Tips to Help You Find Trade Jobs
Experienced, Skilled Laborers are Highly Sought-After
All too often, we tend to impress upon our youth that, after completing high school, they must attend college. However, college isn’t for everyone. Here at Shamrck, we know how true that statement is. Shamrck encourages students to choose their own path. And that path may be to continue their education in college, but we are just as dedicated to students pursuing trade jobs. By attending vocational or technical schools they can further their education in a particular skill or field to begin the career that is right for them.
Entering a career in a trade can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience that also provides plenty of opportunities, high salary potential, and job stability. Trades are in high demand, creating more security and options. Trade schools typically have the advantage of lower cost and less time than the traditional four-year university experience. Many trade programs require a year or less of training or education and sometimes a company may even train you on the job with paid apprenticeships. Some trades require only a high-school diploma and on-the-job training to get an entry level position in a great field. However, one should be mindful of the need to eventually continue their education in various ways to stay competitive in their field and advance to higher pay opportunities.
What is a trade job?
A trade job is defined as a job that requires a particular specialized skill or skillset. Skills for trade jobs can be learned through experience, apprenticeships, or vocational schools. One unique and appealing aspect of skill-based careers is that employment in a trade career does not require a college degree.
Trade jobs are some of the most in-demand careers right now as there is a shortage of skilled laborers, making you a hot commodity. These jobs can be found across many industries and offer a wide range of pay rates, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. You will need more than just natural talent or skill to succeed in a skill-based career. It takes hard work too, testing you physically and mentally, which is a rewarding rarity in today’s workforce. Skilled occupations require an individual with patience and dedication. A trade offers you great opportunities that can lead into other career options or even entrepreneurship!
What Should You Do To Become a Trade Worker?
Meet the Educational Requirements
Fulfill the basic education requirements that you will need to pursue an apprenticeship or technical school by finishing your high school diploma or GED. Also, keeping your grades and test scores higher may make you more appealing for apprenticeships.
Next, you may choose to enroll in a community college or technical school. While this level of education is not necessary for all trades, it can certainly help.
Identify Skills and Interests
Choose between the different skilled labor jobs by identifying what skills you have and what interests you. Being able to distinguish what area you may enjoy and excel in is really the first step towards pursuing a trade career. Shamrck’s goal is to help people to find a career path that is the right fit for them based on their unique interests. Once you have taken the Shamrck assessment, you will have a clearer picture of your aptitudes and options to pursue the career that is going to be the most fulfilling and interesting to you. Once you have your Shamrck personalized learning plan, a great way to get a jump on the career you want is to begin by taking vocational courses. You may even want to enroll in a vocational high school to focus on your interests.
Make an effort to improve your skills by practicing. Many of the skills you need for an apprenticeship or technical school are started at home or in life skills classes in high school. For example, perhaps you take Woodshop class and realize how much you enjoy it (identifying your interest), taking more available classes and continuing to develop your skills at home gives you a leg up. Make the internet your friend to learn new tips, new practice projects, and, of course, safety.
Pursue Postsecondary Education
If you’re interested in a more hands-on learning experience, trade and vocational schools may be the perfect fit. Vocational programs are less expensive and quicker than four years at an accredited institution. The obvious advantage of trade school is that it is applicable to your career, fits your interests, and provides you with valuable, real world information to use in your chosen field.
Even if you do not want to spend two years on an Associate’s Degree, there are still many options available to you through your local community college. They may offer training programs and certificates to help you land an entry level position in a terrific skill-based career in as little as three to twelve weeks. Other high-paying job certificates can take under six months. For example, you could become a certified Electrician, with an estimated annual salary of approximately $56,000, in four months.
Network With People In The Field You’re Interested In
Employers, local trade associations, and other professional groups, such as unions, can help you to find opportunities and learn more about what it takes to be successful in the industry. They can also connect you to training programs.
- Research local job boards: If you’re looking for an entry level position or just starting out in your career, try researching your local job boards. You might find listings for apprenticeships, internships, or even volunteer positions where you can get paid while gaining work experience!
- Talk with friends and family members about what they do. Ask around to see if any of your family members or close friends know someone who is actively hiring in that field.
Seek Out Apprenticeships or Internships to “Learn by Doing”
Apprenticeships are often a formal requirement to kick off your career as a skilled laborer. Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for on-the-job training, where you can be paid to learn from professionals in the field in real work situations, and completing classroom training. There are usually a great deal of paid apprenticeship positions available through local trade unions. You may also be able to find an apprenticeship program that’s run by a local employer, for instance a contractor. Programs that allow you to work alongside seasoned tradesmen and further develop your skills is an invaluable investment in your future career.
Put In The Effort So You Can Move Up The Ladder
- Become a Journeyman
- After completing an apprenticeship, you can become a journeyman. That means you have completed on-the-job training and passed necessary examinations. Once becoming a journeyman you can retain your own license to work under, rather than having to work under the license of a master tradesman.
- Become a Master Tradesman
- The next step is to dedicate years of work to your trade, further your education, and complete necessary testing to become a master of your trade. This is a supervisory position that provides higher pay and the ability to open your own business.
- Getting a license to practice your trade.
- While the time to obtain a license varies between trades, they generally require more classroom time, sitting a license exam, and completing a certain number of hours of work verified by the master you work under.
- Join a union or professional association
- Many skilled workers choose to join labor unions. Unions seek to protect tradesmen’s interests by negotiating for safer working conditions, benefits, and wages.
- Continue your education
- Don’t stop just because you got the job you wanted. Continue your education in whatever way you would like so that you can advance further in your career. Degrees, certifications, and licenses help you to increase your wages, benefits, and maybe even successfully open your own business in your chosen field.
If you are looking for a career that will provide stability and long-term opportunities, consider pursuing a trade or skilled profession. There is nothing wrong with changing careers later in life to pursue something more fulfilling – but it’s never too early to start thinking about what you want out of your work now.
Trade jobs are an excellent way to make a living. They give you the opportunity to use your hands and be creative and the ability to make money doing what you love. If you want more information on trade jobs or if you need help deciding which one that might suit you, Shamrck provides personalized learning plans and local resources tailored to your interests. Visit the Shamrck platform to help you consider your options and decide what skilled profession is right for you.
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