Trade schools are on the rise because of the cost compared to college.

Below are 10 skilled trade jobs across the U.S. that are both in high demand and feature a median salary above $50,000 — NO FOUR YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE REQUIRED!
Here’s the 10 highest paying with descriptions for the top 5.


1: Criminal investigator ($83,179)
Criminal investigators, which include specializations in forensic science or a specific type of crime, gather facts and evidence to help solve cases. Depending on a criminal investigator’s role within a police department or federal agency, they may either rely upon computers to track down information or perform case work in the field.

2: Nuclear technician ($82,077)
Nuclear technicians ensure that nuclear reactors and other equipment are operated safely and efficiently. In addition to monitoring radiation levels and performance of nuclear power plant systems, these technicians may also repair and maintain equipment at the facility.

3: Power plant operator (Median salary: $81,994)
Power plant operators manage and maintain equipment required to generate electricity. A growing field thanks to advancements in power generation technology, opportunities now exist for operators to manage equipment fueled by coal, gas, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, wind or solar power.

4: Dental hygienist ($76,232)
If you’ve ever spent time in a dentist’s chair, it’s likely the majority of your visit was in the care of a dental hygienist. Skilled in preventative oral care and working under the supervision of a dentist, dental hygienists clean teeth, take X-rays, examine mouths for disease, and provide advice on good oral health.

5: Medical sonographer ($74,318)
Medical sonographers are trained in the application of specialized equipment that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to generate images of structures within a patient’s body. These sonograms (or ultrasounds) are used in everything from gauging the health of a fetus to assisting cardiovascular and vascular technologists examine specific areas of the body.

6: MRI tech ($73,424)
7: Electrical and electronics engineering technician ($65,270)
8: Aircraft mechanic ($64,085)
9: Police officer (Median salary: $63,149)
10: Respiratory therapist ($61,318)