How to land a high paying trade job

Last updated: April 12, 2024
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How to land a high paying trade job
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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 best-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 with the various annual salaries. 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 vocational school, community college, or with an apprenticeship, though some trades do need a four-year bachelor's degree.

These types of jobs are in high demand because they require a specific set of skills. Many of these roles also work to keep our society running smoothly, so there's always a need for them. Some high-paying trade jobs include electricians, plumbers, and mechanics.

Without these professionals, many of the day-to-day tasks that we take for granted wouldn't be possible. Trade jobs are essential, and they often offer good pay and job security. The opportunity to learn on the job as an apprentice means you can quickly get started in some roles.

Trade jobs provide an opportunity to learn new skills and progress in your career. Some even lead to management positions, so there's room to grow. And with the current demand for skilled trade workers, now is a great time to start your search for the perfect job.

It is important to note that some trade jobs are more dangerous or unpleasant than others. For example, electricians work with live wires, and plumbers deal with sewage. If you're interested in a trade job, make sure to do your research so that you can be aware of the risks involved.

How should I prepare for a trade job?

One of the biggest advantages of pursuing a trade job is that you can often get started without a four-year degree. However, that doesn't mean you won't need any training.

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Most tradespeople complete a technical program at a trade school or community college. These programs typically last one to two years and provide the essential skills you'll need for your new career.

You can also enter the workforce through an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are on-the-job training programs that combine classroom instruction with hands-on experience. They usually last three to four years and often lead to journeyman status.

If you're interested in a trade job, the best way to prepare is to research the different options and find the path that's right for you. Once you've decided on a trade, you can begin to look for training programs in your area.

What are the best trade jobs?

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.

Essentially, boilermakers are responsible for ensuring that boilers remain in good working condition. They work in a variety of settings, including power plants, factories, and ships. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) documents that the average salary for boilermakers is $64,000 annually, though this can vary depending on experience. Most boilermakers also receive health insurance and other benefits.

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).

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 managers have a college degree, as well as work experience.

However, some construction managers start their careers as construction workers or carpenters and work their way up. This is not uncommon, as many construction managers began their careers in the trades. The median salary for a construction manager is $98,000 per year, with numerous job openings expected in the coming years.

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.

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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 APRNs, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. Most nurses need a college degree and continuing education.

With a median salary of $77,000 per year, registered nurses are some of the best-paid tradespeople. The demand for RNs is expected to remain high in the coming years, making it an incredible career choice for those who want to join the medical field. It is important to note that RNs often work long hours, including nights and weekends. This is something to keep in mind if you're considering a career as an RN.

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.

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 and escalator installers may be on call and need to repair electrical power systems. The job can involve working in tight spaces and at heights. Most elevator mechanics complete a four-year apprenticeship program and workplace training.

These skilled tradespeople are responsible for keeping people moving in high-rises and other tall buildings. The median salary for elevator mechanics is $98,000 per year, with the top earners making over $100,000 annually. There are also a number of job openings expected in the coming years, making it a wonderful career for those interested in the trade.

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

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.

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These skilled tradespeople are responsible for keeping people's teeth clean and healthy. The median salary for dental hygienists is $77,000 per year, though this can vary greatly depending on specific certifications and experience. Many dental hygienists also receive health insurance and other benefits.

You can browse dental hygienist positions on the Jobcase job board.

Welder

Welders work with metal. They join, repair, fill, and cut metal components using heat. Welders work in a vast range of industries, including automotive, construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing. A welder needs to be physically fit and with great attention to detail. Some jobs may be in tight spaces or at great heights. Most welders get on-the-job training.

With the boost in construction and manufacturing, welders are in high demand. The annual wage for welders is $47,000 per year, with the top earners making over $70,000 annually. There are also a number of high-paying welding job openings expected in the coming years, making it a lucrative career choice for those interested in this exciting field.

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

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 fit, with good physical stamina to travel to different worksites.

With nearly 470,000 plumbing job openings in 2020, there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in this trade. The median salary for plumbers is $60,000 per year, though experience, location, and project type can impact earnings. Plumbers should expect to complete an apprenticeship before entering the field.

You can browse the Jobcase 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 the Jobcase job board for available jobs in these trades (and dozens of others) near you.

The benefits of working a trade job

With the ample job openings and good pay, there are many benefits to working a trade job. This is why so many people are interested in pursuing a career in the trades. Here are some of the top benefits:

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You can get started without a college degree

Not everyone is interested in or able to go to college. This doesn't mean you're stuck with low-paying jobs, though. There are countless trade jobs that don't require a college degree. You can often get started in these careers with on-the-job training or an apprenticeship that will give you the skills and knowledge you need for a particular trade

There are job openings in many industries

Trades are needed in a wide range of industries. This means that no matter what your interests are, there's likely a trade job that's a good fit for you. From construction to manufacturing to healthcare, plenty of industries need skilled tradespeople.

There are several well-paid trade jobs

As we’ve shown, many trade jobs pay a good salary. Elevator mechanics make $98,000 per year on average and dental hygienists make $77,000. There is also the opportunity for career progression, in roles such as construction.

Secure a trade job today

There are numerous benefits to working in the trades. With good pay and ample job openings, it's no wonder that so many people are interested in these careers. If you're not sure what you want to do after high school or just need a change, consider pursuing a trade. You may be shocked at what a rewarding career a trade job can be.

Be sure to check out the Getting Hired Resource Center for more articles on job searches, resumes, and interviews. You can also find trade-specific job postings on the Jobcase job board, which are updated frequently with new opportunities. Get started today, and you could be working in a high-paying trade job in no time.

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Kentavious White
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Prep Cook at Burga King

Yes mam, what's my first step

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Gary Payton
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How do I start?

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How do I start?

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Kenneth Wright
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I am interested

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Michelle Purches
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Lpn mgr

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Interested

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Mathula Manyabeane
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I am just a Diploma in Theology and Advanced Diploma in Ministry Anglican Priest

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Moses Mulama
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Yes, I am interested

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Scott Dudgeon
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Experienced accountant. More than 25 years experience handling books

I have already attended post high school classes three time.

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Jesse Hernandez
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Sure I would accept

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