22 Quick and Proven Ways To Earn

Written by Ramit Sethi Host of Netflix's "How to Get Rich", NYT Bestselling Author & host of the hit I Will Teach You To Be...
HomeMoney MakingThe 5 Best Trade Jobs in High Demand for 2024

The 5 Best Trade Jobs in High Demand for 2024


michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

These days, there are many routes to a good-paying job. Though a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree certainly won’t hurt your chances of finding one, the best trade jobs offer a similar (or even equal) salary for far less time and tuition cost.

Just keep in mind that trade jobs salaries can vary drastically by the industry, with HVAC technicians making an average of $63,000 a year and ultrasonographers making more than twice that.

Ultimately, the best trade jobs are those that are both high in pay and high in demand. Check out our list to discover the most promising trades for 2024.

Note that salaries for these trades can fluctuate depending on the state and region. Cities with higher cost of living (or higher demand) tend to have the best pay. We used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify job growth rates, then referred to Indeed data to find the national median salary.

Now let’s find the best trade job for you.

1. Ultrasonographer

Cardiovascular technician
Pitchyfoto / Shutterstock.com

Also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, ultrasonographers operate ultrasound machines to capture high-resolution images of internal organs and tissues. These images help doctors diagnose numerous medical conditions, including heart disease and pregnancy complications.

The overall employment outlook for ultrasonographers is very positive, with demand growing much faster than the national average for all jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be 14,200 new jobs in the field between 2022 and 2032.

  • Median Salary: $129,851
  • Growth rate 2022–2032: 10%
  • Advanced degree needed: No, but people with an advanced degree can earn more than those with an associate’s degree; 28% of ultrasonographers have a bachelor’s degree.

2. Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapist
Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

Respiratory therapists use special equipment to administer treatments like oxygen therapy for patients who have trouble breathing due to asthma or other lung conditions. They also perform diagnostic tests to measure lung capacity, educate patients on managing lung conditions and offer life-saving interventions like intubation and CPR.

The field of respiratory therapy is growing rapidly, with 8,600 new jobs expected to be added to the industry every year over the next decade. As the populace ages, the demand will only continue to grow.

  • Median Salary: $104,847
  • Growth rate 2022–2032: 13%
  • Advanced degree needed: No, but people with an advanced degree can earn more than those with an associate’s degree; 24% of respiratory therapists have a bachelor’s degree.

3. Dental Hygienist

dental hygienist
Catalin Petolea / Shutterstock.com

Dental hygienists are essential members of a dental team. They typically work in a dentist’s office and spend most of their time cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, sterilizing equipment and maintaining patient records. They also educate patients on oral hygiene and help dentists diagnose dental issues.

The job outlook for dental hygienists is promising, with faster-than-average growth and 16,400 openings annually for the next decade. Pay for dental hygiene professionals is especially high in states like Alaska, California and Washington.

  • Median Salary: $100,774
  • Growth rate 2022–2032: 7%
  • Advanced degree needed: No, but people with an advanced degree can earn more than those with an associate’s degree; 29% of dental hygienists have a bachelor’s degree.

4. Construction Manager

Construction site supervisor
King Ropes Access / Shutterstock.com

Construction managers play an important role in all aspects of a construction project, from planning to completion. They coordinate and oversee hiring subcontractors, ordering materials, obtaining permits and more. Ultimately, they ensure projects are completed on time, safely and within budget.

Though construction employment took a dip during the pandemic, the demand for construction managers is growing. An increase in wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters has increased the demand for renovation projects, and many cities are updating infrastructure to meet population growth and transportation demands.

  • Median Salary: $91,135
  • Growth rate 2022–2032: 5%
  • Advanced degree needed: No, but people with an advanced degree can earn more than those with an associate’s degree or high school diploma. 33% of people working in construction management have a bachelor’s degree, while 7% have a master’s degree.

5. Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft workers
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

Aircraft mechanics inspect, repair and maintain aircraft systems to make sure they are safe and worthy of flight. They use specialized tools and equipment to troubleshoot mechanical and electrical problems, replace parts and perform routine maintenance. They are trained to follow strict regulations and safety standards to ensure reliable aircraft performance.

Air traffic is increasing every year, and the demand for aircraft maintenance is growing, too. As older mechanics age out of the workforce, about 12,800 new openings will be available every year.

  • Median Salary: $82,864
  • Growth rate 2022–2032: 4%
  • Advanced degree needed: No, but people with an advanced degree can earn more than those with an associate’s degree or high school diploma. 15% of aircraft mechanics have bachelor’s degrees.

Finding Success With Trade Jobs

Arabic nurse practitioner
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com

If you’re interested in medicine, construction or mechanics, you may not need a bachelor’s degree to make a good living.

These positions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to high-paying trade jobs that have lower barriers to entry and a high demand for years to come.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.