There are hundreds of well-paying jobs that do not always require a four-year college degree. Technical degrees and trade school programs offer you the ability to land a high-powered career in a short period of time. If you have ever thought about working in fields like HVAC, plumbing or construction, you may be a great candidate for a trade.
You can find online technical colleges right alongside traditional classroom learning. One of the primary features of a trade program is hands-on learning, but most of the preparation classes and general education requirements can be completed online prior to beginning training.
Another advantage of getting a technical degree over a four-year degree is the cost. You may be able to save thousands of dollars long-term by opting for a trade or technical certificate instead of a four-year degree. In some cases, you may even pay nothing out of pocket.
High paying trades are everywhere. With a bit of training and education, you can be on your way toward a well-paying job in a trade field, too. Here are some of the best trade school degrees and technical programs out there for earning a high-paying job.
1. Respiratory Therapist
When it comes to trade school programs that offer a high job growth projection, respiratory therapy comes out on top. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this career is expected to grow by a whopping 19% throughout the next decade, adding more than 26,000 new jobs across the country.
As a respiratory therapist, your primary job duties are:
- Caring for patients with respiratory troubles
- Providing treatment
- Consulting with physicians
- Performing diagnostic tests
Dozens of online technical colleges offer associate degrees in respiratory therapy, which means you can go from behind the screen to in the field in as little as two years. And with an average salary of $62,810 per year, what’s stopping you?
2. Vet Tech
Vet tech programs and the jobs they lead to are also looking to have a faster-than-average growth rate in the near future. Veterinary technicians care for sick and injured animals by performing diagnostic tests, taking X-rays and administering medication.
Vet tech programs are popping up all over the country in response to the increased demand for highly skilled individuals. To become a vet tech, you will need to acquire a two-year associate degree and may need to pass a skills test.
The BLS projects the career to grow by a staggering 16% throughout the next decade. That translates to roughly 18,300 new jobs in the industry. The BLS also states that the average annual salary for vet techs is $36,250 per year.
3. HVAC Careers
HVAC technical careers are among the most common trade professions in the U.S. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Most HVAC companies specialize in all three of these areas.
HVAC is one of the best technical degrees you can get because it offers a variety of career options. Depending on your interests and skills, you may specialize in one area or become a general technician that works with all three areas.
HVAC careers are increasingly in demand. In fact, nearly all buildings and structures require some sort of heating, cooling or ventilation. This means that there will always be a need for skilled technicians who know how to maintain these systems and repair them as needed.
According to the BLS, HVAC technicians earn an average salary of $50,590 per year.
4. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Did you know that online trade certificate programs can prepare you for careers in the health field, too? A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, provides basic nursing care in outpatient and hospital settings. If interested, you can become an LPN in just a little time by completing technical programs within the field.
Careers in the health field are constantly in demand. There will always be a need for educated and trained individuals to care for sick, injured or aging patients. In fact, the BLS estimates there will be roughly 65,700 new LPN openings added throughout the next decade.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for LPNs $48,820 per year. High paying trades like this can be entered into after as little as one year of education. Just think – in just one year’s time, you could be graduating from a technical program and on your way to earning a high paying salary.
Trade school programs for plumbing careers are extremely popular throughout the U.S. as well, because they prepare students for a high-earning career in a short amount of time. Plumbers install, repair and replace plumbing fixtures and piping. Like HVAC technicians, plumbers may choose to specialize in one area or become a general technician.
A quick search of “plumbing trade school programs near me” will provide you with a list of options in your immediate area. Some plumbing companies may even hire you before you complete training, as they might provide the training themselves.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for plumbers is $56,330. There is an expected job growth rate of 4% throughout the next decade, adding roughly 20,900 new jobs to the field.
Electrician technical degrees are also popular choices for their quick turnaround and the high pay that graduates can receive. The primary duties of an electrician involve installing, maintaining and repairing electrical controls and systems.
Attending technical programs for this career may not always be necessary, as many electricians enter into an apprenticeship and study under a licensed professional. However, completing a certificate program can better prepare you for the job and may help you navigate through an apprenticeship more quickly. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which route you would rather go down.
The BLS lists the average annual salary for electricians as $56,900 per year. And with a promising job growth rate of 8%, you may feel more secure in knowing there is a need for your skills in the field in the years to come.