Top Jobs You Can Get With a GED

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Not all good jobs out there require you to have a college degree, or even a high school diploma, to apply. In fact, many excellent and even high paying jobs require only a GED. The GED, or General Education Development certificate, is awarded to individuals who have not graduated from high school but have successfully passed a high school equivalency exam, which in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). A GED indicates to employers that the individual possesses the same minimum required knowledge as an equivalent candidate who completed a traditional high school curriculum. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics survey and Employment Projections program, 39 percent of all jobs in the U.S. require only a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. Another 27 percent do not even require that much which means that folks with a GED have access to better, higher paying jobs. There are 358 jobs designated by the BLS as requiring only a high school diploma or a GED which is more than the number of jobs that require any other level of education. The median annual salary for jobs requiring only a GED in 2013 was $35,580 with the average salaries for many of these jobs far surpassing their medians.

Administrative and Office Work

With a GED and one month or less of training, you can get a job as a loan interviewer, investigating loan applicants’ backgrounds, or as a clerk or receptionist, answering customer inquiries and telephone calls. You can also get work as a postal clerk, ticket agent or loan clerk. With your GED and twelve months or less of training, you can be hired as a court clerk, brokerage clerk, payroll clerk or bookkeeping clerk. Human resources assistants rarely need more than a GED to get hired and receive a salary ranging from $23,602 to $45,591.

Construction

Entry level jobs in construction that only require a GED and for which employers often offer on-the-job training include operators of construction equipment, like pile drivers, offering an average salary in 2014 of $48,020. With a GED and one month or less of training, you can also get a job assisting a tradesman in the construction industry, such as a plumber, pipe layer or electrician by helping to prepare sites and operate equipment. With your GED and 12 months or less of training, you can get a job as a driller, exploring for minerals using explosives, or as an underground roof bolter, installing support bolts in mines. From here, workers can earn apprenticeships for work as brick masons, sheet metal workers, electricians and carpenters.

Oil Industry

The oil and gas industry is replete with job opportunities that require only a GED. For a job as an entry level oilfield worker, for example, no prior experience is required and the employer provides any and all training necessary. Jobs in the oil industry give employees the chance to work outside and travel the globe. The average salary for entry level oilfield workers ranges from $19,000 to $45,000 annually.

Repair, Maintenance and Installation

With your GED and one month or less of training, you can find work as a parking meter collector or a rigger setting up manufacturing plant rigs. With a GED and 12 months or less of training, you can find gainful employment as a small engine mechanic, maintenance worker, automotive glass installer, security alarm installer or bicycle repair person. Over twelve months of training can earn you work as a mechanic servicing industrial machinery and buses and trucks. On-the-job training is also provided for cable television installers and internet installers, who can get started with only a GED and earn a salary ranging from $21,584 to $51,855.

Transportation

Transportation managers are among the highest paid workers in jobs requiring only a GED. Transportation managers bear responsibility for all of a company’s activities relating to or involving transportation. Alternatively, a transportation manager might run all operations for a company in the business of providing transportation services. The median salary for this job was $83,890 in 2013, with a $40.33 median hourly wage. (Storage and distribution managers also, incidentally, only need a GED and earn similarly.)

Other Fields

Jobs with on-the-job training or apprenticeships required after entry, like police officers, realtors, commercial pilots, sommeliers and nuclear power reactor operators, tend to pay more than those requiring no additional training or education and offer more room for advancement. Other higher paying work requiring only a GED, like as a security guard, might also require a criminal background check, an alcohol and drug screening and even a firearms license.

Among the top jobs you can get with only a GED in fields not yet mentioned, also include:

  • Bill collector – as much as $47,898
  • BINGO manager – averages $59,935, but can get as high as $96,019
  • Delivery driver – as much as $46,324
  • Insurance agent or claims adjuster – average $63,730 and $63,500, respectively
  • Lodging manager – average $57,230
  • School bus driver – up to $39,883
  • Waste disposal collector – as much as $59,922