Construction, Health Care Are Lucrative Careers for High School Grads
Most people believe that a college degree paves the way for a job that pays well, but a study claims that those with a high school diploma could also improve their financial prospects.
In Colorado, for instance, blue-collar industries such as construction or health care can pay enough to support a decent lifestyle for a person with the right skills, according to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s study.
Around four out of 10 young adults in Colorado lack an undergraduate degree, yet most of them still have held a “good” job. The study described a good job when it pays at least $17 per hour for people under 45 years old, or $35,000 each year. For older people, a good job involves $45,000 in annual salary or $22 per hour.
Colorado has the second lowest jobless rate at 2.5%, partly because of jobs in diverse industries, according to Ryan Gedney, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment economist. Company efforts to retain workers, including employment mediation services, could have also played a role in keeping the unemployment rate at a low level.
Aside from construction and health care, the study listed information, finance, property, retail and manufacturing as the other industries that pay decent wages for high school graduates. The good jobs in these skilled-services industry represent a transition “from traditional blue-collar industries” in the last 25 years, Neil Ridley said, Georgetown University Center on Education state initiative director.
Still, the study did not downplay the importance of having a college degree. Most people with a bachelor’s degree earn a higher median annual salary, which amounts to $55,000. Some of them even earn $74,000 in a year.
The lack of a college degree should not discourage you from landing a well-paying job, as long as you are determined to gain new skills to compensate for being unable to attain higher education.