10 Ideal Careers for the High School Graduate


You’ve graduated high school. Now what? It’s time to consider your future and more education. While many jobs won’t require a college degree, you may need training, apprenticeships, and courses to become a true professional. First, you must learn about all the ideal careers for a high school graduate and how you can achieve your dreams.

1. Attorney

Becoming an attorney is the dream of many parents for their children, and graduating high school is only the first step you need to take to achieve it. You’ll require further education for this industry, starting with a bachelor’s degree, like BA, BBA, BComm, etc. Pre-law would be great, but you could still get into law school without it. Once you graduate, you can take the LSAT and apply to law school. Your scores on the test and your application will define your future studies.

You’ll have to study hard and research the schools you’re interested in. Once you get accepted, you’ll need to earn a law degree, which usually takes four years. You’ll pick what kind of attorney you want to be, such as a social security lawyer. Knowing your focus early can be advantageous, but usually, you don’t have to pick anything until your third year.

The requirements continue, as you must get a license to practice law, meaning passing the bar exams in your location. Once your education is finished, you’ll need to apply for jobs to earn experience. You may have to complete an internship, but that’s expected in most ideal careers.

2. Jewelry Appraiser

Not everyone wants to become a lawyer, engineer, or doctor. You may love jewelry, so consider becoming a jewelry appraiser. You’ll need to learn how to examine pieces and understand what makes a precious gemstone valuable.

hat requires proper training to acquire technical knowledge and certification. You don’t need a college degree for this industry. Still, according to Chron.com, you’ll have to take professional classes with trade groups like the International Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America. However, the amount and type of lessons you’ll take will depend on your focus.

For example, there’s training on gem cutting and colored stones. You could also become a diamond expert to assist diamond buyers. Some people prefer to focus on pearls. Others consider retail jewelry, which is more commercial and could be lucrative. After earning your certificate, you’ll need a job, usually in a jewelry store. Many appraisers dream of getting a spot in a gemology lab, but that’ll require a college degree due to the scientific aspects. Still, this is only one of the ideal careers you can choose from.

3. Arborist

If you’ve always been interested in nature, consider a job as an arborist. You should’ve taken some biology and science classes in high school, but it’s alright if you didn’t get a chance, as you’ll have to further your education anyway. You’ll need at least an associate’s degree to learn about botany, chemistry, horticulture, and plant pathology. A class in arboriculture would also be helpful, but only a few colleges offer it, so research schools before applying.

You could focus on many areas when it comes to trees and plants, so going through training and classes will help narrow down your interests. An arborist must also keep up with technological advancement, so you may need to take courses throughout your life and learn new things daily. People working for a tree service often have to go to conferences and symposiums to discover new risk assessment and diagnostics methods, for example.

The point is that studying is a must in this industry, even if it doesn’t seem like that. Clients want to hire only people who take time to get their certifications, licenses, and whatever else they may need to work in a specific location. Tip: start working for a landscaping company or a tree removal service while completing your studies to gain real-world experience while completing your studies. Let’s keep learning about other ideal careers.

4. Dentist

If your dream after high school is to become a dentist, you must know that this process requires several advanced degrees. However, you can do it. Dental care is one of the ideal careers you can pick. Unlike medicine or law, there’s no such thing as a pre-dental school, but your undergraduate work should be in fields like biochemistry, biology, biomedical engineering, etc. Once you complete that degree, you must take the DAT (Dental Admission Test), and just like the LSATs, these scores will determine your admission to dental school.

You can get two different kinds of dental degrees: Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. Your choice will depend on what you hope to become. After dental school, you may complete a residency to learn a bit more, but it’s not a requirement. Instead, you can focus on getting a license. Otherwise, you won’t be able to practice at all. Each state has different stipulations and exams.

5. Mechanic

Becoming a mechanic is one of the ideal careers you can start after graduating from high school. It doesn’t require a college degree, but you’ll need to learn how to repair cars. Therefore, many people seek mechanics courses and certifications. An apprenticeship is fantastic because a mentor will show you the ropes and the little things no class can teach. That kind of knowledge comes from years of experience.

Car mechanics focus on brake, engine, ignition, and wheel repair, among many other aspects of a vehicle. Some people decide to become experts in certain brands thanks to specialized licenses from the manufacturers, but that’s optional. You may even work without taking a single class. Some people start tinkering with vehicles from a young age and probably know more than someone who just took a course.

That’s why choosing a trade instead of a career is more challenging than it may seem. Sometimes, classes won’t teach you what you truly need. Still, attending a junior college or technical school to get a certificate or an associate’s degree will be helpful. It’ll make you stand out among other people while job hunting.

6. Doctor

Being a doctor is the dream career of many people, but it’s also one of the most demanding industries to get into. You should be ready if this is your dream for the future. Medicine is a complicated industry, and you’ll need much more than a high school diploma to succeed, so let’s break down some of the basic things you must do to become a family doctor. First, taking some science classes in high school would be fantastic to prepare for the future. You should also keep excellent grades because college is a must.

You need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in science, meaning your major should be biology, chemistry, or pre-med. The next step is taking the MCAT exams to enter medical school. You’ll need to have a solid application, so you should find out how to improve your resume during your undergraduate studies. Being accepted into medical school is only the beginning because this is one of the most demanding academic fields in the world.

In your third year, you’ll get rotations at hospitals to start learning the craft, but you’ll have to decide your specialty in your final year to match with a residency program. You’ll start with an internship and continue the residency, which will be grueling. It’s nothing like a steamy medical drama. Being a doctor is serious, but it’s one of the ideal careers people want.

7. Insurance Agent

Becoming an insurance agent is another of the many ideal careers you can choose as a high school graduate. It’s the kind of job most young people don’t consider because it’s not as talked about as medicine, law, and engineering, but it’s still a solid path. You’ll be a salesperson for different types of insurance, which is almost a requirement nowadays. If you can hold a conversation and convince people to buy something, this could be your future. Many agents work at auto insurance firms, as having vehicle insurance is a legal requirement almost everywhere in the United States.

Car repairs are expensive, and it’s better to have a good policy to cover as many issues as possible. However, you can choose other kinds of insurance and work as a captive agent, meaning that you only sell insurance from one company, or an independent agent who sells insurance from several businesses. Your salary expectations will vary depending on your chosen industry and the kind of contract you have. Most people have a base salary but also earn commissions, so your final pay will depend on your skills.

8. Wedding Planner

If you want parties to be part of your future, consider wedding planning. According to Zippia, there are over two million weddings annually in the United States. Good wedding planners are booked years in advance. This is one of the many ideal careers for a high school graduate, as you don’t necessarily need a college degree. However, studying marketing or accounting will give you an advantage. Most planners are independent workers, so you won’t benefit from a base salary.

You’ll also need excellent communication and deal-making skills. Building a rapport with vendors and the owners or managers of wedding venues is essential. You need patience and understanding to deal with stressed brides because a wedding can get chaotic for several reasons. Therefore, a wedding planner must be a multitasker, a problem-solver, and a shoulder to cry on.

Aside from a bachelor’s degree, you should also get a wedding planner certificate from an organization like the Wedding Planning Institution. It’s not a strict requirement, but it could get you started. You may even get vital contacts during your studies, so don’t dismiss this option.

9. SEO Expert

You’ve probably heard the terms SEO and SEO services thrown around a lot, and it’s one of the main strategies in marketing used these days. A specialist in this industry knows how to adjust a website to rank higher on search engines. Therefore, you must be informed about algorithm changes, optimized websites, keywords, ad copy, better mobile searches, etc.

An SEO professional works in the marketing industry, meaning they should have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. You could study communication, but other majors may be better. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Advertising is a much better option. You’ll need to keep up with advances and changes in the industry to succeed and please your clients, so be ready to take courses and training for the rest of your life.

Some people wonder if they need a master’s degree, but it’s unnecessary. All degrees have pros and cons; you could get one just to further your education and bulk up your resume. However, you can easily land a job with just an undergraduate degree and improve your soft skills over time, depending on what you’ll be required to do.

10. Plumber

Like a car mechanic, a plumber doesn’t have to get a degree, meaning your high school diploma or GED is enough to start. However, this trade will also require training, certificates, and licenses. A plumbing expert should be well-versed in general math, science, and technology. Therefore, a college education would be beneficial, but you could also take some courses.

You’ll have to complete a vocational training program from a technical college or a trade school that offers certificates on drainage, water, pipework, and more. Once you get through this, you’ll need to have a plumbing apprenticeship. Sometimes, you can only get a mentor if you’ve completed a specific number of hours in a class, so do your research first.

Most plumbers around the country must have a license. You’ll have to take specific tests to prove your skills and knowledge before you’re allowed to work in that area. When you finish all that, you’ll be an official plumber, but you’ll need experience with real clients.

Now that you understand the ideal careers you can pursue after earning a high school diploma, it’s time to choose. The task can be overwhelming, especially if you’re still young and unsure of the future. Remember that you can always go back to school and change jobs whenever you want, so follow your heart.

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