So, you can’t figure out what you want for a career. No big deal, it happens to the majority of students. If you already know you don’t want to go to a college, and you've realized the trades route is for you, then you’ve made a quite a dent in the whole decision. The next part, though, is deciding which skilled trade is right for you.
Let’s explore the facts and fiction of skilled trades, and why undecided students going into one of the 6.7 million available trade skills jobs may be a good idea.
Shortage of Skilled Workers Can Work to Your Benefit
Currently, there is a shortage of workers and millions of jobs open within the skilled trades. Why is this major skilled tradesman shortage a big deal? Because we also have an aging infrastructure issue here in the United States. Once the craze for college degrees took over, trade school promotion fell to the side. However, our nation would come to a standstill without those who are skilled in the ways of the trades.
It's not reaching to say skilled tradespeople can act as heroes. They often work on the brink of disaster, and some on a daily basis. We've heard many stories of heroism from the medical community lately. We've seen truck drivers and construction workers going above and beyond after hurricanes. And don't forget the firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency responders currently fighting forest fires out west.
Employers are working to attract people to the skilled trades, now more than ever. Sign-on bonuses, higher pay, and better benefits are just a few items they are offering to potential employees.
Why Skilled Trades Are Important
Things break that need fixing. Buildings, bridges, and roads need to be built or rebuilt. Items need to be moved. Who’s going to take care of all that? The plumber. The electrician. The nurse. The truck driver. The IT person. That’s who.
Trades are important because everything in our lives, at some point in their cycle, was touched by a tradesperson. Everything. From the clothes on our backs, to the devices we use, and the buildings we’re in—it was because a tradesperson helped make it available to you in one way or another. And that is why trades are important.
Popular Skilled Trades if You’re Undecided
If you're interested in entering a trade for the fast training and high pay but don't know which one is best for you, take a look at the following selection as a starting point.
These popular skilled trades and medical careers offer job security and good pay:
- Truck Driver: In a nutshell, you take goods from point A and deliver them to point B. You’ll go through a truck driving program that can take 3-6 weeks..
- Carpenter: You use wood and other building materials to create frameworks, structures, and many other things. The typical training is through an apprenticeship, which may include coursework and on-the-job training.
- Electrician: You’ll install, maintain, and repair all types of electrical systems in residential and commercial buildings. You’ll go through an apprenticeship that includes coursework and on-the-job training.
- Welder: You’ll use equipment to join metal parts together. You’ll go through a welding program at a trade school or community college, plus receive on-the-job training.
- HVAC Technician: You’ll work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigerant systems. You can get either a certificate through a trade school or an associate degree from a technical college. There are also apprenticeships available.
- Solar Energy Technician: You are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining solar panels found on structures. This career can be prepared for via a trade school or online college plus on-the-job training. Training takes approximately 13 months.
- Wind Turbine Technician: You’ll install, repair, and maintain wind turbines. You’ll need an associate degree in wind energy technology, plus one year of on-the-job training.
Medical Careers Worth Noting
- Licensed Practical Nurse: As an LPN, you work under the supervision of a registered nurse to provide medical care. It takes one year to earn a certificate, and two years to earn an associate degree. Licensing is required in all states.
- Registered Nurse: You’ll provide patient care, education, advice, and support when you’re a registered nurse. There are three ways to become an RN: certificate, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree. Licensing is required in all states.
- Dental Hygienist: You clean patients’ teeth and educate them on how to maintain good oral hygiene. Dental hygiene programs take three years to complete, and you must be licensed to practice.