Highest Paying Trades

Monday, April 29, 2024
How Stay Motivated Working From Home

Highest Paying Trades

Many high school students and their parents mistakenly believe that trade schools do not lead to high-paying jobs. However, according to Talent.com and Glassdoor, the median wage for skilled trade jobs is between $48,000 and $104,000 annually. Most of these jobs can be filled after attending a community college or trade school for a 2-year degree or certificate. Job opportunities vary widely, and career fields range from medicine to mechanics. 

It is no surprise that the highest-paying trades are in the fields of infrastructure and construction, advanced mechanics, and engineering. Trades in these industries pay at least $50k annually, with demand increasing as few high school students enter trade programs. The eight skilled trades pay the most out of trade school or community college.

Construction Management – Median salary $98,890 per year

Construction management jobs are most in demand in nonresidential construction and highway construction. The starting salary for construction management jobs is $51,429 per year, and it takes two years on average to complete a construction management associate’s degree or certificate. It takes about 5 to 7 years of experience to reach an average salary of $98,890 annually, and top construction managers easily earn six figures.

Elevator Installers and Repairers – Average journeyman’s salary is $97,900 per year

Elevator mechanics are in high demand simply because there are not enough people entering the trade. It is necessary to enter the field as an apprentice through a union or other nonprofit organization supporting the trade. This apprenticeship lasts up to 4 years and starts at $47,400 per year. Journeymen elevator mechanics earn an average of $97,900 annually, and master mechanics and elevator engineers earn up to $130,900 annually.

A community college, trade school, or university is not required to get a job as an elevator mechanic apprentice. However, having general mechanical knowledge from a 2-year program can help you get accepted into elevator mechanic apprenticeship programs.

Aircraft Mechanics – Average salary $71,115 per year

Although aircraft mechanics only spend 18 to 20 months in school, an aviation trade school costs about the same as obtaining a 4-year degree at a public college. However, aviation mechanics is a worthwhile career for students who excel in mechanics and hands-on learning. Starting aircraft mechanics earn $54,248 on average, with the median salary of aircraft mechanics at $71,115 annually. Some types of aviation mechanic jobs pay up to 6-figures. The average salary for a jet mechanic is $86,030 per year.

Boilermakers – Range from $58,500 to $84,000 per year

Boilermakers are among the highest-paying trades requiring the least time in trade school. Boilermakers are welders that specialize in boilers and other large containers. The pay for boilermakers varies greatly depending on the industry in which they are employed, their experience, and the danger involved. 

All boilermakers must pass a welding test and be accepted as an apprentice. A welding trade school program prepares you for this process. The apprentice’s starting pay is about $48,750 per year. It takes 7 to 8 years to become a journeyman, and the average pay for journeymen boilermakers can range from $57,000 to $84,000 depending on industry and other factors.

Electricians – Median Salary $66,200 per year

Electricians are needed in many sectors, but industrial electricians earn the most. Industrial electricians spend two years in trade school to be accepted as apprentices in a union program offering on-the-job training. Staring pay for apprentice electricians is $61,464 per year, and journeymen earn an average of $66,200 per year. One must spend 12,000 hours in on-the-job training to become a master electrician, who earns an average of $86,600 per year

How to enter the highest-paying trades

The trades that pay the most require either community college or trade school to get started. The NSHSS Community College and Trade School Scholarship assists high school students with tuition for these trades.