Building a Career: What Options Does Your Teen Have After High School?

Does your teen know what they want to do once they graduate high school? Choosing a career is one of the most important choices teens face as they enter into adulthood. Whether they go to college or not, your teen will have to find something to support themselves. There are many options that can create an excellent income and will still be something they enjoy doing. Here are a few interesting options for building a career your teen may want to consider after graduating high school.

Work as a Welder

If your teen loves technology and building things with their hands, welding can be an ideal choice. Working as a welder can be a lucrative opportunity for your teen when it comes to building a career. There is a growing demand for welding services and a current shortage of welders. Your teen can become a welder immediately without having to go to college. There are many opportunities to advance in welding and earn more income.

The average entry-level welder earns about $40,000 a year and highly experienced welders can earn up to $500,000 annually. The field offers flexible scheduling so your teen can work when they want and pursue other opportunities, such as part-time college, at the same time. Your teen can register with a welding institute and find opportunities around the world as a welder. The valuable skills learned as a welder can be used by your teen to start their own welding business or complete projects for family and friends. The workload for a welder is so diverse that your teen likely won’t get bored from doing the same work every single day.

Take Care of Others as a Nurse

Nursing is an excellent choice for building a career for teens who enjoy helping others. Your teen will need to get a degree to become a nurse. Accelerated programs are available for your teen to get a degree in as little as 16 months. The nursing field is expected to grow by 16% through 2024, meaning that workers are in high demand. The work can be challenging and exciting with a sense of satisfaction while making a difference in someone’s life.

There are many opportunities for advancement in a variety of work environments. For example, your teen can work in pediatric care, emergency room treatment, or hospice care. The work schedule as a nurse can be flexible to meet your soon-to-be young adult’s needs. There is plenty of job security and lucrative wages. A registered nurse can earn approximately $60,000 a year and a nurse anesthetist, which requires additional schooling, earns approximately $149,000 on an annual basis.

Argue Legal Cases as a Lawyer

Building a career as a lawyer can be challenging and lucrative for your high school grad. The average salary for an attorney is approximately $120,000 a year. Top attorneys have the potential of earning million-dollar incomes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job offers plenty of opportunities to help others and develop problem-solving skills. There are a wide variety of areas to specialize in as a lawyer.

Being a lawyer is often seen as a prestigious career. It can include office perks like support staff, luxurious office space, gym memberships, and more. The skills learned as a lawyer can be transferred to other careers such as management, consulting, and college teaching. Lawyers can set their own fees, choose the clients they work with, and set their own hours. If your teen loves learning and enjoys a debate, they may want to strongly consider this field of work.

Construct Buildings as a Contractor

Building a career in construction is perfect for a teen who loves being outdoors and staying active. A building contractor can work on a variety of projects and meet new and interesting people every day. Contractors are able to run their own businesses, choose the clients they work with, and set their own hours. The demand for contractors is expected to increase through 2028 by 10% annually. Your teen doesn’t need a college degree to make money in this field, but it can be beneficial for earning more.

Entry-level construction workers are able to make around $15 per hour. General contractors can earn around $71,000 in an annual salary. Building contractors are able to make a significant impact on their communities and experience a high level of job satisfaction. Your teen can choose to work anywhere around the world they desire and travel as much as they want. The skills your teen learns can be used in a wide range of other careers if they choose to pursue other opportunities.

Help People as a Therapist

Becoming a therapist can be a rewarding career choice for your teen. Many people become therapists because they want to help people work through their personal problems. Counseling offers a way to create positive change and bring meaning to a person’s life. The therapy field offers a diverse range of focus areas, from counseling children to working in a drug rehabilitation center. There is steady job security in this field, as the need for therapists is constantly growing.

Your teen will need formal education for building a career as a therapist. Depending on the niche they choose, educational training can take anywhere from two to eight years of college. Therapists are able to set their own hours and work with the clients they choose. Annual salaries can vary from $36,000 to $77,000, depending on the niche they choose and their level of education and experience. Your soon-to-be young adult can make a living as a therapist anywhere around the world.

Innovate as an Engineer

Building a career in civil engineering offers your teen the ability to leave their mark on the world with the structures they build. There are a variety of available opportunities from energy to environmental design and construction. Civil engineers earn approximately $82,000 in annual pay. The demand for civil engineers is expected to grow by 8% through 2024 and beyond. The career offers the ability to meet interesting environmental challenges and service to their local community.

The work involved in being a civil engineer ensures that your teen will never have a dull moment. An engineer not only designs a structure but works first hand with a team of professionals while it’s being built. There are new projects and new people to meet every day. Your teen can utilize their creativity as well as develop their problem-solving skills and have something they can actually show to others from all of their hard work. There are numerous opportunities to travel around the world and explore interesting new places and cultures as an engineer.

Create Beautiful Smiles as a Dentist

Building a career in dentistry can be a rewarding experience for your teen in helping people live healthier lives. Employment growth for this field is expected to grow by 7.6% annually through 2028, which equals about 10,400 jobs each year. Dental work offers consistent income, as patients are scheduled for routine exams, cleanings, and other recommended dental work approximately every six months. Dentists can own their own businesses, set their own hours, and earn a good salary. The average dental general practitioner earns about $190,000 each year and specialists earn around $330,000 a year on average.

While at least eight years of school are required to become a dentist, this career allows dental professionals to save people’s lives by preventing and treating oral diseases. They can help people feel better about their appearance by creating beautiful smiles through a wide range of dental procedures. Your teen can build lifelong relationships with a wide range of people. The skills learned in this field can be used in a variety of other fields as well. Opportunities for traveling around the world and impacting the health of communities are also available.

Heat Things Up as an HVAC Professional

If your teen enjoys problem-solving and working with their hands, building a career as an HVAC contractor could be an ideal option. This career offers the opportunity to work with various types of equipment in new locations every day. Technicians install and repair heating and air conditioning systems for homeowners and businesses. Your teen can start their career by becoming an apprentice and taking classes at night to earn their certification. An HVAC professional can either work through a company or branch off and start their own business.

This job is in high demand with plenty of job security. HVAC jobs are expected to grow by up to 15% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Technicians can earn around $47,000 per year on average. Your teen can work wherever they want and potentially earn more depending on the location they choose. Hours can be incredibly flexible and your teen will get the opportunity to meet and network with all kinds of people.

Travel the World as a Commercial Pilot

Another interesting choice for your teen for building a career is becoming a commercial pilot. Flying an aircraft can deliver an unbeatable thrill and no other job offers the kinds of views of the world that this field does. Commercial pilots have flexible schedules and are guaranteed time off in between scheduled trips. As a pilot, your teen can work and live wherever they want. They can have the opportunity to travel the world and see new places and people every day.

Becoming a pilot doesn’t require a college degree in order to make good money. The average salary for a commercial airline pilot is about $130,000 per year. Your teen will need to accrue some hands-on flight training before they can receive their certifications and licenses. As a commercial pilot, your teen can receive flight benefits that can be shared with family and friends. This includes free and discounted travel to any location you desire to visit.

Catch Bad Guys in Criminal Justice

The criminal justice field offers plenty of job security for building a career. There are many different career paths to choose from in the criminal justice field, from being a private investigator to becoming an emergency management director. Salaries can range anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 per year. Entry-level positions can be obtained with a high school diploma while advanced positions may require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Work schedules can be flexible, and job opportunities are available all over the world.

The need for criminal justice professionals is expected to grow by 7% each year over the next few years. A criminal justice career allows your teen to make a difference in people’s lives by keeping them safe from harm. The workload can vary from completing paperwork at a desk to engaging in dangerous situations. Criminal justice professionals can receive excellent health and retirement benefits. These benefits can include tuition assistance, life insurance, and favorable health insurance.

Work as a Mail Carrier

Another excellent choice for building a career for a teen that loves to be outdoors is working as a mail carrier. It may not sound glamorous, but it offers steady job security and great pay. Mail carriers have access to great health insurance and can receive a lifetime pension when they retire. Your teen can make up to $63,000 per year without the need for a college degree. In order to become a mail carrier, your teen will need to pass an exam, pass a physical and drug test, and have a safe driving record.

The job can come with some unexpected perks. Mail carriers can receive small gifts from the customers they serve. These gifts can be money, free snacks, and other forms of appreciation. You can meet interesting people and get plenty of exercise, too. There are plenty of job opportunities anywhere in the world.

Building a career is an important decision not to be made lightly. When exploring careers, take into consideration what things your teen is good at and what they enjoy. Have your teen research fields that sound interesting to them and possibly shadow professionals in those fields. Choosing the right career can be tough but rewarding in so many ways. Start exploring careers with your teen today.

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