Trade Work Is Brain Work

You often hear homeowners complain about a trade worker who charged them a lot of money for a taskthat might have taken only a few minutes. What they need to realize is that they aren’t paying for the act of turning a wrench or screwdriver. They are paying someone with specialized knowledge of which nut or screw needs attention. (Plus, the expense of dispatching a truck loaded with tools and materials to the right location.) It’s like visiting a doctor who charges hundreds of dollars for a consultation that ends with telling you to take a few aspirin and get some rest. You’re paying not only for that brief encounter, but for the knowledge gained in years of medical school and internship that enables a physician to correctly (you hope) diagnose what ails you.

It makes me angry when I hear people say that trade work is for people not cut out for college. Dummies cannot succeed in the skilled trades. Many skilled trade workers may not be able to write fancy term papers, but it takes a different kind of intelligence to troubleshoot mechanical and electrical systems and get them working again. It involves logical thinking, sometimes basic math skills and a high mechanical aptitude.

Do not think for a moment that you do not need to be smart to be a plumber, electrician or HVAC technician. Intelligence comes in many different forms and not everyone is cut out to be a skilled trade worker.