Skilled Trade Professions & Careers
People who complete trade programs can become valuable members of the workforce. Companies across multiple industries need employees with specific skillsets, so they offer job opportunities to trade workers who specialize in a particular field. With the right training and education, hopefuls can gain the experience to begin a promising trade career.
What is a Trade Job?
A trade job is an occupation that requires specialized training and a specific skillset, knowledge or ability.
What are the Best Trades to Get Into?
When planning to pursue a trade career, start by considering the interests and skills that you already have. If you like working with cars, you might want to think about studying to be a mechanic. Meanwhile, becoming a personal trainer may be a better trade for someone who loves working out.
Below is a list of trade jobs available across different industries.
Healthcare & Medical
- EKG Tech
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Biller & Coder
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Patient Care Tech
- Physical Therapy Aide
- Nursing Assistant
Design & Arts
Construction & Building Maintenance
A very hands-on career path, construction tradespeople can work in various positions to complete the planning, building, and renovation of homes, offices, and other structures.
- HVAC Tech
Transportation & Automechanics
Workers in transportation may perform any tasks dealing with cars, powerboats, airplanes, public transport, and other automotive vehicles.
- Bus or Train Operator
- Auto Mechanic / Technican
- CDL Truck Driver
- Diesel Mechanic
- Freight Broker
- Marine Service Technician
Skilled trades in the service industry could include job opportunities in healthcare, the beauty industry, culinary arts, and more.
- Veterinary Assistant
- Personal Trainer
- Pharmacy Tech
- Travel Agent
- Restaurant Manager
- Hotel Manager
- Human Resources
- Police Officer
Manufacturing professionals deal with different types of machinery and hands-on labor to create or assemble products.
- Metal Fabricator
- Warehouse Operator
- Material Handler
Benefits of Skilled Trade Jobs
Enter the Workforce Sooner
While many people stigmatize trade schools, they allow students to get the training and education they need faster than they could at a regular college. On average, it takes anywhere from six months to two years for trade school students to complete their training program. After getting their certification, these skilled professionals can immediately start looking for work in their chosen field.
Higher Pay & Less Debt
Many people believe that getting a college education is the only way to find a stable, high-paying career. However, trade workers with the proper skills and experience can receive higher wage offers or set their own rates for their services. Also, trade school credentials are about one-quarter of the cost of a public college degree, so it’s easier for students to graduate debt-free.
Constant Demand & Job Stability
Since so many people, communities and businesses rely on these trained workers, skilled trade jobs are almost always in demand. Researchers estimate that over three million skilled trade jobs will have openings by 2028. As older generations in these professions retire, leaving unfilled positions open, the need for trade professionals will most likely continue to grow.
How to Get a Trade Job
In many cases, you’ll need to complete a specialized training or certification course before you can get a trade job. You can decide to attend a public or private technical college to learn the necessary skills. Some hopefuls choose to become apprentices at their current jobs, join the military or enroll in a work-study program as part of their trade school education.
To attend a trade school, students must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. You can find technical schools in your area by searching online and seeing what programs those colleges offer. Though they are post-secondary institutions, trade schools provide hands-on training and focus their curriculum on specific coursework that is relevant to particular careers.
Attending a trade school can help students achieve some of the best skilled trade jobs available. As soon as a student graduates and obtains their certification, they usually have plenty of valuable work experience under their belts. Sometimes, these industry-ready individuals can bypass entry-level trade jobs and have higher-earning positions from the start.