Eleana Bowman
Community Specialist
Posted September 23, 2021

What are the highest paying trade jobs?

What are the best trade jobs? We rounded up 7 of the highest paying trade jobs. Learn how much you can make and where you can find a job.
Eleana Bowman
Community Specialist
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What are the highest paying trade jobs?
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There is a shortage of skilled trade laborers in this country. For example, the demand for apprentice plumbers has increased by around 24%, and new jobs for construction workers have increased by 17%.

This trend is good news for those looking for different career options.

If you're interested in pursuing a trade, you may be wondering which job is right for you.

To help you decide, we've put together a list of the seven highest-paying trade jobs.

We'll introduce you to each one, break down the responsibilities, and show you exactly how much you can expect to make. And we'll show you where you can start your job search.

What is a trade job?

A trade job is a skilled, manual occupation. You can earn most trades at a trade school, community college, or with an apprenticeship, though some trades do need a four-year bachelor's degree.

Some trade jobs are entry-level, with on-the-job training. This training includes both practical and theory components.

Before you start your vocational training, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Popular trade industries include construction, healthcare, and manufacturing.

It's usually cheaper to go to a trade school than a private college. And if you do well in your trade and build a good reputation, you may even be able to start your own business.

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What are the best trade jobs?

Not sure which trade is right for you? Here's a list of the top high-paying skilled trade jobs.

#1. Boilermaker

Boilermakers work with boilers and sealed containers with gas or liquid. They install and repair them, and may need to perform ongoing maintenance.

It's a trade that requires physical fitness and long hours away from home. Boilermakers also often need to work in tight spaces.

How much does a boilermaker make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a boilermaker is $65,360 per year, or $31.42 per hour.

Where to find a boilermaker job

You can browse Jobcase's job board for boilermaker positions in your area. You may also be interested in a job as an air conditioning mechanic (which is a similar role).

#2. Construction manager

​Construction managers are responsible for domestic and commercial construction projects. Besides construction management, they make sure building codes are met during the building phase and that the workplace is built safely.

They create budgets, hire teams, and communicate with customers. Most construction manager's have a college degree, as well as work experience.

How much does a construction manager make?

The median annual salary for construction managers is $97,180.

Where to find a construction manager job

Once you have building site experience or a four-year degree in construction management, general management, or finance, you can apply for a job as a construction manager.

#3. Registered nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) work in a range of healthcare settings including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. They monitor patients, administer medicine, and record their progress.

They may check blood pressure, change bandages, and take blood tests. RNs work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals. Most nurses need a college degree and continuing education.

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How much does a registered nurse make?

The average salary for RNs is $75,330 per year, or $36.22 per hour.

Where to find a registered nurse job

After completing a bachelor's degree, you can apply for a job as a registered nurse.

Or you may like to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Before you apply, you'll need an associate's degree and licensure.

#4. Elevator mechanic

Elevator mechanics install and maintain elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. If there's a fault, they may need to offer troubleshooting advice.

Elevator mechanics may be on call and need to repair electrical systems.

The job can involve working in tight spaces and at heights. Most elevator mechanics complete an apprenticeship program and workplace training.

How much does an elevator mechanic make?

The average salary for an elevator mechanic is $88,540 per year, or $42.57 per hour.

Where to find an elevator mechanic job

When you’re ready, you can browse elevator mechanic positions on our job board.

​#5. Dental hygienist

Dental hygienists help patients with their dental hygiene. They work with dentists and offer treatment plans, clean teeth, and order x-rays.

They work in both public and private dental clinics. Dental hygienists educate patients about gum disease and other oral conditions.

Most dental assistants have an associate's degree and a license.

How much does a dental hygienist make?

The median annual salary for dental hygienists is $77,090. Or $37.06 per hour.

Where to find a dental hygienist job

You can browse dental hygienist positions on our job board.

#6. Welder

Welders work with metal. They join, repair, fill, and cut metal components using heat.

Welders work in a range of industries including automotive, construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing.

A welder needs to be physically fit and with a high attention to detail. Some jobs may be in tight spaces or at great heights. Most welders get on-the-job training.

How much does a welder make?

Welders often make up to $63,740 per year, or $30.64 per hour.

Where to find a welder job

You can browse welder positions on our job board. You may also be interested in working as an electrician.

#7. Plumber

Plumbers work with pipes and water systems. They install systems during construction, and repair and replace pipes and fixtures as needed.

Plumbers work on domestic, commercial, and industrial projects. They need to be physically fit and be prepared to travel to different worksites.

Plumbers may attend a vocational school. Most plumbers complete an apprenticeship and get a license.

How much does a plumber make?

The median income for plumbers is $56,330 per year, or $27.08 per hour.

Where to find a plumber job

You can browse our job board for plumber and apprenticeship positions.

You may also like working in these other trade careers:

  • Landscape architect

  • Air traffic controller

  • Respiratory therapist

  • Radiation therapist

  • Flooring installer

  • Aircraft mechanic

  • Power line technician

Search our job board for available jobs in these trades (and dozens of others) near you.

Getting a trade job

If you’re interested in working with your hands, you may like to get a trade. To get qualified, you may need to complete an on-the-job training program, an apprenticeship, or a four-year college degree.

Want more career path options? You can browse our job board for local positions in your area.

And don’t forget to check out our resource center for interview and resume tips.

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Eleana Bowman
Community Specialist
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Michael delarosa

Construction manager

6w
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3
Will Murray

Hell no I wouldn’t do any of these jobs for less than $100/hr

6w
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3
Linda Smith

Well, sounds great, currently I'm working from home, selling toner and caregiving at the same time, and making an average of $79k per year. I would like a bit more free time though.

5w
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1
Alan Scribner

What they dont tell you in these trade schools is you need 1000+ of hours b4 you can become an electricial or an hvac tech. School is just the begining!

5w
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1
Francis "Randy" Elkins

I neither qualify nor have any interest

5w
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1
Claudia Henning

Way bk in 1970s I went to a real college then 4 yrs nursing school but made enough $$ to live alone & retired 2008? making $37/hr So Cal hospitals so the education bk then served me well Lot of jobs require more education to start

5w
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4
Stephen Wilson

It computer operator, PC tech, I storage backups

5w
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Robert Scott

yes

5w
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jason moore

Yo

5w
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eisen macamos

Im not there in america. I am here at Philippines

4w
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