No high school diploma? No problem! I know those of you out there without a high school diploma (or equivalent) might be worried that the pool of work-from-home opportunities is the size of a kiddie pool rather than an ocean. Happily, that’s not the case – there are many jobs you can find from home without a diploma. All you need to demonstrate are your talents and skills, and you could have a viable work-at-home career as a freelancer in writing or graphics design, as a virtual assistant or independent businessperson, and more! Read on for the list of eight work-from-home jobs that don’t require a high school diploma I’ve prepared for you.
Just remember as you read: the companies named may not currently include a high school diploma or GED on their list of requirements. Things can change at any time. Please refer to the company website for current eligibility requirements.
1. Freelance Writer
If you think you need a formalized education to become a writer, I’m happy to change your mind. Your ability to craft a good sentence, make your point in the written word, and write something worth reading are independent from your high school graduation.
Whether you learned how to write from reading or elsewhere, the clients of your freelance writing business are not likely to stop you and demand your education credentials. You’ll pick up clients by demonstrating your skills and delivering on your promises – and your writing clips will effectively advertise what you have to offer as a freelance writer.
Can you work for a content farm like BKA Content or Scripted without a high school diploma? It depends. For example, BKA Content simply states you “must be at a college writing level” and Scripted just advertises you have to pass a writing test.
2. Visual Artist/Graphics Designer
Your artistic abilities are another part of you that aren’t necessarily defined by your formal education. Artists demonstrate their skills thanks to both talent and practice and there are many opportunities available for an artist to monetize their craft.
You could earn an income on Fiverr creating logos for companies and illustrations for projects, or even find yourself creating concept art for video games or creating cover art for the publishing industry. There’s always a need for skilled artists and graphics designers, particularly within today’s pop culture trending toward visual-oriented Internet content.
General transcription depends on your skills as a typist – you should have a fast, accurate typing speed and the ability to multitask. It also demands that you be pretty well-versed in English grammar and spelling.
While software programs can correct your spelling, having to go through the spell check process eats up time, and time is very definitely money when it comes to transcription. Transcriptionists are usually paid by the audio hour, not by how long it actually takes you to transcribe the audio. So while you don’t necessarily need a high school diploma, you do need to have strong language and typing skills.
Transcription opportunities that don’t list a high school diploma as a requirement currently include Rev (a great starter company for learning the transcription ropes when you’re just starting out) and TranscribeMe.
Taking care of someone’s pets is a matter of responsibility, care, and attention – and a high school diploma are prerequisites for none of those. Start out by finding private clients through referral, and even start up your private pet-sitting business to care for the animal companions of family, friends, and neighbors.
Taking care of someone’s pets is a great way to dip your toes into your own little business, and can begin by offering dog-walking services. Then you can level up to feeding pets while their owners are away, and providing companionship services as well.
You could also sign up with a service like Rover – it looks like they only require you to be 18 and pass a background check to work with them.
Diplomas don’t come with an understanding of how the Internet works or how to moderate communities on the Internet – so don’t worry about having one when considering taking a position as an online moderator. These jobs require you monitor a given community online – whether that’s a message board or social media – and respond in ways that positively affect the client’s brand. You may ensure that participants are following community guidelines, noting when negative comments are trending on social media, and more.
Check out moderation companies like ICUC, ModSquad, and The Social Element to check out their open positions – last time I checked, various listings did not list a high school diploma (or equivalent) as a requirement to apply.
6. Virtual Assistant
Whether or not you need to have a high school diploma as a virtual assistant depends on the service. If you find most of your clients privately on referral and win them over with your skills and abilities, it most likely does not matter what your attained level of education is. You would be your own boss, and answerable only to your clients. I doubt many of them would ask to see your education credentials before you became their VA.
However, if you want to work with a company, some VA services require their assistants to prove their education pedigree. It’s a selling point for their clientele who don’t know you from Eve. More likely requirements include availability during typical office hours in the work week and work experience – whether as an executive assistant in an office (or related experience), or experience working from home on a freelance basis.
Check out companies like Fancy Hands and Time Etc if you’re interested in working with a VA service.
7. Market Researcher/Secret Shopper
There are many forms of market research available to folks wishing to work from home (or at least not in an office since being a secret shopper does require you to leave your house). There are companies who conduct phone interviews and do market research for their clients remotely, evaluating a client’s brand and products online, alongside legitimate companies that offer you compensation for a shopping trip and giving feedback on the store’s appearance and employees’ behavior. When it comes to performing market research, you obviously need research and communication skills – but not necessarily a high school diploma.
Check Appen for available work-from-home jobs, like their Social Media Evaluator or Pronunciation Specialist positions. You may be asked to provide feedback on advertisements, search results, news feeds, to provide accurate pronunciation guides, and more.
Yardi Matrix periodically looks for people to do rent-related surveys on the phone, alongside MaritzCX who work with phone surveyors for wider market research. If you're interested in secret shopper gigs, check out BestMark or discover more opportunities in my post on secret shopper jobs.
8. Start Your Own Business
Of course, the ultimate way to control how much education is needed in your workplace is to become the creator of that workplace. Go into business for yourself and I promise the boss isn’t going to care whether you have a high school diploma. Starting your own work-at-home business can be very straightforward, depending on what services or products you’re offering.
Something like starting a daycare will involve a lot of zoning concerns and meeting important safety and training guidelines. On the other hand, setting up a jewelry-crafting business or a home photography studio has very different (and comparatively more lenient) requirements. (Always research your state’s home-based business restrictions and requirements on your state’s Secretary of State website.)
As I’ve mentioned above, you can also create a fully virtual business by recruiting your own private clients as a virtual assistant, freelance writer, graphics artist, and more. The scope of your potential business is only limited by your ideas!
Like I said: no high school diploma? No problem. Take these eight job ideas and run with them – make your work-from-home dream a reality.