Have you decided that college is not a good option for you? Here are some jobs that only require a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED), sometimes called a high school equivalency diploma). Some of these occupations require classroom instruction which can take place in high school or at a vocational school. Others require on-the-job-training, which employers provide, instead of classroom instruction. Many of the careers listed here have a favorable outlook over the next several years according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet).
Cashiers total bills, receive money, make change, fill out charge forms, and give receipts at retail stores. There are no educational requirements but employers filling full-time jobs often prefer applicants with high school diplomas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of cashiers to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2016. It will, however, have the second greatest number of job openings through that year.
Short Order Cook
Short order cooks prepare food that is cooked quickly or is served cold. They do not need much education or training to learn their skills on the job. The job outlook for short order cooks is expected to be stable over the next few years.
Cosmetologists perform manicures, cut and style hair, or apply makeup. To work as a hairstylist or cosmetologist, one must be licensed by the state in which he or she wants to work. To become licensed one must have graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school and be at least 16 years old. Some states require graduation from high school while others require as little as an eighth-grade education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.
Human Resources Assistant
Human resources assistants (HR assistants) maintain the personnel records of an organization's employees. Most employers require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Training usually takes place on the job. Employment of HR assistants is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2016.
Occupational Therapist Aide
Occupational therapist aides, working under the supervision of occupational therapists or occupational therapist assistants, prepare materials and equipment used during treatment. They also perform clerical duties. OT aides usually receive most of their training on the job. Employment of occupational therapist aides, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.
Physical Therapist Aide
Physical therapist aides, under the supervision of physical therapists or physical therapist assistants, help make therapy sessions productive. Physical Therapy Aides must have a high school diploma. Most employers provide on-the-job training. Employment of physical therapist aides is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.
Retail salespeople help customers find what they are looking for and try to interest them in buying the merchandise. Although there aren't any formal education requirements for retail salespersons, many employers prefer a high school diploma or its equivalent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in retail sales to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2016. This field will have the greatest number of job openings as well.
To become a travel agent one must have, at the minimum, a high school diploma or the equivalent. Computer skills are becoming more important. One can get specialized training, which addresses this, at some vocational schools, adult education programs, and some colleges. Those who expect to manage or start their own travel agencies will benefit from courses in accounting and business management. Employment of travel agents is expected to change little through 2016 -- no growth or decline predicts the Bureau of Labor Statistics.