Top Trade Careers and What You Should Know About Them

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Are you tired of the traditional nine-to-five grind and looking for a hands-on career that offers job security and a high earning potential? If so, breaking into the trades may be the answer you've been searching for. From electricians to welders, the trades offer a variety of career paths that are in high demand. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That's where this guide comes in. We'll take you through the top trades careers, what you need to know to get started, and how to succeed in the industry. Whether you're a recent high school graduate or looking for a career change, this guide will provide the knowledge and resources necessary to break into the trades and thrive in your chosen career. So, grab your hard hat, and let's get started!

 

Benefits of Pursuing a Career in the Trades

Pursuing a career in the trades offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive option for many individuals. First and foremost, trade careers offer job security. As long as there is a need for construction and repairs, there will be a need for tradespeople. This means that trade jobs are less susceptible to economic downturns and are more likely to offer steady employment.

In addition to job security, trade careers also offer a high earning potential. While salaries vary depending on the trade and location, many tradespeople earn wages that are well above the national average. Trades careers also offer opportunities for career advancement, as well as the ability to start your own business and be your boss.

Another benefit of pursuing a career in the trades is the hands-on nature of the work. Tradespeople get to work with their hands, solve problems, and see the tangible results of their work. This can be incredibly fulfilling for individuals who enjoy working with tools and equipment.

 

Top Careers in the Trades Industry

There are numerous career paths available in the trades industry, each with its own unique set of requirements and benefits. Here are some of the top trades careers to consider:

 

Electrician

Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They work with a variety of tools and equipment, including wire strippers, pliers, and power tools. To get an electrician job, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in electrical technology. Electricians can earn a median salary of around $56,000 per year.

 

Plumber

Plumbers are responsible for installing and repairing plumbing systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They work with a variety of tools and equipment, including wrenches, pliers, and snakes. To become a plumber, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in plumbing. Plumbers can earn a median salary of around $54,000 per year.

 

HVAC Technician

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC systems in homes, businesses, and other buildings. They work with a variety of tools and equipment, including gauges, thermometers, and power tools. To become an HVAC technician, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in HVAC technology. HVAC technicians can earn a median salary of around $48,000 per year.

 

Welder

Welders are responsible for joining metal parts together using heat and various tools and equipment, including welding torches and grinders. They work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, and repair. To become a welder, you typically need to complete a vocational program or obtain a degree in welding. Welders can earn a median salary of around $42,000 per year.

 

Carpenter

Carpenters are responsible for building and repairing structures made of wood and other materials. They work with a variety of tools and equipment, including saws, hammers, and drills. To become a carpenter, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in carpentry. Carpenters can earn a median salary of around $49,000 per year.

 

Education and Training Requirements for Each Trade

Each trade has its own set of education and training requirements. Some trades require the completion of an apprenticeship program, while others require a degree or vocational training. Here are the education and training requirements for the top trades careers:

 

Electrician

To become an electrician, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in electrical technology. Apprenticeship programs typically last four to five years and include both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, you'll learn about electrical theory, safety practices, and how to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems. Some states also require electricians to be licensed.

 

Plumber

To become a plumber, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in plumbing. Apprenticeship programs typically last four to five years and include both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, you'll learn about plumbing codes and regulations, safety practices, and how to install, maintain, and repair plumbing systems. Some states also require plumbers to be licensed.

 

HVAC Technician

To become an HVAC technician, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in HVAC technology. Apprenticeship programs typically last three to five years and include both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, you'll learn about HVAC systems, safety practices, and how to install, maintain, and repair HVAC systems. Some states also require HVAC technicians to be licensed.

 

Welder

To become a welder, you typically need to complete a vocational program or obtain a degree in welding. Vocational programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. During the program, you'll learn about welding techniques, safety practices, and how to use welding tools and equipment.

 

Carpenter

To become a carpenter, you typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or obtain a degree in carpentry. Apprenticeship programs typically last three to four years and include both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, you'll learn about carpentry techniques, safety practices, and how to build and repair structures made of wood and other materials.

 

Apprenticeships and on-the-Job Training

Many trades careers require completion of an apprenticeship program, which involves both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, you'll work under the guidance of an experienced tradesperson and learn the skills necessary to succeed in your chosen career. Depending on the trade, apprenticeships typically last anywhere from two to five years.

In addition to apprenticeships, many trades careers also offer on-the-job training opportunities. On-the-job training allows you to learn while working, which can be a great way to gain hands-on experience and build your skills. Many employers also offer training programs to help you advance in your career.

 

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The job outlook and salary expectations for trade careers vary depending on the trade and location. However, overall, the trade industry is expected to experience steady growth over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the construction industry is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

In terms of salary, many tradespeople earn wages that are well above the national average. For example, electricians can earn a median salary of around $56,000 per year, while plumbers can earn a median salary of around $54,000 per year.

 

Advancement Opportunities in the Trades

Trades careers offer numerous opportunities for advancement. Many tradespeople start as apprentices and work their way up to become journeymen, supervisors, and even business owners. Advancement opportunities vary depending on the trade, but many trades offer opportunities for career growth and development.

 

Skills Needed for Success in the Trades

To succeed in the trades, you'll need a variety of skills, including:

Technical skills: Trades careers require a high level of technical skill, as you'll be working with tools and equipment daily.

Problem-solving skills: Tradespeople need to be able to identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Communication skills: Tradespeople need to be able to communicate effectively with clients, coworkers, and supervisors.

Physical stamina: Trades careers require a significant amount of physical activity, so you'll need to be in good physical shape.

Attention to detail: Tradespeople need to be able to pay close attention to detail to ensure that their work is of high quality.

 

How to Find Job Opportunities in the Trades Industry

There are numerous ways to find job opportunities in the trade industry. Here are some tips:

Check job boards: Many trades jobs are posted on job boards such as Indeed and Monster.

Network: Connect with other tradespeople and industry professionals to learn about job opportunities.

Attend career fairs: Many career fairs include opportunities to meet with employers in the trades industry.

Contact trade organizations: Many trade organizations offer job placement services for their members.

 

Conclusion

Breaking into the trades can be a rewarding career choice for individuals who enjoy working with their hands, solving problems, and seeing the tangible results of their work. From electricians to carpenters, the trades offer a variety of career paths that are in high demand. By following the education and training requirements for your chosen trade, building your skills, and seeking out job opportunities, you can succeed in the trades industry and build a fulfilling career.

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