Find Out If You’re Cut Out For The Trades

In my last blog I wrote about the importance of having an enthusiastic attitude when applying for an entry-level trade position. Change one letter in that word and you’ll discover one more all-important trait any employer will demand.

That’s aPtitude. Do you have the mechanical skills required to succeed in a skilled trade? If you are handy with tools around your home and like to work on mechanical projects, you probably have what it takes. Many employers will want to find out for sure by having you take a test of mechanical aptitude. This is basically an IQ test except geared toward mechanical concepts.

If you’re unsure whether you make the grade or just want to build confidence in yourself prior to putting your career on the line, there are a variety of free mechanical aptitude tests available online that you can give to yourself.

This link will take you to a 50-question practice test designed to find out if you have a high mechanical aptitude. It may not be the same one an employer might put you through, but if you do well on it, you’ll probably pass muster on most other tests you’re likely to face.

A free mechanical aptitude ebook with sample test questions can be downloaded from this website.

Another website offers insight into your mechanical reasoning skills. Mechanical reasoning generally does not test for verbal ability or math although variations exist that do. There are many topics that mechanical reasoning tests assess, for example electricity, pressure or optics. Here you can access a short free mechanical reasoning test with some questions on gears, pulleys and forces.

Here’s one more online site that sells a mechanical aptitude test for $20, but also offers free practice applicable to a variety of tests.

More generally, the Career OneStop Interest Assessment suggests to you a list of careers that might be a good fit for your interests. A related test available from the same organization is the CareerOneStop Work Values Matcher, in which you answer questions about different aspects of a job or workplace to help you find your ideal work environment.

Do a web search on “mechanical aptitude tests” and you’ll find these and still more free tests you can take to prepare for whatever might be thrown at you by an employer. Some employers may also require you to undergo a hands-on test requiring you to assemble or fix some things. If you really are handy with tools, you’ll likely pass with flying colors.

Good luck as you continue to explore the trades.