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Highest Paying Trade Careers

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Although many people think of blue-collar trade jobs as low-paying, there are a myriad of trade careers that offer high pay. These jobs require extensive experience and training, but little formal classroom education. Additionally, these jobs will likely increase in value over time, according to Matthew Kirdahy of "Forbes" magazine.

Elevator Installers and Repairers

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According to Kirdahy, elevator installers and repairers are the highest-paid blue collar workers in the United States, earning a median hourly wage of $32.69, or about $68,000 annually. These workers serve as contractors and work on both private and commercial jobs. They install elevator systems and perform routine maintenance and repairs on elevators, escalators and dumbwaiters (freight elevators), according to Kirdahy.

Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

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Electrical and electronics repairers and installers qualify as the second-highest-paid tradesmen in the U.S., according to Kirdahy. Electricians are paid a median hourly wage of $29.34 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. These professionals repair, service and replace electrical wiring, relays and substations. They are employed by businesses, and may also work as contractors.

Locomotive Engineers

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Locomotive engineers are the third-highest-paid tradesmen in the U.S., earning $27.75 per hour, according to Kirdahy. Locomotive, or train, engineers manage the operation of trains and assist in steering the train. Many locomotive companies offer on-the-job training for prospective engineers, according to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.