Jobs You Can Get by Going to Trade School

If you want to make a decent living, then education is necessary. Few jobs that only include a high school diploma earn more than $35,000 a year, and many of those jobs are diminishing.

Not everybody wants to go to college after graduation for four years. Even further, not everyone can afford the price tag that comes with a bachelor’s degree.


The good news is that education does not necessarily have to be in the form of a four-year degree. Many high-paying, fast-growing jobs are accessible to associate, post-secondary, trained, or apprenticed employees. Attending a trade school could be the best move possible for your career. Learn more about careers that you can get from trade school below.

Installer/Repairer of Elevators

Elevator mechanics, installers, and repairers have an excellent working outlook and a high potential for earnings. The job involves the construction, repair, and maintenance of escalators, moving walkways, cables and control systems, elevators, elevator doors, and lifts. If you can keep your cool under pressure and are skilled with both manual and power tools, this might be the ideal profession for you.

Median salary per annum: $77,806



You can’t do better than work as a radiation therapist if you want to help people and earn good money. These workers work with oncologists in hospital settings to help administer radiation to treat cancer. Radiation therapists, in addition to an associate degree, require licensing.

Annual Median Salary: $69,504

Geologist and Petroleum Engineer

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and enjoy math, this job could be a good fit. You must mount and maintain the equipment, collect and check samples, record data, and compile reports. Although some employers prefer bachelor-graduated candidates, you can get started with a two-year degree in this area.


Median salary per annum: $61,370

Web Engineer

If you want to build a career as a web developer, you will likely have to go for a bachelor’s degree. However, some employers will instead accept years of work experience and an associate degree. As such, you can begin your career after attending a trade school for web development.

Annual Median Salary: $58,448

Medical Sonographic Diagnosis

Sonographers administer ultrasounds, prepare patients for procedures, and review and process images for interpretation by a doctor. Also, work duties include the planning, repair, and installation of imaging equipment. Individuals in this position often report high work satisfaction levels.

Median income per annum: $55,106

Dental Hygienist

The job includes cleaning teeth, removing plaque, taking X-rays, checking for oral illness, and educating patients about oral hygiene. Dental hygienists regularly rank among the most satisfied workers. A passion for oral hygiene will go a long way in this profession, as will a desire to educate patients.

Median salary per annum: $54,989


There are relatively long apprenticeships for electricians that can last up to four years. In fact, doing this job requires licensing. That training, however, comes with a paycheck, which makes it a better financial option for many than the equivalent amount of time in a degree program.

In this job, you will be reading blueprints, and installing, maintaining, and repairing wiring, controls, and electrical components. In addition to the apprenticeship, you can also go to trade school to learn the necessary skills to be an electrician.

Median income per annum: $52,527

Respiratory Therapist

Many respiratory therapists have bachelor’s degrees, but an associate degree may provide field entry. Workers in this field interact with both adults and children with respiratory problems carrying out diagnostic tests, consulting with medical staff, and providing treatments.

Median income per annum: $52,042


If you want to work as a plumber, you’ll need both attention to detail and a certain amount of physical strength — as can be attested by anyone who’s ever wrestled with an amateur plumbing project. Plumbing licensing standards vary from state to state, but you can expect some kind of licensing, as well as a learning experience period, to be required.

Annual Median Salary: $50,349

HVAC Technician

HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technicians work on systems for heating, cooling, ventilation, installation, and maintenance. This job typically requires two years of post-high school education, often in the form of an apprenticeship, including on-the-job training.

Annual Median Salary: $44,604


The positions listed above are the ones that pay the most if you finish a trade school. They also have the highest expected rates of new vacancies, but they aren’t the only opportunities to consider when beginning your career or thinking about a transition. Check out your local trade school for more information!

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