17 Respected Jobs You Don’t Need a High School Diploma For

Many people believe that the only way to get a good job is through a high school diploma, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While a diploma can help, it’s entirely possible to get a respected job without one. In this article, we’ll share 17 rewarding careers you can undertake regardless. 

Freelance Writer

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Why not explore the lucrative world of freelance writing? There are various platforms and resources out there for finding freelance writing gigs, and you can slowly build up a solid client base. Over time, you’ll hone your writing skills and build a successful freelance career.

Home Health Aide

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The rewarding role of a home health aide is one that often doesn’t require a high school diploma. Instead, you’ll have to participate in training and meet other certification requirements for the role. The job itself is well-respected and there’s always potential for advancement in the field.

Graphic Designer

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According to IBIS World, 174,809 people work in the graphic design industry in the United States, showing how lucrative it can be. In this role, you’ll design digital media like logos, brochures, and websites. Knowledge of design software like Adobe Creative Suite is essential, but a diploma is not. 

Nursing Assistant

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Explore the responsibilities of a nursing assistant and see if this is something you might be interested in. There are certification programs and on-the-job training options for aspiring nursing assistants. Plus, there are great career advancement opportunities in the nursing field.

Medical Secretary

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Medical secretaries have vital roles in healthcare settings, and there’s always a demand for this. There are required skills and qualifications for a career as a medical secretary, but a diploma isn’t always necessary. Securing employment and excelling in this administrative role is absolutely possible with training and the right mindset.

Construction Worker

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Construction workers, naturally, engage in building and construction activities, so physical stamina and familiarity with construction tools are necessary. However, on-the-job training is often provided, so there’s not always a need to have a diploma, further education, or other formal training.

Virtual Assistant

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“Tasks and responsibilities can vary widely but often include managing emails, scheduling appointments and meetings, basic bookkeeping, and social media management,” as per FlexJobs. Platforms like Zirtual and Belay offer opportunities to find virtual assistant work and you’ll find that a diploma is not necessary for all employers.

Security Guard

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You will have to undergo training and licensing procedures for most security guard positions as you’ll be responsible for the safety of other people or important establishments and you need to learn proper protocol. However, you’ll find that this training is more important than a diploma to many employers. 


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The role of a landscaper involves garden maintenance and landscape design. There are lots of seasonal opportunities, with higher demand in the warmer months. Physical fitness and knowledge of plant care are important, as is any experience you bring to the table. Most clients will look at this as a diploma.

Delivery Driver

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As a delivery driver, you’ll be delivering packages or food to customers all over. You’ll obviously need a driving license (sometimes a commercial driving license), but many employers won’t be too concerned about your educational achievements (or lack thereof). There are also flexible hours and the potential for tips to supplement your income as a driver.


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RaiseMe says, “No formal education is required for anyone to become a bartender.” However, there are training programs and certifications available for aspiring bartenders to improve their skills and land better gigs. In this role, you can build a loyal customer base and increase tips.

Data Entry Clerk

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This job entails inputting data for businesses, either remotely or onsite. While accuracy and proficiency with tools like MS Excel are crucial, and past experience is going to make you a more attractive candidate, a diploma or higher education isn’t always necessary. Opportunities for this role are widely available across various industries.

Personal Trainer

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The career of a personal trainer can be very rewarding, plus, it keeps you in good shape! There are various certification options and educational pathways for aspiring trainers that don’t involve a high school diploma, though, as with many other jobs on this list, you may want to get your GED.

HVAC Technician

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The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) field is always in demand, so you may want to consider this as a job. There are often certifications needed to become an HVAC technician, and your employer may want you to undergo training programs, but this doesn’t mean you need a diploma (though it may help).

Automotive Mechanic

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BestColleges states that “although formal education isn’t always required, many employers seek applicants who have a basic high school education and can demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and math.” Before you start working on vehicle maintenance and repair, employers will likely want you to be certified and to have undergone training.


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A florist designs and arranges floral displays for various events and parties, so creativity and customer service skills are important. However, it’s not absolutely necessary to have a diploma or a degree, and there are lots of employment opportunities in flower shops and grocery stores.

Customer Service Representative

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As a customer service representative, you’ll be offering people support via phone, email, or chat. Depending on your employer, you may need a GED, but above all, strong communication and problem-solving skills are needed. There are lots of remote and on-site positions available in this industry.

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