Great Trades Careers That Welcome Diverse Professional Backgrounds
Many men and women who work in the trades have interesting stories to tell — not just because they’ve seen a lot of interesting things on the job, but because they each have unique and diverse backgrounds. The nature of plumbing, electrical and HVAC work allows for people with all professional backgrounds and experiences to be successful.
Considering a plumbing, electrical or HVAC career change can be intimidating. Thankfully, skilled apprenticeship opportunities and on-the-job training make this career change a viable and realistic option. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the construction industry will grow between 8 – 9 % by 2030. These jobs will always be needed and provide steady employment and growth opportunities, which make them ideal positions for those looking to change careers.
How to Begin a Trades Career
Even if your professional background isn’t in a skilled trade, you can still be successful in the industry. Most of the technical knowledge that is required for a trade career is taught on the job, typically during an apprenticeship. For many apprenticeships, the highest education level required is a high school diploma; the majority of your classroom learning and skills training is done on the job. On average, apprenticeships last about 8,000 hours, which equals to be around four years. Skilled apprenticeships are a centuries-old tradition that teaches knowledge of a trade as well as skills needed to work in the trade. A traditional career path for those in the trades begins in an apprenticeship, then moves to a journeyman license and finally to a master license. This applies to many trades, including plumbing, electrical and heating and cooling.
What Skills Are Needed?
Interestingly enough, many experienced tradespeople say that soft skills are a more helpful tool than technical knowledge when first entering the trade industry. After all, your “office” as a plumber, electrician or HVAC technician isn’t an office at all but people’s homes. Communication and interpersonal skills are essential to communicate with homeowners and accurately describe issues and provide a diagnosis.
It is important to be able to be friendly and able to converse with homeowners and people of all types and backgrounds. Approachability and customer service are key components to being in this field. It is also important to stay open-minded and be ready to learn on the job. It is hard to think of every possible thing that trade workers will encounter, so a sense of flexibility and humility helps keep you level-headed and ready for anything.
What Trade is Right for You?
So, what trades should you consider, and how do you even get started on your career change? When you begin to think about your new career path, it is important to think about what the work will consist of, and what you may want to do on a daily basis. For example, most plumbers work indoors, working on pipes in small spaces to get a job done. Air conditioning repair may have work to do outdoors and indoors, and electricians’ jobs consist of a variety of electrical hookups in different and sometimes unique situations. It is all up to you to consider what skills and knowledge you may already have, and what you can see yourself doing and being passionate about.
Begin Your Trades Career with Help from Explore the Trades
The next step to take is to reach out to Explore The Trades. We have built a national reputation of introducing the next generation of trades workers to the industry. No matter your professional background and experience, we can help you get started on finding the best opportunities in the industry. When you’re ready to make the change, contact us.