Looking for skilled work that will pay well and does not require a college degree? We’ve got you covered with this list of the trade jobs that are currently in highest demand in the U.S. Browse the list to find a role that appeals most to you and fits your interests.
What is a Trade Job?
First off, what makes a trade job a trade job? Broadly speaking, these are occupations that require advanced training and skills but do not require a formal college education. Trade workers gain employable skills through apprenticeships, vocational school, on-the-job training, or self-led learning. Many trade jobs involve hands-on work with tools and machinery. These tools require specialized training to operate safely and efficiently.
Industries that frequently employ trade workers are construction, manufacturing, carpentry, mechanics, film production, cosmetology, and medicine.
How to Get a Trade Job
The great thing about working towards a trade job is that there are many routes to take to get there. Unlike jobs that require college degrees or special certifications, you can get a trade job as long as you have great skills. While job experience is a huge advantage as well, entry-level trade jobs are in demand as well.
One route that many trade workers choose to take is attending vocational school. While it’s not the only path to employment, it is an excellent option for people who thrive on structure and don’t have family or friend connections to a trade.
Pros of Attending Vocational School:
- Learn the most relevant industry skills
- Get hands-on experience with tools and projects
- Meet other students in your field
- Fast completion – many trade school programs are completed in two years.
Cons of Attending Vocational School
- Training is for a specific job, difficult to switch career paths
- Not as much flexibility as independent learning
The Most In-Demand Trade Jobs
When trying to decide which trade to pursue, it is important to factor in which roles are in highest demand. These are the jobs that will be easiest to land and most widely available across the country. Entry-level tradespeople will do especially well to pursue a high-demand trade because employers will be more willing to hire someone with less experience and may even offer supplemental on-the-job training.
The following are ten of the most in-demand trade jobs seeking workers in 2023.
Motion Picture Projectionists
Motion picture projectionists work behind the scenes at movie theaters. They operate the equipment that plays movies and audio for theater audiences. This role is in high demand this year as movie theaters reopen following closures during the pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists motion picture projectionist as the fastest growing job, with projected growth of 70% over the next decade.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Wind turbine service technician jobs are projected to grow by 68% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Currently the field is quite small, with just under 7,000 workers in these roles. However, with an increased emphasis on renewable energy and government focus on infrastructure projects, there is reason to believe many new jobs will become available over the next few years.
This job involves extensive hands-on work with wind turbines, which can take workers on adventures to great heights and far-flung locations.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Industrial machinery mechanics work in warehouses and factories to assemble, maintain, and repair industrial equipment involved in production and shipping. Many of these workers will learn through on-the-job training to understand the workings of the specific equipment they have been hired to work with.
Over the next decade, jobs for industrial machinery mechanics are expected to increase by 19%, which is more than double the national average growth rate.
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Solar photovoltaic installer is a fancy title for someone who installs solar panels. These jobs require hands-on training and a familiarity with solar panel systems but they do not require college-level study.
Similarly to wind turbine service technicians, the growth in solar panel installers relates to a nationwide move towards renewable energy and government investment in renewable infrastructure. Over the next decade these jobs are expected to increase by 52%!
Delivery Truck Drivers
Delivery truck drivers already make up a huge segment of the labor force. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently employed in the field. However, the job opportunities for drivers are continuing to grow and are projected to increase by 12% over the course of the decade.
Amazon is a major employer of delivery drivers with over 250,000 drivers carrying Amazon packages around the country. Apart from major employers, delivery drivers can work for local companies and regional firms like grocery chains.
Construction workers number about the same as delivery drivers at roughly 1.5 million in the U.S. These roles require a variety of skills and physical tasks on construction sites. Soft skills like teamwork and communication are also major assets for construction workers who must complete physically demanding work in a safe and efficient manner.
Construction worker jobs are projected to grow by about 12% over the next decade, which is higher than the national average and quite significant considering how big the construction labor force already is.
e-Commerce / Warehouse Workers
Warehouse laborers are in high demand and short supply in the U.S. Income growth for the average American, along with a shortage of experiential purchases (travel, eating out, live events) has driven an increased demand for consumer goods. This has driven demand for workers to manufacture, package, and organize these goods in warehouses.
According to a LinkedIn report, these roles saw 73% year-over-year growth during the first half of the pandemic. The average hourly wage for these roles can be between $16 and $20 depending on the specifics of the job and your experience level.
Electricians are in charge of power, lighting, and control systems. They help to connect homes and commercial facilities to power grids and troubleshoot outages or broken parts.
Electricians are one of the higher paid trade roles, bringing in about $27/hour on average in the U.S. Most people learn the skills to be an electrician through trade school or as part of an apprenticeship program.
While this role does not require as much manual labor, makeup artists are considered a trade job because of their specialized training and capabilities with tools. The median yearly wage in this role is an outstanding $106,920 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As live theatrical performances start back up again after a pandemic-related pause, makeup artists are increasingly in-demand. The number of job opportunities is expected to grow by 39% over the next decade.
Video editors are also in high demand these days as film production ramps up quickly following a stall during the pandemic. People in these roles use computer software programs like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere to assemble video content from footage captured by camera operators. Over the next decade the demand for video editors is expected to grow by 33%.
Why Choose a Trade Job Career?
A trade job can be an excellent choice for someone who wants a fast-paced role that offers flexibility and reliable work. Many trade roles allow workers to choose the shifts that work best for them, so if you are a night owl you can work late and sleep in and if you are an early bird you can rise before dawn and be home in time to take care of other responsibilities or pursue personal interests.
Best of Luck in the Hiring Process!
Whichever direction you take with skilled trade work, you are sure to find ample opportunities around the country. Not sure where to start looking? Movo is here to connect you with the job you want as soon as you’re ready to start earning. Sign up to start browsing opportunities and begin working as soon as tomorrow!