Although many people grow up with the mindset that they need to go to college and do a four-year degree course, in fact, this isn’t the only option. In fact, there are plenty of other options open to those who don’t feel that college is right for them, and many of the possible trades available can be extremely lucrative. Let’s take a look at some of the best careers open to those who choose to go to trade school instead of college.

Construction Managers

A construction manager takes charge of construction projects of all kinds from residential and commercial to federal, working with engineers and architects to achieve completion on time and on budget. Construction managers plan timelines, analyse blueprints for time and cost estimates, hire workers and monitor progress as well as obtain all permits. Construction managers can command salaries of over $100,000 per year.

Electronic Engineers

Working on the development and design of electronic equipment, electronic engineers do maintenance, devise testing procedures, investigate systems and repair hardware components. There are lots of opportunities open to people who have trained in this discipline, from working for government organizations to working for computer companies. Engineering is always a lucrative choice of career path, commanding salaries of around $70,000 per annum.

Construction Equipment Operator

A heavy equipment operator can earn over $60,000 a year and can enjoy controlling such diverse equipment as cranes, excavators and bulldozers. Depending on which kind of equipment you’re responsible for, you may have responsibility for levelling areas for construction purposes, ploughing snow from roads or using an asphalt spreader. There is always a lot of demand for these skills.


Plumbers are always in high demand and can either work for a plumbing company or as an independent contractor. Lots of businesses hire plumbers for maintenance and construction purposes, and residential plumbing is also a lucrative trade. Installing fixtures and pipes and working with HVAC systems are all part of a plumber’s remit and salaries can come in at over $50,000 per year.


Welding is an exciting job and can command a high salary. There are many types of welding, and this raises the opportunity to work with all kinds of organizations from construction companies to the offshore gas industry. Welding is a very useful skill to learn, and you can go online for more details about welding equipment and its many benefits.


Carpentry is an excellent choice of vocational qualification, and you can even find an entry-level post with no experience or training at all. If you go to trade school, you can have even more opportunities to choose from and an even higher rate of pay. Carpenters install, shape and cut building materials and can do everything from installing windows to remodelling kitchens. Rates come in at around $35 per hour which is pretty impressive.

Landscape Gardener

Landscape gardening is another trade career path which is in a lot of demand. As a trained landscape gardener you can command salaries of over $40,000 and can either work for a company or set up as an independent contractor. You can complete all kinds of exciting projects working for either business, public projects or residential clients and learn a host of useful skills which will also stand you in good stead for improving your own home!


Auto mechanics are in strong demand and will always be able to find work. There are lots of different opportunities open to those who take a course in auto mechanic vocational training. You can even train on the job if you want an entry level position which requires no training. Mechanics can tackle everything from repairing a broken engine to replacing a tire and everything in between, and salaries can rise exponentially dependent on skills and experience. If you set yourself up as an independent mechanic, you can command impressively large hourly rates.

These are just some of the possible careers open to you if you decide to forego college and attend trade school or move into a vocational career instead. You’ll find that there are lots of exciting opportunities available which you may never have thought of before – it’s time to explore them!