Best paying jobs for high school diploma only? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-27-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:15 PM
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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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.)
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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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!
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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I've heard Quick Trip and Starbucks are decent places to work.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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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.

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Old 03-28-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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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!

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Old 03-28-2007, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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My dad was a mail carrier before he retired - unionized pay, federal benefits...he did well for himself.
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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: 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
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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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.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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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.

Proud WOHM veggie mom to Alina 7/29/05 & partner, Jackie, since 2001, m/c 1/2009
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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i work in a hospital kitchen (i never finished hs but did do a year of college)
i make a lot an hour.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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If you're interested in computers, IT is a good choice - you can get a starter job at a Help Desk or in an IT call center without much experience.

IT is a good field long-term because there is high pay. But, a lot of jobs have on-call stuff.
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:05 AM
 
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Lots of good ideas here. My husband makes a decent amount of money in the parts department of a car dealership.

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Old 04-01-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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Another idea if your kids go to school would be to be a lunch lady in the district (and then you'd have an in to advocate for better food!) - in our district they get paid decently, and work like 9:30-2, I think.
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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This is VERY dependent on where you live, but I got my real estate license a while ago and did very well with that for a while. Times have changed so I have been doing temp work but I know that in certain areas of the country you can do so well in real estate w/o college instruction (you just need to get certified by taking a test) and usually you can be flexible w/ hours, a big bonus!
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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I think becoming a nurses assistant is a good thing. After you get certified and get a few months training, you can work for an agency. (go to different nursing homes, you don't work for any of them specifically, since you work for a staffing agency) You can make about $15 an hour or so. My best friend has been a CNA for 10 years now. She makes $16 an hour and she works in a nursing home, not for an agency. My dh's friend is a CNA and he works for an agency. He is making $1200 a week! Or if you wanted to work in just one place, many places will pay for you to go to college to become an LPN or an RN. Its back breaking work, but very rewarding mentally. I used to work as a CNA while I was in nursing school. Its great, since nursing is a 24 hour a day job. You can work around your dh's schedule. You get paid more to do evenings or over nights. Good luck in whatever you decide!
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:41 AM
 
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You don't need a high school diploma to do business via e-bay and then you can stay home. It can be very lucrative provided you have a niche.

I agree with Gooey RN, though, that nursing is also an option. It's a two year degree and you can make a LOT with overtime- especially working nights.

She went part-time to nursing school so you could do that while working as a CPN. Something to consider. Of course- being a nurse is hard as eich-ee-double-hockey-stick.

GOOD LUCK!

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:13 PM
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Airport security only takes a high school diploma. You have to do a test for it but it pays pretty well.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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You might want to spend some time looking at the Occupational Outlook Handbook. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ It gives educational requirements and typical incomes for many professions, as well as forecasts of employment stability.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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