5 Non-Traditional Careers That Are Making Waves

Traditional Careers

When people hear about “booming careers” or “flourishing industries”, they likely think of white-collar fields like engineering or technology. However, there is a number of prospering blue-collar Trendy careers that people might not traditionally consider to be making waves in the economy. It’s important to note, though, that less recognized professions like welder or solar panel technician are growing in leaps and bounds and can pay very competitive wages. Moreover, in many parts of the country, these positions are high in demand.


The number of open welding positions will surprise most. As manufacturing is growing faster than most industries after the recession and large segments of the skilled workforce retiring soon, welders are in hot demand. According to Tulsa Welding School, the oil industry is seeing a strong demand for pipe welders. Offshore oilrigs require significant welding, as do power plants, wind turbines and manufacturing facilities where ships, planes and other machines are made.

Furthermore, once job seekers learn how much experienced welders can make, they might be quite interested in this profession. Beginning welders make $10, $12 or $14 an hour but after a few years, they could make $100,000 or more, as those with specialized welding knowledge and skills are very sought after. Typically speaking, the more types of welding you learn, the more you’ll be able earn.


Electricians will always be in demand as long as we rely on electricity for power. They install and maintain lighting, electrical power and communications systems in businesses, homes, and other buildings. Over 519,850 people in the United States are employed as electricians. Aspiring electricians may attend a training program at a vocational school and then obtain a state license.

Those who specialize in a specific niche like the designing and maintaining of motors or the electrical systems for organizations will have the opportunity to work more and increase their earning potential. The BLS projects a growth rate of 20% between 2012 and 2022, which constitutes over 220,000 new positions. This is a faster rate of growth than that of most other occupations.

HVACR Technician

Traditional CareersAn HVACR technician performs the installation and maintenance of air conditioners, heaters and refrigeration systems. In 2012, 268,000 HVAC technicians worked in the United States. Since HVACR work is highly complex, employers desire prospects that have completed post-secondary education along at a trade school. The job market in this field is promising, as nearly every household and business requires the services of an HVACR technician at some point.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will grow faster than the average of all other occupations over the course of the next decade. The median annual salary of an HVAC technician is $43,640. Some HVACR technicians eventually progress to managerial positions, marketing careers or even jobs as cost estimators and building superintendents.

Solar Panel Technician

Solar panel technicians are commonly called photovoltaic installers or PV installers. Solar panels must be cut to distinct measurements for the customer before they are installed on the property. Many states require that solar technicians become licensed electricians, as they must connect solar panels into a home’s electrical supply. The average salary of solar technicians in 2012 was $40,620. The BLS reports that the top 10 percent of earners in this field earned at least $57,980 per year.

As more homeowners and businesses make the switch to solar power, the field will continue to grow.  Additionally, local and federal governments continually introduce new rebate programs and tax incentives to lure property owners into buying solar panels. There is no doubt that the skills and knowledge of solar technicians will be in demand far into the future.

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Avionics Technician

Aspiring avionics technicians must enroll in an FAA-approved, 12-24 month training program at an aviation maintenance technician school. The highest concentration of avionics jobs can be found in Dallas, which is one of the most important locations for the national and global aviation industry.

While the BLS expects the number of jobs to only grow by 3 percent by 2022, the earning potential for avionics technicians can be immense. The median annual salary for this profession is $55,230, while those who work in aerospace product and parts manufacturing earn the most. The top 10 percent earn almost $80,000. Job opportunities will be best for those who have knowledge of and experience with advanced technology, computer and digital systems, as well as composite materials.

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