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Highest Paying Skilled Trade Jobs In Demand

Trade workers are the heart of the world’s economy and the foundation of society as a whole. They are everyday people that work hard to make the world a better place. If you’re the type of person willing to work hard to establish a stable, successful life for yourself and your family, you may want to consider pursuing a professional trade.

If you don’t know where to start, Best Universities is here to help. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the highest-paying skilled trade jobs currently in high demand in America. With any one of these careers, you will be able to provide for yourself and your family. Most require specific skills you can obtain through minimal schooling and at minimal cost to you.

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Ultimately, trade artists are the most essential workers in the economy. There is no doubt that pursuing a career in any one of these specialties will enable you to live a comfortable and successful life.

1. Dental Hygienist

Average Annual Salary: $76,220

A dental hygienist works in hospitals, dental offices, private practices, and dental schools. They are primarily responsible for teeth cleaning, general examinations, and preliminary patient care. The job requires an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, as well as a recommendation from a professional, registered dental hygienist (RDH).

2. Plumber, Pipefitter, or Steamfitter

Average Annual Salary: $55,160

As a plumber, you will be responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing pipes and fixtures, as well as inspecting plumbing systems and ensuring they are up to code. To become a plumber, you will have to obtain a GED or high school diploma equivalent, take vocational plumbing courses, and receive an official license.

3. Structural Iron and Steel Worker

Average Annual Salary: $53,650

Structural iron and steelworkers are responsible for the construction and installation of iron and steel girders and other construction materials. To become a structural iron and steel worker, you have to apply and complete a training program, which all differs depending on what position you’re looking to fill.

4. Chef or Head Cook

Average Annual Salary: $51,530

Chefs and head cooks are in charge of directing and managing kitchen staff. These individuals work primarily in restaurants, hotels, and other large commercial venues, or even private residences. To become hired as a chef or head cook, you will most likely have to complete a culinary arts program or otherwise attend a few relevant classes at a technical school, community college, or university.

5. Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR) Mechanic and Installer

Average Annual Salary: $48,730

As an HVACR mechanic and installer, your responsibilities include the installation, repair, and maintenance of HVACR systems in public venues, residences, and other buildings. To become an HVACR technician, you will need to earn your GED or high school diploma equivalent, complete a training program, obtain any necessary state licenses, and pursue apprenticeships within the field.


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6. Brickmason or Blockmason

Average Annual Salary: $46,500

As a brick mason/block mason, you are responsible for the laying and binding of concrete block, mortar, terracotta, and other structural materials. In order to pursue a career as a brick mason and block mason, you’ll have to have a GED or high school diploma equivalent and complete several hours of on-the-job training. This job also requires additional knowledge of building codes and guidelines.

7. Glazier

Average Annual Salary: $44,630

As a glazier, you will be responsible for cutting, setting, and installing glass structures such as windows or glass doors. Glaziers work primarily in construction, but as glassworking is a niche field, many operate privately. To become a glazier, you will have to hold a GED or high school diploma equivalent, complete a four-year training program, and take part in an apprenticeship.

8. Concrete Technician

Average Annual Salary: $43,680

Concrete technicians are responsible for operating machinery to dig trenches, backfill holes, and prepare construction sites, as well as aiding craftworkers with additional construction duties. No form of typical formal education is required, but many construction companies require on-the-job training, which differs by specialization.

9. Phlebotomist

Average Annual Salary: $35,510

The responsibilities of a phlebotomist vary, but all include the drawing of patient blood samples, as well as preparatory patient interviews. As a phlebotomist, you’ll most likely be working in hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, blood banks, and other patient care facilities. To qualify for this field, you’ll have to obtain a high school diploma, complete a phlebotomy program, earn certification, and retain that certification from year to year.

10. Medical Assistant

Average Annual Salary: $34,800

Becoming a medical assistant requires the completion of an accredited medical assisting program and a diploma, internships and acquired field experience and official certification. As a medical assistant, you’ll most likely work in a physician’s office, a hospital, or any other type of outpatient facility. Responsibilities include managing patient records, greeting visitors and patients, and conducting patient interviews.

Jobs listed by Average Annual Salary

Skilled TradeAverage SalaryJob Growth
Construction Manager$95,26010%
Elevator Installer and Repairer$84,99010%
Commercial Pilot$82,2406%
Electrical and Electronics Repairer, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay$80,2002%
Dental Hygienists$76,22011%
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician$66,0204%
Patternmaker, wood$64,8800%
Heavy Equipment Operator$64,6023%
Aircraft Mechanic$64,3103%
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technician$64,3103%
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operator$62,1503%
Construction and Building Inspector$60,7107%
Model Maker, wood$59,2600%
Precision Instrument and Equipment Repairer, all other$57,6101%
Plumber, Pipefitter, and Steamfitter$55,16014%
Crane and Tower Operator$54,1404%
Model Maker, metal and plastic$53,670-8%
Structural Iron and Steel Worker$53,65011%
Industrial Machinery Mechanic$53,5905%
CNC Machine Tool Programmer$53,190-8%
Industrial Machinery Mechanic, Machinery Maintenance Worker, and Millwright$52,8605%
Mortician, Undertaker, and Funeral Director$52,6504%
Chef and Head Cook$51,53011%
Sheet Metal Worker$50,4008%
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer$48,73013%
Soil Technician$48,6993%
Diesel Service Technician and Mechanic$48,5005%
Operating Engineers and other Construction Equipment Operators$48,16010%
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operator$47,760-5%
Maintenance Worker, machinery$47,5205%
Brickmason and Blockmason$46,50011%
Manufacturing Technician$46,5003%
Bus and Truck Mechanic and Diesel Engine Specialist$46,3605%
Legal Secretary$46,360-7%
Patternmaker, metal and plastic$45,8401%
CNC Machinist and Tool and Dye Maker$45,7501%
Insulation Worker, mechanical$44,1805%
Concrete Technician$43,68011%
Plasterer and Stucco Mason$43,5406%
Tile and Marble Setter$43,05011%
Cement Mason and Concrete Finisher$43,00011%
Automotive Body and Related Repairer$42,7306%
Terrazzo Worker and Finisher$42,50011%
Welder, Cutter, Solderer, and Brazer$42,4903%
Farm Equipment Mechanic and Service Technician$42,2006%
Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic$42,090-1%
Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic$42,090-1%
Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Worker$40,870-7%
Painter, construction and maintenance$40,2806%
Dental Assistant$40,08011%
Tool Grinder, Filer, and Sharpener$39,330-2%
Maintenance Technician$39,3076%
General Maintenance and Repair Worker$39,0806%
General Maintenance and Repair Worker$39,0806%
Small Engine Mechanic$37,8406%
Dental Laboratory Technician$37,37011%
Medical Appliance Technician$37,19011%
General Laborer$36,9986%
Ophthalmic Medical Technician$36,94011%
Material Moving Machine Operator$35,8504%
Medical Secretary$35,76011%
Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic$35,40010%
Medical Assistant$34,80023%
Shipping and Receiving Clerk$34,1901%
Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenter$33,9201%
Forklift Operator$33,8164%
Medical Transcriptionist$33,380-3%
Press Operator$33,060-2%
Stock Room Clerk$30,0101%
Shoe and Leather Worker and Repairer$29,560-2%
Hand Laborer and Material Mover$28,7104%
Hairdresser, Hairstylist, and Cosmetologist$26,0908%
Picker Packer$25,9104%
Manicurist and Pedicurist$25,77010%

All salaries and job growth percentages are derived from unless otherwise noted by alternate hyperlinks.

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