Highest paying trade jobs women should consider

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Robyn Exton, the founder and CEO of popular dating app Her, learned to code online before launching her internationally successful business.

By Shekinah Kannan 

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The skilled trades may be male-dominated, but that doesn’t mean women can’t excel in the field. There are many roles that women can thrive in, some of which are among the highest paying trade jobs.

History is rife with examples of women in the trade professions. During World War I, women would take over traditionally male roles, including those in munitions factories. Others would work as welders, riverters, mechanics, among others.


After World War II, Queen Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and trained as a truck driver and mechanic when she was 18.

Trade jobs have proven their resilience. Even during economic hardships, millions continue to rely on the skills of those in the profession which suggests that pandemic or not, those who excel in trade jobs have a strong chance of staying afloat. 

PeopleReady Skilled Trades confirms this. In their analysis, they found that the demand for many skilled trade jobs grew rapidly from the pandemic’s onset in March 2020 through January 2021 – when COVID-19 was at its peak.

In a separate report, they also found that the number of skilled trade jobs in the US is far outpacing the supply of qualified workers to fill them. An urgent need for professionals has created ample opportunities for women looking to advance in these areas.

The technical and vocational education and training (TVET) route also serves as a viable option for those looking for a more affordable alternative to the traditional four-year college education pathway.

And the best part? Many of the highest paying trade jobs come with salaries near or above the US household median income of 61,937 US dollars. With enough experience under their belt, trade professionals could even land six-figure annual salaries. 

If you’re ready to do the same by joining the skilled-trade industry, here are five of the highest paying trade jobs to consider:

Web Developer

Everybody loves apps — they entertain, inform, and provide convenience with banking payments to food orders. That said, those capable of developing them are in high demand.

The responsibilities of these professionals include creating, testing, and programming apps for mobile phones and tablets. They typically work in teams, and work to develop apps or websites for the general public or targeted audiences.

While a degree can help, a trade school diploma or a suite of online courses have proven to be sufficient in nurturing experts in the field.

Average pay: US$110,140

Construction Manager

If you’re interested in planning, coordinating, budgeting, and supervising construction projects, this could be the job for you.

The role doesn’t always entail heavy lifting. These managers spend most of their time working in a field office at a construction site, where they monitor and make daily decisions on construction activities. They often have tight construction schedules or deadlines and may have to respond to emergencies.

Average pay: US$95,260 annually

Radiation Therapist

These medical professionals administer radiation to cancer patients.

They are part of an interdisciplinary team of oncologists, medical physicists and oncology nurses who work together to plan and administer treatment while monitoring the condition of patients.

Average pay: US$85,560 annually 

Margin Department Supervisor

A margin department supervisor oversees the operations of the margin department.

They are also responsible for approving or denying credit to clients as they monitor account activity. These professionals also ensure compliance with relevant government regulations.

Average pay: US$76,721 annually


Theatrical Makeup Artist 

As a theatrical makeup artist, you’ll get to play with colours, keep up with fashion or makeup trends, and work on many sets, but the role also requires a breadth of knowledge in the principles of light, colour, and the human form.

These technicalities are crucial to achieve the visions of art directors, consumers, and clients. To measure up, a cosmetology qualification is crucial.

Average pay: US$75,730