Trump’s Apprenticeship Plan Will Feed Into These High-Paying Careers

A foreman instructs a trainee in welding at training center offering apprenticeships
A foreman instructs a trainee in welding at a training center offering apprenticeships. | Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Even if you disagree with President Donald Trump and his administration, there are some positive kernels out there. Trump has put an emphasis on jobs, for example, specifically jobs for the struggling middle and lower class. Although those promised jobs might not necessarily come to fruition, it’s good to hear somebody at least talk about blue-collar struggles.
One way the president is focusing on jobs is by attempting to bring back apprenticeships. Apprenticeships, of course, are on-the-job training programs that used to be quite popular but have fizzled out with time. There are still plenty of them out there, but most young people these days seem much more focused on a earning a college degree than completing an apprenticeship.

Trump and his plan for more apprenticeships

Trump recently signed an executive order to push for more apprenticeships in both the public and private sectors. The order will double the $200 million in taxpayer money that goes toward job-training programs. There are around 500,000 apprenticeship openings across the country, and many of them will lead to secure, high-paying careers.
We just need to persuade people to sign up. The issue, of course, is there are still millions of people who are out of work. Even though we have record-high job openings, people are still clinging to the economic edge. Trump’s plan is one way in which the government hopes to remedy that.
So what types of jobs could an apprenticeship get you? And how much money could you end up earning — even as you earn while you train? Here are some of the high paying careers Trump’s program could ultimately feed into.

1. Engineering

Technician engineer checking wires
Technician engineer |

Not every engineering job requires an apprenticeship, and some have very high entry requirements. An advanced degree, in many cases, is what you’ll need to get in the door. But engineering jobs are some of the most lucrative that you can get, and they’re offered by several employers and unions. And of course, what you earn will depend on your specific discipline. A mechanical engineer, to give one example, will land you a median salary of around $70,000.

2. Plumbing

A plumber uses a wrench to tighten a fitting beneath a kitchen sink.
A plumber uses a wrench to tighten a fitting beneath a kitchen sink. |

Whenever you hear about the trades, plumbing tends to come up. It’s one of those timeless jobs that’s never really going to disappear. Anyone and everyone will require the services of a plumber from time to time. Just like certain engineering disciplines, you can find apprenticeships offered by unions and other local organizations. The median pay, once you’re a pro, is about $50,000 per year.

3. Electricians

An electrician works on a fuse box
An electrician works on a fuse box. |

If a career in the plumbing arts doesn’t snake your pipes, you can always look for something with a little more sizzle. In that case, you might want to explore becoming an electrician. Like the other jobs on this list, becoming an electrician will require some training and mastery, but it will lead you to a secure, well-paying career. Experienced electricians can pull in more than $90,000 per year on the high end.

4. Elevator maintenance

waiting for elevator
A man waits for the elevator. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Perhaps you enjoy the roller coaster-like thrill of going up and down all day? If that’s you, you might be surprised to learn you can work with elevators and get paid fairly well for it. Most of us take elevators for granted. But they’re everywhere, and they need to be maintained. Again, look at what unions are offering, or find local training in your state. You could end up earning six figures.

5. Health care

two surgeons in operating room
Surgeons work on a patient. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

If there’s one industry that’s in need of fresh blood, it’s the health care field. Although it’ll take years of schooling to become a doctor or specialist, there are numerous other positions that need to be filled in our nation’s hospitals. To prepare for many of them an apprenticeship will do the trick. Your earnings will again depend on your specific discipline, but do some searching in your state and city to see what programs are available.

6. Green energy

A green energy worker with equipment
A green energy worker struts his stuff. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

OK, so the health care field is expanding. And rapidly. But we can’t forget about the green energy sector, which is also seeing monster growth and giving workers the opportunity to work in an exciting and budding field. These jobs are typically in the solar and wind energy industries and are spread throughout the country. A lot of them pay handsomely, as well. Check local organizations and companies for apprenticeship opportunities.

7. Carpentry

carpenter taking measurement
A carpenter takes a measurement. |

Tap into your inner Ron Swanson, and pursue woodworking and carpentry. If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for you. And like other trades — plumbing, for example — the need for carpenters isn’t going to wane anytime soon. Training programs and apprenticeships are available all over. And in the end, you can pull in as much as $75,000 per year.

8. Derrickman

oil rig
Oil rig |

“Derrickman” isn’t a very ubiquitous term, so for those not in the know, it refers to someone who works on an oil rig. The “derrick,” in this case, is the drill. So you’re working on a drilling team. It can be dirty and dangerous and find you working in far-flung parts of the world. But it’ll earn you a solid salary, typically between about $50,000 and $75,000 per year.

9. Iron and steel work

A group of steel workers standing on scaffolding
A group of steel workers stand on scaffolding. | Horace Abrahams/Getty Images

Although many of the jobs in the steel and metalworking industries have evaporated over the years, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a place in the industry. These jobs don’t typically pay as much as a specific trade or an engineering gig, but you can still earn plenty and live a comfortable life. You’ll want to look for apprenticeship opportunities with local unions or other trade organizations.

10. Masons

A stonemason using the skills he learned during his apprenticeship
A stonemason uses the skills he learned during his apprenticeship. | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Masonry: It’s as old-school of a job as you can get. But just like some of the other jobs on our list, it’s a timeless trade. We’ll always need masons, and that means there’s always going to be jobs to fill. Masonry comes in many different forms, too, and training programs can be found all across the country. Some masons earn as much as $68,000 per year.