Salary Comparison With People With No High School Diploma Or GED

Dropping out of high school is perhaps not the first choice you would make as a student. However, research shows that about 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the U.S. alone. In California, the California Department of education reports that of all the students who enroll for high school diplomas, about 11% drop out. Here are a few reasons that have been found as to why kids drop out of high school:

School-related issues such as safety, course difficulty, failing grades or thinking it would be easier to just sit for a GED test.

Family related issues such as early pregnancy, supporting/caring for other family members or marriage

Employment related issues such as getting a job or having to work and not having enough time.



This article aims to compare the salaries of high school dropouts to those who earn their high school diplomas. It does not, however, predict the outcome of any individual, but rather, gives an average based on research done.


The statistics

The average high school dropout can expect to earn an annual income of $20,241. This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is compared to $30,627 earned by a high school graduate. If you do your calculations, that is $10,386 less than the typical high school graduate


When you compare the two with a bachelor’s degree holder’s average salary, you’ll be astounded. A person with a bachelor’s degree was found to earn $56,665 a year! Now, you might say that students who attain high school diploma credentials are more likely to get into college. That is true, Less than 5% of those who attain a GED manage to make in into a bachelor’s degree program while33% of those with a high school diploma do. The numbers are pretty clear. Getting your high school diploma will result in higher earnings compared to if you drop out of school.


GED certificate holders have lower earnings compared to those with high school diplomas regardless of age, sex or race. That said, Having a GED certificate is still much better than having nothing at all. It is interesting to note that GED certificate holders who pursued higher education still earned considerably less(approximately $4,900 monthly) than people who had completed their high school diploma and received higher education(approximately $6,300 monthly).


Here are a few other interesting statistics that has been come up with through research:

Unemployment among those without a high school degree stood at 12% which is about 4% higher than the national average.

Dropouts experience a poverty rate of 30.8% for adults between the ages of 18 and 24,

Incarceration rates are 63 times higher in dropouts than among graduates. Of course, there is no direct link between committing crimes and leaving high school but the evidence shows that dropouts are more likely to experience forces that are gateways to crime.

A dropout will end up costing taxpayers an average of $292,000 over the course of their life.


Well, if you are already in this position, this is not meant to discourage you. On the contrary, these statistics should fuel your desire to obtain your high school diploma or GED regardless of your age. All you need to do is take the necessary steps required to start your program. Do your research first. In California, you can get all the information you need from the California Department of Education.


There are schools that offer Adult high School Diploma (mostly community colleges and public schools). You should be able to fit these into your schedule because their classes are usually held in the evenings and weekends. If you are thinking that going back to high school may be a bit too much for you, there are other options. You can decide to enroll in online GED programs that help you prepare to take the GED test. The GED is based on 5 core subjects: Reading, writing, math, science and social studies. It usually tests the knowledge you gained while in high school. You can also find High School Equivalency Certificate programs being done. Just make sure that they are recognized by the stat and not being offered by an illegitimate company.


While there are individuals who are billionaires now even after dropping out of school, it is good to note that these are outliers, the one-in-a-million story. Most people who do not complete their education will not be able to earn high salaries even with years of experience. That is why institutions are coming up to emphasize the need to get your credentials in check by offering highly subsidized or even free programs that adults can enroll in to get their Adult High School Diploma or High School Equivalency Certificate.


In California, several cities offer the HiSET and CAHSEE Exam including Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Thousand Palm, Mecca, Thermal. El Centro, La Quinta, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio and most notably, Coachella. The Coachella Valley High School is known for its Adult High School Diploma program and for hosting various GED Programs for adults who did not attain their High School diploma.California is on the forefront in dealing with increasing dropout numbers in the country, encouraging those who are in school to stay in school and finish their high school diplomas and assisting those who did not finish to find programs that will suit them.


If you are really determined, you will let nothing stand in the way of you getting the education you require. You will need a lot of willpower and resilience to put in the hours you will need to study with your current schedule and obligations. Your greatest enemy in achieving your goals will not be your employers or your community. The greatest enemy of your success will be yourself.


Need to sell online? 

This business supports  Get in Motion Entrepreneurs. |  Google Reviews

 Marketing and Business | (760) 469-9318‬ by Developer | Appointments | Hosting and Domain 

Free Website Strategy Plan via Online/Phone/Person

Call Now Button
Malcare WordPress Security