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List Of Skilled Trades

Looking for a comprehensive list of skilled trades? Is college not your thing?

Have a child who is just not interested in spending four more years behind a desk?

We hear everyone loud and clear – and you just landed on the best list of trade careers out there!

Be sure to check out our career path guides too, like Is basic industries a good career path or is energy a good career path? Each of these guides is filled with related skilled trade career ideas!

The team at Blue Collar Brain is working hard to provide trade career profiles for all the different types of trades out there, but that will take us some time. In the meantime, you can explore this list to find the types of trade jobs that might be a great fit for your personality and interests!

List Of Skilled Trade Jobs

Skilled trade occupations are physical jobs that require very specific education and training. They are typically well-paying and require no college degree. Some popular trade careers include welder, plumber, HVAC technician, machinist, and auto mechanic.


Construction jobs are those that are related to the building of homes, commercial spaces, retail stores and more.


Agricultural careers will often have you working outdoors with animals or the land to better our environment.


Whether you like to cook, serve or help people, these careers will have you working with food in some way.

  • Bartender
  • Butcher
  • Cook
  • Food Service Manager
  • Private Chef
  • Waiter/Waitress


Maintenance and repair trade careers are diverse. You may work high in the sky or on the ground fixing or improving the mechanics of different projects.


Interested in building and creating new products from raw materials/ Manufacturing careers will allow the chance to be a part of new products and services in a variety of industries.


While many medical careers do require a college degree, you may be surprised to learn there are a few well-paying medical jobs that you can get with a certificate education.

  • Dental Hygienist
  • EMT
  • Lab technician
  • Massage therapist
  • Paramedic
  • Phlebotomist
  • Radiation therapist
  • Respiratory therapist


Helping people is what your primary focus will be in the service field. Whether you are walking dogs or doing home repairs having great people skills will take you far.


Finding work in the transportation field could have you driving buses, big rigs or even a train. These careers will have you “going places”.


A few other great opportunities worth considering!

  • Commercial Diver
  • Meter Reader
  • Utility Marker
  • Quality control inspector
  • Roustabout
  • Umpire/Referee

The Demand Is High

list of skilled trades - motorcycle mechanic

The truth is – trade jobs are very much in high demand! But choosing a trade career to go into can be a tough choice.

There is a shortage of skilled trade workers, meaning plenty of opportunity for skilled workers looking for great career paths.

As an example the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows construction careers as some of the fastest growing jobs with an expected 6% growth through 2030 in a variety of niche industries.

Depending on the type of career within construction you decide to go into you can find a median pay range from roughly $37,000 to $88,000.

If you love problem solving, working with your hands, using tools and other equipment – then you were meant to work in a skilled trade! While the work can sometimes be exhausting – it is usually pretty fulfilling and can provide a great future for your family.

So, take a look at our career profiles, learn about the professional certifications and apprenticeships each career requires and kick start your new life as a blue collar brain!

Reasons To Consider a Skilled Trade Career

While a college degree has always been seen as the “American Dream” with promises of job security, high pay, and plentiful opportunities – there is so much more to consider.

Many people go to college, not really knowing what they really want to do in life. How does an 18 year old know what they want to do in 10 years? They, then spend four years going through the motions – usually collecting a lot of debt along the way.

Then, they graduate and wind up working in a job that they did not even go to school for – or if they do go into their field, realize they hate it.

This is why it is important to have a discussion with kids about opportunities! A trade career may not be seen as the better option but it is what keeps America running, so we think they are very much a better option.

So when should someone consider a leap into the trades?

  • When they 100% know that college is not for them
  • They are bored or tired of their existing career path and want a change
  • When they want to find a job that is more lucrative than their existing job
  • If they love working with their hands and creating or fixing things

These are just a few signs a trade career might be a good fit. Our trade career guides can help you learn more about potential jobs to help you see if a career might be right for you.

Getting Started In A Trade Career

While a four year degree is not required, there will be some steps you will have to complete to get into just about any trade job.

In most cases you will need the following:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Attend a trade school or technical college to get classroom and hands-on training
  • Secure and complete an apprenticeship which provides on-the-job-training under a more experienced worker

You can also read our article “what is a trade school” to lear more about what they are and what to expect if considering attending one.

Ready to find a trade school near you? Go ahead and check out our list of vocational schools to get started!

Every career is a bit different so be sure to do your research before you take that big step!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Trades Worth It?

Yes, trades are worth it. Trade jobs can offer a high level of job security, above-average pay, great benefits, and growth opportunities for those that work hard and continue growing their skills.

How Do You Choose A Trade?

Think about the things you enjoy, the environments you work best in, and where you might see yourself in a few years. Talking to people in existing careers or reading our career profiles can help you determine if a specific career might be right for you.

What Are Trade Skills?

Trade skills are those that focus on learning hands-on skills, technical skills, or practical skills instead of a traditional education degree that a traditional college may provide.