For some reason, many people have a big misconception about skilled trade jobs: they (mistakenly) believe they don’t pay well. In reality, though, it’s common for workers in skilled trades to earn around the U.S. national average salary–about $53,500 a year–and many earn much, much more than that. To prove it, we’ve gathered the data on a dozen of the highest-paying skilled trade jobs, many of which allow you to get started without a four-year degree. If you’re looking to earn a great living doing engaging work that you love, consider one of these trade professions.
From welders and pipefitters who build and repair pipelines to rig operators and drillers who work on oil rigs, jobs in the oil and gas field are a lucrative source of income for hundreds of thousands of Americans. If you’re dependable and aren’t afraid of a little hard work, you can earn a solid living with or without a traditional four-year degree.
The term ‘skilled trades’ is broader than you probably imagined, covering hundreds of positions that call for any number of specialized skills. Regardless of their specialization, however, skilled trades jobs carry with them tremendous earning potential and the chance to carve out a profitable niche for yourself in any number of in-demand industries. Here’s the basics of skilled trades jobs, including which ones pay the most, which are the easiest to break into, and which promise to be the most in demand over the next decade.