Students: Learn and Earn

Jobs after High School

College is not for me right now. What skilled jobs can I learn after high school?

Finding the right skilled job or trade begins with a few questions.

What do you like to do? What subjects do you like in school? What do you do well?

Make a short list of the classes, assignments, or activities outside of school you enjoy. Think about what you like about them. What skills do you need to develop to continue in those activities?

Here are just some of the trades you can learn more about.

If you like to: Explore these general fields: Example trades:
Build things with my hands Construction Electrician, Brick Mason, Plumber, Sheet Metal Worker
Work with people Service:
  1. Healthcare
  2. Protective Services
  3. Personal Care
  4. Food Preparation
Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Aide, Firefighter, Vet Technician, Chef
Figure out how things work Installation:
  • Repairers
  • Automotive Mechanics
  • Maintenance
Computer Repair Technician, Mechanic, Appliance Repair Technician
Create Production:
  • Metal/plastic work
  • Woodworkers
Professional: Art and Design
Machinist, Welder, Carpenter, Multi-media Animator
Travel Transportation: Motor Vehicle Operators Truck Driver
Work with mechanical systems Production: Plant/System Operations Power Plant Technician
Pay attention to detail Production: Various Jobs Professional: Legal Jobs Inspector, Jeweler, Semiconductor Technician, Court Reporter

A four-year college degree is not needed for success in the skilled trades. For most skilled trades you will need training or certification from a community or technical college. Most trades offer on-the-job training and encourage continuing education so you can grow your skills—and earnings.

Skilled workers in demand

Picking the right trade also means matching your skills to what employers need.

The need for workers is dropping in some industries like farming and ranching, electronic assembly, and other manufacturing. Health care jobs are growing more than any other field. Retirements and job growth in the oil and gas industry in Texas create excellent opportunities for welders.

The fastest or largest growing skilled trade jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree from 2006-2016 include:

photo of health care workers
  1. Home caregivers
  2. Home health aides
  3. Medical assistants
  4. Veterinary technicians
  5. Social and human services assistant
  6. Physical therapy assistants
  7. Pharmacy technicians
  8. Dental assistants and hygienists
  9. Security guards
  10. Carpenters

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor (Table 5, 6, 8); Texas’ Top Jobs; CareerExplorere.com Ten Hottest Careers

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