Starting From Square 1: Building a Career in the Trades

While starting fresh with a trades career may sound challenging, the payoff can be immense. Jessica Bannister, an HVAC professional, spent over 10 years behind a desk before beginning her apprenticeship in 2018. Jessica grew up thinking the trades weren’t an option for women like her, and is much more happy and fulfilled after making the leap.

Let’s explore how you can start fresh with a career in electrical, plumbing or HVAC. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all path, but these are the most recognized ways to make your trade dreams a reality.

Go to Trade School

If you already have a college degree and a white collar job but want to make the change, you’re not alone. Around 40% of college graduates end up in jobs where a college degree isn’t really necessary, or jobs that don’t provide the variety they are craving. Many students realize much later in the game that they prefer to work with their hands and enjoy the challenges and rewards of trade life. In other words, there is no “wrong” time to enroll in trade school and seek greener pastures.

Trade schools typically last eight months to two years, and are a cost-effective alternative to colleges. Each program is different, but one thing remains constant: trade school can open your life up to incredible opportunities after graduation.

Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships provide a wealth of job-related technical instruction and the chance to build a relationship with a mentor. The length of an apprenticeship varies greatly, but is often measured in the number of hours on the job. Best of all, trade apprenticeships are usually paid and often lead to full-time jobs.

Not Sure Which Trade is Right for You?

Plumbing careers are ideal for those who want to work in industrial warehouses, schools, hospitals, homes and essentially, anywhere that needs clean water. Plumbing apprenticeship jobs typically last 4 years, or 8,000 hours’ worth of classroom and hands-on training.

Electrical careers are always in demand, because we need power and light to keep our world running. Like plumbing jobs, electrician apprenticeship jobs last around 4 years, or 8,000 hours of classroom learning and hands-on work.

HVAC careers ensure that heat, air conditioning and ventilation run smoothly in a variety of environments, such as research labs and office buildings. You start your career as an apprentice, which entails both desk work and on-the-job training. Like plumbing and electrical, HVAC jobs have great compensation and the career growth opportunities are vast.

Seize the Fresh Start You’ve Been Waiting For

Already itching to make the move to the trades? Explore The Trades provides a host of resources, from information about trade schools to a directory of apprenticeships around the country.

You deserve to work in a field you’re wholeheartedly passionate about. Contact us today to learn more!