Highest Paying Trade Jobs

Highest Paying Trade Jobs: A Detailed Guide

What are the best-paying careers for those who don’t have a four-year degree? One way to address that question is to look at some of the highest-paid professions. Trade school jobs with the best pay are a terrific substitute for college and provide a variety of career opportunities. Jobs at trade schools, particularly the highest paying trade jobs, provide above-average salaries and a comfortable lifestyle. 

For several high school grads, trade school is a more cost-effective and stable road to a job and professional growth than a four-year degree. Trade schools, often known as technical colleges or vocational schools, focus on the specialized job experience in elevated industries, allowing students to find work fast after graduation and helping them in getting the highest paying trade jobs.

Many individuals believe that in order to get a satisfying and prosperous job, they need a college diploma. The skilled trades, on the other hand, provide in-demand and well-paying, and highest paying trade jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

A typical four-year degree requires substantially more time and money to finish than a trade school program. Some highest paying trade jobs are Construction projects, mechatronics, boiler making, and radiation treatment. These are just a few of the highest paying trade jobs that vocational schools educate students for.

Highest paying trade jobs?
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If you prefer hard, hands-on work, a trade career may be a good fit for you. Jobs in this industry typically necessitate vocational education or certification and pay well for the particular skill set required and based on your skillset you may get one of the highest paying trade jobs.

Whether you’re applying to technical colleges or looking for trade employment in your region, knowing about the many high-paying trade vocations available will help you find the one that best fits your interests. We’ll look at some of the highest-paying trade occupations in this post, as well as the specific skills required for each.

What is a Trade Job

In an essence, trade careers and occupations are employment that don’t require a bachelor’s. Instead, they need specialised training such as technical and interpersonal skills, which may be obtained through a technical college, on-the-job exercise, or internships.

Unlike a traditional four-year college, trade school takes less time to accomplish eight weeks to two years—and you get even more hands-on skills to develop you for the job. In certain circumstances, aspiring trade employees will complete a handful of years of the apprenticeship program to gain hands-on experience.

Physical labour, such as lifting goods and using manual tools, is common in trade employment. Furthermore, certain trade occupations can be dangerous and repetitious at times.

What is a Trade School

A trade school, also known as a technical school, vocational college, or vocational school, is a post-secondary university that teaches students technical skills in order to prepare individuals for a certain career. To attain one of the highest paying trade jobs, you must first learn some specialised abilities, which trade school will teach you.

You may acquire a degree in computer technology, research and nursing sciences, automobile mechanic training, and medical assistance at a trade school. The length of the program varies, but it usually lasts between eight months and two years.

A trade school, unlike a four-year institution, does not provide a bachelor’s degree but will definitely provide you with one of the highest paying trade jobs. Typically, you’ll obtain a degree or trade certificate following completion of the program, indicating that you completed it effectively. Some programs allow you to get an associate’s degree, which is a two-year college diploma.

Many trade schools have increased their academic curriculum in recent years. They could teach critical thinking, math, leadership, and other topics. To some extent, this blurs the distinction between standard two-year degrees and vocational degrees. However, the majority of vocational schools concentrate on teaching a specialized craft.

Highest Paid Trade Jobs

We’ll look at some of the highest paying trade jobs in this post, as well as the specific skills required for each.

Construction Manager

Construction managers oversee governmental, corporate, domestic, and industrial infrastructure projects, and are one of the highest-paying trade professions. They are also known as project managers or construction and building inspectors, and they are in charge of overseeing projects from start to finish.

Preparing estimates, arranging subcontractors, reacting to difficulties, and reporting to clients are among their tasks. Business, managerial, technological, and verbal abilities are all required in construction management.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs
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Construction managers assess designs and offer timescales for project completion using intellectual and problem-solving abilities. To manage construction groups, they must have exceptional leadership abilities as well as good customer service skills in order to create strong client connections. It is among the highest paying trade jobs.

Construction managers must have a minimum of an undergrad degree and on-the-job experience. By acquiring a bachelor’s degree, they can increase their earning ability and work on bigger projects.  A license is required in several states for construction managers.

Average Annual Wage: $84,476/Year

Air Traffic Controller

Many people are astonished to hear that working in air traffic control does not require a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree or equivalent military experience is typically all that is required of air traffic controllers. Many air traffic controllers begin their careers in the military. It is one of the highest paying trade jobs.

There are still many obstacles to overcome. However, the majority of them may be finished in two years if you enroll in a two-year vocational program. It comes down to effort, much like many other high-paying careers from trade schools.

So, what are the responsibilities of air traffic controllers? The safety of aviation operations is the primary concern of air traffic controllers. They ensure that aviation traffic flows smoothly into and out of airports. In an emergency, air traffic controllers may have to make some difficult decisions. As a consequence, they serve a crucial role in securely returning aircraft and passengers to the ground.

To be an air traffic controller, you must pass a series of examinations, as one might imagine (at least for the Federal Aviation Administration). Physical health, emotional health, and cognitive and functional tests are among them. It is one of the highest paying trade jobs available.

Average Annual Wage: $124,540/Year

HVAC Technician

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration professionals construct and repair systems that regulate the cleanliness and temperature of a building’s air. Refrigeration systems, heating systems, and other machinery and systems fall into this category.

Typically, HVAC professionals spend much of their time in one of two locations. Most technicians spend their days in shops, which can be hot or chilly depending on what type of workplace and the machinery being worked on.

HVACR mechanics also do regular maintenance, such as filter replacement and duct cleansing, to ensure that the system meets government standards. Specialization in an area such as absorption chillers, solar panelling, or radiant heating systems might help these individuals improve their talents.

A six-month certificate or two-year associate degree program is completed by many HVACR specialists. They might also work as an intern to gain the necessary hands-on experience to apply for licensing boards and get one of the highest paying trade jobs.

Average Annual Wage: $50,590/Year

Radiation Therapists

One of the highest paying trade jobs is radiation treatment. In the next several years, more than 9% of additional opportunities for radiation therapists are predicted to become available. People who are unwell receive radiation therapy from these competent specialists. The majority of their time is spent in oncology departments. Hospitals, cancer centres, and other medical facilities may fall under this category.

Radiation therapists, on the other hand, operate machines. These devices give focused radiation treatment to a tumor’s region. Radiation therapy is used to reduce or eliminate tumours and malignancies.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs
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Radiation treatment is a well-paid trade school employment that you wouldn’t expect to see on this list. A vocational associate’s degree, on the other hand, is all that is required for admission into the sector. You can continue your education by earning a bachelor’s degree in radiation treatment.

People that thrive in the field of radiation treatment are usually tech-savvy. They must, however, be people-oriented. They’ll spend a significant amount of time answering inquiries and soothing nervous patients. As a result, in this work, compassion is necessary.

Average Annual Wage: $82,330/Year


Plumbing and the plumbing service business pay well and have a stable workforce. Plumbers operate in a number of settings, including companies, houses, industrial and manufacturing centres, and anywhere else where inside or outside plumbing is required.

From emergency services to repairs, to new plumbing installation, the requirement for this specialized craft equals employment stability and opportunities. To become a plumber, you can choose one of two paths. Some students enroll in technical college during their senior year of high school and then go on to acquire on-the-job training.

The majority of states will still demand licensure for anyone who chose this path. Attending a trade school is another popular alternative, and most reputable programmes include the state licencing procedure as part of the course curriculum. With such huge demand, plumbing is one of the highest paying trade jobs available.

Average Annual Wage: $56,330/Year

Dental Hygienists

At some point in our lives, we’ve all interacted with dental hygienists. So you already know the difference between the average hygienist and a lousy hygienist when it comes to cleaning your teeth.

When it comes to working with patients, the finest hygienists have excellent bedside manners and sensitivity. They do, however, have the technical expertise to move cleaning materials around a patient’s lips.

Many two-year programmes are available to get you started in dental hygiene. State schools, trade schools, and vocational institutions all offer these courses. You may also be able to enrol in an accelerated programme to complete your studies in less than two years. This profession is among the highest paying trade jobs.

Basic medical nomenclature, anatomy, and physiology are all covered throughout the course. You’ll also get access to dental-specific courses. Patients will be educated, teeth will be cleaned, and dentists will be assisted with various responsibilities throughout the courses.

Average Annual Wage: $74,820/Year


As an electrician, you’ll be in charge of everything from maintaining electrical energy to overseeing electrical wiring and repairs. It entails dealing with a variety of systems, including lighting, communication services, power distribution, and control systems. It also entails working in one of the highest-paying skilled labour occupations.

Electrical systems are serviced in a variety of locations, conditions, and places, and an electrician might work many extra hours in a week. While an electrician’s day is never the same, there are several advantages and reasons to seek a career as an electrician.

Highest paying Trade Jobs
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Electricians not only make a solid living, but they also work in a sector that is almost recession-proof. Many trade schools offer electrician programmes, which include help with state licensure requirements. Trade schools are also the most common way to train as an electrician and start a lucrative profession. For such huge demand, this profession is among the highest paying trade jobs.

Average Annual Wage: $56,900/Year


Commercial boilers are made, installed, and maintained by boilermakers, who are expert tradesmen. These aren’t your typical home boilers. They are enormous boilers that create electricity by heating water. The energy is then utilized to heat a structure, ship, or industry.

A four-year apprenticeship with an employer or a boilermakers union is normally required to become a boilermaker. On-the-job training and education can be obtained in this manner. Pursuing a curriculum via a trade or vocational school may be part of the boilermaker curriculum. Typically, you’ll start with a welding certificate programme. You can also enrol in classes in piping, electrical work, metals, and other related fields.

Boilermakers’ work may be physically demanding. It necessitates a thorough understanding of correct design, maintenance, and safety procedures.

Average Annual Wage: $62,150/Year

Respiratory Therapists

For people looking to enter into the healthcare field, respiratory therapists are among the highest-paying trade vocations. Assist people who are experiencing difficulties with their respiratory systems.

A professional degree at the associate’s degree level is typically necessary to enter the sector. Respiratory therapy graduates are likely to find strong demand for their services. In any major health care facility, respiratory therapists are required. They work at elderly homes, sporting complexes, and private workplaces, among other places.

Because everyone needs to breathe, this is a hard profession in which you may be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows you to perform shifts at all hours of the day and night. An associate’s or bachelor in respiratory therapy is the starting point for a career in the area. Many people decide to continue their training after earning their bachelor’s degree.

Average Annual Wage: $60,280/Year

Wind Turbine Technician

As the possibility of a “green new deal” grows, more localities are embracing alternative energy on a large scale. This industry will also provide some of the highest-paying trade positions. And technicians for wind turbines will be in high demand.

There are a lot more job vacancies for wind turbine technicians than there are competent people to fill them. As a result, vocational schools are rapidly developing wind turbine curricula.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs
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A trade school certification is the most common path to become a wind turbine technician. These certification programmes might last anything from six months to a year. This implies they have some of the quickest and most profitable returns on investment (ROI) of any non-degree occupation.

Average Annual Wage: $54,370/Year

Civil Engineering Technicians

Civil engineering is one of the highest paying trade jobs available to someone without a college diploma. Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers in their work. Engineers rely on them to supervise the construction of buildings, roads, pipelines, and other facilities.

Civil engineers are often found on most significant public infrastructure development projects. Civil engineering technicians do some of the same things as drafters, such creating computer-aided design (CAD) drawings.

Dalliances between civil engineers and building teams may be performed by civil engineering technicians. They can assess the conditions under which building projects are being performed in the field. They may also keep track on building progress.

Average Annual Wage: $52,280/Year

Aircraft Mechanics and Technicians

Mechanics and technicians for aviation are in high demand around the country. With an undergrad degree, airline mechanics and technicians can enter the job. Depending on the part of the plane they’re working on, they can also acquire credentials.

Furthermore, many of these well-paying craft vocations provide opportunities to work in industrial environments. Learning to build aeroplane components can open up additional opportunities for promotion throughout the course of a career.

People normally begin their careers as aviation mechanics or technicians after receiving on-the-job training. A lot of people go to an FAA-approved vocational school. Individuals are taught how to test and repair aircraft-related equipment at these courses. It’s one of the highest paying trade jobs out there. 

Average Annual Wage: $63,060/Year

Radiologic and MRI Technologists

For medical diagnosis, radiologic and MRI technicians use particular imaging methods. At most cases, they work in health clinics. Earning an undergrad degree is the first step in becoming a radiologic or MRI technologist.

Bachelor’s degree programmes, on the other hand, are available. Students learn fundamental medical vocabulary, biology, and physiology in this degree programme. They also receive hands-on instruction on how to use scanning equipment.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs
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Obtaining a vocational degree in radiologic or MRI technology has several advantages. The first is that they are among the highest paying trade jobs. that can be practised almost everywhere. The second reason is that the part is extremely popular. Finally, the number of employment vacancies in this industry is predicted to increase by 9% in the next few years.

Average Annual Wage: $61,240/Year

Occupational Therapy Assistant

After an injury or sickness, occupational therapy is a collection of therapeutic approaches designed to assist individuals return to their usual lives. Those who work in this profession assist individuals in developing the skills they require in their daily lives and jobs.

Occupational therapists help people of all ages and walks of life. They may be beneficial to persons who have physical, emotional, or mental disabilities. Some are solely interested in dealing with youngsters or the elderly. Others work with sportsmen or veterans of the military. 

To practise, occupational therapists must obtain a bachelor’s and post graduate diploma. An associate’s degree is required to work as an occupational therapist assistant. Many public universities, trade schools, and vocational institutions offer similar programmes and get them one of the highest paying trade jobs.

Average Annual Wage: $57,620/Year highest paying trade jobs


Drafting is a professional position that may be learned in two years. Architects and engineers provide design standards to drafters. They then convert them into engineering drawings that building crews may utilize.

This profession is always in great demand and thus making it one of the highest paying trade jobs. From single-family homes to skyscrapers, drafters are required for practically every building project. A job in drawing might also help you decide whether or not you want to pursue a career as an architect or engineer.

Undertaking an associates-level vocational programme in drafting is the most frequent path to become a drafter. This will provide you a solid foundation in architecture, arithmetic, CAD, and other fields.

Average Annual Wage: $55,550/Year

Geological and Petroleum Technicians

Some of the highest paying trade jobs in the country include geological and petroleum technologists. They typically operate in the exploitation of natural resources such as minerals and gases from the ground. They may also be useful in scientific research including geological studies.

An honours degree is the primary requirement for this position. In addition, vocational and trade institutions provide a variety of related programs. Natural sciences and petro sectors will be taught to students in these programmes. They’ll also learn about the instruments needed to find natural resources and conduct geological studies. The majority of people will receive some on-the-job training.

Average Annual Wage: $53,300/Year


Cutters, solderers, and brazers are sometimes thrown along with welders. All of these are skilled trades that deal with metal cutting, joining, shaping, and mending. These employees do a wide range of tasks. They may assist in the construction of automobiles, buildings, or ships. Welding and associated jobs are in high demand in a variety of industries. Aerospace, building, manufacturing, scientific activities, and other fields may be included.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs
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Welding is among the highest paying trade jobs with a high level of job security. Welding courses are among the most widely available. Of course, welders may learn on the job. They can, however, learn skills through trade or vocational school programmes. Many are graduates of vocational high school diploma programmes.

Average Annual Wage: $41,380/Year

Automotive Technicians and Mechanics

Almost every driver has a favourite mechanic or car professional. If not, you’ll be able to find one in any part of the country. Mechanics are the classic tradespeople who keep our country moving and our automobiles in excellent working order.

In this field, there are no genuine barriers to entrance. An automobile repair business may be started by anyone. However, the talents of the person executing the task can make a tremendous difference in the results. That is why enrolling in an auto mechanic trade school programme might be beneficial. If you get truly good, there will never be a shortage of work for you.

Average Annual Wage: $40,710/Year

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