15 Highest-Paying Trade Jobs That Are in Demand

From building inspectors to dental hygienists, these trades offer big rewards.
Updated April 11, 2024
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In today's rapidly evolving job market, trade jobs are gaining attention for their high pay and high demand. Skilled workers in various fields are finding rewarding careers with impressive earning potential.

If you're considering a career change or seeking a path to success, explore these high-demand trade jobs and discover the possibilities that await. 

These professions offer stability, competitive salaries, and fulfilling work that can help you build wealth.

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Elevator mechanic

VIEWFOTO STUDIO/Adobe service engineer works in elevator

Median salary: $99,000

Ensuring smooth vertical transportation, elevator mechanics install, maintain, and repair elevators, escalators, and other lift systems. With the constant need to keep buildings accessible and operational, their expertise is indispensable.

As urban centers grow taller and building codes become stricter, elevator mechanics remain in high demand, making this trade a rewarding and essential career choice that can boost your bank account.

Registered nurse

spotmatikphoto/Adobe hospital corridor with nurse pushing gurney stretcher bed

Median salary: $81,220

At the heart of healthcare, registered nurses provide vital medical care, administer medications, and monitor patient health. Their compassion and expertise are essential in supporting patients and their families during times of illness and recovery.

Due to the ongoing demand for quality healthcare and an aging population, registered nurses remain in high demand, making this job a rewarding career choice.


LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe electrician repairing electrical box

Median salary: $60,240

Illuminating the world with their skill, electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in various settings. From residential homes to commercial establishments and industrial facilities, their expertise ensures a safe and reliable flow of electricity.

With the ever-increasing demand for power in our modern world, electricians play a crucial role in powering our daily lives and are in high demand for their specialized skill set.

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Monkey Business/Adobe  A plumber, seated on the floor, fixes a bathroom sink while viewed from the doorway.

Median salary: $60,090

These problem solvers are experts in installing and repairing water supply lines, drainage systems, and plumbing fixtures. 

From ensuring smooth water distribution to proper waste disposal, plumbers play a vital role in maintaining the functionality and comfort of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

With an increasing emphasis on sustainable water usage and infrastructure, plumbers are in high demand to meet the needs of modern living.

Building inspector

CandyRetriever/Adobe industrial engineers checking maintenance

Median salary: $64,480

Building inspectors are tasked with assessing new constructions and existing structures to safeguard structural integrity and ensure compliance with building codes and safety standards. 

Their expertise and attention to detail play a crucial role in protecting the safety of occupants and preserving the quality of buildings.

Due to growing construction activities and an emphasis on safety regulations, building inspectors are in demand to ensure the durability and safety of structures in various industries.


reewungjunerr/Adobe wastewater treatment plant

Median salary: $60,090

Working with precision, pipefitters are skilled professionals who install and maintain piping systems that transport liquids, gases, and chemicals in industrial settings. 

Their expertise ensures efficient and reliable distribution across various sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and construction.

Thanks to an increasing focus on infrastructure development and sustainable practices, pipefitters are in demand to maintain the crucial networks that fuel our modern society.

Truck driver

Jandrie Lombard/Adobe young female truck driver

Median salary: $49,920

The backbone of transportation, truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods over long distances, connecting various industries, and ensuring an efficient supply chain.

With the rise in e-commerce and global trade, the demand for truck drivers remains high. 

Their role in delivering goods to businesses and consumers makes them essential contributors to the economy, offering lucrative opportunities for those seeking a rewarding trade.

Dental hygienist

Drazen/Adobe senior man and dentist assistant

Median salary: $81,400

Promoting oral health and hygiene, dental hygienists play a vital role in dental care teams. They clean teeth, conduct oral examinations, take X-rays, and educate patients on proper dental care practices.

With a growing focus on overall health and preventive dental care, dental hygienists are in high demand, contributing to the well-being of patients and ensuring bright smiles for years to come.

Aircraft mechanic

Yaroslav Astakhov/Adobe aviation mechanic checking aircraft

Median salary: $70,740

Keeping the skies safe, aircraft mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair airplanes and other aircraft. Their expertise ensures the airworthiness and safety of these flying machines, which is critical for passenger and crew well-being.

As air travel continues to grow and safety standards remain paramount, aircraft mechanics are in demand to maintain the integrity of the aviation industry, offering a fulfilling trade career path.

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Construction manager

Adriana/Adobe woman working on a construction site

Median salary: $101,480

Leading the way in construction projects, these professionals are responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing every aspect of building development.

From budget management to ensuring regulatory compliance, construction managers play a pivotal role in bringing architectural visions to life. 

With a high demand for skilled leadership in the construction industry, this trade offers lucrative opportunities and job stability.

HVAC technician

vladdeep/Adobe female mechanic engineer

Median salary: $51,390

Masters of indoor comfort, HVAC technicians install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Their expertise ensures that residential, commercial, and industrial spaces have efficient and reliable temperature control.

Thanks to the growing focus on energy efficiency and climate control, HVAC technicians are in high demand, making this trade a promising and essential career path in today's modern world.


Mangostar/Adobe auditor checking document

Median salary: $59,200

Integral to legal teams, paralegals assist lawyers with research, document preparation, and case management. Their expertise ensures smooth legal processes and supports the delivery of justice.

As the legal industry expands and cases become more complex, the demand for paralegals continues to rise, offering a rewarding trade that contributes to the efficient functioning of the legal system.

Radiation therapist

Maksym Povozniuk/Adobe cancer treatment

Median salary: $89,530

Radiation technicians play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions by operating life-saving medical equipment, such as X-ray machines and CT scanners. 

Their expertise ensures accurate imaging and supports healthcare professionals in providing effective treatments.

Due to advancements in medical technology and an increasing focus on healthcare services, radiation technicians are in high demand, making this trade an impactful career choice.

Wind turbine technician

Supachai/Adobe engineers with helmet safety and laptop

Median salary: $57,320

Pioneering clean energy, these technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines, contributing to the growth of renewable power sources. 

Their expertise ensures the efficient harnessing of wind energy and supports the transition toward sustainable practices.

As the world embraces green solutions and renewable energy gains prominence, wind turbine technicians are in high demand, offering a rewarding trade job that plays a vital role in combating climate change.


Smole/Adobe Gardener laying sod

Median salary: $67,950

Transforming outdoor spaces into picturesque havens, landscapers design, install, and maintain landscapes for residential, commercial, and public properties. 

Their creativity and expertise in horticulture and landscape architecture enhance the aesthetic appeal and value of spaces.

With an increasing focus on sustainable and visually appealing environments, landscapers are in high demand, making this trade a rewarding and essential career choice for those passionate about nature and design.

Bottom line

Prostock-studio/Adobe candidates waiting in queue for interview

These trade jobs stand out for their high earning potential, stability, and demand. Professionals in these fields play indispensable roles across various industries, ensuring the smooth functioning of essential services and contributing to the betterment of society.

Are you looking to change careers and move beyond living paycheck to paycheck? If you're seeking a rewarding career with growth and job security, consider exploring these highest-paying trade jobs in demand today.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.

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