Top 10 Highest Paying Trade School Degrees in 2020

Are you confused about what career path will make you happy and how you can achieve your professional goals? If you do not want to waste your four years in universities and save a considerable cost of rising tuition fees, then you have made a wise choice.

Did you know that numerous skilled trade jobs pay well, providing salaries above the national median income levels, and the good part is many Trade School degrees do not require a bachelor’s degree?

One does not need a  four-year degree to make a sufficient salary. You can also get quite impressive salaries with a Trade School Degree.

Trade school gives the advantage of a more established career path. Often, converting a degree into a job is complicated; you know exactly where you are headed with vocational education.

To determine the highest paying trade school degrees, our authors used information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (the median pay for the trade-in 2020).

Check-out the list for Highest Paying Trade School Degree of 2020

10) Computer/Web Developer- $62000

Web developers will design and develop websites for clients. A simple understanding of the graphic design and some knowledge of computer programming is needed. And with the whole world coming on the internet, it is difficult to be without a job.

Developers can work in numerous fields like IT, Analytics, E-commerce, Advertising, etc... You can also become a freelancer.

Education required:

A developing web course at a technical school is necessary. No formal post-secondary education is required, and also, no job training is essential.

Skills required:

  • Technical/computer skills
  • Graphic designing skills
  • Troubleshooting/ problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills to retain clients.

9) Respiratory Therapist- $67,500

Respiratory therapists will give medical care to diagnose and treat patients suffering from breathing problems or cardiopulmonary disorders. This job requires long hours, and by long, I mean even more than 20-22 hours in hospitals and medical centers. 

Education required:

A high school diploma and an associate degree are necessary. Graduates must also clear the National Board for Respiratory (which provides two levels of certification: the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)

Licensure: Respiratory therapists must acquire licensure to work in the field. Requirements differ by state.

Skills required:

  • Working well with Doctors and other healthcare workers
  • Being compassionate, helpful, understanding, and caring towards patients
  • Good science and math skills
  • Interpersonal skills

8) Elevator Mechanic- $67000

An elevator mechanic fixes escalators, elevators, and other electrical equipment and machinery, like wheelchair lifts and electrical ramps for people with physical disabilities.

Elevator mechanics perform required repairs, run electrical tests, and offer suggestions to building inspectors, surveyors, and contractors on maintenance and restoration decisions.

Education required:

Diploma and intensive training. To become a mechanic, one needs an 8000-hour classroom instruction on the apprenticeship.  

Skills required:

  • Troubleshooting/problem-solving skills
  • Great color vision to identify colored wires
  • Good communication skills to cooperate with the team.
  • Technical/Analytical skills to identify the problem.

7) Diagnostic Medical Sonographer—$68,000

A diagnostic medical sonographer does a medical scanning of a patient using soundwaves. 

The sonographer performs ultrasounds to check whether a woman is pregnant, discover if cancer is spreading or in suspension, and diagnose cardiovascular issues.  Sonographer mostly works in hospitals, but some might also work in an imaging center.

Education required:

A formal equation that includes a diploma. Sonographers must have a formal education and an Associate Degree/post-secondary certificate.

Skills required:

  • Established medical knowledge, mainly in anatomy
  • Focused and calm min to operate effectively
  • Technological knowledge function various medical devices
  • Good communication skills

6) Dental Hygienist—$74,000

Suppose, for any reason; you are not able to become a dentist. In that case, you can give a try for a Dental hygienist—licensed dental professionals who work with dentists to provide oral healthcare and guide patients about oral hygiene.

A dental hygienist’s responsibilities include cleaning teeth and examining mouths for several oral diseases. 

Many people often get confused between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant. They work in dental offices, but their job responsibilities are different. Dental hygienists are apple to clean teeth and operate on patients, unlike dental assistants. Also, a dental assistant won’t give you $74000.

Equation required:

Dental hygienists require an associate degree to practice. It takes around three years to complete most of the programs for dental hygiene.

Skills required:

  • Focus and calm mind
  • Manual dexterity
  • Administer anesthetics
  • Communication and interpersonal skills

 5) Aircraft Mechanic/Aviation Maintenance- $75000

Aircraft mechanics duties include performing routine, scheduled, and emergency maintenance on aircraft.

Education required:

An associate degree is necessary to understand changing dynamics of flight and the regular use of computers.

Many aviation mechanics will complete their education at an FFA-approved school. Others opt to train through on-the-job training or the military. On-the-job Training: for those who don’t want a formal education, You can also choose an 18-month long on-the-job training if you do not like a proper education.

Skills required:

  • Able to work in loud environments
  • Mechanical skills, Knowledge of aviation flight instruments and computer repair
  • Dexterity
  • Physical strength

4) Project Construction Manager- $86000

In simple terms, a project construction manager oversees development projects from start to finish. Their duties include outlining and supervising the number of construction projects.

Working conditions are harsh as you spend most of your time outside, sometimes in extreme heat or cold. If you are thinking of entering this field, you’ll need to love getting dirty; your job involves dusty environments and muddy construction sites.

Education required:

A bachelor's degree in a construction-related field like civil engineering or construction management. You can continue taking courses in developing code compliance, cost estimation, civil construction, and accident prevention.

Students obtaining their degree need to participate in an internship program.

Skills required: 

  • Leadership
  • Able to communicate effectively for projects, plans, and strategies 
  • Risk management
  • Technical skills

3) Cardiovascular Technologist—$81,000

A cardiovascular technologist operates ultra-modern diagnostic equipment to help cure heart conditions. 

Your responsibilities include operating and monitoring equipment during the invasive and noninvasive process, carrying out cardiovascular tests, and putting together detailed reports for doctors focused on the recorded diagnostic information.

You generally work in hospitals, general medical facilities, specialty centers, diagnostic centers, and doctors’ offices.

Education required:

A compulsory associate degree with one year of basic study and one for specialized studies. Various certificate programs can have been available as well.

Skills required:

  • Vascular technology/sonography
  • Invasive cardiology
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Steady hands

2) Database Administrator—$85,778

A database administrator supervises, stores, and arranges data using specialized software. The main responsibility is to ensure that the data is accessible to users while avoiding unauthorized persons’ attacks.

Education required:

Database administrators need a bachelor's degree, appropriate certifications, and essential skills.

Training lasts for about a week and allows new employees to learn about its policies and workflows. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle offer certifications and pieces of training.

Skills required:

  • Computer languages and platforms
  • Analytical skills to examine and act upon information from multiple sources.
  • Attention to detail!
  • Communication skill to communicate issues and resolutions

1) Network Architect—$135,444

A network architect maintains a company's computer network. Your primary job is to design, check, and implement changes to the computer systems.

Your duties include researching new technologies, installing the latest software and hardware, checking the networks’ performance, and helping during any troubleshooting or emergency.

Education required: 

A five or more hands-on experience in networking role — At least a bachelor’s degree on the education front. Some top organizations also prefer an MBA or Master’s degree. 

Degrees from accredited universities, certifications, and profitable online courses matching the network architect career path are useful.

Skills required:

  • Computer Networking Components
  • Comprehensive understanding of communication technologies like wireless, mobile applications, and telecommunications systems.
  • Project management.
  • Analytical skill


There is a cliché going around in everyone’s mind that getting a trade school degree won't land you a high-paying job like the university. But, that isn’t necessarily the case at all.

Research collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics tells us which trade school degrees will produce the highest paying jobs. You can also earn the same amount of money, sometimes even more, by learning a trade, and you also do not have to worry about the student loan debt that most people have who go to university for a 4-year program. 

Besides that, it is easy to learn your trade to work a lot quicker and efficiently than the traditional path. And please don't be worried about a job. Many of the careers I mentioned above have a positive job outlook for the future, so you are entirely safe. 



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