Many people fear that, without their high school diploma, job options will be limited. While this holds true for certain professions, it is still possible to find entry-level jobs that do not require you to have a high school diploma or a GED, provided you meet the other job qualifications that the employer is looking for. Identify the skills you possess that can be seen as an asset to employers, and focus on finding jobs in that field.
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service technicians and mechanics do not need to possess high school diplomas. They do, however, have to have vocational training or be willing to conduct on-the-job training so that they learn the skills and knowledge they need for success. Technicians and mechanics work on cars for maintenance, inspection and repair. In this field, you can find a job at a private auto repair shop or work for a large auto dealership in the repair and maintenance department. The BLS states that in May 2008 the median hourly wage for an auto technician or mechanic -- including commission -- was $16.88.
You can secure a job in retail sales without your high school diploma or GED. Retail salespeople assist customers during their shopping experience. Clothing stores, shoe stores, electronic stores and bookstores are all retail options available to you. As a retail salesperson, you help customers find what they need in your store and carry out transactions when they are ready to make a purchase. If you have a particular type of retail industry that interests you, apply for jobs in related stores so that you enjoy your work. You will receive on-the-job training upon hire.
Restaurants will hire you as a server without your high school diploma or any formal education. Serving jobs are typically part-time, and servers rely mainly on tips from their customers, so the shift that you are scheduled to work will determine how much money you make. Busy shifts for restaurants are usually in the evenings and on the weekend. Other jobs related to the food and beverage industry -- that you may qualify for without your high school diploma -- include fast food counter workers, hosts and hostesses, dishwashers and busboys.
Gyms, community recreational centers and private fitness studios hire personal trainers to work with gym members. As a personal trainer, you might be required to obtain certification in fitness to provide certain levels of training instruction, but you do not need to have a high school diploma. Continuing education in various certifications could be a necessary part of the career, especially if you want to teach group workout classes or specialize in an area such as Pilates.
Housekeeping jobs in hotels, spas, community centers, hospitals, airports and other facilities are available even without your high school diploma. These jobs require you to keep things clean and organized, fold linens, do laundry and vacuum. According to the BLS, the top-paying states in the country for housekeeping and maid services are the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New York, Nevada and Massachusetts.