An Alternative to College: Best Available Trade School Jobs
A welder cutting metal.

What Are the Best Trade School Jobs?

It has seemed that every graduating high school senior has heard the speech about the importance of going on to college once receiving their high school diploma. As a society, this objective has been embedded in the minds of most high school students. However, finally, those in education are starting to recognize perfect alternatives to going on to college: trade schools. So, what are the best trade school jobs to get into?

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College tuition is getting out of control. According to Complete College America and the Department of Education, students now average almost six years in college. Young adults are now leaving college with a fortune owed in college loans. Plus, that $100,000 student loan will take so long to pay off that it will actually cost a person closer to the $200,000 range or more with interest. It is about time that young people learn there is possibly a better option available.

Trade School

On average, trade school consists of learning a trade from anywhere for six months to two years before graduating and being able to make some really good money by joining the workforce. Most trade school graduates spend about $30,000 in total for schooling, but there are several programs where it only takes $5,000 to $10,000 in total to learn a trade and earn a license or certificate.


Another alternative would be to pursue an apprenticeship. Just like in trade school, the person would be learning a trade. Most apprenticeships are in the area of construction, such as a plumber or an electrician, but the biggest difference is they generally pay you to learn on the job. Most apprentices usually make between $15 and $20 an hour while they spend a few years mastering a trade.

Top Career Trade Jobs

When learning a trade, you are not just paving your way towards a job in the near future, but you are laying out the groundwork for a complete career for decades to come. Here are some of the best trade school jobs to be aware of when you are planning out your future.


To put it simply, a welder joins two pieces of metal together by using really high heat. Sounds pretty simple, right? While it is a skill that needs to be learned over time; a welder can expect to earn about $40,000 a year.


What person has not fantasized about building amazing pieces of furniture, laying down wood flooring and just essentially working with their bare hands as they master everything to do with wood? Learning this trade could earn you on average about $45,000 a year.

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Licensed Nurse

Trade schools are not just about landing careers in construction. There are numerous careers in the medical field that are available by attending a trade school. On average, a licensed nurse will earn about $45,000 a year. Plus, there is a need for several specialty nurses in specific departments, as well where they can earn even more.

Commercial Diver

Do you like being around water and feel at home making deep dives in the ocean? There are several careers for a commercial diver, such as being an underwater photographer, an underwater welder, or even a HAZMAT diver making sure our bodies of water are as clean as possible. Most of these careers will earn the person close to $50,000 a year.


Whether learning to be an electrician through a trade school or an apprenticeship, you can expect to earn close to $60,000 a year. Furthermore, a good electrician is always in demand, as they can work in individual homes, huge buildings, or even outside most days.

Landscape Designer

If you enjoy making your outdoors even more beautiful than what is going on inside the house, you would love being a landscape designer. Many top landscape designers can earn an excess of $75,000 a year for their expertise. A quick search through a few trade school options shows that most people can learn landscape design in less than six months. If you have a green thumb and a keen eye, you could go far in this field.

Dental Hygienist

While becoming a dentist can take an average of eight years, becoming a dental hygienist can be accomplished through a trade school in some areas in less than two years. Earning a yearly salary north of $70,000 for working on teeth and gums is very possible.

Computer Network Architect

There are several IT careers available through attending a qualified trade school. In the tech world in general, many times it just comes down to the person’s knowledge instead of a fancy degree that they may have acquired through an expensive school. You can learn to be a computer network architect (it does help to have a strong background in computers) and earn more than $100,000 a year for many companies.

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