Not everyone can afford a 4 year college degree. Trade schools offer a great opportunity for people to go to vocational school, and learn a specific trade, and often times even qualify for an apprenticeship, and begin to work your way into a high paying career.

Trade schools, or vocational schools are schools specifically geared towards people of very specific blue collar careers. Here are some of highest paying, in-demand trade school jobs for 2018.

In this article we will be highlighting some of the best trade school jobs that also pay well. Also we will dive into some of the more popular options in terms of trade schools.

Construction Manager

Average hourly pay—$47.84
Top-end hourly pay—over $76.12
Main tasks—Planning, overseeing, and handling the coordination of construction or maintenance activities (including budgeting and scheduling) related to specific building projects

Drill Operator for the Oil and Gas Industry

Average hourly pay—$27.47
Top-end hourly pay—over $41.91
Main tasks—Extracting oil or natural gas (or core samples) from underground sources by setting up and using large drilling equipment


Average hourly pay—$29.90
Top-end hourly pay—over $41.25
Main tasks—Assembling, installing, or fixing very large containers or vessels designed for holding liquids or gases (such as closed vats, steam boilers, and boiler furnaces)

Aircraft Mechanic

Average hourly pay—$29.42
Top-end hourly pay—over $42.25
Main tasks—Inspecting, repairing, adjusting, or overhauling airplane or helicopter engines and other important systems

Avionics Technician

Average hourly pay—$29.51
Top-end hourly pay—over $40.03
Main tasks—Installing, testing, and fixing high-tech equipment used in space vehicles or aircraft for purposes like navigation, radar detection, weather tracking, radio communications, and weapons control

Pile-Driver Operator

Average hourly pay—$29.68
Top-end hourly pay—over $47.52
Main tasks—Using large pile-driving machines that are mounted on barges, cranes, or skids to hammer long beams of steel, wood, or concrete into the
ground as part of a big construction project


Average hourly pay—$26.94
Top-end hourly pay—over $43.53
Main tasks—Putting together and installing, adjusting, or repairing pipes and related equipment used for liquid or gas distribution


Average hourly pay—$27.24
Top-end hourly pay—over $43.47
Main tasks—Wiring buildings for electrical power, lighting, or communications systems (and maintaining or repairing those systems)

Crane Operator

Average hourly pay—$26.58
Top-end hourly pay—over $39.71
Main tasks—Lifting and moving construction materials, manufactured products, or machinery using mechanical beam and cable equipment

Wind Turbine Technician

Average hourly pay—$26.13
Top-end hourly pay—over $36.66
Main tasks—Installing, inspecting, fixing, and maintaining large wind turbines used for generating electricity


Average hourly pay—$25.94
Top-end hourly pay—over $37.69
Main tasks—Assembling industrial machines, performing maintenance or repairs on them, and dismantling them when necessary

Brick Mason

Average hourly pay—$25.69
Top-end hourly pay—over $40.43
Main tasks—Constructing or fixing walls or other structures by placing and binding bricks, cinder blocks, structural tiles, or other similar materials

Commercial Diver

Average hourly pay—$25.96
Top-end hourly pay—over $40.26
Main tasks—Using various construction tools and scuba diving gear to help build, assemble, inspect, or fix components of large structures under water

Industrial Machinery Mechanic

Average hourly pay—$24.95
Top-end hourly pay—over $36.59
Main tasks—Fixing, maintaining, or putting together machines used for industrial processes like manufacturing or oil, gas, or chemical refining and distribution

CNC Machine Tool Programmer

Average hourly pay—$25.75
Top-end hourly pay—over $37.86
Main tasks—Giving instructions to computer numerically controlled machinery for making objects like tools, molds, and dies

Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Average hourly pay—$24.43
Top-end hourly pay—over $34.97
Main tasks—Troubleshooting, adjusting, and fixing large mobile equipment used for construction or natural resource excavation (such as bulldozers, road graders, cranes, and conveyor systems)

Construction Equipment Operator

Average hourly pay—$24.31
Top-end hourly pay—over $38.56
Main tasks—Controlling various kinds of heavy construction machines like front-end loaders, tractors, bulldozers, graders, and derricks

HVAC Technician

Average hourly pay—$23.23
Top-end hourly pay—over $35.26
Main tasks—Repairing or installing systems for the heating, cooling, and ventilation of buildings


Average hourly pay—$23.24
Top-end hourly pay—over $38.21
Main tasks—Constructing or fixing the wooden frameworks or foundation forms for buildings and related structures

Diesel Mechanic

Average hourly pay—$22.45
Top-end hourly pay—over $32.48
Main tasks—Troubleshooting and repairing larger vehicles with diesel engines such as trucks, buses, and, in some cases, marine vessels

Popular Trade School Jobs

Computer Specialist
Radiation Therapist
Nuclear Technician
Dental Hygienist
Fashion Designer
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Commercial Pilot
Electrical and Electronics Repairman
Web Developer
Cardiovascular Technologist
HVAC Technician
Surgical Technologist
Medical Laboratory Technician
Chemical Plant Operator
Executive Housekeeper
Locomotive Engineer
Personal Trainer
Police Officer
Auto Repair Training
Automation control
Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing
Business and marketing management
Business and Office management
Catering and hotel management
Culling arts
Collision Repair
Computer networking management
Construction Management
Daycare management
Diesel Mechanics
Early Child Care Education
Engineering-Mechanical, Civil, Electric and Electronic, Chemical among others.
Food and Beverage Management
Hairstyling, Cosmetics and Beautification
Health care and social assistant
Home inspector
Interior Design
Industrial Maintenance
Massage Therapy
Medical Billing
Medical Transcription
Organizational/Leadership Skills
Paralegal Studies
Practical Nursing
Precision Manufacturing and Machining
Pharmacy Technician
Private investigator
Property Management
Psychology and Counselling
Real Estate Appraisal
Small Business Management
Small Engine Repair
Tax Preparation
Travel Agent
Truck driving
Veterinary Technician
Welding and Fabrication
Architectural and Structural CADD and Graphics Technician
Construction Estimating
Construction Operations
Construction Supervision
Heat and Frost Insulator
Hydronic Technician
Industrial Electrician
Ironworker – Reinforcing
Metal Fabricator
Piping foundation
Pump Maintenance
Roadworks Maintenance
Security Systems Technician
Sheet Metal Worker Foundation
Security Systems Technician
Telecommunications Technician
Wireless Communications Technician
CNC Machinist Technician
Fire Protection Inspection and Testing
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician
Power and Process Engineering
Refrigeration Mechanic Foundation
Refrigeration Systems
Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician
Airport Operations
Airline and Flight Operations – Commercial Pilot
Automotive Service Technician
Automotive Technical Studies
Automotive Technician
Bridge Watchman
Chief Mate
Commercial Transport
Heavy Duty Mechanic
Marine Engineering
Master 150GT Domestic
Master 500GT Domestic
Nautical Sciences
Railway Conductor
Motorcycle and Power Equipment Technician
Aboriginal Policing Preparation
Addictions Counselling
Advanced Care Paramedic
Agricultural Machinery Technician
Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing
BioScience Technology
Building Systems Technician
Business Information Systems
Business Planning
CAD/CAM Engineering Technology
Chemical Technology
Civil Engineering Technologies
Civil Technician
Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technology
Computer Systems Technology
Continuing Care Assistant
Correctional Studies
Court Services Administrator
Critical Care Nursing
Culinary Arts
Dental Assisting
Dental Hygiene
Diabetes Education for Health Care Professionals
Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers
Digital Graphic Design
Disability Support Worker
Dynamic Web Development
Educational Assistant
Electrical Engineering Technology
Electronics Technician
Engineering Design and Drafting Technology
Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Environmental Engineering Technology
Funeral Service
Food Service Cook
Geographic Information Science for Resource Management
Geomatics and Surveying Engineering Technology
Graphic Communications
Health Information Management
Heavy Equipment Operator
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Human Resources Management (Certificate)
Indigenous Peacekeeping
Industrial Mechanics (Applied Certificate)
Industrial Mechanics (Certificate)
Institutional Cooking
Institutional Meat Cutting
Instrumentation Engineering Technology
Integrated Resource Management
Interactive Media Production
Leadership Skills
Library and Information Technology
Meat Processing
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Media Arts Production (Certificate)
Media Arts Production (Diploma)
Medical Device Reprocessing Technician
Medical Laboratory Assistant
Medical Laboratory Technology
Medical Radiologic Technology
Mental Health and Addictions Worker
Mining Engineering Technology
Multi-Mechanical Trades
New Media Communications (Certificate)
New Media Communications (Diploma)
Nursing Re-entry
Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner (Applied Certificate)
Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner (Certificate)
Office Administration
Parts Management Technician
Parts Person
Perioperative Nursing/LPN
Perioperative Nursing/RN
Power Engineering Technician
Power Engineering Technology
Power Sports Equipment Technician
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Primary Care Paramedic
Production Line Welding
Professional Cooking
Psychiatric Nursing (Diploma)
Radiation and Environmental Monitoring Technician
Recognition of Prior Learning Practitioner
Recreation and Community Development
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Resource and Environmental Law
Retail Manager
Retail Meat Specialist
Retail Customer Service
Security Officer
Service Excellence
Stucco Applicator
Therapeutic Recreation
Tri-Trades Heavy Equipment, Truck and Transport, Agricultural Machinery Technician
Underground Mining Core
Underground Mining Raise Boring
Underground Mining Shaft Operations
Veterinary Technology
Victim Services Coordination
Warehouse Worker
Water and Wastewater Technician
Water Resources Engineering Technology
Welding Applied Certificate
Youth Care Worker (Certificate)
Youth Care Worker (Diploma)
Utility Lineworker Technology