hes 14. Truck driving came up. Lots of jobs driving all kinds of vehicles and in lots of fifferent types of driving opportunities. Mentioned the Army has the best driving school in the world.

February 12 2014 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bunkie

The main ingredient, of an employee, is his/her work ethic. In the U.S. we've destroyed this ingredient, by letting freinds and relatives, get the jobs, not hiring the best for the job. We DON"T NEED Human Resource departments. If I have a Foreman or Supervisor , that is responsible for getting the job done in time, within budget, I can at least let him hire his own people. Each applicant must be given a test, and pass, the specific test for the job. In this society, DRUG TESTING is a must, especially in government positions.
In dealing with many top corporations, I have found the greatest use of illegal drugs, in top management. This is because, many in top managemenr, are there because of freinds and relatives, and are not bright enough to do their job. Remember: the difference between Difficult and Easy, If you know what you are doin, its Easy, if not, its Difficult, or Impossible. For over 40 years, I ran Machinery repair businesses, My top peope could make over $250k, depending on how much they wanted or were capable, of working.
We did have engineers, that left engineering, to make more. Many were scared to get their hands dirty. They didn't make it.

May 22 2013 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Ed

ad Realtor to the list

May 22 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gabbibasah

I'm a 21 year old sales rep who got nothing but my GED and I make more than all of these jobs.

May 22 2013 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruthie

What the !@#$ A receptionist 25k, hair stylist 22k. I thought it said good jobs.

May 22 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tcdesalvo

Funny that HuffPost left out a job begging for people. There is a constant shortage of Truck Drivers. Open seats around the country.

May 22 2013 at 6:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to tcdesalvo's comment
Mr. Ed

they just wrote down the first 10 jobs in their office they saw

May 22 2013 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kooch

I was just thinking the same thing. I'm a retired truck driver . I retired at 55. I really enjoyed my job but knew when it was time to let a younger generation take over. I highly encourage women to get into driving. Besides the trucking industry is mgetting into automatic trucks. Makes for an easier transition from car to truck. I hear its ok. I chose not to drive an auto. I taught at a community college. I think their may even be assistance for those who qualify. Good luck and stay safe on the road.

May 23 2013 at 5:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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