Trade jobs are a great option for those who want to earn a high income without going to college. These career paths, often referred to as the highest-paying trade jobs, don’t require a four-year degree, but it is still essential to master your craft.
Construction managers, elevator mechanics, and radiation therapists are all good examples of trades that fall into the category of highest-paying trade jobs. These positions also offer a chance to build a business and work for yourself.
1. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
As a nuclear power reactor operator, you’re responsible for controlling the equipment that powers the electricity that runs millions of homes and businesses. Your duties include monitoring the equipment, adjusting controls, and setting in motion emergency procedures if needed. You start out as an equipment or auxiliary operator and work toward becoming a reactor operator under the supervision of more experienced operators. After completing your training and passing the NRC licensing exam, you can apply to become an independent nuclear power reactor operator.
Most workers in this job don’t have a college degree, but a high school diploma is usually enough to get you started. In most cases, you’ll have to complete a drug and background check and a series of exams to ensure you’re physically and mentally fit to do the job.
Some employers use the Edison Electric Institute Power Operation Selection System test to help select employees with the right aptitude for this career. This may be the right job if you’re looking for a good salary with little commute. To become a nuclear power reactor operator, you can learn more about the industry on MIT’s website. You’ll find information on the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory and other colleges that offer courses in this field.
Nuclear energy is a growing industry, with new plants being built and existing ones being extended in the United States. This means plenty of job opportunities. Many of these jobs offer a long, exciting, and rewarding career. Those who want to be challenged and have a keen eye for detail will do well in these positions.
2. Pile Driver Operator
Pile driver operators use machinery to hammer piles of steel, concrete, and other materials into the ground for foundations. The job requires a high school diploma and experience operating construction equipment. Those who complete an apprenticeship program typically earn higher salaries than others. Pile drivers work on various equipment, including skid barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes, to drive pilings into the ground. They operate the machines using levers, wheels, pedals, and valves to maneuver the heavy foundational material into place.
They also use power hammers to drive piles further into the earth. Operators oversee the equipment and clean, lubricate and refill it to ensure it works properly. They may need to troubleshoot issues with the machine and contact engineers or mechanics when needed. A typical work week for a pile driver operator is 40 hours. The amount of time spent on the job varies, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Some pile driver operators start out on smaller machines and move up to larger ones as their skills and knowledge improve. They can start this career with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but many employers prefer those who have completed an apprenticeship.
The job requires a high level of skill and knowledge of the different construction materials and tools, as well as active listening skills to follow instructions from a supervisor. Pile drivers may also need to have a crane license in some states. The average salary for a pile driver operator is around $51,718 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This figure may vary based on location, experience, and job type.
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They use testing equipment, problem-solving skills, and their experience to find source problems and make repairs. Their work may involve replacing breakers, switches, and wiring. Licensed electricians usually earn between $50 and $100 per hour. The rate depends on the project and their experience. Some electricians also charge on a project basis, such as a flat fee for a large commercial job.
Another option for electricians is to become self-employed. This is a good way to ensure financial security. However, this requires a lot of work and dedication. A self-employed electrician can earn more than $100k a year by specializing in high-paying industries and by investing in their professional development. This can help them reach their full potential and make a comfortable salary benchmark that allows them to live the lifestyle they want without compromising their work-life balance or risking financial hardship.
An Electrician is one of the highest-paying trade jobs today. The profession combines technical expertise and complex problem-solving, making it an attractive career choice for those looking to work in a high-paying, skilled field. It also gives those working in the trade a sense of pride and belonging to their local community.
4. Building Inspector
Building inspectors ensure construction projects meet safety standards, contract specifications, and zoning regulations. They work for municipalities, governments, or construction companies, examining sites alone or as a team. Their tasks include monitoring sites, verifying alignment, and issuing violation notices or stop-work orders.
These inspectors have a strong background in construction and engineering, with advanced knowledge of building codes. They also have a keen eye for detail and can make decisions quickly without emotion. Most building inspectors work full-time, mainly during weekdays. Occasionally, they may be required to work at night or on weekends. They also work on location, completing inspections, and drawing reports.
Their job can be physically demanding, as they often need to climb ladders and crawl in tight spaces to complete their inspections. They also have to be meticulous and thorough, as they can be held liable for any serious issues that arise later on. This job is great for those who want to get a foot in the door of the construction industry and gain experience. To become a building inspector, you need at least a high school diploma and a background in a trade.
As a building inspector, you can expect to make 100k a year. However, the salary you earn will depend on your employer and experience. Those with a bachelor’s degree and experience will earn more than those with only a high school diploma.
Plumbers install and repair water piping in homes, businesses, and other structures. They also provide inspections and maintenance to ensure pipes are working properly. Plumbing is an in-demand career that can lead to a six-figure income. However, earning such a high salary requires technical training and experience.
In most cases, plumbers go to school to learn the skills necessary to become licensed and then work as an apprentice before becoming a journeyman or master plumbers. They also need to complete a certain number of hours of classroom instruction and hands-on experience before being able to take an exam to get their license.
After completing their education and earning their license, plumbers can begin to make a living from their work. They can choose to work in a company or as an independent contractor. Plumbers typically earn a minimum of $3,800 monthly, regardless of where they work. That includes their income, taxes, and any bonuses or overtime pay they may receive.
If you’re looking for a career with a flexible schedule, a good income, and a lot of job security, consider becoming a plumber! This type of trade job can be incredibly satisfying and challenging. This is an excellent opportunity to start a career in plumbing that will allow you to build your knowledge, earn a high income, and work with a team of people who care about you. Apply today!