Construction Expert: Here’s 7 High-Paying Trades You DONT Need a Degree For

In the bustling world of construction, the path to a lucrative career doesn't always require a traditional university degree. With a focus on skill and craftsmanship, these professions offer both financial rewards and the satisfaction of tangible work.
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Thomas Riley, owner of Diamond Drilling London , highlights the rich tapestry of opportunities that lie within the trades industry. Let's dive into seven high-paying trades, exploring the essentials of qualifications, training duration, and the potential earnings that await.


Welding is not just about joining metals; it's an art that demands precision and safety consciousness. Aspiring welders typically start their journey at a technical college or through apprenticeships, which can take up to 2-4 years. The UK's welding standards are overseen by bodies like The Welding Institute (TWI), ensuring that welders meet high-quality and safety standards. Experienced welders, especially those who specialize in areas like underwater or pipeline welding, can see their earnings soar to £45,000 or more. The allure of welding lies not only in its earning potential but also in the diverse industries it serves, from construction to automotive.

Construction workerConstruction worker
Construction worker


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Electricians light up our lives, literally. To embark on this electrifying career, individuals can opt for vocational courses or apprenticeships, lasting about 3-4 years, under the guidance of governing bodies such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). With a starting salary that can quickly escalate to £42,000 or more for seasoned professionals, electricians enjoy a stable and high demand for their expertise in maintaining, repairing, and installing electrical systems.


The flow of success in plumbing comes from more than just fixing leaks. Training through college courses or apprenticeships (typically 2-4 years) under organizations like the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) sets the foundation for a prosperous career. Experienced plumbers can flush their way to earnings up to £40,000, with the potential for even higher income through specialization or running their own business.


Bricklaying is the cornerstone of construction, offering stability and creativity. Trainees usually go through 2-3 years of technical training or apprenticeships. As they lay the foundation for their career, experienced bricklayers can stack up earnings of £40,000, cementing their place in the industry by potentially leading projects or establishing their own businesses.


Scaffolding is a high-stakes game, quite literally, requiring a keen sense of balance and safety. Scaffolders start their careers through vocational training or apprenticeships, taking up to 2-3 years, under the safety guidelines of bodies such as the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS). With experience, scaffolders can climb to earnings of £40,000, showcasing the vital role they play in construction safety and access.

Core Drilling Specialist

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Core drilling, particularly diamond drilling, is a specialised field requiring precision and expertise to create precise holes and openings in materials like concrete and asphalt. This niche requires a blend of technical knowledge and physical skill, often acquired through specific training courses or on-the-job experience. The UK's standards for diamond drilling are stringent, with safety and efficiency at the forefront. Professionals in this area can expect to embark on a career path that may not require formal education but does demand a rigorous training period, typically lasting 1-2 years. Experienced diamond drillers in London can command salaries upwards of £70,000, reflecting the specialized nature of their work and the demand in construction and renovation projects.

Gas and Heating Technician

In the warmth of gas and heating technology lies a hotbed of opportunity. Technicians often begin with related training as plumbers or electricians before specializing in gas and heating through additional certifications, such as those offered by the Gas Safe Register. This journey can take several years but leads to experienced technicians earning up to £45,000. Their expertise in installing and maintaining gas lines and heating systems keeps homes and businesses warm and safe.

Riley passionately advocates for a shift in perception, emphasising that the trades are not a fallback option but a first-rate choice for a rewarding career. "The narrative that success is exclusively found through traditional education is outdated," Riley states. "In the trades, we see college graduates redirecting their paths, drawn by the allure of tangible work and the satisfaction of directly impacting the built environment."

This blend of skill, financial reward, and job satisfaction in the trades presents a compelling argument for anyone, including college graduates, to consider these paths. The industry's demand for skilled labour continues to outpace supply, further highlighting the critical role tradespeople play in shaping our world.