If 4 years in school seems like too much of a commitment, but you still want to earn over $50,000 per year, this article is for you. We’ve included occupations that you can train for on the job, or at local trade schools and 2 year technical colleges.

The list features 10 careers in transportation, construction and the skilled trades. The salary estimates by the BLS are based on data collected in all 50 states and D.C. so the average salary where you live may be a little different.

Highest Paying Trade Jobs with No Degree Required

The listed salaries of the selected careers are the annual mean wage, last updated on April 3rd, 2024. This pay information reflects 2023 earnings. Entry level jobs will generally pay less and experienced workers can make quite a bit more.


Skilled Trades and Construction

  • Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment – Mean yearly salary is $76,380. Most electrical technology programs take 1-2 years to complete at a trade school.
  • Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians – Mean yearly salary is $76,260. A 2 year associate’s degree in aircraft maintenance is available at some of the best trade schools.
  • Bus and Truck Diesel Mechanics – Mean yearly salary is $59,920. Diploma and associate degree programs in diesel technology are available, these take about 1 to 2 years to complete.
  • HVAC Technicians – Mean yearly salary is $59,620. Certificate and diploma programs in HVAC technology take between 6 months and a year and a half to complete.
  • Carpenters – Mean yearly salary is $60,970. Carpentry can be learned on the job or at a trade school with carpentry training. Learn about the carpenter job description and training.
  • Electrician – Mean yearly salary is $67,810. You’ll find electrical technology programs at trade schools and technical colleges, they take 1-2 years to finish.
  • Plumber – Mean yearly salary is $67,840. You’ll find plumber training programs that take 1-2 years at vocational and trade schools. Check out our plumber practice test for a little fun.

Of course there are many more careers in transportation, construction and the skilled trades where you could earn a good salary without a lot of school. You can find a list of all careers here at the BLS website.

Find a school

If skilled trade and construction training seems like a good option to you, connect with a local trade school now.

Reference and interesting articles: