Today is National Skilled Trades Day! On this day, we celebrate those working in skilled trades and the field of skilled trades itself. In celebration of the holiday, we wanted to review what a skilled trade is, as well as a few good reasons to pursue a career in the skilled trades.
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 don’t generally require a four-year degree. However, some may require a license or certification earned through a state agency or school. 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:
- Construction: electricians, cement and concrete finishers, drywall, carpentry
- Industrial: welders, fabricators, machinist, pipefitters
- Transportation: commercial drivers, heavy equipment operators
- Motive Power: engine mechanics, electrical systems technicians, heavy duty equipment repair, paint and body technicians
- Services: hair stylist, property and building maintenance, electronic service technician, field technician, dental assistants, computer repair technicians, kennel assistance, and chefs
So, with the definition of the skilled trades out of the way, why might they be right for your career?
- Lower School 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 Salary
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, your paycheck does as well.
- Career Satisfaction
If you don’t thrive in a standard office environment, the skilled trades might be for you. Many positions involve working as part of a team in an entirely different 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 deal with office politics if that isn’t your thing.
- Being Your Own Boss
You’re free to work for a company if you’d like as a tradesman, but many work for themselves and start their own companies. That means you choose how much you charge, when your work schedule looks like and what clients you want to work with. That way you can spend more time with family. You can build 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 thought of previously.
Happy skilled trades day! Do you work in the skilled trades? Let us know in the comments section below!