List Of Skilled Trades

Looking for a comprehensive list of skilled trades? 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!

And, there has never been a better time to get into the trades!

Check out some of these industry statistics:

  • 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030 (National Association of Manufacturers)
  • Construction workforce shortage tops half a million in 2023 (Association Builders and Contractors)
  • An estimated shortage of 642,000 automotive, diesel, and collision technicians is possible by 2024. (Auto Service World)
  • 58% of medical practices reported staffing as their biggest challenge in 2023. (MGMA)
  • 96% of transit agencies reported experiencing a workforce shortage, with 84% adding that this shortage is affecting their service. (APTA)

What does this mean for you? It means there is a lot of opportunity out there waiting for you.

List Of Skilled Trade Jobs

Below are some of the most popular skilled trade jobs for you to consider. Most of these jobs require less than 2-years of education and an apprenticeship to get started.

Eventually we will have a “how to become” page for every trade on this list so you can learn more about what it takes to do these jobs!

Construction Skilled Trades

  • Carpenter
    Median Annual Salary: $48,260
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
    Median Annual Salary: $59,880
  • Pipe Fitter and Steam Fitter
  • Mason
  • Painter
  • HVAC Technician
    Median Annual Salary: $48,630
  • Boilermaker
    Median Annual Salary: $64,290
  • Carpet Layer
  • Cement & Concrete Finisher
    Median Annual Salary: $48,040
  • Electrical Systems Technician
  • Emergency Management
  • Fencer
  • Glaziers
  • Home Inspector
  • Home Remodeling & Repair
  • Insulation Worker
  • Ironworker
    Median Annual Salary: $48,830
  • Roofer
    Median Annual Salary: $47,110
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Solar Installer
construction with a forklift

Agriculture Skilled Trades

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Crop Duster
    Median Annual Salary: $79,000
  • Farmer
    Median Annual Salary: $73,060
  • Farrier
    Median Annual Salary: $116,486
  • Landscaping Technology
  • Logging Worker
    Median Annual Salary: $46,330
  • Professional Fisherman
    Median Annual Salary: $29,680
  • Rancher
  • Tree Faller
  • Tree Trimmer or Pruners
becoming a farmer

Food Skilled Trades

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

Maintenance and Repair Skilled Trades

Manufacturing Skilled Trades

  • CNC Programmer
  • Fiberglass Fabricator
  • Glassblower
    Median Annual Salary: $49,960
  • Iron Worker
  • Line Installer
    Median Annual Salary: $78,310
  • Machinists
  • Material Moving Machine Operator
  • Metal Fabricator
    Median Annual Salary: $51,370
  • Millwright
    Median Annual Salary: $59,380
  • Welder / Welding
    Median Annual Salary: $47,010
  • Tool & Die Makers

Medical Skilled Trades

  • Dental Hygienist
  • EMT
    Median Annual Salary: $35,470
  • Home Health Aide
  • Lab technician
  • Massage therapist
  • Paramedic
  • Phlebotomist
    Median Annual Salary: $37,380
  • Radiation therapist
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Sleep Technologist
  • Sterile Process Technician
    Median Annual Salary: $38,220

Service Skilled Trades

  • 911 Operator
    Median Annual Salary: $46,670
  • Dog Walker
  • Exterminator
    Median Annual Salary: $37,540
  • Flight Attendant
  • Florist
    Median Annual Salary: $29,880
  • Garbage Collector
    Median Annual Salary: $30,320
  • Hazardous Materials Removal
  • Jeweler
    Median Annual Salary: $46,640
  • Landscaper/Groundskeeper
  • Life Coach
    Median Annual Salary: $38,970
  • Luthier
    Median Annual Salary: $37,160
  • Mailman
    Median Annual Salary: $51,730
  • Maintenance + Repair Worker
  • Mortician
    Median Annual Salary: $74,000
  • Patrol Officer
  • Pet Groomer
    Median Annual Salary: $28,600
  • Watch Repairer
    Median Annual Salary: $44,250

Transportation Skilled Trades

  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Aircraft Cargo Handler
  • Airfield Operations Specialist
  • Asphalt Paver
  • Bus Driver
  • Deckhand/Deck Cadet
  • Flight Attendant
  • Freight Broker
    Median Annual Salary: $46,910
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
    Median Annual Salary: $48,290
  • Helicopter Pilot
    Median Annual Salary: $202,180
  • Mates
  • Oilers
  • Sailor
  • Taxi Driver
  • Traffic Technician
  • Train Conductor
    Median Annual Salary: $64,150
  • Truck Driver
    Median Annual Salary: $48,310
truck driver on the road

Other Skilled Trades

  • Commercial Diver
  • Meter Reader
  • Utility Marker
  • Quality control inspector
  • Roustabout
    Median Annual Salary: $38,920
  • Umpire/Referee
  • Professional Translator
  • Woodworker

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

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.