Are you a graduate of one of the trade school programs looking for a high-paying job to supplement your income? If so, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 highest-paying jobs in the United States for trade school graduates.
Highest-paying Jobs for trade School Graduates in the USA are occupations in which employees apply their hands-on school training in a professional setting.
Trade school programs are a viable alternative to four-year colleges, which can be expensive and prohibitive to quickly entering the workforce with employable skills. Trade jobs can also be used as a springboard to more advanced education or training opportunities.
What are Trade School Programs?
Trade schools, also known as Vocational schools or sometimes technical schools, are dependable vocational education sources that offer an alternative to traditional community college or university degree programs that are significantly less expensive and much faster to complete.
They will not provide you with the same opportunities that a bachelor’s degree would, but they will provide you with career-focused job training and then allow you to work in your field.
A college bachelor’s degree program costs around $90,000 on average, whereas vocational schools or certificate programs offer degrees and job training for around $33,000. That amounts to a whopping $57,000 in savings.
However, while the average is quite high, if you are willing to obtain your degree at a local community college, you may be able to obtain a bachelor’s degree for as little as $40,000 over four years. In that case, the vocational school is still saving you money.
For high school graduates, choosing a trade school programs online over a college program means graduating with up to 70% less debt than in four-year college degree programs. Learning a skilled trade is an excellent option for those looking for a well-paying, rewarding career that has been in high demand in recent years.
Benefits of Attending a Trade School
Here are some of the many benefits of attending trade school include:
- Trade schools are typically less expensive than traditional degrees.
- Vocational schools typically educate and train students for a specific trade career, with little coursework that is irrelevant to the student’s chosen career path.
- Vocational schools program or trade school programs frequently have positive relationships with local hiring organizations.
- Depending on the trade, trade school programs can be completed online or in person.
- The Association of Career and Technical Education holds trade school programs to a high standard of instruction.
- In the event that a student wishes to transfer to a two or four-year degree program, vocational schools frequently offer transferable credits.
- For two-year or fewer educational programs, skilled trades pay some of the highest wages.
- A skilled trade graduate’s average earning potential is close to $80,000
How Trade School Programs Works
People can pursue a trade career path in a variety of ways.
Many high schools provide trade training to juniors and seniors, either on-site or in partnership with a career training center or school. This enables students to enter the labor force immediately after graduating from a vocational job training program.
In addition to two-year associate degree programs, many community colleges offer trade career training programs. Certificate programs and associate degrees are examples of this.
Some trade school training is provided by specialized training or technical institutes that specialize in a single field, such as healthcare, construction trades, or culinary arts.
Some employers will pay for and send talented employees to vocational schools to learn or hone skills in a specific industry.
Trade School Admissions
Trade school admissions requirements can be simple or complex. Some institutes have only a high school diploma or GED as a requirement. Others necessitate entrance exams, as well as prerequisite courses or training.
Before being admitted, prospective students may be required to write an essay, participate in an admissions interview, or otherwise demonstrate their ability to perform effectively in a program.
20 Highest-paying Jobs for trade school graduates
Here are 20 highest-paying Jobs for trade school graduates:
- Air Traffic Controllers
- Radiation Therapists
- Elevator Installers and Repairers
- Dental Hygienists
- Web Developers
- Landscape Architects
- Medical Sonographers
- Pile Driver Operators
- Aircraft Mechanics and Technicians
- Radiologic and MRI Technologists
- Respiratory Therapists
- Construction and Building Inspectors
- Film Editors and Camera Operators
- Electro-Mechanical Technicians
1. Air Traffic Controllers
Many people are surprised to learn that working in air traffic control does not require a bachelor’s degree. Air traffic controllers frequently only require an associate’s degree or comparable military experience. In fact, many air traffic controllers begin their careers in the military.
Of course, there are still many hurdles to clear. However, the majority of them can be completed by enrolling in two-year trade School Programs. It all comes down to effort, just like many other high-paying jobs from trade schools.
What exactly do air traffic controllers do? Air traffic controllers are concerned with the safety of air operations. They direct air traffic as efficiently as possible into and out of airports.
In an emergency, air traffic controllers may have to make difficult decisions. As a result, they play critical roles in safely returning planes and passengers to the ground.
To become an air traffic controller, you must pass a number of tests, as you might expect (at least for the FAA). Physical health, mental health, and cognitive functioning tests are among them.
Air traffic controller salary: $124,540
2. Radiation Therapists
These skilled individuals provide radiation-related treatment to patients. The majority work in oncology departments. This could include hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and other medical facilities.
When you break a bone, you see a radiologist. These technicians perform X-rays and other diagnostic procedures. However, radiology is not synonymous with radiation therapy.
Radiation therapists, on the other hand, operate machines. These machines deliver targeted radiation therapy to a tumor’s location. Radiation therapy is used to reduce or eliminate tumors and cancers.
However, with only a trade school program associate’s degree, one can enter the field. To learn more, you can later pursue a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy.
People who excel in radiation therapy roles are usually familiar with the technology. They should, however, be good with people. They will spend a significant amount of time answering questions and reassuring nervous patients.
Radiation Therapists Salary: $82,330
3. Elevator Installers and Repairers
A two-year trade school program sponsored by a union, industry association, or individual contractor is typically the starting point for a career in elevator installation and repair. Apprentices typically receive at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training per year of the program.
Apprentices learn about safety, blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics, elevator and escalator parts, electrical and digital theory, and electronics during their training.
Elevator Installers and Repairers Salary: $79,780
4. Dental Hygienists
We’ve all dealt with dental hygienists at some point in our lives. So you already understand the distinction between having your teeth cleaned by a good hygienist and a bad hygienist. When dealing with patients, the best hygienists have excellent bedside manners and compassion. They do, however, possess the technical skills required to maneuver cleaning equipment around a patient’s mouth.
The job pays well and provides time off on weekends, making it one of the best trade jobs available. While not for everyone, this is one of those trade school jobs with a lot of opportunities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field will have 19% more vacancies in the coming years. And there are already hundreds of thousands of available dental hygiene jobs.
Many two-year trade school programs can also help you break into the field of dental hygiene. Community colleges, trade schools, and vocational schools all offer these courses. You may even be able to join an accelerated program to complete your studies in less than two years.
Dental Hygienists Salary: $74,820
5. Web Developers
These professionals have some of the best trade jobs available. Web development is a unique trade school job in which clients are unconcerned about your education. They are more concerned with the outcomes you can provide.
There are numerous routes into the field of web development. These are some examples:
- Online or in-person certification programs
- Individual free online courses
- Individual paid online courses
- Associate degrees and two-year degrees
- Four-year bachelor’s degrees
Your portfolio is one of the most important steps in preparing to be a web developer. This demonstrates that you are working on projects and learning new technologies. As a result, a web developer should get started right away with some hands-on experience.
Web Developers Salary: $69,430
6. Landscape Architects
Landscape architects design and maintain visually appealing and functional outdoor spaces. They are also known as landscape designers and permaculturists. Projects in this role can range from as small as individual home yards to as large as college campuses or city parks.
Landscape architects may work for government agencies, corporations, or private architectural firms. They may also work for themselves as freelancers.
Many landscape architects enjoy their jobs because they get to work outside so much of the time. In some business climates, this can result in “lulls.” However, in the busy season, landscape architecture can often pay enough to support this role year-round.
Landscape Architects’ Salary: $68,230
7. Medical Sonographers
Medical Sonographers are concerned with the provision of medical imaging services for internal organs. Individuals who hold the title of medical sonographer will typically specialize in one area and one type of diagnostic test.
You can begin this career with a trade school degree, regardless of your specialization. There are numerous associate’s level vocational degrees available in these fields. And there is a high demand for all sonography roles across the country.
Medical Sonographers Salary: $67,080
8. Pile Driver Operators
Pile-driver operators have a very specific job. However, those in this trade may work on a wide variety of construction projects. Pile drivers operate heavy machinery that drives piles (large pillars) into the ground. These pillars provide reinforcement. They can be used to construct buildings, bridges, piers, and other structures.
Pile drivers only use one type of machine. However, doing the job correctly is critical. They must ensure the safety of construction workers. They must also protect the structure’s stability.
Pile Driver Operators Salary: $63,770
9. Aircraft Mechanics and Technicians
Across the USA, aircraft mechanics and technicians are in high demand. Aviation mechanics and technicians with trade school program certificates can enter the workforce. They can also earn certificates based on the area of the plane on which they are working.
Furthermore, many of these high-paying trade jobs provide the opportunity to break into manufacturing settings. Learning to make airplane parts can provide more opportunities for advancement throughout a career.
People typically begin their careers as aircraft mechanics or technicians who receive hands-on training. Many enroll in an FAA-approved trade school. These schools educate students on how to test and maintain aircraft-related equipment.
Aircraft Mechanics and Technician’s Salary: $63,060
Boilermakers are skilled tradespeople who design, build, install, and service commercial boilers. These are not your typical household boilers. They are large machines that use heat to generate electricity. The energy is then used to heat a building, ship, or factory.
They also work on closed vats and vats that are tanks.
A boilermaker may also work on closed vats or tanks that contain oil, liquids, or chemicals.
A four-year apprenticeship with an employer or boilermakers union is typically required to become a boilermaker. This is how you will receive on-the-job training and instruction.
A Trade School Program may be part of the training to become a boilermaker. Typically, you will begin with a welding certificate program.
Boilermakers Salary: $62,150
11. Radiologic and MRI Technologists
Radiologic and MRI technologists use specific imaging technologies to diagnose patients. They typically work in clinics or hospitals. Earning a trade school program certification is the first step toward becoming a radiologic or MRI technologist.
You may choose to further your education to the degree level. Students in this degree program learn basic medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. They also receive hands-on training in the use of imaging technologies.
Radiologic and MRI Technologist’s Salary: $61,240
12. Respiratory Therapists
Respiratory therapists are among the highest-paying trade jobs for those seeking a career in healthcare. They assist patients who are experiencing respiratory problems. A vocational degree at the associate’s degree level is typically required to enter the field.
Those who earn a respiratory therapy degree are likely to be in high demand. In any large clinic or hospital, respiratory therapists are required. They also work in nursing homes, sports complexes, and private offices.
Everyone needs to breathe, so this is a demanding position where you could be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This opens up the possibility of working shifts around the clock.
Respiratory Therapists Salary: $60,280
13. Construction and Building Inspectors
Construction and building inspectors determine whether a new or existing structure complies with building codes. They also determine whether the building is safe for potential occupants. They could work for the local or state government. However, they may also be hired to conduct inspections on behalf of:
- Banks and mortgage companies
- Real estate agents
- Insurance companies
The majority of building inspectors learn on the job. Many have previously held trade school jobs in construction or another skilled trade. However, many people attend vocational or trade schools to learn specific aspects of their jobs.
Some states also require licensure or certification. These programs are frequently provided by a trade or vocational school. Construction and building inspectors must be familiar with all local building codes, so a quick recall is essential.
14. Film Editors and Camera Operators
Film editors and camera operators are two careers that can be obtained through trade School Programs. There are no formal educational requirements for either of these positions. However, production film settings are becoming increasingly high-tech. As a result, coursework in film production and camera work assists many people in entering the field.
Trade school courses in these roles may include:
- Visual effects
- Industry practices and regulations
Film Editors and Camera Operator’s Salary: $58,990
15. Electro-Mechanical Technicians
In industrial settings, electro-mechanical technicians install, maintain, and repair automated machinery and computer-controlled mechanical systems. On the job, they also test, operate, and maintain robotic equipment.
Clearly, electro-mechanical technicians must be familiar with mechanical and electrical systems. In these roles, they frequently collaborate with engineers. To begin, most people specialize in one area of technology.
As a result, they may attend trade school in engineering, technology, electrical systems, and other fields.
Electro-Mechanical Technicians’ Salary: $57,790
Trade school programs online
FAQs About Trade School Programs
The highest paying trade school programs are:
Air Traffic Controllers, Radiation Therapists, Elevator Installers and Repairers,
Dental Hygienists, Web Developers, Landscape Architects, Medical Sonographers,
Pile Driver Operators…
The fastest trade degree is:
Construction and Building Inspectors, Film Editors and Camera Operators, Electro-Mechanical Technicians, Occupational Therapy assistants, Rotary Drill Operators, Electricians, Wind Turbine Technicians, Plumbers…
Here is the following trade that you can learn in 6 months:
Electro-Mechanical Technicians, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Rotary Drill Operators,
Electricians, Wind Turbine Technicians, Plumbers…
We Also Recommend
- Best Trade Jobs for Women | List of Trade Jobs for Women
- 20 High Paying Career Opportunities for Clinical Laboratory Technician
- List of Top Companies in the USA Finance Industry
- Best Career Day Ideas Nobody Ever Told You
- Best Paying Jobs in Finance Consumer Services in USA
- Job Opportunity for Petroleum Trade & Transport Analyst at The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries