What Does It Take To Start A Career In The Trades?

What Does It Take To Start A Career In The Trades?

by bmedia | December 8, 2020 | Blog Career Opportunity Electrical HVAC Plumbing Skilled Trades | 0 Comments

Working in the trades is a rewarding experience. You closely interact with customers, playing both technical and customer service roles. You are also able to set flexible hours, and you aren’t stuck sitting behind a desk for the rest of your life. If this sounds like the lifestyle and work culture you are looking for, you should consider a career in the trades. Explore The Trades takes a look at the process that is required to become a trades professional, and how you can get started, below.

Pick Your Career

There are many careers in the trades, but here we will focus on three of the biggest, most accessible, and most popular (not to mention best paying) trades you can work in.

Electricians work closely with many different areas of every community, from common fixes to helping businesses and houses being built. These professionals work with their hands, and have basic understanding of how circuits and complex systems work. Electricians can work with very high-voltage projects which can be rewarding, but dangerous. It is important to undergo proper training and on-the-job work before becoming a journeyman electrician.

Plumbing is another area that individuals can choose when entering the trades. Plumbers work closely with individuals who are remodeling or building spaces, as well as those that have special work that needs to be done on water, steam, sewage, and other projects. Plumbers have a wide variety of jobs that they handle, from in-home plumbers that help with issues, to commercial plumbers that solve complex problems for businesses and sometimes even local government.

HVAC Technicians are another excellent option for becoming a trades professional. These individuals work with heating and cooling systems, and often get to see the immediate gratification of their work from a broken A/C system or making sure a heater is working in the winter. HVAC Technicians also deal with ventilation in commercial spaces, and help plan out heating, cooling, and exhaust systems in large buildings.

Training For Your Trade

There are several ways to get started towards a trade position. There are many vocational and trades schools that offer programs which provide in-depth training and knowledge in a short amount of time. These are generally the more expensive options, and for certain positions may be required, but also are the shorter route as they focus more intensely on the trade.

Apprenticeships are another way to focus on training and getting the experience you need to start a trade. While the scope of apprenticeships is generally limited to the position the individual or individuals you are training under know, it is an in-depth look, and can often pay a reduced amount of money while you learn.

Most learning solutions are a hybrid of both of these pathways, giving starting trades members a broad and rigorous general overview in school programs. Following that, individuals will choose a journeyman or master to train under in a more specific position they wish to specialize in and pursue.


As with any job, having the credentials to show clients and peers that you have the knowledge and skills to do the job is critical. The trades are no exception, and it may even be more important. Certification tests ensure that professionals are compliant with local, state, and national rules. This also ensures that each individual is vetted before going out and working on systems that could cause injury or death.

Each state has different certifications for becoming a licensed trade professional. Most involve at least one test with proof of on-the-job training. Check with your state’s government, or your mentor, in order to learn what you need to do to become certified.

Build Your Experience With Explore The Trades

After becoming certified, you can then go out and utilize skills and start building a career to become a journeyman, and eventually a master in that trade. For resources on specific vertices within your chosen trade, and to see career paths and average salaries, trust Explore The Trades. We have the resources, knowledge, and connections to help you bolster the future of your career. Learn more about us, and how we can help, on our website https://explorethetrades.org/.