Careers That Don’t Require GED

In today’s economy, most fast-growing, well-paying careers require a high school diploma or GED, and many require some level of college education and professional certification. Individuals without a diploma or GED are not necessarily limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs. There are several careers that don’t require a high school diploma or GED.

Truck Driver

Truck drivers pick up and deliver cargo between manufacturing facilities, distributors and customers. Drivers deliver many types of cargo, including foods, live plants and animals, chemicals, automobiles, machinery, parts, tools and more. Drivers may operate light delivery trucks, vans or semi-trucks. Long-haul drivers cover long routes over several states or between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, sometimes lasting several days at a time. Local delivery drivers cover shorter local routes, and typically complete a route in one day. Truck drivers typically need to be 18 years old, have a clean driving record and criminal history, and complete a training course in which they learn truck driving rules and regulations and obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. Drivers who handle large equipment or hazardous materials may need additional training or certification. Truck drivers may be paid by the hour or by the mile.

Retail Salesperson

Retail sales associates assist customers in finding and choosing merchandise, increase sales by describing the features and benefits of products, operate cash registers to process sales transactions and returns, stock and organize merchandise, and create displays. Retail salespersons may work in a specialty store selling a specific type of merchandise, such as shoes or jewelry, or may work in a specific department of a department store or superstore selling a variety of merchandise. Retail salespersons generally make a base hourly wage and earn money on commission based on sales. Many retail jobs do not require a high school diploma or GED, though jobs selling certain categories of merchandise, such as electronics or computers, may require a specific level of education or expertise.

Refuse and Recyclable Materials Collectors

Trash and recycling collectors gather trash and recyclables from homes and businesses and load them on a truck for transport a facility for disposal or recycling. Collectors must be able to lift heavy loads, including large trash bags, trash cans and recycling bins, and operate hydraulic lifts on trucks. They must work outdoors, sometimes in inclement weather and extreme temperatures. Most jobs require workers to be 18 years old, though some prefer a high school diploma or GED. Workers receive on the job training, and some must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License to drive a garbage truck. Refuse collectors are typically paid hourly and may or may not be part of a union.