When you’re thinking about a career change, or a job to take on after high school, which types of jobs do you think of first? If most of your work ideas revolve around an office, you probably aren’t thinking about skilled trades jobs.
So, what is a skilled trade? According to Express Employment Professionals, “At the most basic level, a skilled trade is any job that requires a specialized skill, usually obtained through a technical school, college, or on-the-job training through an apprenticeship or internship.”
Skilled trades usually don’t require a four-year degree. However, some may require a certification or license earned through a school or state agency. Some require associate degrees or associate degree programs.
Express notes that, “most of the time, you’ll see skilled trades broken down into categories, with a variety of jobs in each category.”
These categories are outlined as the following:
- Industrial: welders, fabricators, machinist, pipefitters
- Construction: electricians, cement and concrete finishers, drywall, carpentry
- Motive Power: engine mechanics, electrical systems technicians, heavy duty equipment repair, paint and body technicians
- Transportation: commercial drivers, heavy equipment operators
- Services: hair stylist, property and building maintenance, electronic service technician, field technician, dental assistants, computer repair technicians, kennel assistance, and chefs
So, now that you know what the skilled trades are, what are some good reasons to pursue them?
- Lower Tuition
According to Admissonsly, the average total price for a traditional college degree is roughly $122,000. Contrast this with the tuition of a trade school, where average fees range from $3,600 to $14,500 per year, with most trades schools being a two-year program.
- High Pay
Electrician Apprentice Headquarters notes that the average apprentice salary in 2021 was $34,841. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for skilled trades jobs is $42,322. Typically, as your experience grows, so does your paycheck.
- Job Satisfaction
If you don’t thrive in an office environment, the skilled trades might be for you. Many positions involve working as part of a team in an entirely different sort of work setting. If you like working with your hands, the skilled trades frequently give you an opportunity to do that. You’re also free from having to navigate office politics if that isn’t your thing.
- You Can Be Your Own Boss
While you’re certainly free to work for a company if you’d like as a tradesman, many work for themselves and start their own companies. That means you choose how much you charge, when you work, and what clients you want to work with. That way you can spend more time with family. You can have your own home office, and you won’t have to spend any time in a cubicle.
Just like any other job, a position in the skilled trades isn’t for everyone. But if it is right for you, you might find a fulfilling career you hadn’t considered before.
Are you in the skilled trades? Do you love it? Let us know why in the comments section below!