Before taking on a new job, a whopping 67 percent consider the salary.

Although an increasing number of workers are starting to give more preference to jobs with better work-life balance, it’s clear money is still the most important thing – and for good reason. A good salary is your gateway to financial freedom and the life of your dreams.

Now the question is: which jobs pay the highest salaries?

Of course, there are the usual white-collar suspects: medicine, engineering, and the likes. But there are also blue-collar jobs that pay well.

In this article, our focus is on the highest paying trades you can opt into after college.

Building and Construction Contractors

A building and construction contractor is responsible for the day to day management of a construction site.

In this role, you’ll work to ensure the completion of a project within the set budget and timeframe. This involves supervising a host of construction workers, liaising with suppliers, and keeping in touch with the project owner.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes vast building and construction experience to become a contractor. You also need to be business-savvy, because contractors are self-employed people who run their own companies.

The mean annual wage of construction managers is $101,000.

Electrician

Electricians install and repair electrical equipment in industrial, commercial, and residential systems.

With an annual average salary of $59,000, being an electrician is richly rewarding. However, like many trades, the job is highly dangerous, especially because of the increased risk of electrocution. Find out more about the ups and downsides of this job before pursuing it.

If you’re convinced it’s the right trade for you, all you’ll need to do is join a technical school and take electrician classes.

Plumbers

Plumbing is one of the most popular trades in the country. It’s not just because almost every other building and construction projects needs the input of plumbers, but also because the trade pays good money — $58,000 a year, on average.

Plumbers assemble, install, and repair pipes carrying water, sewage, gas, air, steam, and other elements. Their work environment varies, though. One day they can be installing pipes in a large-scale building site, another day they could be fixing a leaky pipe in a residential property.

Aspiring plumbers typically need to be holders of a high school diploma. They must then attend a trade school and complete a short plumbing course.

Oil and Gas Operator

The oil and gas industry has always had the reputation of being lucrative. But it’s not just the oil companies making the big bucks. Even the oil and gas operator working on an oil rig takes home good money.

As an oil and gas operator, there are specific roles you can hold. For instance, you can be a rotary drill operator, setting up and operating the drills used for underground oil and gas extraction.

Rotary drill operators earn, on average, $56,000 a year. This is a tidy bundle considering this job doesn’t require any college education. Just a high school diploma and on-the-job training and you’re good to start.

Highest Paying Trades: Have Your Pick!

You don’t have to spend years in college in order to get a good job. And even if you go to college but don’t feel like pursuing your career afterward, you can opt into any of these highest paying trades.

Good luck and keep reading our digital newspaper for more career tips and insights.