Do Jobs Require Proof of a High School Diploma?

by Leyla Norman; Updated September 26, 2017
Graduate receiving a diploma, close-up of hands

Many jobs require employees to have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent. A diploma or GED indicates that the employee has the basic education necessary to complete the job’s assigned tasks. Having your diploma or GED significantly increases your chances of finding a job.


Businessman in meeting

Employers do not usually require job applicants to prove that they have earned their high school diploma or GED. However, you may run across an employer here or there that wants to see your diploma or a certification from your high school that you graduated. The employer may also ask to see proof of your GED if you earned one instead of a diploma. The employers that ask to see proof of completing a high school education are few and far between, however.


Smiling team of interns

Some positions require you to be 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma before you can begin work. If you appear to be under the age of 18, an employer may ask to see your identification to prove your date of birth, and may perhaps ask to see your high school diploma/GED. Other jobs may not require you to be at least 18, but you may have to have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for them. In these cases, you may also be asked to prove you have successfully finished your high school education.


Profile of a Graduate Watching a Graduation

Jobs that require you to have a college education will not typically ask to see certification that you have a high school diploma or GED. When you earn a college degree, it is a given that you have completed your high school education. You may be under 18 and enrolled in college, and therefore have college hours on your resume or on your job application. If this is the case, you may still have to show that you finished high school or earned your GED. If you are under 18 and in college, you may still have to prove you completed a high school education.


Mature woman using telephone at desk in office, smiling

Employers may contact the school you claim to have graduated from to verify that you do in fact have a high school diploma. They can also contact other organizations to find out if you have a GED. In your background check, it will likely come up whether you have indeed finished your high school education. It is best to tell the truth about your educational background on any job application and on any resume you submit to an employer. If the employer has reason to suspect that you are not telling the truth, he may ask you to produce proof you graduated from high school or earned your GED. If you need to get a copy of your high school diploma, contact the school you attended. If the school has been closed, contact the school district, even if you went to a private school. The school district will likely have information on where the school’s records were stored after it was closed.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

Photo Credits

  • Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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