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Best paying jobs for high school diploma only?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I need to start working again soon, part time to start. I am looking into training for a few different things, one of them is a 6 week course to become a nurse's aid. Are there any mamas out there working with just your hs diploma and doing pretty well? Give me some ideas!
post #2 of 30
My husband does well at the phone company. It's a union position. It's NOT fun, but it pays really well & has the most excellent benefits.
post #3 of 30
Anything union, hotels usually start at a good wage, anywhere where you could move up to something like assistant manager easy, overnight positions always pay more.

Also many jobs will train you to do things that will move your title and pay up. Work at a pet grooming place and you could learn to become a groomer, work at a gym and they might put you through their program and you could become a trainer. If you're a cna, many companies offer programs that could help pay for you to be a lvn.
post #4 of 30
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post #5 of 30
Before I got this job, I cleaned houses for a living - I got to where I was making about $20/hour - before taxes and expenses. Problem was, no benefits, no PTO & I couldn't do more than about 5 hours of work a day (Oh.... and MY house was a MESS ) It really got draining after a while - both physically and emotionally, but it was good money for a 19-21 yo single mom.

I actually got this job before I finished my AA, so technically just had a hs diploma. Started out as a temp & worked my way up to managing the A/R department. I'm finishing my BA now & I make $45k. It's not great for this area, but it's better than waitressing! (I've done that, too )

I also did a paper route for a couple months, killer on the car and I'm not a morning person, but it was OK.

My sisters have both done the CNA thing & liked it (depending on where they worked - my middle sister worked in Oncology and it was tough..... and she changed more grown-up's diapers than she cares to recall :yuck: she's says kids should be easy at this point )


What are your interests? That would make a big difference.
post #6 of 30
My husband's a fire alarm dispatcher. He's working on his BS, but does not yet have it. Check out what kind of civil service exams are being offered soon & the requirements.
post #7 of 30
Customer service at a cable TV company is supposed to be pretty decent pay and benefits--plus free cable, if you like that. And they need people at all hours so it can work as a part-time or evening/weekend job.
post #8 of 30
I agree -- housecleaning. You can easily make $20 an hour and advertise for free on Craigslist.

You might also look into the Post Office. My mom used to work at a Remote Encoding Center and made $17/hour. (That's where they send mail that their machines can't read and it has to be processed by hand.)
post #9 of 30
I have a BA, but not currently wanting to work full time and lucky if I'd make $30K with it. So for now I am waitressing. I don't love it, but I've always found it to be lucrative for the time invested. Yesterday I averaged $18 and hour and this area is not necessarily that great for tips and busy restaurants. I live in a state where tipped jobs still make min wage, which makes a big difference compared to other places I've lived making $2hr +tips.

I have friends who have done medical assistant and dental assistant. The earning potential for those positions seem to depend on where you live. My friend dental assisting only ended up making just over min wage in her state and dental benefits.

I guess it depends on how much training you want to invest and if you really want to do whatever you choose. Good luck!
post #10 of 30
I've heard Quick Trip and Starbucks are decent places to work.
post #11 of 30
Before I went to college, I worked in sales and customer service and did well. I seem to recall 13 years ago having a salary in the mid 30's which is more than I now make with a BA & M.Ed.

I also would suggest waitressing, depending on the place you can make good money and work few hours. 6 years ago I did a lunch shift at a place and averaged close to $100 for 5 hours of work plus a free lunch.

Shay
post #12 of 30
Retail ends up paying very well if you have the time to "work your way up". Most speciality store managers (Banana, Gap, Old Navy) make $40-$60K.

Starbucks, etc start at around min. wage but quickly goes up plus they have good bennies.

Waitressing/Bartending/Housekeeping tend to be fastest way to make the most.

Of course if you have the body strippers can make loads but it is not for everyone!
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for all the ideas! Guess I have some pondering to do...
I've waitressed and worked in restaurants before, and I cannot do something like that now. My back is in horrific shape and I would probably wind up paralyzed if I tried carrying heavy trays again, I can barely carry a laundry basket. Its too bad because that can be fun work. My dad suggested taking my civil service exam. I think I will look into that.
post #14 of 30
My dad was a mail carrier before he retired - unionized pay, federal benefits...he did well for himself.
post #15 of 30
I'm a church secretary and make an unbelievable amount of money to answer the phone, do some light desktop publishing, and play on the Internet the majority of the day. I only have my HS diploma.

If you're able to do a certification course, I think medical transcription is probably one of the best-paid professions you can get into without college. Some experienced MTs make $50,000+ a year, and if you work from home, your salary is pretty much up to you, and the sky's the limit, depending on how much work you can get done.
post #16 of 30
Call center. You might need some experience doing customer service already, but call centers are the way to go. It is stressful, but there is usually a way to move off the phone within a year or two. Call centers generally pay really well because the turn-over is so high and they need incentives to keep workers there longer. Again, I repeat, stressful, but if you can stick through it for a year and get the hang of it, you will get promoted to a spot off of the phones. I now work in a correspondence part of customer service answering written and email inquiries- world of a difference.

I am 22 and make a really decent wage for someone with only a high school diploma. You can PM if youd like to know how much. I got my first call center job through a temp agency in San Diego, and when I moved to Seattle, I directly applied for the job I am at now (with a health insurance company). I had good benefits at both companies, paid vacation and sick days, retirement options, etc. Just dont go for an outbound call center, doing collections or sales, that will really drive you crazy. I would look for something in-bound, customer serivce oriented.
post #17 of 30
: The CSRs at my company make decent money and get promoted FAST if they make it to a year. I think the logic is - if you can deal with the CS environment, then you can do ANYTHING. Ironically, I think it's a lot like mothering toddlers - just learn to explain things 10 different ways and not lose your cool when the person you're talking to is acting like a 2 year old
post #18 of 30
Yea, youre telling me.

It can be really difficult, and not for the feint at heart. I just got done working on the phones, and I spoke with Medicare members about their health insurance. You have to be incredibly receptive and able to listen because sometimes their questions arent worded in a way that makes it easy to discern what they are talking about.

But the promotions happened fast at both companies. I was promoted to a level II at my current job within 3 months, and it hasnt even been a year yet and I am off the phones.

At my last job I was offered level II (fancy title that means you make more money) in 8 months, and moved to a different, off the phone department in a year in a half. I cant say its my dream job, by no means, but the flexibility is allowing me to go to school, pay my bills, and live pretty comfortably.
post #19 of 30
Last reply, I promise.

If you live in a fairly large city, www.careerbuilder.com is a really good site to look for jobs. A number of my friends have had success with this site. I have lost faith in monster.com, as they allow a lot of work-from home schemers to post jobs.
post #20 of 30
Try the mortgage industry. I started out as a receptionist for a mortgage broker 10 yrs ago & quickly (w/i a couple of mos) worked my way up to a jr. loan processor, then a sr. loan processor. Five yrs into the biz, I was the lending ops supv. @ a major bank earning $75K a year. This was 5 yrs ago, &, while I've since switched companies & titles, I'm still in the biz. Believe me, this is one of the few industries left where you can earn a lot of $ (as a loan officer, for ex.) w/o higher education. It is highly stressful, though.
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