Top Career Options: What is the Best Job for a Highschool Dropout?

For high school dropouts, it can sometimes feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But what if there was a way to not only survive, but thrive, without a diploma? It’s a question that has been asked by countless young people who have made the decision to leave school early, often due to circumstances out of their control.

Luckily, there are several promising career paths that don’t require a high school diploma, and can lead to success and financial stability. From entrepreneurship to trade jobs, there are a variety of avenues that can be explored if traditional education isn’t a viable option.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best jobs for high school dropouts and highlight the skills and characteristics that are important for success in these fields. Whether you’re a young person who has recently dropped out of high school, or you’re an adult who never completed your education, we’ll provide you with the information you need to launch a successful career.

High-paying jobs for high school dropouts

While dropping out of high school is not advisable, it doesn’t mean that individuals who have done so can’t make a significant amount of money in their careers. In fact, there are several high-paying jobs that don’t require a high school diploma, but they do require skill, experience, and an aptitude for learning.

  • Home Health Aide – Home health aides assist individuals who are sick, disabled, or elderly in their daily lives. The job requires compassion, patience, and the ability to perform basic health care tasks. With an average annual salary of $25,000, home health aides are in high demand, and the field is expected to grow by 47% over the next ten years.
  • Freelance Writer – Freelance writing is an excellent career option for people who enjoy writing and have a natural talent for it. Freelance writers can earn an average of $60,000 annually, and there is always a demand for qualified writers in a variety of niches. While a high school degree is not necessary, developing excellent writing skills and a solid portfolio are key to success in this industry.
  • Construction Manager – Construction managers plan and oversee construction projects. With an average annual salary of $93,000, construction managers are well paid, but the job requires experience and knowledge of the construction industry. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are available for those who don’t have a formal degree in construction management.

Apart from the listed careers, there are also many vocational and trade jobs available like electrician, mechanic, and plumber. These jobs may require certification or apprenticeships.

High-paying Jobs for High School DropoutsAverage Annual Salary (USD)Growth Potential
Home Health Aide25,00047%
Freelance Writer60,000N/A
Construction Manager93,00010%

While these jobs may not require high school diplomas, they do require a strong work ethic, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow in your career. The sky’s the limit for ambitious individuals who are willing to work hard and take advantage of opportunities in their chosen industry.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities for High School Dropouts

High school dropouts face a unique challenge when it comes to finding a job. However, there are several entrepreneurial opportunities that allow individuals to create their own business and financial freedom, without the need for a high school diploma.

  • Freelance Writing: Writing is an excellent opportunity for high school dropouts who have a talent for it. Freelance writers can create their own schedule, work from home, and earn a decent income. Sites like Upwork and can help connect writers with businesses and clients in need of content.
  • Handyman or Contractor: Many high school dropouts have valuable skills such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and painting. By becoming a handyman or contractor, individuals can offer these services to clients and create a successful business. Craigslist and Thumbtack are excellent platforms to advertise these services.
  • Social Media Manager: Social media is an essential part of marketing for businesses. High school dropouts who are well-versed in various social media platforms can offer their services as a social media manager. Sites like Hootsuite and Buffer can aid in managing multiple business accounts.

In addition to these entrepreneurial opportunities, there are several other routes to consider, including starting an eCommerce business, becoming a personal trainer, or offering dog-walking services. The key is to identify one’s skills and interests, and apply them to a business idea.

Here is a table showcasing some top entrepreneurial opportunities for high school dropouts:

Entrepreneurial OpportunityDescription
Freelance WritingWrite content for businesses and clients, earn income from home.
Handyman or ContractorOffer services like plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and painting to clients.
Social Media ManagerManage social media accounts for businesses.
eCommerce BusinessSell products via an online store or eCommerce platform.
Personal TrainerOffer fitness training services to clients.
Dog-Walking ServicesOffer dog-walking services to clients.

High school dropouts have plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities available. By identifying their skills and interests, they can choose a business idea that suits them and create their own financial freedom.

Trade careers for high school dropouts

For high school dropouts who are looking for a career that offers good pay and job security, trade careers are an excellent option. Instead of pursuing a traditional college degree, trade careers allow individuals to learn specific skills through hands-on training and apprenticeships. Many trade careers also offer opportunities for advancement and entrepreneurship.

  • Electrician: Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other facilities. The job requires a high level of technical knowledge and the ability to work in a variety of environments. Electricians typically earn a median annual salary of $56,180, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Plumber: Plumbers install and repair pipes and fixtures for water, gas, and other liquids. The job requires physical strength, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work in tight spaces. Plumbers typically earn a median annual salary of $55,160, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Welder: Welders use tools and equipment to join metals and other materials together. The job requires a steady hand, attention to detail, and the ability to read and interpret blueprints and diagrams. Welders typically earn a median annual salary of $42,490, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trade careers offer a multitude of benefits for high school dropouts looking to enter the workforce. These careers often offer on-the-job training and apprenticeships, allowing individuals to gain valuable experience in their chosen field. Additionally, trade careers tend to be in demand, meaning that finding a job is often easier than in other sectors.

If you are interested in pursuing a trade career, there are many resources available to help you get started. Trade schools, technical colleges, and apprenticeship programs can provide the training and education you need to succeed in your chosen field. Additionally, many trade organizations offer networking opportunities and job placement services.

Trade CareerMedian Annual SalaryJob Outlook
Electrician$56,1808% growth
Plumber$55,1604% growth
Welder$42,4903% decline

Overall, trade careers can provide high school dropouts with a path to a successful and satisfying career. With a combination of hard work, training, and dedication, individuals can build a fulfilling career in one of many trade fields.

Military careers for high school dropouts

Joining the military can be an excellent option for high school dropouts. Military service provides a path to gain valuable skills, experience, and education that can lead to a fulfilling career. There are different branches of the military, each with its own specialties and requirements.

  • Army: The Army offers a wide range of jobs, including administrative, technical, and combat roles. Recruits can learn various skills through training and education programs, such as the Army Career Tracker and the College Assistance Program.
  • Navy: The Navy is known for its technical and specialized jobs, such as nuclear engineering, aviation, and submarine operations. The Navy also provides opportunities for education through programs like the Navy College Program and the Naval Academy.
  • Air Force: The Air Force is the branch that focuses on air and space operations, including piloting, maintenance, and intelligence gathering. The Air Force offers education and training programs, like the Community College of the Air Force and the Air Force Institute of Technology.

The military provides great benefits, such as paid training, healthcare, housing, and retirement plans. It can also provide an opportunity to travel, work in diverse environments, and meet different people from all over the world.

Here is a table that shows the basic requirements to join each military branch:

Military BranchAge RequirementEducation RequirementPhysical Fitness Requirement
Army17-34 years oldHigh School Diploma or GEDPass the Army Physical Fitness Test
Navy17-39 years oldHigh School Diploma or GEDPass the Navy Physical Readiness Test
Air Force17-39 years oldHigh School Diploma or GEDPass the Air Force Physical Fitness Test

In conclusion, military service can be a great option for high school dropouts. It provides a path to gain experience, skills, and education that can lead to a fulfilling career. The military offers various opportunities and benefits and can be a life-changing experience for those who choose to serve.

Freelancing as a Career Option for High School Dropouts

Freelancing has become a popular choice for individuals who want to work on their own terms. It is also a great option for high school dropouts who want to start a career without going back to school. Freelancers work as independent contractors with clients who require their services. They have the freedom to choose their assignments, set their own rates, and work from anywhere.

  • Flexible Schedule: High school dropouts who have responsibilities that prevent them from working full-time can benefit from freelancing. Freelancers can work around their schedule, allowing them to take care of their family, pursue other interests, or work part-time jobs. They can also work during their most productive hours, whether that’s early in the morning or late at night.
  • In-Demand Skills: Freelancers are hired based on their skills, not their education or qualifications. High school dropouts who have learned a skill or trade through apprenticeships, workshops, or self-study can use their skills to find work. Some in-demand skills in the freelance industry include web development, graphic design, content writing, social media management, and virtual assistance.
  • No Commute: Freelancing eliminates the need to commute to work. This not only saves time but also saves money on transportation and fuel. Freelancers can work from home, a co-working space, a coffee shop, or any location with an internet connection. This also gives them the freedom to travel and work from anywhere in the world.

While freelancing offers many benefits, it also requires self-discipline, time-management, and business skills. Freelancers need to market themselves, manage their finances, and negotiate contracts. They also need to continuously improve their skills and keep up with industry trends.

Flexible scheduleNo employee benefits
In-demand skillsIrregular income
No commuteSelf-Employment taxes
Work from anywhereRequires self-discipline and time-management skills

Overall, freelancing can be a great career option for high school dropouts who want to work for themselves and have the freedom to choose their assignments, set their own rates, and work from anywhere. It is important to weigh the pros and cons and develop the skills necessary to succeed in the freelance industry.

Apprenticeships for high school dropouts

If you’re a high school dropout, traditional paths to success may not be an option for you. However, there are still several opportunities available, and one of them is through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are programs that allow individuals to learn and gain experience in a particular trade or skill while working alongside experienced professionals. This hands-on learning experience can be an excellent way for high school dropouts to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a particular industry.

  • Apprenticeships in construction: The construction industry is an excellent place for high school dropouts to start an apprenticeship. Many skilled labor positions, such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, offer apprenticeships that provide on-the-job training and classroom instruction. These programs typically last between two to four years, depending on the trade, and can lead to a well-paying career.
  • Apprenticeships in manufacturing: Manufacturing jobs often require specialized skills, such as welding or machine operation. Many manufacturing companies offer apprenticeships to help individuals learn these skills and gain experience. These programs typically involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction, and they can lead to a long-term career in the industry.
  • Apprenticeships in healthcare: The healthcare industry offers several apprenticeship opportunities, such as pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, and medical assistants. These programs typically last between one to two years and provide both on-the-job and classroom instruction. Upon completion, individuals can work in a healthcare setting and continue furthering their education and career in the field.

Apprenticeships provide high school dropouts with a unique opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience in a particular industry. They offer hands-on training, classroom instruction, and the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals. Apprenticeship programs typically last between one to four years, depending on the trade, and can lead to a well-paying and rewarding career.

A great way to find apprenticeship opportunities is to search for programs in your local area. Contacting unions, professional organizations, or local companies directly can also be an excellent place to start your search. Remember that apprenticeships are competitive, so you’ll need to demonstrate a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn, and a genuine interest in the trade or industry.

Benefits of Apprenticeships for High School Dropouts
Hands-on training: Apprenticeships provide practical, real-world experience that classroom learning cannot replicate. High school dropouts can learn a trade or skill while working alongside experienced professionals, giving them a competitive advantage in the job market.
Opportunity to earn money while learning: Apprenticeships are paid positions, which means high school dropouts can earn money while they learn a trade or skill. This can also help in minimizing student loan debt that others have to carry.
Increased job opportunities: Completing an apprenticeship can lead to a long-term career in a particular industry. Apprenticeships provide individuals with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to succeed in a particular trade or skill, which can increase employment opportunities.
Networking opportunities: Working alongside experienced professionals and other apprentices can lead to valuable networking opportunities. Apprenticeships provide individuals with the opportunity to make connections and build relationships with others in the industry, which can lead to future job opportunities.

Overall, the apprenticeship is an excellent option for high school dropouts who are looking to gain valuable skills and knowledge in a particular trade or skill. By completing an apprenticeship, individuals can increase their job opportunities and earn a stable income while pursuing a long-term career in a field they are interested in.

Starting a Small Business as a High School Dropout

High school dropouts may face challenges when it comes to finding steady employment with career advancement opportunities, but starting a small business can provide a path to financial independence and success. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a certain level of self-motivation, creativity, and business acumen, but with dedication and hard work, it is possible to build a thriving business.

  • Identify a Niche: The first step in starting a small business is identifying a gap in the market that you can fill. Look for opportunities in areas that you are passionate about or have expertise in. Research your competition and find a unique selling point that will set your business apart.
  • Create a Business Plan: A solid business plan outlines your vision and the steps you need to take to achieve it. It should include a mission statement, financial projections, marketing strategy, and a detailed plan for product or service delivery.
  • Get Funding: Starting a small business requires capital to cover expenses such as equipment, supplies, and marketing. There are a variety of funding sources available, including loans, grants, and crowdfunding. Research your options and create a budget to determine how much funding you need.

Starting a small business can be an overwhelming task, but there are resources available to assist you. Consider joining a business incubator or seeking advice from a mentor who has experience in your industry. With hard work and dedication, you can turn your small business into a successful venture.

Freedom to make your own decisionsLack of stability and steady income
Opportunity for financial independenceResponsibility for all aspects of the business
Flexibility to work on your own scheduleRisk of failure

Starting a small business can be a rewarding experience for high school dropouts who are willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed. By identifying a niche, creating a solid business plan, and securing funding, you can turn your entrepreneurial vision into a reality.

What is the Best Job for a Highschool Dropout?

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best job options for highschool dropouts:

1) What type of jobs can a highschool dropout get?

There are a variety of jobs available for highschool dropouts, including entry-level positions in industries such as retail, food service, and hospitality. Other options include construction, manufacturing, and transportation.

2) How can a highschool dropout improve their chances of getting a good job?

One option is to obtain a vocational certification or attend a trade school for a specific skill or trade. Additionally, gaining work experience through internships or on-the-job training can also be helpful in securing a better job.

3) Is it possible for a highschool dropout to start their own business?

Absolutely. Starting a business requires determination and ingenuity, but with a solid business plan and hard work, a highschool dropout can succeed as an entrepreneur.

4) Are there any industries that are particularly welcoming to highschool dropouts?

Industries such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation often have a high demand for workers with practical skills and experience, making them an attractive option for highschool dropouts.

5) Can a highschool dropout pursue a career in technology?

While a lack of formal education may initially pose a challenge, there are opportunities for highschool dropouts to work in technology. Self-taught skills and experience in areas such as coding and web design could lead to a career in the field.

6) What types of jobs may require additional education or training?

Some high-paying jobs may require additional education or training beyond high school, such as healthcare and information technology. For these fields, attending a vocational school or community college may be necessary.

7) Should a highschool dropout ever go back to school?

While it is possible to have a successful career without a high school diploma, going back to school and obtaining a GED or pursuing higher education can open up more opportunities and potentially lead to higher-paying jobs.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn about job options for highschool dropouts. Remember, it is important to keep an open mind and explore different industries and career paths. With hard work and determination, anything is possible. Be sure to check back for more informative articles. Thanks for reading!