College is great, but pursuing a career in trade jobs instead is also a proven path toward the American Dream. All it takes is the ambition to carve out a prosperous and rewarding career in a trade.
Along with great compensation, people who study trade school jobs often get to work faster than those who attend college — so they start making serious money faster.
If you’ve got the ambition and desire to work hard and live well, here’s how you can kick off or advance your career by taking up a skilled trade — and how you can leverage websites like ZipRecruiter to find jobs in the field.
What to Expect from Trade School
Going the trade school route isn’t totally different from going to college. You’ll spend less time tackling written assignments and more time engaged in immersive, hands-on learning.
You can expect to attend a trade school for about one to two years, depending on what trade you take up. While colleges seek to give students a well-rounded education, trade schools teach you the skills you need to get to work in your field in just a few years.
After you graduate from a trade school, you’ll receive a diploma or certificate in your field. And from there, where you head next will depend on the skilled trade you pursued.
Some trades require you to get licensed before you can go to work; others require you to take on an apprenticeship; and others let you get to work right away.
Most will want some combination of license and on-the-job training. But unlike a college internship, you’ll earn money during your apprenticeship.
Popular and High-Paying Trade Jobs
These are some of the highest-paying trade jobs and some of the most in-demand trades, along with median salary data from the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics.
A high school diploma or GED is required for each trade job listed below, which is a standard prerequisite for many trade-school jobs.
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