Best Paying Trade Jobs in New Mexico (Salary Insight & Details)

A bachelor's degree is not required to obtain a well-paying job. This guide to the highest paying trade jobs in New Mexico has eight of the best paying jobs.
Many people believe that a college degree is required to find a rewarding and lucrative career. However, the skilled trades provide in-demand and well-paying job opportunities in New Mexico that do not require a bachelor's degree. In addition, trade school takes far less time and money to complete than a traditional four-year program. This guide includes a ranking of the top eight highest-paying trade jobs in New Mexico. Read on to see which trade piques your interest, as they are all well-paying!
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If you enjoy challenging, hands-on work, a trade job can be an excellent choice. Jobs in this field typically require vocational schooling or training and pay well for the specialized skill set required. 

Whether you are applying to trade schools or looking for trade jobs in your area, learning about the best paying jobs without degrees can help you choose the one that best suits your interests.

In this article, we'll look at some of the best-paying trade jobs and the skills required for each while specifically focusing on the New Mexico area.

Best Paying Trade Jobs in New Mexico

People rarely consider a career in the trades when looking for a high-paying job. Landing one of the best trade jobs in America can result in higher pay, job stability, and long-term professional growth than a four-year college degree.

Here are some of the top-paying trade jobs on the market.

1. Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers are the unsung heroes responsible for every safe flight. Throughout the journey, these unseen heroes coordinate aircraft flights, create routes, and communicate with pilots. 

They are in charge of guiding aircraft through their pre-planned flight paths and alerting them when they deviate.

In an emergency, air traffic controllers must also communicate with pilots and vice versa. They must be proactive because prompt action can save hundreds of lives.

Related: A private pilot is another exciting career option in a similar field. Try this course to kickstart your career.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $75,471 per year ($36.28 per hour)

2021 national salary for Air Traffic Controllers:

Table for 2021 national salary for Air Traffic Controllers
Table for 2021 national salary for Air Traffic Controllers

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: The employment of air traffic controllers is expected to grow by 4% between 2020 and 2030, which is slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite slow job growth, an average of 2,500 air traffic controller job openings are expected per year over the next decade.

What Air Traffic Controllers do

An air traffic controller is a professional who oversees and directs airspace traffic while maintaining an active line of communication with aircraft to ensure safe and efficient air travel. 

An air traffic controller's responsibilities generally revolve around using technology to monitor flight paths, weather, and airport runways to guide pilots and airport personnel, coordinating with other control officers, inspecting and maintaining instruments and equipment in good condition, and alerting departments and assigned personnel in the event of an emergency.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Air Traffic Controller salaries

  • Santa Fe, NM $75,795 
  • Tesuque, NM $75,795 
  • Glorieta, NM $75,474 
  • Lamy, NM $75,314 
  • White Rock, NM $75,314 
  • Tererro, NM $75,233 
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $75,089 
  • Albuquerque, NM $75,089 
  • Pecos, NM $75,073 
  • Corrales, NM $75,009 

New Mexico ranks 14th best nationwide for Air Traffic Controllers

Map showing New Mexico ranks 14th best nationwide for Air Traffic Controllers
New Mexico ranks 14th best nationwide for Air Traffic Controllers

Source: Zippia

2. Construction Managers

As a construction manager, you are in charge of coordinating, planning, and supervising the start and end of a project. Your job entails planning the work, organizing the work schedule, cost, and budget, and supervising the materials and equipment. 

You have the authority to coordinate and direct construction workers and subcontractors, oversee all construction on and off-site for accountability, and review work progress daily. 

Your job requires you to plan ahead of time to avoid problems and respond to emergencies. 

Furthermore, you must thoroughly review the work in order to estimate the cost and scheduled deliveries. The manager is in charge of selecting tools, materials, equipment, and inventory for the project's workflow.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $66,169 per year ($31.81 per hour)

2021 national salary for Construction Managers:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Construction Managers
Table for national salary in 2021 for Construction Managers

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree (Bachelor’s degree to advance career)

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Construction managers' employment is expected to grow 11% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the national average.

An average of 38,900 construction manager job openings are expected over the next ten years.

What Construction Managers do

A construction manager oversees a construction site and its workers, ensuring workforce and overall operations efficiency. They meet and coordinate with architects, contractors, and clients in an office on the construction site. 

They must also hire the necessary workforce, identify and resolve problems, maintain daily reports and client communication, and prioritize a safe work environment. 

Above all, they must ensure that all required protocols are followed, including the completion time and budget.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Construction Manager salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $104,779 
  • Santa Fe, NM $104,779 
  • Glorieta, NM $104,336 
  • White Rock, NM $104,114
  • Lamy, NM $104,114 
  • Tererro, NM $104,003 
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $103,804 
  • Albuquerque, NM $103,804 
  • Pecos, NM $103,781 
  • Corrales, NM $103,693 

Top 10 companies in New Mexico hiring Construction Managers

  1. CDM Smith
  2. Black & Veatch
  3. CBRE Group
  4. AECOM
  5. Meta
  6. Plains All American Pipeline
  7. PulteGroup
  8. Planate Management Group LLC
  9. WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATES
  10. Kelley Construction


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New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Managers

Map showing New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Managers
Map showing New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Managers

Source: Zippia

3. Radiation Therapists

A Radiation Therapist, also known as a Therapeutic Radiographer, is a radiation specialist who typically works as part of an oncology team within medical facilities.

The main responsibility of the Therapist is to provide radiation treatment and therapy to all individuals in collaboration with the expertise and advice of the patient's oncologist. 

This includes explaining the treatment to patients and their families, connecting with them, answering their questions, as well as using equipment to monitor the patient's progress or changes, and reporting on the changes to the head doctor.

They also maintain and test the equipment used for monitoring and treatment delivery on a regular basis, and they read about new research and discoveries in the field of oncology to improve their own medical understanding as well as the quality and method of their work.

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Unmudl Tip: Many New Mexico linemen receive their education and training from local community colleges, which allow them to learn the necessary skills in a short period of time and begin working as soon as possible.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $83,188 per year ($39.99 per hour)

2021 national salary for Radiation Therapists:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Radiation Therapists
Table for national salary in 2021 for Radiation Therapists

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Radiation therapist employment is expected to grow at a rate of 9% between 2020 and 2030, which is about average for all occupations.

There are expected to be over 1,100 opportunities for radiation therapists over the next ten years.

What Radiation Therapists do

A radiation therapist is a medical professional who works in hospitals or cancer treatment centers and uses radiation to treat cancer and other diseases in patients. 

Radiation therapists must explain treatment plans to patients and perform x-ray tests on patients to determine the precise location of the area that requires treatment. 

They must inspect radiation machines to ensure that they are safe and functional. Radiation therapists must also adhere to safety protocols in order to protect both patients and themselves from overexposure.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Radiation Therapist salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $82,360
  • Santa Fe, NM $82,360
  • Glorieta, NM $82,012
  • White Rock, NM $81,837
  • Lamy, NM $81,837
  • Tererro, NM $81,750
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $81,593
  • Albuquerque, NM $81,593
  • Pecos, NM $81,576
  • Corrales, NM $81,506 

Top 9 companies in New Mexico hiring Radiation Therapists

  1. Connected Health Care, LLC
  2. Deacon Recruiting
  3. Ardent Health Services
  4. Presbyterian Healthcare Services
  5. KPG Healthcare
  6. Unm Medical Group
  7. Gila Regional Medical Center
  8. Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center
  9. K.A. Recruiting

New Mexico ranks 23rd best nationwide for Radiation Therapists

Map showing New Mexico ranks 23rd best nationwide for Radiation Therapists
New Mexico ranks 23rd best nationwide for Radiation Therapists

Source: Zippia

4. Dental Hygienists

While many people think of them with not so fond a memory because of the pain caused in the treatment, the job of a dental hygienist is critical to everyone's health. They help to detect signs of oral diseases and provide preventative care.

A dental hygienist typically works in a dentist's office. While they usually only work part-time, they earn an average of $76,220 per year. Furthermore, they only require an associate's degree. So, if you don't mind looking at teeth, working as a dental hygienist isn't a bad job.

With an associate's degree from a community college, you can begin your career in two years as a Dental Hygienist. It is optional to later transfer credits to a bachelor's degree program in order to advance in this career.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $80,278 per year ($38.60 per hour)

2021 national salary for Dental Hygienists:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Dental Hygienists

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Employment for dental hygienists is expected to grow 11 percent between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

An average of 15,600 openings for dental hygienists are expected over the next ten years.

What Dental Hygienists do

Dental hygienists are professionals who provide preventative oral care under the supervision of a dentist. They are mostly concerned with treating minor oral health issues. 

They clean teeth, examine any signs of damage or oral diseases, and offer dental recommendations and follow-up care. 

They educate patients on proper oral hygiene and how good nutrition affects oral health. They also teach them how to maintain and improve their oral health.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Dental Hygienist salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $73,796
  • Santa Fe, NM $73,796
  • Glorieta, NM $73,484
  • White Rock, NM $73,328
  • Lamy, NM $73,328
  • Tererro, NM $73,250
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $73,109
  • Albuquerque, NM $73,109 
  • Pecos, NM $73,093
  • Corrales, NM $73,031 

Top 4 companies in New Mexico hiring Dental Hygienists

  1. Familia Dental
  2. Aspen Dental Management
  3. Unm Medical Group
  4. Pacific Dental Services

New Mexico ranks 6th best nationwide for Dental Hygienist pay

Map showing New Mexico ranks 6th best nationwide for Dental Hygienist pay
New Mexico ranks 6th best nationwide for Dental Hygienist pay

Source: Zippia

5. Web Developers

Websites are created by web developers. They code, design, layout, and maintain the technical aspects of the page to ensure that visitors to the website have a fun and functional user experience.

Web development, as a profession, is often perceived as the domain of the genius and is currently a male-dominated discipline. However, the demand for programmers is constantly increasing, and there are currently insufficient workers to meet this demand.

A college degree is not required to begin earning money in this field. Self-taught web developers rule the world, and there are countless training opportunities and online courses available to get you up to speed with the job if you put your mind to it. 

Just keep in mind that none of those tech-savvy professionals got to where they are without putting in 10,000 hours of learning and practice time.

Related: How to get into the lucrative Solar Electric Industry in New Mexico

Unmudl Tip: If you are interested in the renewal energy sector here is a great course to get your career started: Solar Electric Basics

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $75,328 per year ($36.22 per hour)

2021 national salary for Web Developers:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Web Developers
Table for national salary in 2021 for Web Developers

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Web developer employment is expected to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the national average.

Over the next decade, 17,900 job openings for web developers are expected on average.

What Web Developers do

A web developer is in charge of creating and maintaining a website in order to attract customers and direct web traffic. Web developers must also analyze software and databases in order to create new applications. 

A web developer must be well-versed in programming languages and technological solutions in order to provide the best web design services to clients while adhering to their specifications and submitting projects on or before the deadline. 

To complete tasks efficiently and accurately, web developers must have excellent time management and decision-making skills.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Web Developer salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $85,973
  • Santa Fe, NM $85,973
  • Glorieta, NM $85,609
  • White Rock, NM $85,427
  • Lamy, NM $85,427
  • Tererro, NM $85,336
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $85,172
  • Albuquerque, NM $85,172
  • Pecos, NM $85,154
  • Corrales, NM $85,081 

Top 5 companies in New Mexico hiring Web Developers

  1. Presbyterian Healthcare Services
  2. Confluent
  3. Oracle
  4. Everlight Solar, LLC.
  5. Gem Technologies Inc.

New Mexico ranks 28th best nationwide for Web Developer pay

Map showing New Mexico ranks 28th best nationwide for Web Developer pay
New Mexico ranks 28th best nationwide for Web Developer pay

Source: Zippia

6. Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists collaborate with doctors and nurses to develop treatment plans. They conduct and perform lung capability and capacity analysis, diagnosis, and function tests. You will be responsible for treating patients with aerosol medications and chest physiotherapy. 

You will also treat patients who have pulmonary stress as a result of asthma, bronchitis, prematurity, lung cancer, or chest trauma. A respiratory therapist is primarily trained and skilled in accessing, diagnosing, and treating patients who have breathing difficulties. 

Your job is to save people's lives by treating cardiopulmonary disease and disorders. A typical day at work entails meeting and assessing new patients as well as administering treatment plans to existing patients.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $41,820 per year ($20.11 per hour)

2021 national salary for Respiratory Therapists:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Respiratory Therapists
Table for national salary in 2021 for Respiratory Therapists

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Respiratory therapist employment is expected to grow by 23% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the national average.

Over the next decade, there are expected to be 10,100 new job openings for respiratory therapists.

What Respiratory Therapists do

A Respiratory Therapist is in charge of a patient's cardiovascular and respiratory systems. A Respiratory Therapist specializes in evaluating, recommending procedures or precautionary measures, and treating infections, diseases, and even viruses that can cause breathing dysfunction in a patient. 

The majority of duties will be determined by the workplace or the condition of a patient. They must, however, have extensive expertise, passion, and mental fortitude because they work with patients of all ages, and the daily tasks are critical and unpredictable.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Respiratory Therapist salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $63,616
  • Santa Fe, NM $63,616
  • Glorieta, NM $63,347
  • White Rock, NM $63,212
  • Lamy, NM $63,212
  • Tererro, NM $63,145
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $63,024
  • Albuquerque, NM $63,024
  • Pecos, NM $63,010
  • Corrales, NM $62,956 



Top 10 companies in New Mexico hiring Respiratory Therapist 

  1. Presbyterian Healthcare Services
  2. Indian Health Service
  3. Aya Healthcare
  4. Rotech Healthcare
  5. Totalmed
  6. American Mobile Healthcare
  7. LifePoint Health
  8. Ardent Health Services
  9. Apria Healthcare Group
  10. Clinical Management Consultants

New Mexico ranks 51st best nationwide for Respiratory Therapist pay

Map showing New Mexico ranks 51st best nationwide for Respiratory Therapist pay
New Mexico ranks 51st best nationwide for Respiratory Therapist pay

Source: Zippia

7. Construction Inspector 

It is the responsibility of Construction Inspectors to come around whenever there is construction going on and ensure that everything is in accordance with regulations, building codes, and design specifications.

As is typical of any type of inspector position, your inspection will most likely make people uncomfortable. 

However, it is probably best not to take such things personally. Instead, review the plans and monitor the construction site with your survey equipment to ensure alignment, levels, and structures are correct.

You will also inspect the plumbing and electrical wiring and document your findings. If you discover something that isn't quite right, you'll have to issue violation notices and halt work orders. Then you must exit the site gracefully and quickly.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $41,799 per year ($20.10 per hour)

2021 national salary for Construction Inspector:

Table for national salary in 2021 for Construction Inspector
Table for national salary in 2021 for Construction Inspector

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Construction and building inspector jobs are expected to decline by 3% between 2020 and 2030.

Despite declining employment, 14,300 construction and building inspector job openings are expected each year over the next decade.

What Construction Inspectors do

A construction inspector is a professional who inspects construction sites to ensure that local and building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications are followed. 

Construction inspectors inspect plumbing, electrical, and other systems within buildings using survey equipment, metering devices, and test equipment. 

They approve satisfactory building plans and issue violation notices and stop orders when there are violations. In addition, construction inspectors keep photographs taken during inspections and provide written documentation.

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Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Construction Inspector salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $55,347 
  • Santa Fe, NM $55,347
  • Glorieta, NM $55,112
  • White Rock, NM $54,995
  • Lamy, NM $54,995
  • Tererro, NM $54,937
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $54,831
  • Albuquerque, NM $54,831
  • Pecos, NM $54,820
  • Corrales, NM $54,773 

Top 6 companies in New Mexico hiring Construction Inspector 

  1. Parsons
  2. City of Albuquerque
  3. HDR Engineering
  4. TEKsystems
  5. City of Farmington, NM
  6. Parsons Commercial Technology Group Inc.

New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Inspector pay

Map showing New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Inspector pay
New Mexico ranks 47th best nationwide for Construction Inspector pay

Source: Zippia

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8. Occupational Therapist

Working as an Occupational Therapist is one option if you want to work in the medical field. You will be working with patients who are recovering from disabilities or illnesses as an Occupational Therapist. 

You will assist them with their treatment so that they can overcome their difficulties.

As an Occupational Therapist, you will examine the patient's medical history and conduct various assessments in order to determine the best treatment option for them. 

Occupational Therapists have a unique set of skills, are very patient, have excellent communication skills, and must be adaptable. You will perform better as an Occupational Therapist if you have these skills.

Occupational Summary

2021 Median Pay for New Mexico:  $47,960 per year ($23.06 per hour)

2021 national salary for Occupational Therapists:

Table for national salary for Occupational Therapists 2021
Table for national salary for Occupational Therapists 2021

Source: Zippia

Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate's degree

Job Outlook, 2020-30: Occupational therapy assistants and aides are expected to grow 34 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the national average.

Over the next decade, there are expected to be 8,800 openings for occupational therapy assistants and aides.

What Occupational Therapists do

Occupational therapist assistants treat patients with movement difficulties caused by illnesses and injuries, working under the supervision and directives of a therapist. 

Their duties include assisting patients while they perform therapeutic activities, monitoring their conditions and progress, discussing care plans with guardians and families, and reporting to therapists on a regular basis. 

They are also responsible for clerical tasks such as preparing and processing documentation, maintaining patient records and medical histories, answering inquiries, handling calls and correspondence and managing appointments.

Top 10 New Mexico cities paying the highest Occupational Therapists salaries

  • Tesuque, NM $88,173
  • Santa Fe, NM $88,173
  • Glorieta, NM $87,600
  • White Rock, NM $87,613
  • Lamy, NM $87,613
  • Tererro, NM $87,520
  • Kirtland Afb, NM $87,352
  • Albuquerque, NM $87,352
  • Pecos, NM $87,333
  • Corrales, NM $87,259 

Top 3 companies in New Mexico hiring Occupational Therapists 

  1. SJRMC Hospital
  2. MAS Medical Staffing
  3. Ambercare

New Mexico ranks 43rd best nationwide for Occupational Therapist's pay

Map showing New Mexico ranks 43rd best nationwide for Occupational Therapist's pay
New Mexico ranks 43rd best nationwide for Occupational Therapist's pay

Source: Zippia

Final Word

Did you know that the best skilled trade jobs pay well and do not necessitate a college diploma? Indeed, some of the high demand jobs in New Mexico pay you while you are learning the trade or doing on-the-job training.

Many trade jobs are currently in demand due to a skilled labor shortage. A high demand for trade workers is also causing pay to rise in the state of New Mexico. 

We have listed eight of the best paying trade jobs so you can make an informed decision whether to start a career or change to a different one.

Frequently Asked Questions

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