Love working with your hands? Here are 7 trade jobs to consider

Trade school courses are specific to the career each individual wants.

By U2B Staff 

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Many would consider a degree the safe and tested road to finding a job, but there are also non-degree pathways that would help you secure a high-paying job. 

Trade jobs have long suffered the misconception for offering a measly pay, but they can in fact be a rewarding career, especially in today’s competitive economic climate that produces almost four million newly-minted graduates each year.


These specialised programmes can help you secure one of the many rewarding trade jobs. 

Considering the time commitment and cost, an increasing number of individuals are contemplating foregoing college and taking the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) route.

This can be a viable route for those who are worried about the time and cost of pursuing a traditional four-year degree. Trade school is also ideal for those interested in entering a specific field of work, or for those who are looking to gain hands-on training. 

While many jobs are projected to go defunct amid the rise of automation, several other trades and occupations will stay in-demand. Despite rapid changes, the world will always need professionals in roles such as air traffic controllers, construction managers, dental hygienists, logistics managers, and web developers – most of which require vocational schooling.

Here are some hands-on trade jobs that are commonly overlooked by many:


Foresters are involved in all types of environmental and outdoor work, such as managing wilderness or protected lands, appraising the value of an allotted acreage, maintaining forest health, and working on conservation efforts. 

These professionals earn a median annual salary of US$63,980, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with an occupational outlook of 5% growth between 2019 and 2029.


Carpenters construct and repair structures from wood and other materials. These individuals can find themselves engaging in a variety of projects, be it in building new furniture to remodelling homes, depending on their area of expertise. 

According to the BLS, the 2020 national average wage for carpenters was US$49,520 annually. Many of these experts are self-employed and have the flexibility to set their own schedule.

Elevator Mechanic 

An elevator mechanic is someone who is trained to install, assemble, maintain, replace and repair elevators, escalators, chairlifts, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and other similar equipment. These professionals earn a median annual wage of US$88,540 and can enjoy a suite of opportunities in a field that is projected to grow seven percent from 2019 to 2029.


From diagnosing problems to working with a variety of tools and technology, electricians are offered job satisfaction through daily challenges. The best part? Qualified electrician are always in demand. 

According to the BLS, the 2020 national average wage for electricians was US$56,900 annually. Employment for electricians is expected to grow eight percent by 2029 – much faster that the average for all occupations.



Professional painters are often tasked to make judgements on what looks good. They may be tasked to work on residential or commercial buildings. Their word is essential — painting and maintaining surfaces improves the appearance of a home or building and can ultimately increase its value. 

According to the BLS, the 2020 national average wage for those that paint, coat, and decorate was $34,780 a year.


Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes in residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings. As long as there are complex water systems in and outside of these properties, there will be a need for reliable plumbers. 

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitter, and steamfitters was US$56,330 in 2020. 

HVACR technician

A heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technician is a rewarding career path for individuals who excel in thinking critically and satisfying customers. The need to replace older units or systems with more energy-efficient models is growing. This is why these professionals will stay in-demand for years to come. 

According to the BLS, the 2020 national average wage for HVACR technicians was $50,590 annually. Employment is projected to grow by four percent by 2029.