30 Great Jobs for High School Graduates

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 10, 2022 | Published October 7, 2019

Updated March 10, 2022

Published October 7, 2019


A young person with pink hair ices sugar cookies with pink frosting.

Some high school graduates decide to begin their careers immediately. If you’re motivated to join the workforce without pursuing an advanced degree, you can choose from a wide variety of jobs with your high school degree. Many of these positions provide training on the job with the opportunity to advance, while others require a trade school or certifications to gain specific skills. In this article, we list 30 jobs for high school graduates to consider.

Careers for high school graduates

Here are 30 jobs for a high school graduate to consider. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link below:


1. Choreographer

National average salary: $31,875 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 31%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Choreographers are dance professionals who create dance routines and instruct others on how to perform them. Choreographers are often part of dance productions, musicals, commercials, music videos, television shows and films. Choreographers should have good leadership, speaking and planning skills. If you already have a lot of dance experience, this may be a good career option for you. 

2. Pharmacy technician

National average salary: $36,571 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 4%, slower than average

Primary duties: A pharmacy technician tends the cash register, confirms prescription orders, interacts with customers and answers medical questions. They also prepare and fill prescriptions, manage inventory and restock when necessary, keep the pharmacy organized, and understand safe and effective pharmaceutical practices. They should have skills in mathematics, problem-solving, communication and organization. Some companies will hire a high school graduate and train them, while others may prefer they pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam first.

3. Home health aide

National average salary: $36,946 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 33%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Home health aides administer health care and support to the elderly, ill or people with disabilities, often in the patient’s home. They may work for an agency or a patient’s family. Working as a home health aide requires medical knowledge, time management skills and strong interpersonal skills like compassion and patience. Home health aides often receive on-the-job training or state-approved training through community colleges or vocational schools.


Related: Get a High-Paying Job With No Experience


4. Community health worker

National average salary: $38,392 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 17%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A community health worker is a public health employee who serves as an intermediary between health or social services, government systems and a community. Community health workers often work for nonprofit organizations or government agencies. They should be compassionate and persistent and be comfortable teaching and advocating for others. Community health workers usually receive around 100 hours of on-the-job training.


A young person stands on a sidewalk on a busy city street.

5. Flight attendant

National average salary: $40,858 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 30%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Flight attendants work for private and commercial airlines to keep passengers safe and comfortable. They help passengers get seated, demonstrate how to use the plane’s safety equipment and provide food, drink and other services. They should have customer service skills and be willing to work long hours and travel for extended periods of time. Flight attendants must have at least a high school diploma, and often enroll in flight attendant school instead of going to college. Once hired, you’ll participate in training provided by the airline.

6. Bus driver

National average salary: $43,167 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 25%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A bus driver transports passengers from one destination to another. There are various types of bus drivers, including transit drivers, school bus drivers and tour bus 1drivers. Bus drivers can work for cities, public governments, school boards and private enterprises. Bus drivers must have good people skills and good hand-eye coordination. Bus drivers must earn a commercial driver’s license in order to operate large passenger vehicles. 

7. Server

National average salary: $44,880 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 20%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A server is a food service professional who serves food and beverages to customers in a restaurant setting. Servers can work in fine dining establishments, bistros, family-style restaurants, diners and fast-casual and fast food eateries. A server's duties can depend on the restaurant and the season, and their pay can depend on their customer base and tips. Servers have to undergo food safety training, and they should have problem-solving skills and be detail-oriented.


A cook twirls a pizza crust in a kitchen.

8. Cook

National average salary: $45,163 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 26%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Cooks are food professionals who prepare meals in various settings by following recipes and can include line cooks, prep cooks and short-order cooks. Cooks are usually in entry-level positions and often work in fast-food and fast-casual restaurants and family eateries. If you enjoy cooking, you can start your culinary career as a cook and work your way up to chef positions through training, education and experience. A cook should be clean, detail-oriented and knowledgeable about food safety and kitchen hygiene.


9. Bartender

National average salary: $48,232 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 32%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A bartender makes and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in bars, restaurants, hotels, event venues and other locations. It’s important for bartenders to have good customer service skills as well as patience and the ability to multitask. Bartenders in the U.S. earn an average of $150 in tips per day, on top of their hourly wages. Many states have private bartending schools that will teach you how to set up and clean a bar, how to make drinks, recipes for common orders and customer service skills.


Related: 8 Jobs With No Experience Required

10. Firefighter

National average salary: $47,295 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 8%, as fast as average

Primary duties: A firefighter combats and extinguishes fires and conducts fire prevention training. Firefighters are also trained as first responders or paramedics and provide emergency medical care for the sick or injured. Firefighters receive most of their training at firefighting academies, where they learn how to perform rope rescues, operate emergency vehicles and safely combat a fire. 

11. Baker

National average salary: $49,836 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 10%, as fast as average

Primary duties: Bakers can work in manufacturing facilities, grocery stores, specialty shops and bakeries and in professional kitchens as pastry chefs. While some bakers attend culinary school, many get on-the-job training under an experienced baker. A technical or culinary program that teaches nutrition, baking techniques and sanitation procedures can increase job opportunities.

12. Maintenance technician

National average salary: $50,219 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 20%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A maintenance technician keeps a building or facility safe, tidy and in working order. Maintenance technicians can be full-time or part-time employees and often receive training while on the job. Acquiring certifications can show a potential employer that a maintenance technician has proven expertise in their field. Maintenance technicians should have mechanical and technical skills and be able to do physically demanding tasks.

13. Physical therapy aide

National average salary: $50,514 per year 

Expected job growth by 2030: 32%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A physical therapy aide prepares patients for physical therapy by greeting them and showing them to a treatment room. They also regularly clean treatment rooms and keep them stocked with supplies, educate patients on equipment use, sterilize exercise equipment, manage physical therapy supplies inventory, support physical therapists by responding to their needs and answer patient questions. They should have an interest in the exercise field and a general understanding of anatomy and physiology.

14. Licensed practical nurse/Licensed vocational nurse

National average salary: $54,420 per year for LPNs and $81,778 per year for LVNs

Expected job growth by 2030: 9%, as fast as average

Primary duties: LPNs and LVNs typically work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses, in various medical facilities. There is no significant difference between the roles of licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses do it all, from dressing wounds to delivering medicine, massaging muscles and starting IVs. You'll generally need a year of training, often at a technical school or community college and sometimes a hospital. 

15. Nail technician

National average salary: $55,417 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 33%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A nail technician works in a spa or salon providing a variety of beauty services such as manicures, pedicures, hand massages, nail polishing, nail repair, nail fills and artificial nail applications. They must assess a client’s nail health to determine the best treatment, advise on maintenance, recognize nail disorders and diseases, sterilize equipment, follow safety procedures and stay updated on the latest nail trends. Nail technicians will need to pass a state exam to get their license, and some salons will prefer cosmetology school training as well.

16. Electrician

National average salary: $56,449 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 9%, as fast as average

Primary duties: Electricians are skilled trade professionals who install, maintain and repair electrical equipment. Though attending a trade or vocational-technical school isn't required to become an electrician, it can offer valuable training and greatly aid students in the process of obtaining certification as well as job placement. You’ll have to finish an apprenticeship to become a licensed electrician, either through a trade school, union or a nonunion electrical contractor.

17. Medical secretary

National average salary: $57,370 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: -7%, decline

Primary duties: A medical secretary greets visitors; schedules patient surgeries, consultations and appointments; and answers phone calls and directs them to the appropriate staff member. They also compile medical reports, charts and correspondence, route medical messages such as laboratory results to the correct staff, assist with patient intake forms, maintain a technical library and medical records, and use computer programs such as spreadsheets and word-processing applications. They should have a background in the health or medical field, strong problem-solving abilities and a friendly demeanor.

18. Entry-level police officer

National average salary:  $58,439 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 7%, as fast as average

Primary duties: An entry-level police officer is responsible for maintaining a presence in the community, deterring crime, responding to citizen calls, securing crime scenes, and taking action to secure property and protect citizens. They typically patrol a designated area during an assigned shift in a patrol car, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or on foot. They regularly use deductive reasoning, social perceptiveness, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They should be comfortable with traveling and working irregular schedules.

19. Plumber

National average salary: $58,989 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 5%, slower than average

Primary duties: A plumber works on a variety of fixtures such as sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs. They are responsible for installing, fixing and maintaining pipe systems in homes, schools and businesses. Plumbers must know how to read blueprints, learn how water systems work, use numerous tools such as drills, benders and snakes, and understand types of pipes. Plumbers learn their skills on the job by completing an apprenticeship program, and they will need to pass a test to receive their license.

20. Hairstylist/barber

National average salary: $59,224 per year for hairstylists and $86,359 per year for barbers

Expected job growth by 2030: 19%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Hairstylists and barbers provide full salon services, including cutting, coloring, shampooing, blow-drying and styling hair. Most hair salons and barbershops require stylists to complete a cosmetology, barber or beauty program at a state-approved school. Hairstylists and barbers should have good communication and interpersonal skills.

21. Security officer

National average salary: $60,351 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 15%, faster than average

Primary duties: A security officer works to protect property, people and items in a variety of settings including office buildings, event venues, casinos and retail stores. Security officers often complete professional job training and must pass a background check and apply to receive their official security license. A good security officer has a developed conflict resolution skillset as well as strong communication and surveillance skills.

22. Fitness instructor

National average salary: $62,495 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 39%, much faster than average

Primary duties: Fitness instructors lead groups in exercise, helping them meet their fitness goals. A few types of fitness instructors include instructors who specialize in certain areas of fitness like yoga or Pilates, group instructors who lead classes like Zumba, fitness directors and personalized trainers who work one-on-one with clients. Certifications may or may not be a requirement, depending on where you work.


Related: 15 Great First Jobs for 18-Year-Olds



A person looks inside a red car in a showroom.

23. Car salesperson

National average salary: $63,287 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: -1%, little or no change

Primary duties: A car salesperson assists potential customers in selecting a new vehicle for purchase or lease. They often spend a lot of time studying the vehicles they sell and must also be knowledgeable of various policies related to the car-buying process. Car salespersons need to be personable and friendly, and also be able to persuade and educate customers. 

24. Landscape technician

National average salary: $67,814 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 8%, as fast as average

Primary duties: A landscape technician maintains the health of lawns and gardens in locations such as office buildings, private homes, golf courses and college campuses. Duties may include watering, planting, fertilizing, weeding and mowing. They may also install patios, sprinklers, walkways, outdoor lighting or decks. They should be able to follow instructions from their supervisor when planting shrubs in a specific pattern and be physically fit enough to stand and squat for long periods.

25. Insurance agent

National average salary: $69,459 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 7%, as fast as average

Primary duties: An insurance agent sells insurance policies and usually specialize in a certain type of insurance, such as health, property, disability, casualty or long-term care. Agents who work for direct health and medical insurance carriers tend to make more than other agents. You’ll need to obtain an insurance license for your state which may include classroom training or self-study to reach a minimum number of hours. 

26. Sales representative

National average salary: $69,677 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 5%, slower than average

Primary duties: A sales representative generates sales leads, sets sales goals, negotiates contracts with clients, maintains client records, acts as the point of contact for clients, prepares and submits sales contracts for orders and makes regular reports. They also typically give sales presentations, determine pricing schedules for promotions, negotiations and quotes, and coordinate sales efforts with the marketing department. Sales representatives should have developed communication skills.

27. Solar installer

National average salary: $70,163 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 52%, much faster than average

Primary duties: A solar installer is a professional who installs solar photovoltaic (PV) panels onto a structure's rooftop, which provides electricity from the sun. If you want to become a solar installer, you’ll need to apply to community colleges, trade schools or online classes for solar installation to learn safety skills, system design and general PV knowledge. You’ll also receive on-the-job training once you’re hired. 

An 18-wheeler truck drives on a rural road with a mountainscape in the background.

28. Truck driver

National average salary: $74,130 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 6%, as fast as average

Primary duties: A truck driver typically works for a transportation company that specializes in carrying materials instead of transporting people.. Their responsibilities include safely driving potentially long distances, loading and unloading cargo, monitoring vehicles and equipment for mechanical failures, serving as brand ambassador in interactions with clients and the public, and managing routes to conserve fuel and other company resources. Truck drivers should have excellent driving skills, a Class A driver’s license in good standing, and a current understanding of all transportation laws.

29. Delivery driver

National average salary: $83,176 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 12%, faster than average

Primary duties: A delivery driver transports goods such as food, furniture, supplies and other merchandise to businesses and private homes. Delivery drivers must have excellent driving skills and be able to communicate effectively with customers and manage their time well. 

30. Real estate agent

National average salary: $105,931 per year

Expected job growth by 2030: 4%, slower than average

Primary duties: Real estate agents assist clients with the sale, purchase and rental of residential, commercial and industrial property. While some real estate agents earn associate and bachelor degrees, you can also go straight to earning a license through a real estate association. Each state issues a licensing exam for aspiring real estate agents, which you can take after completing your real estate course. Real estate agents need strong interpersonal communication, negotiation and organizational skills.

Related: How to Get a Job During COVID: Advice for Students and New Grads

Muna shares job search advice for students graduating during COVID-19.


Explore more articles