It’s that time of year again—high school graduation! This month, high school seniors across the country will be completing high school diploma programs and embarking on a new chapter of their lives. Some may choose to continue their education at a two- or four-year college or university, while others might immediately begin their careers after graduation. No matter which path you choose, here are some of the top-rated careers for those with high school or college-level education.
BEST JOBS FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager
- Median annual salary: $86,630
- Maximum annual salary: $149,770
- Total number employed: 109,210
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers are responsible for the planning, directing, and coordinating of transportation, storage, and distribution activities and ensuring these activities are in compliance with organizational policies and applicable government regulations. To pursue this role, you can begin in an entry-level role and be promoted to a management position after a few years of work experience.
- Median annual salary: $68,380
- Maximum annual salary: $122,350
- Total number employed: 3,950
Gaming managers direct and manage the gaming operations within a casino. Gaming managers typically begin their career in lower-paying roles in the industry, such as working a table game, and enter this position once they have gained more experience. This position can be achieved with a high school diploma and requires a license from a state or regulatory board.
Detective and Criminal Investigator
- Median annual salary: $77,210
- Maximum annual salary: $128,690
- Total number employed: 106,580
Detectives and criminal investigators usually start their career as police officers. To become a police officer, you must pass physical and written exams and complete police academy training. Though many police officers and investigators hold a college degree, a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement.
BEST JOBS FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES
- Median annual salary: $149,590
- Maximum annual salary: $185,050
- Total number employed: 34,600
Petroleum engineers design and develop effective strategies for extracting oil and gas from deposits under the earth’s surface. They are well-versed in engineering, chemistry, mathematics and geology, and generally work in offices, research laboratories, and drilling sites. This career requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably petroleum engineering; but mechanical or chemical engineering degrees may also fulfil employer requirements.
- Median annual salary: $102,160
- Maximum annual salary: $153,710
- Total number employed: 747,730
This career involves creating and modifying computer software and programs, ranging from medical diagnostic programs, to office tools, to video games. It’s well-suited for someone who has strong computer programming, problem-solving, and mathematics skills and a knack for learning new technology. To become a software developer, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
- Median annual salary: $110,560
- Maximum annual salary: $180,500
- Total number employed: 19,770
Actuaries must have a strong background in statistics, mathematics, business, and financial theory. Most work for insurance companies, where they analyze statistical data and calculate risk to determine insurance rates and develop policies that minimize the cost of those risks. Actuaries need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, finance or economics and must pass a series of exams to become certified.
These are just a few of the careers you may be eligible to pursue after graduating. For more information about these careers, talk to your school counselor or advisor.
*Disclaimer: Employment data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics