Top 12 Highest Paying Trade Jobs

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Sophia EvansSophia Evans

Top 12 Highest Paying Trade Jobs

Many trade jobs are seeing an increase in demand over the next decade. Skilled trades are excellent job choices for people who love hands-on, independent work. You can earn an excellent annual salary as a skilled trade worker, despite not having a degree or equivalent — although some positions require classroom training and professional licensure or certification. One of the best things about the proliferation of job openings is it’s easier to locate a job you find engaging and meaningful. A trade job could be ideal if you enjoy understanding how complex systems and equipment work and fixing them with your hands.

1. Construction Manager

Construction managers earn top salaries averaging around $97,180 annually and have fulfilling careers overseeing residential, commercial, and industrial projects from conception to completion. Examples of critical responsibilities include:

  • Onboarding and scheduling subcontractors
  • Calculating estimates and preparing bids
  • Problem-solving
  • Liaising with clients
  • Using blueprints and technical documents
To become a construction manager, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree and most positions require previous on-the-job construction experience. However, once you gain the necessary skills and expertise, you can make a profitable career as a construction manager.

2. Respiratory Therapist

You can expect a salary of around $62,810 annually as a respiratory therapist. In this position, you’ll spend your days working in a medical setting with patients who require specialized respiratory care. In addition to analyzing lung and breathing issues, you may be called upon to intervene during life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks. While respiratory therapy can be a lucrative and fulfilling job, it’s important to be mindful of all applicable laws and specific professional requirements in the country you wish to work. For example, many U.S. states require at least an associate’s degree and additional licensing to work as a respiratory therapist.

3. Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients with serious illnesses like cancer and earn an annual salary of around $86,850.3 Their duties include:

  • Understanding diagnoses
  • Explaining treatment plans
  • Using radiation machines
  • Monitoring patients
  • Maintaining records
Radiation therapy is a very demanding career, and you’ll often be a sought-after resource for many different health issues. Like other healthcare careers, you should research specific work requirements like accreditations or licenses in the country where you hope to work. In most positions and countries, you’ll be required to obtain at least an associate’s degree in your field.

4. Elevator Mechanic

Elevator mechanics can earn a substantial living earning about $97,860 a year, and you can get into the career without earning a degree or going to college. As an elevator mechanic, your role involves fixing, repairing, maintaining, and installing elevators. Some of the daily tasks you might perform include:

  • Reading blueprints
  • Installing new elevators
  • Testing equipment
  • Replacing parts
  • Conducting safety inspections
  • Troubleshooting
Being an elevator mechanic is about more than keeping elevators in working condition. It’s also about ensuring the safety and well-being of everybody who will use the elevator you worked on.

5. Landscape Architect

As a landscape architect, you can look forward to earning around $67,950 a year. Expect to split your time between various job sites and a dedicated office. Your daily routine will generally consist of repairing models, creating designs, and supervising subcontractors. You might work for corporations, organizations, private residences, public gardens, or parks. Although general landscapers can get into the field without previous experience, a landscape architect needs at least a bachelor’s degree in their field. Of course, it helps to have previous landscaping experience, too.

6. Electrician

Electricians ensure electrical, control and communication systems are up and running. Most professionals undergo an apprenticeship and learn on the job. However, college courses are available for anyone wanting to grow their knowledge of electricity.


With a salary of $56,9006 annually, being an electrician is a stable and profitable career for somebody with a high school diploma. It also offers some diversity, as you’ll work in a wide range of settings like private residences, commercial buildings, construction sites and more.