As tough as the labor market is, college grads still have an easier time than those with only a high school degree. In February, college graduates had an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent -- compared to a staggering 11 percent for those with only a high school diploma. Still, a new study released Tuesday shows that there are some good careers out there for those who lack a four-year degree.
CareerCast.com, the job-portal site, compiled a list of 14 good careers that require only a high school degree (though some require additional training). The site used a variety of criteria to assess the quality of the careers, including salary, how physically demanding the positions are, and emotional factors such as the fields' competitiveness, potential hazards and stress. Those with the lowest score received the highest ranking. CareerCast.com also looked at the potential income and employment growth for the decade ending in 2020, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Overall, the 14 jobs for high school grads offer an average median salary of $41,307, which means the group is in line with the overall average salary for all Americans. The highest paying job on the list offers a median salary of $77,000 a year. But several of the careers on Careercast's list offer incomes of around $20,000.
The list includes careers that have long been popular trades for Americans who don't attend college. But Careercast also identified tech positions that are in high demand, and often don't require a degree, just skill. Still, expect to be paid less without a college degree. "Business owners don't always want to pay market rate if you don't have a degree," Sol Hershkowitz, of New York-based Viasoft.com, told CareerCast, according to its news release.