Blue Collar, Deep Pockets by ReadyJob.org
High pay isn’t just for executives and these jobs prove it.
Information technology seems to be dominating the job market. However, there are still plenty of skilled trade jobs that out pay computer programming and data processing. The following positions, and many more like them, are in high demand and offer job stability and advancement opportunities.
Plumber. Plumbers make, on average, more than $20 an hour but pay can climb as high as $78,151, according to PayScale.com. A plumbing professional may work in industrial, residential, or commercial plumbing and must have a keen understanding of math, building architecture, and water flow.
Electrician. Being an electrician is an interesting job that may entail wiring new construction one day and replacing light fixtures the next. And, similar to a plumber, electricians, which earn more than $50,000 annually, have opportunities in multiple sectors, meaning there are plenty of jobs to go around.
Welder/ironworker. Take a look around. Chances are, there are plenty of examples of a welder’s work in your range of sight. From underneath the hood of your car to the interior structure of your local school, welders fuse metal material together and essentially make the bones of vehicles, equipment, and commercial structures. There are a number of different types of welders, including structural, fabricator, and tig, each with an average salary of around $37,000 plus bonuses, overtime, and benefits.
Crane Operator. Crane operators work on large machines to maneuver equipment or materials into place and enjoy a median income of $46,078. A crane operator may work in construction, logging, or in other areas where manpower isn’t enough to lift materials necessary to complete the job.
Pipefitter. A mechanical pipefitter installs, fabricates, and maintains piping systems and usually requires extensive on-the-job training. The position is similar to many aspects of plumbing, but pipefitters deal with high-pressure systems, including those relating to hydraulics and ventilation. Pipefitter foreman may command more than $60,000 per year.
Signal and track switch repairer. If you like trains and have an interest in infrastructure, this might be the job for you. Forbes reports that signal and track switch repair pays an average of more than $62,710 annually, much more than the national mean income. This position is responsible for making sure locomotives can get safely around the tracks by performing maintenance, inspections, and repairs on section lines, communication systems, and signal and track equipment.
Many skilled trade jobs offer surprising benefits such as stock options, ample vacation time, and flex schedules, on top of high pay and nearly guaranteed work close to home. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract young workers to these positions as most millennials naturally gravitate toward jobs in information technology, social media marketing, and medicine. This disinterest in labor jobs is positioned to have a negative effect on the economy overall within the next ten years as older workers retire, leaving open positions that can’t be filled.
As a college-aged man or woman, you would be doing yourself, and your community, a service by entering a skilled trade field, which Fox Business describes as having “incredible job opportunities…” HomeAdvisor even encourages business owners to actively hire millennial workers; this underscores the fact that jobs are out there, you just have to be willing to walk away from a popular occupation.
If you’re interested in establishing yourself as a tradesman, keep in mind you can fast-track your earnings potential through an apprenticeship program in many of these industries. You’ll owe less for your education and will also enjoy job security and learn a set of skills that will only become more valuable with each passing year. And if you decide that hard labor isn’t for you, your skills as a worker will translate well as a business owner. You’ll have the potential to become tomorrow’s business leader while your friends are still stuck plugging away behind a screen full of pixels and data.