The hardest part of your career may well be the very beginning. After all, it can be extremely difficult to break into a field. Depending on your line of work, even the most basic entry level position may appear to require some type of on the job experience. That feels like a bit of a paradox to us. After all, how are you supposed to have previous experience if you’re a recent high school or college graduate who has spent every day up until this point toiling away on homework and exams as a student? Kind of a Catch-22, isn’t it?
Well, as challenging as it can be to break into a good field, there are actually a number of entry level positions with reasonably good pay, on the job training, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily need a college degree to qualify for many of the jobs on our list.
Indeed, if you’re interested in learning more about high paying jobs that don’t require a college education, we encourage you to jump to our look at six-figure jobs that you can land right out of high school.
Otherwise, read on for a look at some of the best jobs that you can do with no prior experience necessary.
20 Jobs That Don’t Require Any Prior Workplace Experience
The jobs below vary widely in nature and industry. Some of these jobs require a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree while others only require industry certification or on the job training. Some of these positions may pay an annual salary while others may pay per hour (which is why we have both annual and hourly median wages listed for each position). Some (like data entry and customer service) may be potential work from home jobs while others (like surveying and veterinary assistance) will definitely require you to work directly on site.
In other words, there are tons of jobs out there that require absolutely no prior workplace experience. You just have to know where to look. Based on our findings using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, we’ve highlighted 20 entry level jobs that you can land–no experience necessary.
If you’re new to the labor market and you’re hoping to find jobs whose only requirement is a clean record and a willingness to learn, you might want to add some of the following occupations to your active job alerts. Jobs are listed here in the order of their annual median salary as of 2022.
Note: While you may not need any workplace experience to qualify for the roles listed below, that doesn’t mean that some prospective employers might not prefer candidates with experience. We selected the jobs listed here below because you may be technically eligible to do any of these jobs without prior experience. Indeed, one feature that many of these occupations have in common is that so many tend to provide on the job training. However, it should be understood that those with prior experience will likely have an advantage at hiring time. If you are new to your field, don’t be discouraged. But do be realistic about your odds when competing against more experienced candidates.
1. Insurance Claims Adjuster
Insurance claims adjusters–and other related roles including insurance appraisers, examiners and investigators–are typically charged with investigating and evaluating insurance claims. That evaluation is generally done onsite and, depending on the type of agency that employs you, will require you to evaluate damaged property like cars or homes, to help assess the veracity and value of customer insurance claims.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators earned an annual median salary of $72,040 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $34.63 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 342,600 individuals working as claims adjusters in 2022, but the Bureau projects a 3% dip in the number of jobs for insurance claims adjusters over the next decade.
Though the role of insurance claims adjuster offers the highest average salary of any occupation on our list, an entry level position may be accessible with just a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates who have earned either a bachelor’s degree, have accumulated some work experience in the insurance industry or both. This is especially true for those involved in the often complex area of automotive damage.
That said, it is entirely possible to break into the field of claims adjustment with a high school degree and no prior experience. Indeed, according to the BLS, most aspiring adjusters will be given the opportunity to recieve on the job paid training. As the BLS notes, “Entry-level claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators work on small claims under the supervision of an experienced worker. As they learn more about claims investigation and settlement, they are assigned larger, more complex claims. Auto damage appraisers typically get on-the-job training, which may last several months. This training usually involves working under the supervision of an experienced appraiser while estimating damage costs, until the employer decides that the trainee is ready to do estimates on their own.”
Also be sure that you understand the licensing and certification requirements for your state. These rules vary widely from state to state, and may come with specific educational attainment requirements as well.
2. Flight Attendant
Not only are flight attendants among the highest paid professionals on our list, but this hospitality role is also among the fastest growing jobs included here. It’s also a pretty cool gig if you love seeing new places and meeting new people everyday. Not only that, but this is a job that requires no actual in flight service experience. Flight attendants provide comfort, support, hospitality and emergency services to airline customers, and are an essential part of every commercial flight crew.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Flight Attendants earned an annual median salary of $63,760 in 2022. The BLS estimates that there were 111,100 individuals working as flight attendants in 2022, and projects an extremely healthy 11% rate of growth in the number of roles for flight attendants over the next decade.
In order to begin on the job training as a flight attendant, applicants legally need only to be a minimum age of 18-21 (depending upon the preferences of a given airline), pass a drug test, clear a background check, and possess a high school diploma or the equivalent. Again, however, some airlines may prefer candidates with a college degree. Hiring airlines may also prefer candidates who can demonstrate some service experience.
The good news, however, is that this service experience need not be related to flight services. In reality, this experience can be in virtually any consumer services role. According to the BLS, “Flight attendants typically need 1 or 2 years of work experience in a service occupation before getting their first job as a flight attendant. This experience may include customer service positions in restaurants, hotels, or resorts. Experience in sales or in other positions that require close contact with the public and focus on service to customers also may help develop the skills needed to be a successful flight attendant.”
This experience will usually be sufficient to qualify you for hiring, which will subsequently lead to on the job training for a period of a few weeks or months, followed by FAA certification (which is required to work as a commercial flight attendant).
Plumbers primarily work to install, repair and replace piping fixtures and systems for homes, businesses, and for major public utilities. As a plumber, you may choose to work as an independent contractor, for a major construction firm, or even for a government agency. In any of these contexts, licensing is generally required. But no formal experience is necessary in order to enter into an apprenticeship, which is the traditional training path for most plumbers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters earned an annual median salary of $60,090 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $28.89 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 482,700 individuals working as plumbers in 2022, and projects a relatively steady 2% rate of growth in the number of jobs for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters over the next decade.
While the rate of job growth is relatively modest for plumbers, training and entry into the field are both highly accessible for those with the aptitude and the willingness to learn. Moreover, aspiring plumbers do enjoy the luxury of paid training.
However, according to the BLS, apprenticeship can be somewhat lengthy. The BLS notes that “Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship. Apprentices typically receive 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training, as well as some technical instruction, each year. Technical instruction includes safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and blueprint reading. Apprentices also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by unions, trade associations, and businesses. Most apprentices enter a program directly, but some start out as helpers or complete pre-apprenticeship training programs in plumbing and other trades.”
Most apprenticeship programs will end with the licensing exam that grants “journey-level” plumber status. This simply means you are legally qualified and licensed to perform plumbing services independent of your mentor.
4. Advertising Sales Agent
Working as an advertising sales agent can be fast-paced, competitive and high pressure, and yet no previous experience is required to get started in this potentially high paying field. Advertising sales agents sell advertising space to businesses and individuals across a variety of media including print, radio, television, and digital spaces. Advertising sales drive revenue for countless businesses and enterprises, which means advertising sales agents may play a central role in the success of these businesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Advertising Sales Agents earned an annual median salary of $58,450 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $28.10 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 111,400 individuals working as advertising sales agents in 2022, but projects a sharp 7% decline in the number of advertising sales agent roles over the next decade.
In spite of this decline, those who concentrate their efforts in digital spaces will likely be better served with greater opportunity than those aspiring to roles in print media. The BLS notes that while newspapers and magazines continue to shrink their circulation, “Advertising will continue to grow in digital media, including online video ads, search engine ads, and other digital ads intended for cell phones or tablet-style computers.”
The BLS does caution, however, that the growing ability of ad agencies to create automated digital ad campaigns without the help of human salespeople is also a reason for the declining rate of job openings. Still, the BLS notes that some 10,500 new digital ad sales jobs are being created each year, and that those who fill them have an opportunity to earn robust base wages with yet more lucrative opportunities for sales commissions. And with just a high school diploma (or a bachelor’s degree depending on employer preferences), you may be eligible to begin on the job training in this field. No prior workplace experience is necessary.
In reality, this job requires innate communication and people skills far more than prior ad sales experience. All the rest can be learned on the job.
5. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are responsible for helping their clients buy, sell, and rent homes, buildings, and businesses. Working as a real estate agent usually means having a great deal of personal and professional flexibility. Indeed, in most cases, real estate agents will technically be self-employed and affiliated with real estate brokerage firms as independent contractors. State licensing is required to become a real estate agent, but this can be obtained without any actual on the job experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents earned an annual median salary of $52,030 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $25.02 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 589,800 individuals working as real estate brokers and agents in 2022, and projects a relatively steady 3% growth rate in the number of real estate sales and brokerage jobs over the next decade.
While the median salary listed above places the real estate profession at the higher end of our list, this number only tells a modest part of the story. Those with the ambition and ability may be able to earn quite a bit more on sales commissions in a given year. And you can get started on that path with just a high school diploma and a passing grade on the licensing exam in your state.
Though no prior experience is required, you will likely be required to complete an introductory real estate program in order to sit for your licensing exam. Joining the real estate association in your state is generally a great pathway to both the required courses and the exam itself. As the BLS notes, “In addition to offering prelicensing courses, many real estate associations have courses and professional development programs for both beginners and experienced agents. These courses cover a variety of topics, such as real estate fundamentals, real estate law, and mortgage financing.”
These can help you grow in the profession, but may not be required. In reality, once you’ve earned your license and affiliated with a brokerage, you’re officially qualified to buy and sell on behalf of your clients.
6. Commercial Truck Driver
Working as a commercial truck driver can be extremely demanding. You’ll spend countless hours behind the wheel and your travels will often take you away from home for days or weeks at a time. Commercial truck drivers are generally charged with the responsibility of transporting and delivering items like consumer goods, construction equipment, hazardous materials, and much more. There are several legal requirements to work in this field including specialized licensing. However, all the experience necessary can be attained through on the job training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers earned an annual median salary of $49,920 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $24.00 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 2,192,300 individuals working as commercial truck drivers in 2022, and projects that jobs for truck drivers will grow at a rate of 4% over the next decade, which is roughly equivalent to the average rate of growth for all occupations.
While this growth rate is modest, note the extremely large number of actual jobs in the field. In many ways, truck drivers are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy–a critical link in the supply chain that demands the work of millions. If you wish to become part of this link, you can usually do so by first completing the formal training for operation of a heavy truck or tractor trailer vehicle.
The BLS explains that “Many prospective drivers attend professional truck driving schools, where they take training courses to learn how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. During these classes, drivers also learn the federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving. Students may attend either a private truck-driving school or a program at a community college that lasts between 3 and 6 months. Upon finishing their classes, drivers receive a certificate of completion.”
Once you’ve earned this certificate, you will typically be eligible to sit for the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exam in your state, passage of which is required to become a commercial truck driver.
7. Masonry Worker
Masonry workers build, maintain and repair structures using bricks, blocks, stones and other materials. While no formal workplace experience is required to get started in this field, physical fitness may be the single most important prerequisite for the job. Masonry is physical and demanding manual work that requires heavy lifting as well as lengthy periods during which you may be standing, kneeling, or sitting to complete certain tasks. Beyond the aforementioned physical fitness, the basic threshold for employment as a masonry worker is a high school diploma.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Masonry Workers earned an annual median salary of $49,490 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $23.79 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 294,200 individuals employed as masonry workers in 2022, but it does project a 3% drop in the number of roles for masonry workers over the next decade.
Like many trade-based vocations, masonry is accessible through apprenticeship programs, which may be entered without any prior experience. The BLS notes that “several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Apprentices learn construction basics, such as blueprint reading; mathematics for measurement; building code requirements; and safety and first-aid practices. After completing an apprenticeship program, masons are considered journey workers and are able to do tasks on their own. The Home Builders Institute and the International Masonry Institute offer pre-apprenticeship training programs for eight construction trades, including masonry.”
As you gain more experience in the field, you may choose to become an independent contractor or even advance to a supervisory role with a larger construction group.
8. Survey Technician
Survey technicians work on behalf of either private firms or government agencies and are responsible for collecting on site survey data for use in mapping, traffic planning, highway construction, and other infrastructural projects. If you like being outside in all sorts of weather and on all sorts of terrain, this is a great job for you. And with a reasonably brief duration of on the job training, you could qualify to work in this unique field without any prior experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Surveying and Mapping Technicians earned an annual median salary of $47,180 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $22.68 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 64,200 individuals working as survey techs in 2022, and projects a steady 3% rate of growth in the number of jobs for surveyors over the next decade.
A quick note on Mapping Technicians. These professionals often work in coordination with survey technicians but will usually work from a computer terminal rather than on site. Mapping technicians will typically require a bit more formal education than their surveying counterparts, including instructional training on how to leverage important technology-based applications, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In many cases, employers will require some post-secondary credentials such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
By contrast, a high school degree will usually be sufficient to secure an entry level role as a survey technician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the vast majority of your education in the role will come through on the job training. According to the BLS, “Surveying technicians learn their job duties under the supervision of a surveyor or a surveying party chief. Initially, surveying technicians handle simple tasks, such as placing markers on land and entering data into computers. With experience, they help decide where and how to measure the land.”
Licensing is not required to become a surveyor, but those with considerable workplace experience as survey technicians may eventually qualify for licensing, which could consequently improve earning power and access to leadership opportunities and specialized projects.
9. Travel Agent
Travel agents help individuals and groups plan trips, and will typically earn their living by helping to sell travel packages, book lodging, secure flights, and facilitate tour experiences. While the initial boom in online travel booking websites did put a major dent in the size of the traditional travel agency sector, the industry has since stabilized and now offers both a healthy career path and relative job security with no experience necessary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, travel agents earned an annual median salary of $46,400 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $22.31 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 66,300 individuals working as travel agents in 2022, and projects a steady 3% growth in the number of travel agent roles over the next decade.
Most of your education as a travel agent will come through on the job training, and even that stage will be brief. A high school diploma is generally preferred, But more importantly, most employers will seek candidates with strong communication skills, a knack for friendly and engaging customer service strategies, and good instincts when it comes to landing sales. And having some sales or customer service background can help you land a job with a good travel agency. This experience may be preferred by some employers, even if said experience comes from outside of the travel and hospitality sectors.
That said, this experience is not formally required. In fact, high school graduates can complete something called the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test, which is administered by the Travel Institute. This exam can be used in lieu of formal experience or a post-secondary degree in order to demonstrate one’s qualifications to prospective employers.
Whatever path you take–a college degree or a TAP test–most of your workplace training will take place on the job. The BLS reports that “Employers in the travel industry typically provide on-the-job training that lasts at least 1 month. This training covers topics such as how to operate computer systems that are used in the industry. For example, a travel agent could be trained to work with a reservation system used by several airlines.”
It is worth noting that while there are no mandatory work experience requirements to become a travel agent, having plenty of your own experiences as a traveler can significantly improve your appeal to employers and your ability to do the job well. Be sure to mention your extensive travels and adventures when you apply for the gig.
10. Administrative Assistant
Administrative assistants are often among the most dynamic and versatile personnel in a given workspace. Administrative assistants and secretaries usually perform an extremely wide range of tasks including scheduling appointments, coordinating communication between departments, fielding both external and internal inquiries, and handling a host of other clerical and organizational functions.
Not only that, but administrative assistants are absolutely essential personnel in nearly every sector. The vast majority of administrative assistants are employed in areas like healthcare, education, and in technical services, but opportunities abound in just about every field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Administrative Assistants earned an annual median salary of $44,080 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $21.19 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 3,399,200 individuals working as administrative assistants in 2022, but projects a relatively steep 10% decline in the number of administrative assistant roles over the next decade.
In spite of the projected decline in available job opportunities, the number of administrative assistants working in the U.S. today is massive. At well over 3 million strong, administrative assistants form the second largest working group on our list. In order to become one of them, you will typically need a high school degree as well as the ability to demonstrate certain essential technical skills.
The BLS notes that “High school graduates who are comfortable using word processing and spreadsheet programs usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although workers typically learn their duties over several weeks on the job, legal and medical secretaries and administrative assistants may need additional training for industry-specific terminology.”
In other words, most of what you need to know beyond essential typing and computing skills can be learned on the job. That said, those who become administrative assistants to more senior level personnel typically reach this tier of the profession through experience. You will need a number of years on the job and a proven track record of excellence to become an executive secretary, and to enjoy the enhanced pay and organizational leadership that come with this role.
11. Dental, Ophthalmic, and Medical Appliance Technicians
This is a great career pathway for those who wish to help others but who do not have a formal education in healthcare or experience in the field. Dental, Ophthalmic, and Medical Appliance Technicians typically make and/or repair the medical devices that individuals rely on in their everyday lives. This may include eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, and a host of other critically important medical products.
Technicians may specialize in one specific area of healthcare or treatment, but what most have in common is the ability to work with intricate and sometimes delicate devices. This ability will usually be cultivated through on the job training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians earned an annual median salary of $41,180 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $19.80 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 73,400 individuals working as dental and medical techs in 2022, but projects a relatively negligible 1% dip in the number of dental and medical tech roles over the next decade.
Though it is possible to enter the field with a high school diploma, many employers will prefer candidates who have earned at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Community colleges often offer many of the requisite science and technical courses for those aspiring to careers as medical technicians. Beyond this formal education, training primarily takes place on the job.
According to the BLS, “Most dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians learn their skills through on-the-job training. They may begin as helpers and learn more advanced skills as they gain experience. For example, dental laboratory technicians may start out making models from impressions and progress to designing and fabricating crowns and bridges.”
Such is to say that workplace experience is valuable in this field, but that you can gain an entry level role without it.
12. Data Entry Workers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to data entry keyers as information clerks, and notes that their responsibilities usually include collecting data, performing clerical duties, and maintaining company records. Data entry personnel are needed in just about every field, and may work closely with administrative assistants on various organizational tasks and projects. Data entry personnel are most commonly needed in healthcare facilities, government bureaucracies, and in scientific, laboratory, and research settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Clerks earned an annual median salary of $38,710 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $18.61 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 1,382,600 individuals working as data entry specialists in 2022, but it does also project a notable 4% drop in the number of available data entry jobs over the next decade.
Data entry workers will generally qualify to work in the field with a high school diploma, though candidates are also strongly advised to complete some courses in typing and the use of common spreadsheet applications. Otherwise, most of what you’ll learn will take place on the job. According to the BLS, “Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and includes learning about government programs and regulations.”
This training can also make data entry work a great point of entry for advancement into other roles including administrative assistant. And if you choose to parlay this experience into a bachelor’s degree, you may even be able to advance to a leadership role in an area like the administration of human resources.
13. Pest Control Workers
Admittedly, this job isn’t glamorous, but there is no shortage of work in the field. Pest control workers typically provide exterminating and prevention services for private residences, businesses, government buildings, and municipalities. These essential workers provide an array of services designed to eliminate unwanted insects, rodents, and other pests from homes, buildings, and public spaces.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pest Control Workers earned an annual median salary of $38,310 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $18.42 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 95,000 individuals working as pest control workers in 2022, and projects a steady 3% rate of growth in the number of jobs for pest control workers over the next decade.
In most cases, individuals can qualify to work in pest control with a high school diploma. And while no formal experience is necessary, there are numerous safety factors which demand on the job training. According to the BLS, “Pest control workers often kneel, bend, and crawl in tight spaces to inspect sites. Because there are health risks associated with pesticide use, workers are trained in pesticide safety and typically wear protective gear, which may include gloves, goggles, and respirators. Most pest control workers are employed full time. Working evenings and weekends is common.”
Generally speaking, pest control workers are required to be licensed, especially those who employ pesticides in their practice. You can usually sit for the state licensing exam after completing an approved training program. This may be possible through your place of employment.
14. Delivery Driver
While so many other sectors of the labor economy have contracted due to the proliferation of online sales, there is at least one traditional area of employment that continues to grow at a rapid rate for the very same reason. With services like Amazon and eBay practically supplanting brick and mortar shopping for countless Americans, delivery drivers have never been in greater demand than they are today. Delivery drivers will typically transport scores of items to dozens of homes and businesses over the course of the day.
The job can be physically demanding, requires plenty of heavy lifting and demands that those who do it operate at a high-pressure, deadline-driven pace. But it’s also a job that you can get with little to no background or experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers earned an annual median salary of $38,220 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $18.38 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 1,705,600 individuals working as delivery drivers in 2022, and projects an extremely robust 10% rate of growth in the number of delivery driver jobs over the next decade.
That growth rate suggests plenty of opportunity for those with a clean driving record and a current license. Because today’s delivery drivers often drive light trucks, small vans or even their own cars, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is not required. Instead, any formal training or qualifications will come from within your company.
The BLS notes, for instance, that “Companies train new delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers on the job. This may include training from a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to make sure that the driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets. New-driver training also covers company policies about package dropoffs and returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods.”
As long as you know how to drive responsibly, how to be respectful to customers, and how to work at a brisk pace, you can become a delivery driver without any prior experience.
15. Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives spend their days working to address customer inquiries, concerns, and complaints. Customer service reps are needed in every field, and generally spend their time fielding calls, posts, or texts asking questions, expressing grievances, or seeking some level of additional support.
You may spend your day answering phone calls or answering online questions as a virtual assistant. And in fact, many customer service representatives enjoy the luxury of work from home jobs. That said, it can be a psychologically taxing job, especially if you work for the kind of company that fields complaints from frustrated customers all day, every day. So while you don’t necessarily need prior experience in the field, you do need a ton of patience for this one.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Customer Service Representatives earned an annual median salary of $37,780 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $18.16 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 2,982,900 individuals working as customer service representatives in 2022, but it also projects a 5% decline in the number of customer service representative roles over the next decade.
Still, with nearly 3 million customer service reps working in the U.S. alone, there is plenty of opportunity and zero experience requirements. Indeed, most new hires are ready to step into the full time role with 30 days of training or less. However, it does bear noting that the complexity and extent of your training may be influenced by the specific sector where you ultimately provide customer service. Some fields simply require deeper knowledge than others.
According to the BLS, “Customer service representatives usually receive short-term on-the-job training, which typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks. Those who work in finance and insurance may need several months of training to learn complicated financial regulations. General customer-service training may focus on procedures for answering questions, information about a company’s products and services, and computer and telephone use.”
You should also bear in mind that working as a customer representative in a complex field like finance may even require you to secure state licensing. No such licensing is needed to provide customer service in less sensitive areas such as consumer retail or home cable and WiFi services. You should have a sense of exactly how much training and formal certification are required in your specific field before pursuing a role as a customer service representative.
16. Grounds Maintenance Worker
If you love spending your days working outdoors, grounds maintenance could be the perfect gig. Grounds maintenance workers provide landscaping services for private residences, businesses, public spaces, and preserved green spaces. Your functions as a grounds maintenance worker may include installing landscape fixtures, pruning trees, trimming hedges, and maintaining the green life in the spaces under your care to ensure safety, orderliness, and a pleasing aesthetic.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Grounds Maintenance Workers earned an annual median salary of $36,160 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $17.39 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 1,281,600 individuals working as ground maintenance workers in 2022, and projects a relatively steady 3% rate of growth in the number of jobs for grounds maintenance workers over the next decade.
You can expect a physically demanding job, and one that you will be required to attend to in all elements including sun, heat and rain. However, all of your training will come on the job, and you can land a role in this field with no formal experience. According to the BLS, “Grounds maintenance workers typically need 1 month or less of on-the-job training to learn the skills they need, including how to plant and maintain areas and how to use mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, small tractors, and other equipment. Pesticide sprayers, handlers, and applicators may need additional training that lasts up to 1 year. Large institutional employers such as golf courses, university campuses, and municipalities may supplement on-the-job training with instruction in horticulture, arboriculture, urban forestry, insect and disease diagnosis, tree climbing, or small-engine repair.”
While you do not require licensing to work as a grounds maintenance worker, most states do require specific licensing for anybody charged with handling pesticides, weed killers and other potentially hazardous materials on the job.
17. Hand Laborers and Materials Movers
The terms “hand laborers and materials movers” provide us with something of a catch-all category for an extremely wide range of labor roles including freight loading, furniture moving, industrial removal, waste collection, stock transport, and much more. As the work described above suggests, this is often physically demanding labor. Additionally, many individuals in this field work in factories, warehouses, loading docks, shipping depots and other supply chain links with long hours and overnight shifts. All of this means that health and fitness are essential job qualifications whether you plan to work as a garbage collector, a commercial mover, or a warehouse laborer. Outside of this prerequisite, most of your training will take place on the job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Hand Laborers and Material Movers earned an annual median salary of $34,960 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $16.81 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were a staggering 7,099,400 individuals working in Waste these labor roles in 2022, and that the number of available jobs will continue to grow at a slightly faster than average 5% rate over the next decade.
With more than one million jobs expected to open up for hand laborers every year over the next decade, the chances to work are plentiful. Moreover, training is typically done on the job over a short duration, including basic training in proper safety practices and procedures. As the BLS explains, “Most positions for hand laborers and material movers require less than 1 month of on-the-job training. Some workers need only a few days of training, and most training is done by a supervisor or a more experienced worker who decides when trainees are ready to work on their own. Workers learn safety rules as part of their training. Many of these rules are standardized through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).”
In order to qualify to receive this training, the top requirements are generally producing a clean background check and demonstrating the physical ability to do this rigorous job without hurting yourself or others.
18. Veterinary Assistant
This is a great job for compassionate individuals who love animals. Working as a veterinary assistant offers an entry-level pathway into the field of animal medical care and it is entirely possible to begin in this role without any prior experience. There is a high demand for dedicated veterinary assistants in a wide range of settings including animal hospitals, private veterinary practices, clinics, and research laboratories.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers earned an annual median salary of $34,740 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $16.70 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 114,800 individuals working as veterinary assistants in 2022, but it also projects a 20% surge in the number of veterinary assistants roles over the next decade.
As with any healthcare role, veterinary assistance can be emotionally taxing but also deeply rewarding. And in most cases, your training will take place on the job, and will usually be fairly brief. That said, there are some external certification and training programs that may be recommended, especially if you plan to advance to a leadership role or even become a veterinary doctor at some point in the future. According to the BLS, “Although certification is not mandatory, it allows workers to demonstrate competency in animal husbandry, health and welfare, and facility administration. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) offers the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation for veterinary assistants. To qualify for the designation, candidates must graduate from a NAVTA-approved program and pass an exam.”
Gaining this AVA designation could both improve your chances of employment and contribute to your career development within the field.
19. Home Health Aide
Home health aides provide direct physical care and support to individuals who are injured, chronically ill, disabled or limited by age. Aides work closely with their clients to provide help completing tasks, taking medications, and remaining active. This work may be done directly in the patient’s home, in a group home or in a rehabilitation facility. Working as a home health aide can be extremely demanding depending on your client’s level of need. Therefore, while no prior experience is necessary, compassion, patience, and stamina are all absolutely required.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Home Health and Personal Care Aides earned an annual median salary of $30,180 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $14.51 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 3,715,500 individuals working as home health aides in 2022, and projects an extremely rapid 22% pace of growth in the number of home health aide roles over the next decade.
This makes it the fastest growing labor market on our list. And given the need to fill so many roles in the field, this important job is also a highly accessible one. According to the BLS, “Home health and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, but some positions do not require it. Those working in certified home health or hospice agencies may need to complete formal training or pass a standardized test.”
In most cases, all of the training and testing you’ll need to complete will be provided by the agency or health network that employs you.
The work of a bartender is pretty self-explanatory. Bartenders generally provide the service of alcoholic beverages in bars, restaurants, hotels, lounges and anywhere else spirits are sold and consumed. As a bartender, you will usually work alongside hosts and restaurant servers to comprise the all-important “front of house” staff. And in many cases, you will also work in close coordination with waitstaff to deliver bottled beverages, draught beverages, and mixed cocktails to dining patrons.
Speaking of mixed cocktails, depending on the nature of the establishment where you work, you will likely need to know how to make a wide range of popular and signature drinks. For this reason, many aspiring bartenders will take a formal course in mixology, though this is not necessarily a requirement.
Indeed, the BLS notes that “Bartenders typically receive on-the-job training that lasts a few weeks. Under the guidance of an experienced bartender, trainees learn cocktail recipes, bar-setup procedures, and customer service, including how to handle unruly customers and other challenging situations. In establishments where bartenders serve food, training may cover teamwork and proper food-handling procedures.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bartenders earned an annual median salary of $29,380 in 2022, or a median hourly wage of $14.12 per hour. The BLS estimates that there were 641,300 individuals working as bartenders in 2022, and projects a steady 3% growth rate in the number of bartender jobs over the next decade.
The figures above probably don’t fully capture how much a really good bartender earns in under the table tips. But the steady rate of growth noted above qualifies as proof that whatever else changes on the labor landscape, the world will alway need bartenders. To the point, while no formal experience is necessary, you’d better enjoy talking to people. It’s a huge part of the job.
While you can land many of these jobs without any prior experience, your chances of being hired may be improved by earning a college degree. Depending on the nature of the job, you may benefit from earning an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
Not sure this is the right move for you? Check out our list of the 10 ways that earning a college degree can improve your earning potential.