15 Highest Paid Trade Jobs In California | Updated

The lack of a certain level of eduction should never stop you from living a fulfilled life, especially as there are trade jobs that you can do and earn a decent living. We will be looking at some of these trade jobs with a particular interest in the Highest Paid Trade jobs in California.

A trade job requires substantial hands-on training as opposed to a college degree. Associate degrees, which you can obtain in as little as two years, are required for several trade jobs. Numerous trades require certification, which you can acquire in a year or less.

A bachelor’s degree is not necessary for at least 30 million occupations in the United States that pay more than $55,000 annually, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce.

The most financially and personally satisfying vocations are those in the trades. Careers like plumbing, electrical work, healthcare, information technology, and other fields pay very well and are in high demand.

In this post, we’re going to discuss the 15 Highest Paid Trade Jobs In California in 2022. 

Make sure you read this post to the end because it will be very informative and helpful.

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What Is a Trade Job

Simply said, trade jobs are occupations that typically do not require a bachelor’s degree. Instead, they need specialized training, whether apprenticeship, on-the-job training, or a vocational school.

In contrast to a conventional four-year college, trade school often requires less time to complete—eight weeks to two years—and you take part in a more practical training program to prepare you for the profession. Some prospective tradespeople will serve an apprenticeship for experience-based education for a few years.

Trade professions frequently involve physical labor, such as moving heavy goods and using hand tools. Some trade vocations can also be dangerous and occasionally boring.

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Why Do You Need a Job That Pays Well?

Money shouldn’t, of course, be the primary motivator for your job search, but you should still give it serious consideration because it still has a lot of implications.

A well-paying job allows a person to meet both their essential requirements and their goals by allowing them to spend the extra money on things like mansions, automobiles, and other luxurious lifestyles.

Moreover, productivity is typically at its highest in your healthy work environment. All these incredible benefits cannot be realized in a low-paying profession that causes constant stress over bills.

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15 Highest Paid Trade Jobs In California

#1. Power Plant Operator

Salary: $103,000

Power plant operators maintain the machinery that produces electricity, which is part of a developing field and one of the highest-paid trade jobs in California. Power plant operators are crucial to the country’s energy network since they work alternating shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Their main responsibilities include calibrating the equipment, reading meters, and activating switches, breakers, and valves to ensure everything runs smoothly.

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#2. Construction Supervisor

Salary: $95,260

One of California’s highest-paid trade jobs is construction Supervisor, which involves supervising public, commercial, residential, and industrial construction projects.

They supervise projects from beginning to end and are also known as general contractors or project managers.

They are responsible for creating estimates, scheduling subcontractors, fixing issues, and reporting to clients. Construction management calls for a combination of business, technical, leadership, and communication skills.

Most construction managers work for themselves, with the remainder working in the heavy, civil engineering, nonresidential, and residential building sectors.

Students who complete a construction management trade school are equipped to manage teams of employees, create budgets, and understand technical documents.

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#3. Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers

Salary: $88,540

Escalators and elevators are installed, repaired, and maintained by elevator and escalator installers and repairers. The job description includes reading blueprints, changing broken pieces, testing machinery, and performing safety inspections. These experts frequently focus on maintenance, installation, or repair work. They need physical stamina and strength, mechanical aptitude, and the capacity to work at heights.

A four-year apprenticeship with a union, business, or industry association is frequently the first step in these vocations. Apprentices gain knowledge of safety procedures, electrical theory, and the components of elevators and escalators. The majority of states mandate that installers and repairers of elevators and escalators be licensed. They also require continual training to stay current with technological advances in the field.

Career advancement may result from obtaining a professional certification from the National Association of Elevator Contractors or the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International.

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#4. Radiation Therapists

Salary: $86,850

Patients with cancer and other illnesses receive radiation therapy from radiation therapists. They provide patients with treatment regimens, operate medical equipment to treat them, maintain treatment logs, and watch out for negative side effects. In addition to working in hospitals and clinics, radiation therapists often provide care to outpatients. They require strong physical endurance, interpersonal abilities, and meticulous attention to detail and they are one of the highest-paid trade jobs in California.

In a trade school, students study pathology, planning for therapy, oncology, and radiation physics. Students who enroll in radiation therapy associate programs learn how to operate medical equipment and gain practical experience in clinical settings.

Radiation therapists are among the highest-paid trade workers, but in most states, they require a license. To obtain a license, they must complete an accredited radiation therapy curriculum and pass a national certification exam.

By earning certification and furthering their study, radiation therapists can rise to the position of medical dosimetrists, who calculate radiation dosages for cancer patients.

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#5. Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Salary: $79,590

Medical labs, outpatient care facilities, hospitals, and doctors’ offices all employ nuclear medicine technologists. Additionally, they help doctors prepare and administer radiopharmaceutical medications. Additionally, the job description includes using imaging equipment, running imaging software, maintaining patient records, and upholding safety standards.

Students studying nuclear medical technology acquire academic, clinical, and laboratory experience in trade school. They get knowledge regarding legal requirements, radiation safety requirements, and the production and administration of radioactive medications. 

Nuclear medicine technologists adhere to safety protocols to avoid unintentional radiation exposure and put on personal protective equipment.

Although the profession calls for a bachelor’s, many nuclear medicine technologists have an associate’s. A degree from a program that has been approved by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology is required by some workplaces. Most technologists who work in nuclear medicine pursue certification. State-specific licensure requirements, however, differ.

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#6. Dental Hygienists

Salary: $77,090

Dental hygienists examine for dental disease in patients and offer preventive care while working under the direction of a dentist. They take x-rays, apply fluoride, remove plaque, and instruct patients on proper dental hygiene using various equipment. Public health facilities, community clinics, and private dentistry offices are common employers.

It typically takes three years to complete dental hygienist trade school, including classroom, clinical, and laboratory teaching. These programs also call for coursework in radiography, periodontics, anatomy and physiology, and patient management.

Every state requires dental hygienists to have a license. The Commission on Dental Accreditation requires earned associate degrees and passed exams to receive a license. Although employment responsibilities vary, some states let hygienists give anesthesia, take out stitches, and implant fillings.

By obtaining a bachelor’s degree or moving from direct patient care positions into management, they can advance in their professions.

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#7. MRI Tech

Salary: $74,655

MRI experts operate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to produce intricate 3D scans of a patient’s body parts. It is one of the highest-paid trade jobs in California. People that are good communicators and like a fast-paced atmosphere will excel in this position. The position is frequently based in hospitals, radiology centers, or outpatient care facilities.

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#8. Aircraft Technician

Salary: $68,500

You should consider working as an aviation technician if you enjoy flying airplanes but don’t necessarily want to be a pilot. Your responsibility as an airplane technician is to use diagnostic tools to perform aircraft maintenance and repairs. Other duties include inspecting aircraft, maintaining maintenance logs, fixing parts, installing instrument panels, etc.

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#9. Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians

Salary: $67,550

This is one of the highest-paid trade jobs in California. These specialists assist engineers in the development of electrical and electronic gadgets such as computers, health monitoring systems, and navigational equipment.

Examples of typical tasks are building electrical instruments, creating schematics, utilizing machine tools to make parts, and performing preventative maintenance. Technicians in electrical and electronics engineering are employed by the federal government, engineering services, industry, and research and development.

Students learn how to read engineering instructions and drawings, create reports, and record data in trade school. They enroll in physics, computer programming, electronics, and chemistry courses. The Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has accredited some electrical and electronic engineering programs.

Technicians in electrical and electronic engineering require mechanical, logical, and observational abilities. Technicians can seek certifications from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, the International Society of Automation, and ETA International to show they have an advanced understanding of the industry.

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#10. Millwright

Salary: $65,500

Industrial mechanics, also referred to as millwrights, are in charge of assembling, disassembling, and transporting machinery on construction sites, in factories, and in power plants. In addition, they disassemble machines, replace broken parts, and clean and lubricate machinery.

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#11. Ultrasound Technologist

salary: $62,500

Ultrasound technologists use imaging tools to conduct tests and assist in diagnosing medical conditions. They are also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers. They can focus on pediatric care, reproductive health, and cardiovascular system imaging and they are one of California’s highest-paid trade jobs. Ultrasound technologists set up and maintain diagnostic tools, prepare patients for operations and review diagnostic data.

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#12. Boilermaker

Salary: $61,000

Boilers and big containers for structures, factories, and ships are maintained, repaired, and assembled by boilermakers. This physically demanding profession necessitates stamina and attention to safety procedures and is frequently performed outdoors in inclement weather. 

Additionally, boilermakers are responsible for inspecting boilers for leaks, fixing broken components, interpreting designs, and cleaning vats.

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#13. Plumber

Salary: $59,880

Plumbers work on plumbing throughout the day. They use various hand tools and extensive knowledge to install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems.

Plumbers make an average of $59,880 annually, which is a respectable livelihood. But that increases as you acquire experience. Given that the top 10 percent earn more than $99,920, some people are undoubtedly earning six figures.

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#14. Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Salary: $55,452

Excavators, cranes, and other huge vehicles used in building, farming, mining, and transportation are the responsibility of the heavy equipment mechanic. These mechanics are exceedingly meticulous and knowledgeable about engine systems and components, and they are frequently competent in using electronic instruments to detect issues.

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#15. Graphic Designer

Salary: $53,572

The art of graphically presenting ideas through brochures, logos, packaging, publications, or other marketing materials is a skill graphic designers possess. While some graphic designers prefer to use their hands, more and more are becoming proficient in a wide range of creative software packages and cutting-edge computer applications that help them bring their works to life.

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As you have seen from the list above, trade jobs are very rewarding. The most interesting thing about these jobs is that one’s earning potential increases with experience and credibility. This also means that there is no limit to what you can earn.

We hope you found this post on the 15 Highest Paid Trade Jobs In California in 2022 as helpful as promised. Feel free to let us know what you think.


What profession is the simplest to learn?

Among the skilled crafts, plumbing and electrical work are the least physically taxing. But it doesn’t mean those are the greatest trades; if carpentry appeals to you, you shouldn’t let its reputation for physical rigor discourage you.

What trade can you learn the quickest?

The fastest trade to learn is by far commercial truck driving. You can become eligible for a CDL-A tractor trailer driver’s license after just 160 hours of training.

What jobs are the highest-paying in California?

In California, the average annual compensation for surgeons is the highest. Using BLS wage data, we identified the jobs in the state with the highest average incomes. The Golden State’s top 30 paid positions are shown below.

What is the salary of an electrician?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ median estimates, electricians make an average of $56,000 per year ($27.36 per hour) (BLS). The employment of electricians is anticipated to increase more quickly than most other occupations between 2019 and 2029.

Do trade jobs pay well?

Trade Jobs Have Good Pay. Even those worried about the high cost of education still believe that it is always worthwhile because it will boost their potential for lifetime earnings.



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