A high school equivalency certificate, commonly referred to as a GED, is a certificate recognized by all 50 states as being the same as a high school diploma. Since it began in 1942, more than 18 million people have passed the GED. Obtaining this certificate can help students meet their educational and career goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with a high school equivalency can find careers in fields such as construction, office work and the travel industry.

Unemployment Rates by Education

Typically, unemployment rates decline as education increases, so in terms of employment, having a GED is better than not having finished high school at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those with a high school diploma had unemployment rates of 8.3 percent in 2012, while those without a high school equivalency or GED saw a rate of over 12 percent.

Jobs in Construction

Although many jobs in construction require on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, many only require a high school diploma or equivalent to get started. Brick masons, carpenters, electricians, welders, stonemasons, plumbers and building inspectors are just a few of the jobs available in the construction industry. The BLS reports that many of these careers are growing at a yearly rate of up to 28 percent and can pay up to $54,000 a year.

Office Jobs

There are many jobs in an office setting that those with a high school equivalency could apply for. Workers with a GED can also be successful as insurance sales agents, bank tellers, legal secretaries, library assistants and medical secretaries. A very lucrative career, according to BLS salaray data, is a loan officer, which requires moderate on-the-job training and can earn up to $74,000 per year.

Travel Industry Jobs

If you like to travel, there are a few jobs available in the travel and hospitality industry that may interest you. With a high school diploma or GED and some on-the-job training, you can become a flight attendant, lodging manager or travel agent. Workers in these fields can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $54,999 per year.

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