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High-Paying Trades That Provide an Alternative to College

HomeEducationalHigh-Paying Trades That Provide an Alternative to College

With the high cost often associated with higher education and no guarantee of landing a high paying job after graduation, many people have become disillusioned when it comes to following the traditional path of going to college to land a good career. More and more people are turning to trade jobs as an alternative. It makes a lot of sense, considering that the education requirements tend to be far more affordable and the trades themselves tend to pay fairly well on top of that.


While far from a glamorous job, pursuing a career as a plumber offers job security and solid earning potential. Plumbers are expected to handle piping installation, leak repairs, and sometimes handle sewer maintenance. The average salary is around $50,000, which translates to about $25.69 per hour. The requirements to become a plumber may differ depending on what state you live in. You’ll likely need to attend a plumbing trade school and earn a plumbing license. You may need to take part in an apprenticeship and on-the-job training is often available.


Becoming an electrician is another trade option. As an electrician, you handle making sure that all structures that are supplied with electricity have functioning connections and perform repairs as needed. You need to first take an exam and get a license to become an electrician. Trade school is a must since the career can be highly dangerous. Depending on how you want your career to go, you may need to pursue additional training down the line to advance. Electricians make an average salary of $56,180, or $27.01 per hour.

Home Inspector

For those with an eye for detail, becoming a home inspector can be a good option. Home inspectors make sure various home systems meet industry standards and that the structure itself is up to code. You’ll need to attend a trade school to become an inspector. You may also need to obtain licensing or certification, depending on your state’s requirements. The average home inspector can expect to earn an annual salary between $50,000-$70,000.

If college is too expensive and you need an alternative, there are high-paying trades that are worth considering. Becoming a plumber, an electrician, or a home inspector are just a few of the options available. Despite what conventional wisdom has purported over the years, you can have a lucrative and successful career without going the traditional higher education route.

Read this next: The Components You Need for a Lucrative Career

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