4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma (Skilled Trades)

4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma (Skilled Trades)

Posted on January 09, 2021 | 10 min read

Common belief has it that one needs a college degree to earn well. Studies show that isn’t the case at all! There’s plenty of high school diploma jobs that pay well in the US, from skilled trades to culinary arts. While securing employment in some of them may require internship or on-the-job training, the availability of these jobs mean having the freedom to choose a career path that better matches your skill set, goals, and interests. 

For those interested in becoming skilled workers, we’ve compiled a list of 4 high-paying jobs with high school diplomas. 

HVAC Technicians

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4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma on Skilled Trades HVAC Technicians online certification course

  • Annual median salary (2019): $48,730 
  • Time it takes to complete: 6 months
  • On-the-job training:  Long-term on-the-job training
  • Projected job growth from 2019-2029: 4% (As fast as average) 
  • Certification exam the program prepares you for: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 Technician Certification
  • Offered in: Clemson University

Next to Japan, the US remains one of the world’s biggest users of air conditioning systems. Not counting offices, nearly 90 percent of households in the US are equipped with air conditioning systems, making a job as an HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) one of the best options for people looking for good paying jobs with high school diplomas

As an HVAC technician, you will be responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC and refrigeration systems in accordance with the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An HVAC Technician course also equips you with necessary and relevant skills in planning, management, finance, and production, as well as health, safety and environmental issues related to such systems in both residential and commercial settings. 

 

Diesel Technician

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4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma on Skilled Trades Diesel Technician online certification course

  • Annual median salary (2019): $48,500
  • Time it takes to complete: 6 months
  • On-the-job training: Moderate
  • Projected job growth from 2019-2029: 3% (As fast as average) 
  • Certification exam the program prepares you for: Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (G1) Certification Exam
  • Offered in: Clemson University 

If you have a knack for on-site jobs that deal with automotives and heavy machinery and are looking into good paying jobs with high school diplomas, then employment as a diesel technician might suit you.

Diesel technicians or mechanics work with machinery, automobiles, and equipment that run on diesel engines, using their superb skills in inspection, repair, enhancement, and overhauling. Often, these workers are found where the action is - on the field; in repair shops, trucking companies, at the roadside, and large-scale worksites - and often work long hours and evenings. Some also work in companies that deal with delivery and transit or transportation. 

Aside from learning the “mechanic” side of things, diesel technicians also engage in systems that operate electronically or through computers. 

Note that while diesel technicians are usually employed only with only a high school diploma, some companies might require postsecondary training and skills certification in the field.

 

Electrical Technician 

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4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma on Skilled Trades Electrical Technician online certification course

  • Annual median salary (2019): $56,180
  • Time it takes to complete: 6 months
  • On-the-job training: None
  • Projected job growth from 2019-2029: 8% (Much faster than average) 
  • Certification exam the program prepares you for: OSHA Course Completion Card for 10-Hour Course for Electrical

Aside from being an evergreen industry, the Trades sector is also a fertile ground for high paying jobs with high school diploma - and electrical technicians can attest to this. While the median income for Americans is at $47,216 per year, latest BLS statistics reveal electricians are at over $56,000 annually - much higher than the average American worker.

Electrical technicians deal with the installation/ assembly, installation, testing, maintenance and repair of electrical systems in accordance with the National Electrical Code®. Their skills and understanding of technical diagrams lend themselves to communications and control systems as well, as such systems also require electrical wiring to run. While often seen in organizations that deal with construction, electronics, manufacturing, research, and maintenance, electricians also sometimes work independently as contractors, and can be called upon to perform tasks on weekends or evenings. 

Most electrical technicians begin as apprentices, although in certain states, obtaining a job may mean you need licensure first. 

Businesses and residences continue to grow exponentially, and naturally, all of them would require electricity and wiring. This makes electrical technician jobs among the best high school diploma jobs that pay well in Skilled Trades. 

 

Welding Technician

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4 Good-paying Jobs that Only Require a High School Diploma on Skilled Trades Welding Technician online certification course

  • Annual median salary (2019): $42,490
  • Time it takes to complete: 6 months
  • On-the-job training: Moderate
  • Projected job growth from 2019-2029: 3% (As fast as average) 
  • Certification exam the program prepares you for: American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE Certificate of Completion and National Workforce Career Association (NWCA) Welding Technician
  • Offered in: Clemson University 

Welding is a high-tech industry that can take you places all over the world. From ladders to aircraft carriers, from NASCAR to national defense, and from the laboratory to sales and repair, the varied welding industry impacts virtually every industry. Technology is creating more uses for welding in the workplace. Students can serve in positions such as Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers.

Though many might think welding is only reserved to repair shops, the truth is welders can go far and wide with their skills, from important laboratories, to airports, to NASCAR. This makes welding  not only an excellent option for good paying jobs with high school diplomas, but quite a fulfilling one too. 

Welding technicians are valued for their skills in constructing and fusing metallic materials, such as brass, aluminum, steel, and stainless steel, according to client specifications. Aside from sheer strength, this would need vital know-how of the properties of metal,creativity, and hazard management. 

Often, you will find these tradesmen in construction, oil, aerospace, and automotive companies, building cars and ships, working on pipelines, and engaged in construction work. However, as technology expands, their skills also become sought-after in other industries including sales and creative arts. So, if you’re looking for high school diploma jobs that pay well and afford versatility in exercising your skills in the long-term, a career in welding fits to a T.

 

These jobs prove that you don’t necessarily need a college degree to earn well. Through online Skilled Trades courses, you can get started on establishing a promising career in any of these trades. 

Interested in other high paying jobs with high school diplomas in other industries? Check all courses offered by our partner universities. Online courses on offer include healthcare, law, accounting, business, IT, creative arts, and so much more!

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