Top 40 High-Paying Careers for Community College and Trade School Students in 2022

Posted on February 8th, 2022
Image
Best Community College and Trade School Jobs
Workforce shortages are creating many high-paying career opportunities

Community college, trade and technical schools are a great way to get an education and a career that you'll love in 2022 and beyond. While many students pursue careers that require four years or more of college, we see tremendous salary growth and future demand in careers that do not require a bachelor’s degree. In fact, some of the jobs available after attending community college and trade school pay better than jobs that require a 4-year degree and take a lot less time!

Workforce shortages have created amazing high-paying career opportunities in these seven high-growth industries:

  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Service
  • Communications

Dreading the mundane 9-5? Each of these seven industries offer well-paying jobs where you can learn and grow in a variety of fields. Even better, they continue to challenge you to keep your work environment exciting.

If you're interested in exploring other skilled career opportunities, head over to our Explore Careers page or take our super quick CareerPointer Quiz to see which careers best fit your unique personality. It’s fun and takes less than two minutes!

Below are some of our favorite career options listed by industry category.

 

Best Information Technology Jobs

Software Developer

With a median salary of $110,155, Software Developers remain a well-paid and highly in-demand position. In fact, this job is one of the highest paid in the industry! Whether it’s developing software for internal use or apps that might see millions of downloads, Software Developers can make a lot of money for companies and get paid accordingly. Experience helps, so the sooner you start, the better.

Learn more
here

 

Systems Analyst

Coming in with a salary of $93,536, Systems Analysts are problem-solvers who look for issues with software and hardware in companies then resolve them. Being able to spot issues in programming can save clients a ton of money in the long-run, so this job is sure to offer stability.

Learn more
here

 

IT Support Specialist

With a solid salary of $52,940, IT Support Specialists help other people resolve complex technical problems. Rather than being Customer Service Agents, IT Support Specialists usually work with corporate professionals and aim to solve issues quickly and efficiently. That has a significant impact on a company’s ability to meet deadlines, so this is a popular role.

Learn more
here

 

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Earning an impressive $85,095, Network and Computer Systems Administrators have the awesome job of keeping modern companies running at their best. Most people in this role manage different equipment, including desktop computers, laptops, and server systems. Some administrators also have supervisory roles and guide other technical support staff.

Learn more
here

 

Information Security Analyst

Information is money— and especially for those who help keep it safe. Information Security Analysts can pull in an impressive $103,622 a year for helping companies monitor and secure their networks against unwanted intrusions. Think of yourself as a sort of secret ninja fighting against cybercrimes. Keeping things safe gets more important as companies become more valuable, so this role isn’t vanishing anytime soon.

Learn more here

 

Database Administrators

Database Administrators pull in about $98,793 for helping manage the systems that store company information. Because of Database Administrators, we can enjoy things like saved addresses when we make an online purchase or fast and efficient customer service databases.

Learn more here

 

Best Healthcare Jobs

Certified Nursing Assistant

Earning about $30,827, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) provide essential care to patients in healthcare settings, freeing up doctors and other senior medical personnel to focus on the more complex aspects of care.

Learn more
here

 

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants earn about $35,792 for doing clerical work in medical facilities. This can include processing paperwork, getting information from patients, making sure the area meets regulatory obligations, and otherwise keeping the place running. This is a heavily in-demand role, with the potential to move into further administrative positions later in life.

Learn more
here

 

Nurse - LPN/LVN

A typical Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) earns about $48,784, and this can go up significantly over time. Nurses provide a huge variety of medical services, operating as the front-line staff for helping patients through all manner of ailments. Registered Nurses will eventually require more education, but around one year of education can get you started for this heavily in-demand role.

Learn more here

 

Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical Therapy Assistants earn about $59,744 for helping patients recover from injuries and illnesses. They also help people learn how to manage ongoing ailments. Although this role can seem simple at first glance, the need to adapt to each patient’s unique situation demands a lot of skill.

Learn more here

 

Laboratory Technician

Laboratory Technicians earn about $54,153 for collecting samples and operating machinery. Most people in this role work in medical facilities, but in rare cases, you can find non-medical research laboratories. Experience helps here, so the more time you have in a lab, the better.

Learn more
here.

 

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistants earn around $41,287 for helping dentists with various tasks. Dental assistants frequently handle paperwork, help with dental procedures, and perform other tasks as necessary to keep a dental office running.

Learn more here

 

Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienists earn about $77,309 for helping with various dental procedures, including cleaning patients’ teeth and participating in surgeries. Hygienists are often the first person to interact with patients. This role has excellent pay while often being part-time, making it a strong contender for people who want a flexible work-life balance.

Learn more here

 

Radiology Tech

Radiology Techs earn about $61,911 a year operating special types of medical equipment, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and mammography. Get a glimpse inside the human body and how it functions through this profession.

Learn more here

 

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians earn about $43,932 by helping process patient information and records. They also work on processing insurance claims, aiding patients in payment plans, and determining what is covered by insurance companies.

Learn more here

 

Best Construction Jobs

Electrician

Earning a solid $56,764, Electricians are a treasured position for construction and maintenance needs. From wiring new homes to ascending skyscrapers to find and fix faults, Electricians are specialists with outstanding job security. Many Electricians join a union, which provides additional benefits and guarantees.

Learn more
here

 

Carpenter

Earning around $49,461, Carpenters specialize in building things specifically from wood. Building construction gets a lot of focus, but Carpenters may also produce furniture, cabinets, or specialty products. This job has steady demand around the country, making it mobile enough that you can find more work almost anywhere you go.

Learn more here

 

Plumber

Plumbers pull in a solid $56,115 from installing and repairing pipe systems and are among the most iconic skilled trade jobs. The classic image of a Plumber is one who travels to homes to fix them, but that’s only one type of the role. Other Plumbers work in commercial or even industrial environments. Continual demand means there’s always more work for this role.

Learn more
here

 

Construction Equipment Operator

Construction Equipment Operators earn about $49,809 for using some of the biggest machines people ever get to operate. How cool is that? These include all sorts of excavators, lifts, bulldozers, graders, and sometimes special equipment made for a specific job.

Learn more
here

 

Welder

Welders earn about $44,093 a year for joining metal together in various ways. Aside from having a lot of fun using tools and creating aesthetically pleasing work, Welders often get to travel to interesting locations. Your earning potential in this role goes up significantly if you can weld in unusual environments, such as underwater. Scuba divers are especially valuable here.

Learn more
here

 

HVAC Technician

HVAC Technicians can earn about $50,629 for installing and repairing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Many Technicians focus on residential and commercial properties, but a few specialize in the needs of industrial environments and can earn a lot more by helping keep those systems running.

Learn more
here

 

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Heavy Equipment Mechanics get about $55,450 for helping maintain large equipment like construction vehicles and some industrial machines. This is a hands-on job that requires problem solving skills as well as getting your hands dirty. If you enjoy staying busy, working on big machines, and learning how they tick, this could be the job for you.

Learn more
here

 

Best Transportation Jobs

Truck Driver

With a salary of around $47,051, Truck Drivers remain in demand for moving goods wherever they need to go. If you enjoy long drives while listening to your favorite tunes, or seeing different parts of the country, this could be for you. This field is likely to see significant changes in the future, making it far more comfortable and fun to drive over long distances.

Learn more
here

 

Auto Mechanic

Imagine never having to take your car into a shop again. Auto Mechanics earn about $43,936 a year for learning the ins and outs of fixing vehicles. This can be a specialty position, such as working exclusively on vehicles for one manufacturer, but Auto Mechanics can also work for independent repair shops and handle different vehicles, keeping the work challenging and interesting.

Learn morehere

 

Diesel Mechanic

Diesel Mechanics can earn about $50,338 working on diesel-based engines. Though different types of diesel systems exist, most people work with trucks and other large vehicles or machinery. Do you find tractors, cranes, and other heavy machinery intriguing? Have you always wanted to learn how these beasts operate? Then this might be the job for you.

Learn more
here

 

Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft Mechanics are the kings of the sky and can earn about $66,702 a year to help maintain and repair aviation equipment. Many people work in civilian roles, but this can easily transfer into a military position. Discover the power of aircrafts and what makes them tick.

Learn more here

 

Best Manufacturing Jobs

Machinist

Raking in $45,785, Machinists operate equipment to produce precision-made parts and tools, often for other companies. Most companies try to run production machines as frequently as possible, so this is an excellent job for night owls who enjoy working with production equipment.

Learn more
here

 

Industrial Machinery Mechanic

Industrial Machinery Mechanics earn about $55,413 a year for fixing industrial and other factory equipment. Most machines need regular tune-ups to keep working at their full potential, and for company owners, every hour of downtime is lost profit. This job is heavily in-demand in 2022 and will remain that way for some time.

Learn more
here

 

Metal Fabricator

Metal Fabricators earn about $33,615. This is a relatively easy role to learn as long as you’re good with your hands and can follow step-by-step directions. Metal Fabricators often gain skills in this position before eventually moving into a more complex role, like a machinist, to increase their earnings.

Learn more here

 

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technician

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians can make around $67,441 a year. In this job, technicians help design, develop, test, manufacture and repair electronic components. You'll constantly be learning how to improve products through hands-on experience in this field.

Learn more
here

 

Best Public Service Jobs

Police Officer

Police Officers pull in around $65,644 for keeping the peace, and they remain a heavily-desired position in cities large and small. Strong union support helps ensure job security, too, and police forces are especially keen on hiring those with other applicable skills. If you can think coolly under high-pressure situations, becoming a Police Officer may be right for you.

Learn more here

 

Teacher Assistant

Teacher Assistants earn about $28,740 by helping other teachers manage classrooms. This can include providing additional information, helping out with coursework, and otherwise helping the teacher in the class. Demand for this job is generally steady, so it offers good security and great practice for anyone aiming to become a full-time teacher.

Learn more here

 

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Law is an impressive profession, but did you know that the assistants pull in a cool $52,891 a year? If you have incredible research and organizational skills, this may be your path! It is also a great way to gain experience if you’re thinking about becoming a lawyer later on. Many law firms want assistants, so you can take your skills in this role practically anywhere you want to live.

Learn more
here

 

Training and Development Specialist

Companies love training people, and specialists in this role can earn about $62,854 for doing it. If you've always been great at teaching or developing a skill set, you're in the right place. Essentially a kind of corporate teacher, Training and Development Specialists often help create instruction material, visit offices to lead classes, and coordinate with companies to help find out what instruction they need.

Learn more
here

 

Social Services Assistant

Social Services Assistants earn about $35,863 by helping clients solve various problems, ranging from overcoming addiction to getting help with modern technology and information systems. This is one of the skilled trade jobs that’s especially people-focused, so if you like helping others, it’s definitely worth considering.

Learn more
here

 

Correctional Officer

Correctional Officers earn about $47,313 annually for helping manage people in prisons, jails, and similar facilities. If you want a challenging job in an exciting environment, this could be the one. Some correctional officers work night shifts, making this another good role to consider in 2022 if you’re a night owl.

Learn more here

 

Firefighter

Firefighters earn a solid $52,268 and it's not just for saving cats in trees. Firefighters are real life heroes, extinguishing burning buildings, rescuing people from life-threatening danger, handling some types of collisions, and otherwise keeping the public safe. Experienced firefighters can eventually move into other roles, like fire marshals who help determine the cause of fires and make sure buildings are following safety guidelines.

Learn more
here

 

Preschool Teacher

Do you love kids? Preschool Teachers earn about $32,171 for teaching children between 3 and 5 years old. Aside from enjoying the vivid imagination of these young minds, Preschool Teachers manage teaching programs, provide individual attention, and let parents know about any special needs or circumstances their children may have.

Learn more here

 

Best Communications Jobs

Cable/Fiber Optics Technician

Cable and Fiber Optics Technicians earn about $61,364 for installing new wires and lines as part of telecommunications infrastructure. This could include burying lines underground, stringing them along the air, or putting them through buildings. Regardless, expanding networks remains a priority in the country, so work is steady in this role.

Learn more
here

 

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers get paid around $53,573 for helping create artwork, logos, and other visual media for companies. Utilize your artistic skills to help market brands in this ever-growing industry.

Learn more
here

 

About SkillPointe Career Rankings

SkillPointe career rankings are based on a proprietary analysis of multiple data sources, including SkillPointe user behavior, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, Occupational Employment Statistics, The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and Emsi Burning Glass.