Certain skilled trades are highly specific and therefore well-remunerated. It’s not every day workers find positions quite like these, but once they do, they usually stick around for the long-haul. All of these careers require a technical degree. Each state might also have additional licensure procedures that entry-level workers must follow in order to land a position. Typically the consensus is that high school graduates should attend college, but pursuing a skilled trade is also an excellent option. College isn’t for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty for a living. Most of these positions will pay more than your typical 9-5 collegiate graduate office job. A college education usually translates debt, and skilled trades are definitely an alternative. Here are some of the best skilled trades for 2015.
1.) Dental Hygienist
Salary – $62,000/year
There are many angles you need to consider when becoming a dental hygienist. A vast majority of patients have poor oral hygiene, meaning plenty of bad breath, dirty teeth, and oral health issues. However, the positives of becoming a dental hygienist definitely outweigh the negatives. You directly impact the overall well-being of your patients, and earn a great salary in the process. Each state has different requirements, but typically an associate’s degree and some state licensure are the norm. This is also a great career to switch to, because of the ease and flexibility of the required educational background.
2.) Personal Trainer
Salary – $53,000/year
Personal trainers can work in many capacities. Some are self-employed and run their own service. Others work directly for a gym or personal training service. Self-employed personal trainers earn a better hourly wage, but it’s usually harder to find business. More effort and money will go into the marketing aspect. Working for a gym or private service eliminates this problem. Workers can be given regular hours and steady wages, and the company will handle the marketing efforts. Since you’ll be spending most of your time at the gym, being in great physical shape is a requirement. No clients will want to work for a soft-body.
Salary – $40,000/year
A common misconception is that plumbers deal mostly with “messy” situations. However, the job goes much deeper than that, although unclogging toilets might fall under the job description from time-to-time. Usually the work is a lot cleaner. Tasks might include fixing or installing water heaters, hooking up a house to city water / sewage, or installing systems to ensure delivery of clean water. Most states require an apprenticeship and licensure, so you’ll need to check. Also, attending a technical school can go a long way to teaching you the required skills of a plumber.
4.) Elevator Installation
Salary – $74,000
Elevator installation is a highly specialized discipline, and most people fall into it. However, the average job seeker certainly stands a chance by knowing what goes into becoming an elevator repair technician. The first step is researching the requirements of each state, but typically the major prerequisites are being at least 18 years of age, possessing a high school diploma, and having the ability to stand on one’s feet all day / lift heavy objects weighing up to 100 pounds. The first step is typically an apprenticeship, followed by at least 144 hours of classroom instruction. These classes can be dived up into more manageable sections, but it really depends on the state. Apprentices start at a low hourly rate (30-50% less than the average salary) but the income potential is outstanding. Some elevator repair workers with several years of experience can earn six figures. It’s a great job and there is always a demand for new workers. Having a skill like this can pay huge dividends in the long-run.