10+ Best Trade Jobs for Students & Graduates of Technical School

Looking for the best trade jobs to consider after graduating from trade or technical school? Here are the best jobs for trade school grads.

Student debt has swept the nation, and many people don’t want to burden themselves with it. Lucky for you, the time-tested trade careers are still around to rescue you!

If you learn the tips and tricks of the right trades, you’ll have a promising career ahead of you. So, is trade school still worth it?

Let’s talk about the best trade jobs once you’re graduated!


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Why Go To Trade School?

If you’re still deciding whether or not to enroll in college or a trade program, you may have questions. Should I get an apprenticeship first? Which trade is the most profitable? Will my job be secure?

Every trade is different, yes. However, the one thing that is consistent is that these jobs aren’t going anywhere. Plumbers, electricians, and more will always be needed, even if technology and the field evolve over time. What this means is that an electrician may start their career working with houses and small commercial properties but wind up working with solar technology or electric vehicles later on.

That’s the best part about going into a trade. You could get a 4-year college degree or a master’s degree in anything, and the field could almost disappear by the time you graduate. However, with the trades, you’re basically guaranteed work for life if you’re skilled enough. The jobs of the future are still in the trades!

Because of this, a trade school is the way to go. It gives you a head start from those who just jump into an apprenticeship, and it gives you the tools you need to be successful once you do start!

Job Benefits

Many trade jobs have unions, the chance to work independently, and a high salary with significantly limited student debt compared to getting traditional degrees.

You also get the opportunity to constantly learn through your life, which has been shown to increase your brain power, improve your job satisfaction, and even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s!

Related Read: 15 Best Certifications for Jobs to Set You Apart From Other Candidates

Best Trade Jobs: Plumber

This is one of the best trades for the pay and the benefits. The average plumber salary is $58,000 and there’s still a lot of room to go up from there later in your career.

Many plumbers work independently at some point in their careers, and most will charge well over $50 per hour for calls. It’s rather easy to transition to independent work as you will typically acquire your own tools and equipment over the course of your career, making startup expenses fairly limited.

However, if you stick with a company, pensions aren’t unheard of, along with extensive overtime pay, vacation time, and good health insurance.

Job security is definitely a term associated with this job. Plumbers will be needed for the rest of your lifetime. You can count on that. It’s also not the most desirable trade for obvious reasons, which makes the competition really easy to beat. If you don’t mind working with toilets and what comes with them, you might just find a promising career!

Mechanic

An auto mechanic is a really reliable trade, and it has high rates of job satisfaction. This is because it’s the field for people who love cars. If you’re one of them, then this is the job for you.

However, there is one serious risk with this particular trade. Fossil fuels are being phased out around the world, so the field is likely to change toward hybrid and electric vehicles as opposed to combustion-engine vehicles.

The good news is that the two types of vehicles do share a lot of components apart from the engine and motor, offering a lot of transferrable skills, but if you can enroll in a program that teaches you how to work with both, then you’ll be all set!

Welder

Welding is a promising trade with a lot of job security and fair salaries averaging $42,000, usually with opportunities for overtime. This path will definitely cost a pretty penny to start on an independent track, but welders are needed for jobs all over.

Welding is a dangerous job if you don’t know what you’re doing. Working with hot metal rods is certainly intimidating for beginners, so having knowledge and training upfront is not only good for job prospects, but for your safety!

Related Read: 12 Best Seasonal Jobs for Young Professionals & College Students

Carpenter

The time-tested trade still stands strong today. Carpenters have been around forever, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. The field definitely adapts over time as new building standards, new codes and regulations, and new best practices change. However, if you get started, you’ll have a promising career with plenty of opportunities for independent work ahead of you.

If you like to build, this is the job for you. However, there are so many building codes and skills to know about, making trade school a really good choice. Many people go right into laborer or apprenticeship positions and fail because there are just too many skills to learn from the beginning.

Do you know how to put up drywall, lay hardwood flooring, put up walls, and build roofs and decks? If you know all of those, you’re good for a couple of months but there’s still a lot more to learn!

Pipefitter

Oh, so you’re a welder, plumber, and mathematician? You should be a pipefitter!

Pipefitters are the real jack-of-all-trades, and they are compensated for it. While the average salary is around $57,000, there are many pipefitters making 6 figures. Most are paid hourly with a lot of opportunities for overtime, and the job is in high demand, making it a highly secure job for the long term.

Electrician

Electricians are highly skilled and they’ll definitely be needed for the rest of your life. Almost guaranteed job security, good salaries, benefits, and a challenging field to work in, making this a great field to get started in.

Trade school is a huge advantage in electrician work. Electricians need to learn so many complex details that are hard to teach in an apprenticeship, so starting with the schooling will definitely help you land an apprenticeship and be successful in it!

Related Read: How to Network for a Job: Tips & Advice to Land Jobs Through Networking

Painter

Painting is not as much of a relaxing job as it sounds, but it is a stable career with a lot of promise. Believe it or not, there’s a lot to learn for a painter position. Painters have to learn all about interior and exterior paint, how to use it, and all the tips and tricks of the trade.

Having this knowledge taught to you in advance is a great way to get a leg up on the competition when you’re looking for jobs.

Energy Technician

Solar and wind installers and repair crews are needed increasingly more as the world’s energy grid transforms. This job has enormous growth potential and plenty of reasons that make energy a good career path. These jobs are also increasing in union rates, so be aware of that!

HVAC

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and sometimes refrigerators (HVAC/R)! You’ll need to know about all of these to get started in this field, making trade school a must! However, once you complete the course, you’ll have pretty solid job security for life, as these jobs are in high demand everywhere. 

Heating and ventilation systems do change over time but these jobs aren’t going anywhere! Whether it’s gas heat or geothermal, these jobs will always be needed!

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Elevator Mechanic

It’s not unheard of for elevator mechanics who are 25 years into their career making $75 an hour. Elevators are in almost every city and mechanics will be needed for all of them eventually. This job has high security, high salaries, and a lot of unions.

Aviation Mechanic

Plane mechanics will be needed for the rest of your life, so don’t worry about job security on this. Aviation mechanics make an average salary of $100,000 a year, respectively. This makes aviation mechanics the highest-paying average on the list.

There is no degree needed for this position, believe it or not. You just have to meet FAA job qualifications after you finish your training, and you’ll be on your way to high salaries for life!

Get Training Today

Now that you know the best trade jobs to get after trade school, the time to get started is now. Trade school will give you the skills and a leg up on the competition, so don’t overlook it.

Keep up to date with our latest career news, work on building the right future for you, and find out if technology is a good career path!

Related Read: 25+ Best Low-Stress Jobs for People With Anxiety (Social, General, Etc.)

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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