In another green box below are stories of unschoolers' volunteering to help, and it turning into a job offer. No guarantee, but possibility. It does always lead to more knowledge and experience, though!
A list of lots of jobs, but not all the jobs in the world. If you think of some that aren't here, good.

Sometimes kids only know of the jobs they've personally seen. Here are various lists of jobs, many of which don't need college. (And probably everyone knows people who have great jobs and no college, or college and an unrelated job.)

And as an intro to part of the list at left, a contributor wrote: "things I've done and friends have done for money (some are a little out of date)." Some out-of-date things come back, or exist less visibly. blacksmithing; weaving…

Contributors to this list and page: Alex Polikowsky, Jo Isaac, Sandra Dodd, Jennifer Smith, Joyce Fetteroll, braff16, Michelle Bailey, M. Horvath, Anna-Marie, Katie Oxford, Katerina Koleva, Deanne Rosselli, Lucy Web, Marina Moses, Dena Morrison, Rachel/Rachk2000, Meredith Novak, Steph Selby, Rippy Dusseldorp, Robyn Coburn, [email protected], Karen James
(I hope I didn't leave someone out)

Dog handler
Dog groomer
Dog handler
Make up Artist
Flight Attendant
Game developer
Game art
Cow Fitter ( gets cows ready for shows
Hoof trimmer ( horses, cows)
Horse trainer
Horseback riding instructor
Photographer ( Not only for people , weddings, dog shows, cow shows, advertizing, journalism, and so much more)

Fixing computers
Building special computers
developing games
developing software
Wine maker
organic grower
Fiber Farmer
Flip Houses
Disaster restoration specialist ( trained to mitigate fire, water and other disasters )
Dairy Farmer
Crop Farmer
Chicken Farmer
Pig Farmer
Turkey Farmer
Beef Farmer
Solar Panel Installer
Fist Responder
Cook - Chef - Sous Chef- Baker
Furniture making
Staging houses for selling
Truck Driver
Wedding planner
Website designer
Cow Classifier
Fixing Smart phones
Personal Organizer
Personal Assistant
Personal Shopper
Music/ instrument instructor
Private Language instructor
Jewelry Designer
Project Coordinator
Martial Arts Instructor
Surfing instructor
Swim coach/instructor
Kennel Manager
jewelry designer
jewelry assembler/finisher
factory work
manufacturing supervisor
track coach
Senior Olympics director
math professor
sales person at a music store
     skateboard shop
     smoke shop
sign shaker
band artist
merchandise sales
Foster parent
Delivery person
     medical supplies
     cloth diapers
Truck driver (long and short haul)
post office, package mailing store
Travel writer
Music teacher (in home, in a school, or a business)
Clock/watch maker and/or repair
Specialty hobby shop worker or owner
Animal breeder (birds, dogs, cats, cows)
Carpet installer
Window painter
Magician's assistant
Creator/purveyor of magic equipment
Party organizer
Set decoration
Lighting engineer
Designer of fountains
heating/cooling installer/designer
construction worker
     framing / carpentry
     custom window installation
Metal recyclers
Garage Sales
(many make a good living doing that)
Professional estate sale runner
Auctioneer of abandoned property
Dog-owner to chase away the Canadian Geese that won’t migrate home (heavily used in state and county parks)
Goats-for-rent to cut lawns on large property
Children’s consignment resale event owner
Mobile dog grooming
Dog and cat day spas/babysitters
Farm delivery service (bringing fresh food from the farm to the city)
Freelance writer
House cleaner
Food truck owner
Food truck coordinator
Hauling/Delivery/Moving Services
Computer Repair/Setup/Services
Bicycle Repair
Child Care/Day Care
Screen Printing/Sign Making
Teaching specialty classes for homeschoolers ;)
Restaurant work
bank / savings & loan teller
    loan officer
Museum curator
Folk Herbalist
Film/TV extra
Ayurvedic Practitioner
reiki practioner (or other hands-on healing)
personal coach (life coach)
teach seminars or workshop on...
    money management
    parenting, etc.
buy used things fix them and sell for profit
    antiques shamanic practioner
tarot card reader
energy healer
tour guide
taxi driver
city park plant management
911 operator
Massage Therapist
Infant Massage teacher
Volunteer Coordinator
Computer repair
Body guard
Shoe salesman
Shoe store manager
Copier specialist
Business owner- (sole proprietorship, partnerships, LLC)
Painter-artist, muralist
Painter-commercial & residential
Furniture maker
Camp counselor
Project manager
Cable & satellite installer
Long distance specialist Mortgage processor
Underwriter-hard work, dedication & skill got her there
Vice-president for jumbo loans
Costume designer
Theater make up artist
Credit repair specialist
Auto parts manager
State inspector
Used car inspector (pre-purchase)
Security guard- commissioned & non-commissioned
Ballroom dancer & instructor & competitor
Pizza delivery driver
Stage manager
Crew manager
Umpire & Referee
Drama teacher
Foundation repair specialist
Server & cocktail waitress
Tech support
Substitute teacher
Special needs caregiver
Elderly caregiver
Daycare teacher
Field trip leader
Curriculum writer
Floral designer
Customer service expert
Book keeper
Special project administrator
Ordained minister
Group home parent
Suite attendant
Real estate agent
Real estate Broker
Oil fields worker
Truck driver
Leasing agent
Pawn broker
Silk screener
Music & Movie reviewer
Discipleship Ministries Coordinator
Insurance claim processor
Class action law suit claims processor
Switchboard operator
Financial Aid specialist
Non-profit Fund Raiser
Special event coordinator
Free-education Collaborative Founder
Convention director
Research expert
Graphic artist- print
Graphic artist-web
Marketing Specialist
Clinic escort
Key punch operator (probably obsolete now)
Specialty Advertisers
Exotic dancer
Car salesman
Reprographics expert
Tattoo artist & designer
Street artist
Sign painter
Curb painter
Parking lot striper
Raising goats
Horse boarding
Sandwich maker
Landscape designer
Sign language interpreter
Tour guide
Birthday party hostess
Children's entertainer

    making baby carriers

    cloth diapers

    diaper covers


bread making
figure model (artists' model)
photo technician (black and white or color)
xray technician
bicycle repair
furniture refinishing
drapery making
furniture re-upholstery
automotive re-upholstery
teaching yoga
translating (oral or print - lots of technical fields, too)
in home childcare
home health aide
instrument building
instrument repair
food buying club manager
ornamental casting (plaster, concrete, cultured marble)
mold making
small engine repair
sewing machine cleaning and repair
doll making
jewelry making
ornamental blacksmithing
ornamental glass work
chair caning
general carpentry/ light construction
cabinet making
firewood sales
Water/ compost barrel maker
Science consultant/ liaison with physicians
Car speaker sales/ installation
Computer technician
Book layout and design
Ski/ surfing instructor
Outdoor sports instructor
Own & run a camp
3D printing shop
Silk screening shop
Theater instructor
Snow plower
Snow cone stand owner
Face painter
Massage, acupuncturist, physical therapist
Seasonal jobs/ catering to the needs of tourists

Robyn Coburn's list of film production jobs (in purple):


Development person

Executive Producer
Line Producer

First Assistant Director (often called "the" AD)
2nd AD
2nd 2nd AD
Set PA

Script Supervisor

Unit Production Manager
Production Coordinator
Assistant Production Coordinator
Production Secretary
Production assistant
production runner

Production Accountant
Payroll (usually contracted to a company)

Locations Manager
Assistant Locations Manager
Locations Scout

Production Designer
Art Director
Set Designer (called Draughtsman in UK)
Construction Foreman
Scenic Painter
Paper Hanger
Greens person
Foam Sculptor

Set Decorator
Lead Man
Set Dresser

On set (or Stand by) Set Dresser
On set (or Stand by) Carpenter
On Set (or Stand by) Scenic painter

Property master
Weapons master
Assistant Prop master

Product placement coordinator

Prop Makers

Mechanical FX
Pyrotechnics Supervisor

Make Up Designer
Make Up Artist
Hair Designer
Hair Dresser
Wig maker

Costume Designer
Wardrobe Supervisor
On Set costumer
Wardrobe Assistants
Pattern maker

Cinematographer or Director of Photography
Camera Operator
Focus Puller or First AC
Loader or 2nd AC
Steadicam operator
There are now specialists who fly remote controlled mini aircraft with cameras mounted on them
The Matrix camera fx is set up by specialists
Imax are specialist cameras too
Video Assist

Best Boy

Key Grip
Dolly Grip Grip

Production Sound Mixer
Boom Operator
Utility Sound

Craft Service
Set Medic
Studio Teacher

Caterer and assistants (so chefs)

Stunt coordinator
Stunt performer
Stunt driver

Stand in
Body double

Transportation coordinator
Transpo captain

Casting Agent
Assistant Casting Agent


Lighting — That would be the Gaffer, Best Boy and Electricians who work under the direction of the DP/Cinematographer, with some assistance from Grips when the needed item is not electrical (eg flags, scrims and reflectors).

That is just Production. I'll send the post production list separately. Definitions on request. ;)
BTW the entry level positions are Production Assistant and Production Runner.

Pre-production and development
Concept artists and illustrators
Storyboard artists

In Production -
Miniaturist/ Model builder
Matte Painter

Post Production Jobs - I may miss some since I don't work in post myself.

Post Production Supervisor
Post Production Coordinator
Post Production Assistant (post PA)
Post Production Runner

Assistant Editor

Negative cutter (a job fast disappearing in a digital world)
Projectionist (in the studio)

Sound Designer
Sound Effects Editor
Sound/Dialogue Editor

Foley Artist
Foley Mixer

ADR Mixer
Sound effects recordist (someone who goes out and finds interesting sounds to use or alter)
Music Coordinator
Composer (for the original score)
Orchestra or musicians

Mixer/music producer
Legal - music clearances and licensing
Visual FX Coordinator
Visual Fx Editor
Color Timer (again a relic of shooting on film I believe)

The immense and ongoing list of people who work in CGI doing everything from creating entire sets and worlds to replace the green screen, to as tiny as removing distant tv antennas off roofs in the skyline of a period film. They have all kinds of technical titles that you can see in the end credits of any movie. Usually what happens it that certain jobs are delegated to different Post Production/FX companies with specialties and then everyone who touches a part of it is on the list.

Main Title Designer
End Credits Designer (often the same person or company)
Graphic artist

Telecine and the people that make digital prints to send to all the theaters.

Then there is the marketing department - everyone from the brain trust who come up with the campaigns, to the graphic artists who design posters etc to the merchandisers creating action figures, drinking cups and other licensed product tie ins. George Lucas started the modern wave of this stuff you know.

Distribution Department - the Head and various assistants and office workers. Does this really count? If the film wins an award it counts like anything!

Peripheral Occupations:

Theater owner
Theater usher and concessions worker
Ticketing companies

Equipment Manufacturers and Vendors - a huge list in itself
Rental Vendors
Expendables manufacturers and vendors
Software designers and engineers

Societies and guilds employ people to do all kinds of administrative work

Party planners create events

There are agencies just for Extras.

There are the people that run Netflix, Hulu and other online film distribution

Video Games, Animation, VFX, Softward Technology jobs (actual)

My sister, with no college education, started catering wedding cakes after taking a cake decorating class at JC Penny's and making special occasion cakes for people. She started with box cake mix, moved to from scratch cakes. From there, she started catering small parties onto bigger parties. Then decided to make homemade chocolate truffles. She would give these to customers as a thank you for your business. People loved them so much that they started ordering her truffles. She then started making other chocolates (sea shells, lollipops, stars, golf balls, ears, anatomically correct body parts) and selling these items online. Adding in some party favors next to her online store. Now, she owns 3 acres in a forested area with her home and business on site. Her employees run the show while she supervises from Hawaii, or wherever she chooses to travel.

(from something I wrote in 2011, and I don't remember whose note I was quoting; sorry)
In a discussion a bit similar, on facebook, a local friend of mine just wrote "Two of my college friends married each other after graduating with $100k degrees in English and Art respectively. Last time I was in touch with them, they were answering phones at an auto insurance company call center. Education really doesn't predict occupation at all."

A list of the jobs I had prior to getting a degree. (Jo Isaac's list)
Kennel-maid (probably now called Kennel Assistant!?)
Bar person
Fairground worker
Hostel cleaner
Chef (well — probably 'cook' since I didn't have a chef certification!)
Nightclub glass collector
Random jobs i've had since i finished my degrees - degree probably helped, but most you could do without:
Lizard feeder
Water vole catcher
Zoology field assistant/technician
Hedgehog catcher
Freelance magazine writer (environmental/wildlife articles and hiking/walking articles)
Website design and writing
Photographer (mostly linked with magazine articles)
Newsletter design and writing

There are fields people don't think about if their families aren't involved.
Funeral director
make-up artist for funerals.
I saw an ad in a window in Ashford, Surrey, this summer. If someone wanted to join and learn funeral services at a company there, they would pay for the required courses. And baby boomers will be dying in droves soon.

There are other opportunities because of that, too, taking care of aging baby boomers.

There's no video with this, but several ideas are named. Bob McGrath is the main singer.

And it's a reminder that someone who started off interested in hand puppets eventually owned a company that made movies, three (or more) television series, and contracted special effects out to other companies. Jim Henson!

A family friend of ours was passionate about East Timor and spent years volunteering and doing work related to East Timor. He eventually became so knowledgeable about almost everything related to East Timor that he was offered a job with the UN. Problem was the UN have a policy that you need an undergraduate degree to be employed by them which he didn't have (not sure if he finished high school?). They worked out a way around it and he's worked with the UN in East Timor for a few years now.
Outside links:

20 Bizarre New Jobs Of The Future

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a wealth of information. Specifically, they have an Occupational Outlook Handbook ( that lists thousands of careers, a description of their responsibilities, the education required, how many people currently are employed in that field and the demand outlook for the future.

~Michelle B

8 New Jobs People Will Have in 2025 (This was written in August 2013. Twelve years from now, some of them might be interesting in Jetsons kinds of ways.)
You can add Chimney Sweep! It doesn't require a class (however, courses are available). My father in law owns a sweep business and though he attended a class 30+ years ago my husband has been working the last 5 years with him and hasn't ever taken any formal course. smiley face M.Horvath
braff16 wrote: "Some jobs you can end up winding your way into even if you're meant to have a degree to do them..."

My husband ended up taking this route when he went from a retail manager to a position at the corporate level within the same company. Doesn't happen all the time, but it's possible.

I wound up working for an arts organisation, doing the photocopying, etc. Then I got the chance to progress a bit, but not as much as I wanted to, and so I decided to go to university as a part time mature student to get the qualifications that would mean I could progress much further within the organisation. On the strength of my portfolio I was accepted onto a post-grad course even though I didn’t even have A levels at that point (the UK exams you do before going to university). Two years later I had an M.A.

Just to add to the job lists: I work as a writer in schools and my husband works as a public artist (making sculptures and art works for town centres, etc.)

Bookstore manager / clerk
Library Clerk
I'd also like to mention that although there is a small amount of college required (here in L.A. you can take 8 classes through a local community college to receive a certificate, Library Technician is a good job, especially for those who are drawn to working with books/information, but who do not want to pursue a college degree or in a librarian's case, a master's degree. You're basically doing everything a librarian does (from what I understand) you're just not receiving the same level of pay.

-Pharmacy Technician (this can be a high stress/high turnover job, and there are colleges that offer training, but many people receive their first pharmacy tech job at places like Walgreen's, CVS, etc. and they do not require a degree. This position is similar to Library Tech, in that Pharmacy Techs do almost everything a Pharmacist does, they just receive less pay, and a Pharmacist has to sign off on everything a tech does.

[Note from Sandra: Similarly, paralegal. And, with more education, "physician's assistant".]

Here's Bob where he shows, but they only name two jobs.

-=- Do you want jobs and careers that do not required College or that there is no College that trains specifically for it? -=-
Some places prefer that you do on the job training rather than do a college course. My hairdresser told me that at their salon they prefer people do a paid internship straight after high school (or maybe during high school?) with the salon in order to get on the job training and attend industry workshops. The owners believe the college courses teach outdated techniques and the students then need to relearn the new techniques at the salon. They prefer their hairdressers to skip the hairdressing college courses all together.

It's one of the uber-cool salons in the city. (Leiden, the Netherlands)


(Also from Rippy:)
My parents did not want me to work until I was 18. I did a lot of volunteering before 18 (and after), but only started paid employment at that time. I decided not to work once Gianluca was born. The following list is my 14 years of work experience to the best of my memory (some of these years were also spent traveling the world):
label maker
assistant manager, clothing store
sales associate
video store clerk
athletics teacher
play leader
camp counsellor
health educator (body awareness, alcohol and drugs, stress management, sexual health)
environmental coordinator
employment counsellor
police intern (in the departments of forensics, intelligence, crime prevention, victim support, family protection, etc.)
office manager
teacher trainer
international education consultant
program manager
publishing assistant
data entry clerk
desk editor
farm hand
customer service consultant
team coach for customer service consultants
teacher assistant, university
substitute teacher
english teacher
head of english department (there was only me and one other teacher ;-)
These are the volunteer positions I've had (some of them starting when I was a child):
teacher's assistant, elementary school
teacher's assistant, special needs school
crossing guard
(Sikh) Missionary (singing, playing musical instruments, helping with cooking, cleaning, building, answering children's questions, being a storyteller, helping people learn how to meditate, helping people learn how to play musical instruments and new hymns, etc.)
basketball coach
distress and suicide line counsellor
information line operator
orientation leader
campaign canvasser
research assistant
board member, non-profit
home learning group founder/organizer
happy parenting inspirer
When I graduated, I wanted to do *so many* things. I was super excited about all the possibilities out there. I thought it was unfair that university students were expected to commit to one career so soon after graduating. I couldn't decide. I wish I had been creative enough to come up with Sean Aiken's idea of working 52 jobs in 52 weeks ( I thought his idea was pure genius.
When I used to be invited to interviews, I asked lots of questions and was basically interviewing them as well :-) If I was offered a job, I often requested if I could job shadow for a few days before I committed to accepting the job (I offered to do it for free). Because I knew I would never have the time to do all the jobs I wanted to do, I frequently requested if I could work part time so I could juggle multiple jobs. I preferred short term, temporary contracts. I'm pretty sure at one point I was juggling 5 different jobs - all of them were fun and exciting to me :-)

Something unexpected happened because of my preference of working multiple jobs at multiple organizations. After a couple of years, I didn't have time to apply for new jobs. Employers started contacting me. I had been working for a lot of different non-profits, educational institutions and government departments and my former employers started recommending me to their networks for different projects. There was more work than I could possibly do.

Some jobs I have been offered, but decided not to take because I was already committed to something else:

nanny (in California, for the cameraman of Star Trek: The Next Generation)
multicultural coordinator
life coach
children's activity coordinator (at a hotel in the Canary Islands)
director of a Tesol college
unschooling facilitator (a family asked me if I would consider unschooling their child along with my own)

(Gianluca 8, Gisele 7)

Actor for medical students - My sister supports herself by being a regular extra for a TV show, as well as playing a patient for medical students at a teaching hospital. She is given an entire personal history, and has to answer the interns questions as they come up. It is not scripted. She really enjoys it, and said that she has learned so much from it.

(Trainers for Emergency Medical personnel (ambulance crews and such) sometimes hire actors to be accident victims, and to be having medical reactions and emergencies.)

Professional poker player. I know a few people making a living out of playing poker either online or on live tournaments(some around the world).

My husband used to support our family for a few years by betting on futball online.

My 18 year old daughter is in her 3rd year of teaching dance at the studio she grew up taking classes in. She started as a class helper for a tuition break as many kids do but at 16 was given a couple of classes on her own. Last year many kids wanted to take her classes and this year she works 5 nights per week and choreographs for competition.

My husband loved video games. He owns and operates a computer technology company. He once taught computer classes at a tech school but he has never taken any classes himself.

My 23 year old son writes papers for students. Not my first choice of ways to use his amazing writing skills but for now it is legal and lets him travel. Incidentally, it surprised me that there are so many people at high end universities paying to have their work done for them.

This one was from a special in 1988. Oscar the Grouch starts it out, and at the end he merrily insults the singing.(Oscar is performed by Caroll Spinney, who also does Big Bird. He was first an artist, by training and profession.)

Some of Steph's list is on the left column, but the longer descriptions are here:
Composter, take in old food garbage, make compost and sell it

Field science application specialist, to work through problems scientists may encounter with their new software & hardware Bioinformatician, math, computer science and biologist in one
People involved with running a maker-space, so people can get their hands on tools and learn how to use them or get help with ideas, etc.

We live in rural New England and our trash service tends to be local, very small, single owners that pick up our trash and take it to the dumps, our guy runs it on the weekends as a side business, so trash service

Our neighbor works at a trash facility and people bring him their food left overs, with the left overs he feeds, raises & sells pigs

A person who creates a better server/ software for managing e-mail lists/ documents than yahoo after the change…


Sandra Dodd, of Kirby's job running Pokemon tournaments at 14:
It wasn't because he was unschooled, but it was because he was available, so that helped. It wasn't because he was unschooled and available but because of those things he had hung out there and had the social skills to talk to adults, to make eye contact, to shake hands, to make appropriate jokes and comments. He had the chance to be himself and to show them skills and attributes. He was NOT doing it to get a job. He was doing it to be nice, to be friendly, because it was fun to help out there.

Marina Moses:
My daughter didn't start dancing until she was 9. In the competitive dance world that's late. She loved it right away and was choreographing little pieces right away. By the time she was 11 she never wanted to leave the studio and since she didn't have to wake up for school I would let her hang out before and after her classes to watch. She got put to work as a helper for younger kids more often than most of the girls because she was there. At her studio you get a little break on tuition for helping in a class once a week-most of the advanced kids have a helper class. Chelsea helped in way more than one class even though there was no extra break. She is 18 and in her third year of teaching dance. She choreographs for competitions. She makes a great wage doing what she would do for free if they stopped paying her!

Hospital jobs are very varied, because a large hospital can be like a city in addition to the medical specialties and particulars, with shops and food vendors, the cafeteria, the preparation of regular and varied, special meals for patients, places for residents to sleep, the supplying and cleaning of all of those things, the information desk and reception areas...

"My husband is more then happy in his job as the ER clerk. Other jobs include Sterile Processing, Transport, Lift Team, Rehabilitation Assistants, Medical Records clerk, Librarian, Nutritionist, Diabetes Educator, Monitor technician, Engineer, Environmental services (housekeeping, a job I would totally do if I weren't a nurse). Operators for the phone system, Analysts for the electronic medical record, Purchasing folks, parking attendants, shuttle drivers, recreation therapists, I could go on, so many wonderful jobs in hospitals!" —hebh

Specialists in labs
Hazardous materials receipt, storage, disposal

Hospital equipment and furniture is manufactured, stored, sold, shipped, installed and maintained.

Karen James wrote:
I was a picture framer for ten years before we moved to the US. I loved that job. I got to frame so many objects, including a snowboard, a wedding dress and a gun from the US civil war - first time I had ever held any of those items in my hands. I got to handle and look up close on many wonderful works of art, and hear so many stories about why different things were meaningful to different people. Children's art was some of my favourite to frame.

Before that I worked in a small art gallery. Before that I worked in a photo lab (I see that one listed). Before that a grocery store. I was a cashier, then front end manager. Honestly, I've enjoyed all my jobs.

Since Ethan was born, I've been drawing and painting and selling works locally in cafes and small art galleries, as well as on Ebay for a few years. Ebay was a thrill, as I got to ship pieces all over the world...literally. I still love to think about where my different works are living.

I have volunteered a few places, but my favourite was a local soup kitchen where Ethan and I got to hand out desert before cleaning up after lunch service. Ethan loved handing out the food to people, and has since said he would either like to be a waiter or help people. Or a Youtuber. He's eleven.

My dad went as far as grade three, at which time he left home with one of his brothers. From that point, he learned to read and write well enough to fill out applications for various jobs. Along the way, he learned the skills to be a welder and boiler maker. Gradually he learned enough practical skills and math to become head mechanic at an ice cream factory where he worked for twenty years before retiring at age 55. I got to live with many years of free ice cream!

My mom worked on some of the very first telegraph machines at Marconi in Montreal when she was a teen. She went as far as grade seven in school. In her twenties she got married and was asked to leave her position to make room for unmarried women and men. Funny mom and dad both worked at Marconi for a short time together. My dad worked in the mail room. He remembers my mom, but she doesn't remember him. They met again twenty years later when he moved in with her and my brothers as a room and boarder. My mom later sold Avon for many years, and remained dedicated to making a comfortable home for her family.

My husband worked for his dad as a boy. His dad was a self-taught inventor, and Doug has fantastic memories of hearing the rumble of some newly invented machine in the basement. Later Doug's dad started a factory called James Packaging, where he made (from scratch) machines for packaging items in vacuum formed plastic. (Doug actually wired some of those up for his dad after taking some electronics classes in high school.) But before the factory, he did it all in the basement of their small house, and Doug and his sister helped. Doug tells me of a time when he helped package thousands of containers of bird de-licer with his sister. With the money they earned, they bought themselves matching desks and Doug bought Atari games.

Doug went through university and grad school on full scholarships after that, always hugely inspired by the things he was learning. He started out in physics, moved to applied math, and finished with his PhD thesis in computer graphics. He is currently working as a professor in computer science with a continued focus on physics and applied math. Many of the animations, game engines and special effects in movies produced these days contain research that he, his students and his colleagues have worked on. That's a thrill for Doug to see ideas of his and others be put to practical use - especially on things that bring people so much joy. Doug even received a science and technology Academy Award last year for a project he and three others worked on. Ethan and I got to go to that with him. Can't say any of us ever imagined walking the red carpet. It sure is interesting where life can take us!

(That's a really long winded way to say that I didn't see picture framer on your list. )


Here's a list of professional jobs on the Australian immigration site—skills for which a person might be granted immigrant status and a work permit:

Professional Occupations List and here's a ink to four categories of Skilled Occupations. "If your occupation is not on the list, then there still can be options for full Permanent Residence, via State-Sponsorship or Employer Nomination." That's in case one of your non-Australian kids wants to emigrate to Australia.

(Thanks, Jo Isaac, for the links.)

from UnschoolingDiscussion on googlegroups in 2006:

20 Great Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

By Kate Lorenz, Editor

What do Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and entertainment mogul David Geffen have in common? Besides being exceedingly rich, none of them has a college degree.

Though it was once conventional wisdom that you needed to have a four-year college degree to be successful, many employment experts believe that maxim has become myth. While a college education increases a worker's chances of earning more money, it's certainly not the only reliable path to well-paid and rewarding work.

Even though good jobs increasingly require some post-high school training, many still don't require a four-year degree. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, eight of the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2014 do not require a bachelor's degree. And these jobs, which include health technology, plumbing, firefighter and automotive repair, are less vulnerable to outsourcing. After all, if your car breaks down in Indiana, you're not going to fly someone in from India to help you!

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau, career planning expert Michael Farr and statistician Laurence Shatkin recently published the second edition of their book "The 300 Best Jobs That Don't Require a Four-Year Degree." Among the 25 top-paying occupations are jobs in sales, education, law enforcement, construction, administration and transportation, as well as management and supervisory jobs.

Here are 20 of the top-paying jobs that don't require a degree, according to Farr and Shatkin's book:

Job: Air Traffic Controller
Annual Income: $102,030

Job: Storage and Distribution Manager
Annual Income: $66,600

Job: Transportation Manager
Annual Income: $66,600

Job: Police and Detectives Supervisor
Annual Income: $64,430

Job: Non-Retail Sales Manager
Annual Income: $59,300

Job: Forest Firefighter and Prevention Supervisor
Annual Income: $58,920

Job: Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisor
Annual Income: $58,902

Job: Real Estate Broker
Annual Income: $58,720

Job: Elevator Installer and Repairer
Annual Income: $58,710

Job: Sales Representative
Annual Income: $58,580

Job: Dental Hygienist
Annual Income: $58,350

Job: Radiation Therapist
Annual Income: $57,700

Job: Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Annual Income: $56,450

Job: Child Support, Missing Persons and Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Investigator Annual Income: $53,900

Job: Criminal Investigator and Special Agent
Annual Income: $53,990

Job: Immigration and Customs Inspector
Annual Income: $53,990

Job: Police Detective
Annual Income: $53,990

Job: Police Identification and Records Officer
Annual Income: $53,990

Job: Commercial Pilot
Annual Income: $53,870

Job: Talent Director
Annual Income: $52,840

Though a college degree is not a requirement for these positions, all require moderate to extensive on-the-job training or apprenticeship. In addition, Dental Hygienists, Radiation Therapists, Nuclear Medicine Technologists and Commercial Pilots require an associate degree at a vocational or technical school.

Highest-Demand, Competitive-Paying Jobs
Competitive paying jobs for which there is high demand for workers include:

Vocational Education Teachers at the post secondary level, with annual earnings of $40,740 and 216,000 openings each year;

Registered Nurses, with annual earnings of $52,330 and 215,000 openings each year;

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives, with annual earnings of $45,400 and 160,000 openings annually; and

Tractor Trailer/Truck Drivers, with annual earnings of $33,520 and 300,000 annual openings.

"The thing to keep in mind is that there are something like 50 million jobs out there that don't require a bachelor's degree and pay upwards of $40,000 a year," says Harlow Unger, author of "But What If I Don't Want to Go to College? A Guide to Success Through Alternative Education."

He goes on to say that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2010, almost two-thirds of all projected job openings will require only on-the-job training.

So while a college degree was de rigueur for the Baby Boom generation, that's not necessarily the case now. In today's highly technical and service-related market, workers are judged more on their skills than their sheepskins.

Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues

That list didn't even mention computer repair. Didn't mention paralegals, or administrative assistants. (Sandra)
Paula L:
And the list didn't mention cleaning and organizing businesses! My husband and I started our business, Simple Solutions, 16 months ago. You can do very well financially if you want to push the hours and even maybe hire employees. Right now we work a combined total of 40 hours a week- we take turns working so one of us is with Andy. We have no desire to make this a big venture. It's just the two of us. We will be raising our rate soon. We are not rich, but we are getting by just fine, better than ever before. And we have virtually NO overhead expenses, which is awesome. We're even getting a pretty good tax return. Best of all, we really like it. :-)

I was thinking of electricians, plumbers. My bil is a builder, and is so busy with remodels he turns them away. My daughter wants to be a funeral director, and that doesn't require a degree. Janet

Nancy B:
I used to work for a large police department in CA. SO many people started as clerks in the records department, even as temporaries, just filing reports and stuff. You could move up to unbelievable status from there. If you were a hard worker, dependable, they would choose you for a promotion over someone they didn't know with a degree. One of the most common was forensic police work.

Someone would start as a clerk, then move up to a fingerprint specialist (you could do this after taking a short 9 week course at the community college.)

From there, either you happily stayed (they made good money) or you moved up to the crime lab. They taught you all you needed to know. There were steps up from there, and eventually one would end up investigating crime scenes,...all kinds of stuff...

Sometimes it could get a little gory (murders, etc) but I was friends with most of the crime lab people and they all loved their job.

Also, lots of clerks moved up to police officer, then up to detective, then up the chain of command.

____________ also Nancy B:

If you raise your children with a lot of happiness, contentment, curiosity, love, affection, they don't place all their future happiness on what their career will be, what they'll "be." Life is instead about exploring, having fun, pursuing interests.

At 42 years old, I have begun running a small sheep and goat farm (we have about 50 head right now, including babies) and doing really quite well making things and selling them on Ebay, out of the wool from our sheep (you can check under completed items under the name "motleymutton"....I don't have anything listed today, probably tonight.)

Because I took the time to find out what programs are out there floating around, I discovered that the USDA has grants for people wanting to do ecologically sound farming, and because I am #1, a woman, and #2, a relatively new farmer, I got a grant to put up division fencing (so we can rotate our animals) natural fertilizer, new seeding for our pastures, self feeding water troughs, and animal pathways to cut down on erosion. They will pay 90 percent of all costs, and with the amount they pay for labor (our labor) that makes up the extra 10 percent.

Two of my kids have expressed a real interest in farming, and we're going all out on our garden this year. We're going tonight to the first farmer's market meeting of the year to see about selling veggies and goat milk soap there. I have told the kids if they help, we will divide the money evenly between us. What's even cooler, there's a skateboard park right next to the farmer's market, so this whole venture will be enjoyable for them (they can take turns skating and selling.)

Not one single bit of any of this took a degree. What it did take is pursuing something I love (farming, animals, art, nature and ecology.) I read a lot of books on organic farming, permaculture, etc. But anyone can pick those up at the public library.

Stopping, helping your kids take a look at their interests, looking at things that the "world" considers prestigious and wondering, WHY??.....that's a good starting place.

—Nancy B

[end of quotes from googlegroups, but you can read more at that discussion, which has other accounts about maintenance, coffee roasting, engineering, the military…]

From a conference presentation description in 2009, Sandra, about Kirby:
Kirby Dodd, 22, has played video games for 18 years, and board games longer than that. For four years he worked in a gaming shop, running tournaments and working retail. For a while he worked in a popular local pizza place, and for the last two years he has worked in the gaming industry. He grew up in Albuquerque, but has lived in Austin since a few days after his 21st birthday, because that's where he was offered a cool job. Kirby is the oldest of three who didn't go to school. and: How can a 22 year old have seven years of experience? He was offered a job running the Pokemon League at a gaming store when he was 14. Time passed, he played LOTS of games, and now he works in the gaming industry.
2015 update:
After eight and a half years with Blizzard, Kirby moved back to Albuquerque and quickly got a job doing computer tech support, on contract, for a large corporation.

Teens The problem of "Unschool World" "I live therefore I learn"