5 Trade Jobs with Awesome Earning Potential

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An article by contributor Rachael Murphey.trade job

When parents want their children to have high-paying jobs, they almost always think about college. But there are jobs that require skilled labor that pay extremely well. Trade jobs are often overlooked, and a young person who wants to learn a trade can end up making a very comfortable living, without all the college study. If going to a university is not your thing, consider these high-paying trade jobs.

HVAC Technician

Heating and air conditioning are here to stay, and we will always need skilled technicians to install and service air systems. And it’s not just houses that need air conditioning. Cooling is needed for food transportation and medicines. A skilled technician can make more than $50,000 per year, and that’s just the average. Some make much more.

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbines have created a new field for technicians. From wind-generated power farms to high-velocity turbines for scientific work, the demand for wind turbine techs is growing. This profession can require not only knowledge of the mechanics of wind turbines, but also the ability to work with circuit boards and computer-controlled systems. If you get into this field, you could make $60,000 to $85,000 per year.


The good old plumber is always in demand. As long as water and other liquids move through pipes, someone is going to have to install, maintain and repair those pipes. This has become a sophisticated profession, requiring knowledge of reading blueprints, complex designs and ever-changing materials. You can earn $50,000 to nearly $100,000 per year as a plumber.

Elevator Mechanic

Elevators are becoming high-tech. That means not only are people needed to repair old elevators, technicians with knowledge of modern elevators must install and maintain advanced ones. You won’t start out making the nearly $100,000 per year that experienced mechanics make, but if you work your way through the union, you can make above $50,000 year and grow from there. Going up!

Home Inspector

Home and building inspectors are in constant demand. You don’t need a college degree, but you will need to learn the building codes in your area. You will be hired to examine all types of buildings to see if there are any problems with construction, plumbing, electrical systems, heating, air conditioning and materials used on the premises. You can make $50,000 a year and more working for a government agency or freelancing.

There are a lot of people with college degrees who can’t find work. A degree doesn’t guarantee success. You can go into a high-demand trade and have work for life. The pay is not bad, and you can grow as you become more experienced.

Rachael Murphey is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder. She writes on entrepreneurship, finance, and personal success. She currently lives in Denver with her dog Charlie.

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