Trade school offers a more affordable and secure path to career entry and professional development than a traditional four-year university. Also known as technical colleges and vocational schools, they focus on specialized job training in high-demand fields, enabling students to find gainful employment quickly after graduation.
If you are looking for trade school jobs that will serve as a source of income to trade school graduates, this article provides an array of the top 20 jobs for trade school graduates.
Table of Contents
- What Are Trade Schools?
- What Is The Difference Between Trade School and University?
- Are There High Demand for Trade School Jobs?
- Top 20 Jobs for Trade School Graduates
- 1. Automotive service tech
- 2. Masonry worker
- 3. Marine mechanic
- 4. Auto body repairman
- 5. Carpenters
- 6. Licensed practical nurse
- 7. Plumber
- 8. Electrician
- 9. Aviation maintenance tech
- 10. Dental hygienist
- 11. Construction manager
- 12. Heavy equipment mechanic
- 13. Diagnostic medical sonographer
- 14. Radiation therapist
- 15. Elevator installer or repairer
- 16. Web developer
- 17. Respiratory therapist
- 18. Wind turbine technician
- 19. IT technician
- 20. Geological and petroleum technician
- More Career Options for Trades School Graduates
- We Also Recommend
What Are Trade Schools?
Trade schools teach the technical aspect of a skill you need to build your career path. They teach only specific skills, cutting out on general education classes that may keep you in school longer than necessary. A graduate of a trade school may earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree.
The only difference between the traditional school and a trade school is basically the time spent in acquiring both of them. And that is because you will need some general courses in traditional school while in trade school, you are going straight to the specifics. Besides, skipping those general courses will save you a whole lot of time.
For some high school graduates, trade school offers them a better, inexpensive, and secure career path and professional development than spending four years in the university. That is not to say going to university is a waste of time. However, choices matter a lot here.
Trade schools are known by other names like technical colleges and vocational schools. Their job training is usually focused on high-demand fields, offering the students a good opportunity to become gainfully employed.
In this article, we have compiled the best trade jobs, with details about each of them to enable you to know what you are going for. However, you may want to know what makes trade schools thicker than a four-year university program.
What Is The Difference Between Trade School and University?
Universities and other colleges offer a four-year program that provides more extensive education that is embedded in liberal arts and humanities. Students complete general courses that enable them to acquire more general knowledge that may or may not be relevant to their careers.
A trade school, on the other hand, offers training to students in technical knowledge and skills relevant for explicit occupation.
There are both private and public trade schools, while some operate as nonprofit organizations. Before you apply to a trade school, check out the accreditation status. They range from 8 weeks to two years of intensive training and offer a certificate, certification, or associate degree.
On graduation, you may go ahead to sit for licensing exams, go for further training or become employed. Trade schools offer learners focused career goals.
Are There High Demand for Trade School Jobs?
Over the years, it has been discovered that attention has been shifted to skilled trade school jobs, and to be frank, they are the hardest to fill these days. There is a shortage of qualified trades graduates, with many older workers from the Baby Boomer retiring.
For that reason, many industries are focused on hiring the next generation of tradesmen and women. The major concentration is in the healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and energy sectors.
If you have been wondering how you will fit in with a trades school certificate, worry no more because the market is wide enough to accommodate everyone. Most of our modern infrastructures are constructed with the help of tradespeople. Interestingly enough, they are also the ones to maintain and repair them.
However, bear in mind that doing these jobs will either get you to relocate or remain in your locality. They are not one of the jobs that can be outsourced overseas.
Top 20 Jobs for Trade School Graduates
Are you considering trade school jobs you can go for? Here are the top 20 trade school jobs:
1. Automotive service tech
An automotive service technician is responsible for making sure that vehicles and their parts are functioning well. they test the systems of the vehicle to check if there are issues or any looming fault to be repaired. While at it, they change oil, rotate tires, and advise on the best preventive and maintenance measures for the vehicles. Moreover, they test and replace computer parts and switches.
Average annual salary – $38,470
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2. Masonry worker
Masons build structures like houses, fences, walls, and more using bricks. They usually carry and move heavy objects in the course of discharging their duties. As a result, masonry workers must be in good physical condition to be able to perform their duties. In addition, they must also be able to withstand the harsh condition of the weather, since they work outdoors. Most importantly, they are either bending over or on their knees while putting things in place. But the joy of it all is the beautiful edifice that they construct after all.
Average annual salary – $41,330
3. Marine mechanic
Marine mechanics ensure that the watercraft is kept running smoothly. They mostly work at seaports and the yachting marina. But they can still work in inland areas where boats can be found. Some of them are mobile, moving about with their equipment and seeking stranded boats to repair. Their duties include testing and replacing electrical systems, fuel systems, rigging, and so on.
Average annual salary – $38,280
4. Auto body repairman
An auto body repairman repairs damaged cars and trucks as well as paints them. They work with power tools and also come in contact with paints and fumes, the reason they must always work in a well-ventilated environment. To be able to perform this job, you must be physically fit due to the nature of the job.
Average annual salary – $40, 379
Carpenters carry out several obligations at home, construction sites, and other places. They drive nails into roofs, walls, frames, cabinets, and other materials that make use of pieces of timbers. The job might be hazardous because it requires climbing and doing risky stuff to get the job done. You need to be both healthy and alert to be able to perform this task.
Average annual salary – $43,600
6. Licensed practical nurse
If you love helping others or working in the hospital, you might enjoy doing this job. Most of the professionals in this fieldwork are found in care homes and hospitals. They care for the sick and take on some roles related to nursing, though there is a limit to what they can do. Licensed practical nurses work round the clock because patients always need care. Nevertheless, they can run shifts to accommodate other aspects of their lives. You can acquire your certification and get licensed online.
Average annual salary – $44,090
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Most plumbers spend their time fixing and installing pipes into the homes. They also repair broken pipes and solve emergency problems. Several kinds of plumbing jobs exist. The job gives the professional little or no time for himself. Plumbing requires moving to different locations to respond to emergencies or carry out fresh assignments. You must have a level of education to be able to read certain measurements required by the job.
Average annual salary – $51,450
An electrician provides electricity to where it is needed while repairing or changing faulty wires, switches, sockets, and other electrical circuits. Aside from the home, offices, or other buildings, an electrician works on the electrical wiring of a car to ensure everything works perfectly fine. They must follow safety policies and procedures to keep themselves and others from electrocution and other electrical hazards.
Average annual salary – $52,720
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9. Aviation maintenance tech
Also known as an aircraft mechanic, an aviation maintenance technician maintains the aircraft engine and electrical systems. They as well test parts of the engine to see if there is any wear and tear and get them fixed up. They ensure that the aircraft is always in good condition and ready to fly. Aviation maintenance techs must have the ability to read and interpret representations of diverse kinds and outstanding knowledge of the details of their jobs.
Average annual salary – $60, 270
10. Dental hygienist
A dental hygienist removes plaque from the teeth. They also look for signs of decay or diseases in the mouth and report all findings to the dentist. They work closely with dentists to carry out their duties, including during dental surgeries. It requires skills and the ability to handle tools for one to be able to do this job. Besides, you will need licensure from the state to be able to operate. This is after completing a three-year associate degree program which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Average yearly salary – $72,910
11. Construction manager
A construction manager oversees the construction of a building site. They ensure to put everything in a good position for the structure to be built properly. They also work closely with architects and engineers as well as hire carpenters, plumbers to complete their roles in building construction.
Construction managers make sure the building is carried out from start to finish. They analyze blueprints, estimate costs, evaluate site conditions and ensure projects meet specifications and codes. They must take some courses to know certain terms in construction to be able to excel in their career.
Average national salary – $89,300
12. Heavy equipment mechanic
This professional is responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of bulldozers, cranes, and other heavy equipment used in construction, farming, mining, and transportation. They must have knowledge of computerized tools to be able to identify faults using the computer software. They must also be knowledgeable in engine components and systems.
Average annual salary – $55, 452
13. Diagnostic medical sonographer
Medical sonographers are responsible for handling specialized equipment that makes use of high-frequency sound waves to create a structural image in a patient’s body. They produce sonograms and ultrasounds using imaging machines. They detect abnormalities in the human body and usually specialize in one area of the body like the heart, female reproductive system, abdominal cavity, and blood vessels. Typically, medical sonographers hold a technical certificate from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programmes. They can also earn associate sonography that prepares them for more advanced programs.
Average annual salary – $70,380
14. Radiation therapist
Radiation therapists work with nurses, doctors, and oncologists to treat threatening diseases such as cancer. They make use of machines like linear accelerators to shrink and destroy cancerous tumors. In addition, radiation therapists monitor the progress of patients during treatments and check for possible adverse reactions as they adhere to safety rules and regulations to keep everyone safe. After completing an associate degree program, you will need to apply for and maintain government licensure to be able to practice.
Average annual salary – $86,850.
15. Elevator installer or repairer
They assemble, maintain, and fix elevators, escalators, moving walkways, chairlifts, and other automotive lifts. They go through the building plan to know what type of elevator can be installed on it for durability and safety.
Elevator installers are naturally contractors and work only on a contract basis. In addition to the above, they conduct routine maintenance to troubleshoot any problems and repair them. As a result, they must comply with government policies and procedures on safety standards.
Average annual salary – $88, 540
16. Web developer
A web developer is an IT professional that develops and designs websites, including the layout of the pages and general aesthetic. Some web developers oversee backend technical aspects like the functionality of the site and the ability to generate traffic. They also fix issues like broken links and other website challenges, monitor usability, and update the website with fresh content. Some web developers can be self-taught, while others hold associate degrees or certifications in web development. You may also go for your bachelor’s degree if you wish to advance in your career.
Average annual salary – $77,200
17. Respiratory therapist
A respiratory therapist supports patients with difficulty in breathing as well as cardiopulmonary conditions. They ensure to interview the patients before carrying out any therapy. Then, they assess how their lungs function and carry out necessary tests. They must collaborate with the doctors to identify the best treatment plans for the patients. You can operate with an associate degree in this field and may choose to upgrade to earning a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.
Average annual salary – $62,810
18. Wind turbine technician
A wind turbine tech supervises the functionalities of turbines that convert wind energy into electricity. They identify and repair issues associated with the most important turbine mechanisms, such as tower, three blades, generator, and brake system. A wind turbine tech may also work with substations, fiber optic controls, and sensors, and many more. This job is one of the most in-demand green jobs. You will need to acquire a certificate or associate degree in wind technology and complete a one-year internship in the field.
Average annual salary – $56,230
19. IT technician
This professional can also be known as a computer support specialist and works on departmental teams to install and maintain WANs, LANs, and internet networks. In addition, they work to prevent cybersecurity by building fireworks around the website as well as recovering stolen digital assets. An IT technician may take up a customer support position and teach people how to make use of new software or hardware while helping them troubleshoot identified issues. Most of these technicians work in a telecommunications establishment. To become a computer support specialist, you can obtain some specialist training programs from Google and CompTIA.
Average annual salary – $55,510
20. Geological and petroleum technician
These professionals operate as a team with petroleum engineers and scientists. They search for, locate, and mine natural resources in form of gas, oil, and coal. Geological and petroleum techs who are field professionals collect material samples used for assessment. Others who work in the lab analyze these samples for traces of metals and hydrocarbons to evaluate the productivity of a specific site.
An associate degree will help you to obtain entry-level jobs in geosciences or geographic information systems. You can also proceed to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in petroleum engineering.
Average annual salary – $76,120.
More Career Options for Trades School Graduates
The job list can never be exhausted. The ones mentioned are some of the most in-demand trades school jobs and also have good projections for growth in the next couple of years, whether you are starting or you want to change your career.
Always consider the best options for you. Any job that would not be the best fit for your interests and skills should not be considered because they will end up dragging you back or causing you to remain constant in life. Make sure you are financially, emotionally, and physically prepared before forging ahead.
Trade school jobs are good career options for you. But it does not mean you cannot get more qualifications if you choose to. Some people are making enough money as they want in trade school money and that is cool. What matters is that you choose what gives you joy.
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