Prior to the dawn of the internet age, most young men and women aspired for a trade job, which often meant high wages and union protection. However, the millennial generation has shifted toward technology as the industry-of-choice. This has left plenty of open opportunities in high-paying, hands-on jobs, many of which don’t require a degree, opting instead to rely on more quantifiable determiners of proficiency, specifically on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, certifications, and licensure. Examples of these types of jobs include welding, electrical work, and CNC milling among others.
Electrician. Average salary $51,800
Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining wiring, lighting, and control systems in both residential and commercial properties. Truity Psychometrics, a career assessment services provider in San Francisco, reports that most electricians begin their career with a five year apprenticeship program after earning a high school diploma. In order to be a successful electrician, you also need planning and organizational skills along with the ability to read and follow technical drawings, blueprints, and diagrams.
Plumber. Average salary $50,600
If you’re not afraid to get down and dirty, consider a career in plumbing services. Plumbers are more than glorified clog clearers and help keep things moving in buildings of all shapes and sizes. Common tasks include assembling pipes, reading blueprints, checking for water leaks, and studying building plans to ensure codes compliance. Most states require a five year apprenticeship before being granted licensure.
HVAC technician. Average salary $45,100
An HVAC technician installs and maintains heating and cooling systems. The job pays well and is expected to grow by more than 14% through 2024. It requires a professional apprenticeship and, in most states, certification in refrigeration mechanics.
Brick mason. Average salary $45,900
Brick masons tend to work outdoors and must be in shape in order to lift and maneuver heavy loads of bricks for 8+ hours each day. Like many other construction industry jobs, brick masons must complete on-the-job training and may be required to undergo specialized certification before working with certain materials, such as glass and terra-cotta block.
Dental hygienist. Average salary $62,000
If you like working with your hands but prefer to stay indoors, a dental hygienist job may be just what the doctor ordered. Salary.com contributor Dawn Dugan reports that hygienist are typically only required to hold an associate’s degree and undergo trade school before meeting licensure requirements. While you’re still working in an office, it’s a job that requires the same level of technical aptitude as others on this list and is far removed from the tedium of the front desk.
Locomotive engineer. Average salary $62,900
As a child, did you dream of riding the rails or hitching a ride with the Boxcar Children? Now, your dreams can be reality with a career as a locomotive engineer – in layman’s terms, a train conductor. Requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, commercial driver’s license, and Federal Railroad Administration certification, locomotive engineers typically receive on-the-job training and must meet recertification requirements regularly. This is a great profession if you like to travel and have mechanical aptitude. You must also have the ability to conduct yourself in a professional manner and communicate effectively.
According to Angie’s List, there will be a need for 10 million new skilled workers by the year 2020, meaning ample opportunities for job growth and employment stability. But you must be willing to get your hands dirty, roll up your sleeves, and sweat. There are plenty of blue-collar jobs that pay more than $100,000 per year – comparable to most computer programming positions – that won’t leave you stranded behind a desk, wishing for a change of pace.
Article Credit: ReadyJob