8 Best High Paying Trade School Jobs for Graduates

A vocational or trade school will equip you with industry skills. If this is where you want to go, you should go for one of the high-paying or in-demand trade school jobs to increase your chances of employment and success in the workforce.

Curated in this blog post are trade school jobs that pay well for high school graduates who want to enter the workforce faster. Aside from high school graduates, those who want to switch careers can also find this post useful. You will find varieties of in-demand professions that pay high, are easy to learn, and don’t take time to get their qualification.

If you are a high school graduate or in your final years but don’t want to attend a four-year college or university spending a whole four years pursuing a bachelor’s degree but still want to attend a higher institution and get a qualification in one profession or the other, then you should turn to community colleges or vocational institutions AKA trade schools.

Community colleges offer certifications and associate degrees that take a few months and 2 years, respectively to get. Trade schools are almost the same but they mostly offer skill-based certification and diploma programs. If you like professions that involve doing a lot of things with your hands like electrician, plumbing, construction worker, etc. then trade school is for you.

There are a vast number of trade school jobs and if you will be deciding, you need to pick one that fits you, by this, I mean one that fits your personality like jobs for introverts, pays well, and is in demand so that your expertise will be required for a long time.

And if you don’t know what profession is right for you, we have a host of articles that can help you make better-informed decisions. Our posts on slow-paced low-stress jobs, high-paying non-physical jobs, and high-paying fun jobs without a degree are must-read articles about different kinds of jobs and you can find one that is right for you. There are also jobs in the government for people without a degree and for stay-at-home moms who have no experience, and there are also jobs for you.

These are just some of the articles on jobs we have published and we hope to add more in the future. With this blog post as your guide, you will be able to find the right career for you and exactly what to learn.

What is Trade School?

A trade school is also known as a vocational school or technical school. It is a postsecondary institution that teaches and equips learners with skilled trades. When you attend a technical school, you will be equipped, mostly through hands-on training and adequate theoretical knowledge, for a specific profession in a skilled trade career.

The programs in trade schools are fully concentrated on the relevant job training and prepare you for actual work in that field you have chosen. These schools focus on developing the technical and mechanical abilities of students, along with critical thinking skills.

For instance, if you want to be a car mechanic, carpenter, plumber, or welder, a trade school is the place for you. You are given any of these skills and then prepared to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

It is just like an apprenticeship but on a higher level because you will practice in labs with modern facilities and be taught modern methods and techniques.

How To Find Trade Schools Near Me

This is as easy as conducting a regular Google search. You simply need to turn on your location or GPS feature on your device, go to your browser and search for trade schools in your location. For instance, if you stay in Ohio, your search will be “trade schools in Ohio” and from the results, you should be able to find trade schools exactly in your location in Ohio.

There are also other ways to find a trade school near you by speaking to your teachers if you are a high school student, and asking your parents, neighbors, and community members. However, I’d recommend using the internet and asking your teachers.

Difference Between Trade School And Four-Year Colleges

The table below highlights the differences between four-year degree-granting colleges and trade schools.

Four Year Colleges Trade Schools
Bachelor programs require, at least, 4 years to complete. Diploma, certifications, or licenses takes, as little as 6 weeks to a year to complete.
Admission application is complex, extensive, and requires a lot of documents and test scores. Application for admission is very simple, you simply need to submit a high school diploma.
They provide associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates that let you work in professional fields and specialized positions. They provide certificates or diploma that provides jobs to graduates within a particular field.
With tuition going over $10,000 per year, they are expensive. They are cheaper and charge as little as $5,000 per year depending on your area of study.
They offer students the opportunity to gain soft skills and gain knowledge and skills outside of their specific career paths. They simply prepare students for their chosen fields through shorter, job-specific coursework that prepares students for their chosen field and do not offer general education courses that might help students develop more intangible soft skills.
Graduates earn higher than their trade school-educated counterparts. Graduates earn lesser than their college-educated counterparts, although there are some high-paying professions you can prepare for in technical schools such as dental hygienists and radiation therapists.
Credits are transferable to any institution Credits are not transferable.
Graduates can have trouble finding jobs as a result of fluctuating economic conditions. Students are trained in skilled careers that prepare them to work as soon as they graduate.

The difference between trade schools and four-year colleges as highlighted below does not make the latter better than the formal and vice versa, it is simply going for what works best for you.

However, instead of attending a typical four-year college, many high school graduates choose trade school since it is more affordable and a safe route to professional advancement.

trade school jobs

Best High Paying Trade School Jobs for Graduates

Every career does not require a bachelor’s degree, so, if you are considering entering a vocation, check out these lucrative trade school jobs. Each of the trade school jobs’ position requirements, average annual earnings, duties and responsibilities, and projected growth were also highlighted.

The best high-paying trade school jobs for graduates are:

  • Construction Managers
  • Elevator Installer and Repairer
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Web Developers
  • Medical Sonographer
  • Respiratory Therapist

1.     Construction Managers

These are skilled individuals that are responsible for almost every infrastructure you have seen. Their duties and responsibilities include ensuring jobs are completed earlier and on schedule, overseeing the contract for a construction project, making sure adequate materials are available, ensuring safety concerns are properly addressed, and the structure gets built correctly and under budget.

The average annual salary of a construction manager is $93,370 making it one of the highest-paying trade school jobs.

2.     Elevator Installer and Repairer

These are highly skilled individuals that assemble, maintain, and fix elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other automatic lifts. They also read blueprints to determine the right type of machinery and components to use before installing and testing the elevator for functionality. In addition, they troubleshoot problems and conduct routine maintenance to ensure compliance with building codes and government safety standards.

As an elevator mechanic, you may mostly work as a contractor. The average annual salary of an elevator installer and repairer is $88,540. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers in elevator installer and repair positions will increase by 6% by 2030.

3.     Air Traffic Controller

With a median annual salary of $124,540, Air Traffic Controller is one of the trade jobs that pay well and one of the best trades to get into due to how interesting it is. If you are surprised that you can be an air traffic controller from a trade school, then don’t be because it is true. With an associate degree, you can kick start a career as an air traffic controller.

As an air traffic controller, your major duties include focusing on the safety of air operations and guiding air traffic in and out of the airport. According to the BLS, the employment of air traffic controllers is expected to expand by 4% from 2020 to 2030, which is less than the average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, there are expected to be, on average, 2,500 openings for air traffic controllers.

4.     Radiation Therapist

This career is predicted by the BLS to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030 making it an in-demand and lucrative profession. With a median annual income of $86,850, radiation therapy is one of the well-paying trade jobs to get into. They work with nurses, oncologists, and physicians to treat diseases like cancer by overseeing radiation therapy sessions and using appropriate machines to shrink and destroy cancerous cells. They also monitor and examine patients.

To become a radiation therapist, you must have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a school accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and also get licensure.

5.     Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are licensed professionals who examine the teeth and help patients maintain overall dental health. There are varieties of schools in the US that offer dental hygienist programs, most community colleges, and takes 2 years to complete an associate degree. After which you will obtain licensure through a state licensing exam.

The average annual salary of a dental hygienist is $77,090 and is projected by the BLS to grow by 11% between 2020 and 2030.

6.     Web Developers

This is fast becoming a popular career and it is because of how in-demand it is projected by the BLS to grow to 13% between 2020 and 2030. The average annual salary is $77,200 but as a web developer, you can earn higher as a freelancer depending on how much effort you put in.

An associate degree in web development and a few certifications in one or two programming languages can get you as far as you want. Some even go ahead to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

7.     Medical Sonographer

A medical sonographer is a licensed individual who assists physicians and surgeons by diagnosing illnesses and preparing patients for operations. They can use imaging machines to produce sonograms and ultrasounds to detect and identify abnormalities in the human body. The average salary of a medical sonographer is $70,380 with the potential to make over $90,000 annually.

The BLS predicts that the profession will grow by 14% between 2020 and 2030.

8.     Respiratory Therapist

The respiratory therapy position is one of the trade careers that pay well with a median salary of $62,810 per year. It is also projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that it will grow to 23% through 2030. Their duties include supporting patients with breathing difficulties, interviewing patients before assessing their lung function, and conducting other tests.

To become a respiratory therapist, you will need to attend a trade school or technical college accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and earn an associate degree. You may also further your career by earning a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

These are the best 8 highest paying trades and I hope you can be able to make better decisions from here.

Trade School Jobs – FAQs

What trade pays the most?

A lot of trade pays high such as dental hygienists, radiation therapists, and nuclear medicine technologists.

How long are trade school programs?

The length of trade schools varies by the program and field of study ranging from a few weeks to 2 years.

What is the easiest trade job to learn?

HVAC technician, welding, and CDL truck driver are among the top list of easiest trade jobs to learn

What trade job is the most popular?

Among the list of most popular trade jobs are construction and building inspectors, electricians, and boilermakers.

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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.

When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.

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