Trade School Jobs that Pay Well

Jan 18, 2020

There are a variety of different career paths that can be accessed by attending a trade school. Individuals who want to forego college and go to a trade school instead will likely be happy to find that a number of well-paying jobs are available to them by following this path.

Career Options for Trade School Jobs that Pay Well

While some may think it is necessary to obtain a college degree to land a job that pays well, there are a number of trade school jobs that are quite lucrative. For individuals who enjoy working with their hands, especially in construction and repair oriented fields, it is likely that they could find a high-paying job in one of these fields by attending a trade school. Below, we will look at five of these jobs more closely.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Aircraft Mechanic and Service Technician $62,920 3%
Electrician $55,190 10%
Boilermaker $62,150 6%
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer $47,610 13%
Plumber, Pipefitter, and Steamfitter $53,910 14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Trade School Jobs that Pay Well

Aircraft Mechanic and Service Technician

As an aircraft mechanic and service technician, you are responsible for making sure various types of aircraft are running properly, diagnosing problems, repairing or replacing malfunctioning parts, running tests, and keeping detailed maintenance records. To become an aircraft mechanic, you will generally need to attend an FAA-approved aviation maintenance trade school. The median salary for these professionals in 2018 was $62,920, but the top 10% made more than $94,710.


Electricians often work with blueprints and other technical building diagrams in order to determine where to install electrical wiring in new construction or replace old wiring in a renovation. They must be able to identify and fix various different electrical problems and must operate under state and local building regulations. Many electricians attend a technical trade school and learn on the job through an apprenticeship program. The median salary for electricians was $55,190 in 2018, though it is possible to make more than $94,620 as an electrician if you are in the top of your field.


Boilermakers are responsible for putting together various types of boilers, vats, and containers that hold liquids and gases. They maintain the containers, repair any damage or leaks, and keep them clean. Boilermakers typically learn their job through an apprenticeship, though candidates who have already gone to a trade school for related technical training in an area like welding are more likely to be accepted. These professionals make a median salary of $62,150, though some of them made more than $89,940 in 2018.

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics, or HVACR technicians, are in charge of installing, repairing, and maintaining all types of HVACR systems. They may need to be able to read blueprints in order to properly install new systems and understand electrical wiring in order to do repairs. For HVACR technicians who have received training through a trade school, they are more likely to find employment. These professionals made a median salary of $47,610 in 2018, while the top 10% of the field earned more than $76,230.

Plumber, Pipefitter, and Steamfitter

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair different types of pipes and pipe systems that carry liquids and gases. Plumbers may work on new construction projects or work on replacing old and malfunctioning plumbing systems. To become a plumber, pipefitter, and steamfitter, you generally learn through an apprenticeship after attending a trade school. These professionals made a median wage of $53,910 in 2018, while some made more than $93,700.

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