This article contains 2021 salary data for the highest paying skilled trade jobs including careers in the building, construction, and mechanics fields. The trade school programs in the “skilled trades” normally take under 2 years to finish.
We’ve also added salary data for other top paying careers you can train for at a trade school or technical college. These include careers in the information technology, business, and medical career fields. Programs for some of these high paying technical and medical jobs can take 2-4 years to complete.
The Highest Paying Skilled Trade Jobs
These are some of the highest paying jobs that are commonly considered skilled trades. Examples of the fastest programs include CDL truck driver, hvac technician, and mechanic. The salary listed is either the average or mean pay a worker earned in 2020. The salaries listed here were updated with the newest BLS information from 2021.
- Construction Management: $97,180
- Pile Driver Operators – $71,880
- Aircraft Mechanic: $66,680
- Construction Inspectors – $66,470
- Plumbers – $59,890
- Brick Masons – $58,420
- Electrician: $56,900
- Carpenters – $54,200
- Sheet Metal Worker: $51,370
- Truck Driver: $47,130
- HVAC Technician: $50,590
- Welder: $44,190
- Auto Mechanic: $44,050
There are fast trade school programs for some of these high paying skilled trade careers.
16 More Top Paying Trade School Careers
These jobs are not generally considered “skilled trades”, but you can often find training for these careers at your local trade school or technical college. Programs for these high paying technical careers generally take from two years to four years to complete. The salaries listed below are the median pay a worker earned in 2020, according to BLS.
- Civil Engineer: $88,570
- Computer Scientist: $126,830
- Mechanical Engineer: $90,160
- Mechanical Engineering Technician: $58,230
- Dental Hygiene: $77,090
- Electrical Engineer: $103,390
- Computer Systems Analyst: $93,730
- Economics: $108,350
- Computer Hardware Engineer: $119,560
- Computer Programmer: $89,190
- Electronics Engineer: $103,390
- Radiation Therapist: $86,850
- RN Nurse: $75,330
- Accountant: $73,560
- Health Service Managers: $104,280
- Administrative Services and Facilities Managers: $98,890
A few of these careers may pay even more than current government statistics show, especially if you live in a fast growing area where there’s a lack of skilled workers. I know where I live, in a growing area of Florida, experienced welders, HVAC technicians, CDL truck drivers, and electricians can make more than this table indicates.
Salaries have been updated with data from April of 2021. New salary information will be published around May 2022 and this information will be updated then. This information was gathered from the official BLS website. United States National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
Reference & more reading: