Despite what you may have heard, upward mobility is not limited to white collar jobs and people with 4-year college degrees. In fact, trade schools open many doors to career advancement, training opportunities, and upward mobility in their varying fields.
What is Upward Mobility in a Job?
Upward mobility refers to the potential for an employee to begin a career, usually at “entry-level”, and work their way up in rank, gaining more responsibility, experience, and a more favorable salary. It exists in many industries, and the trades are no exception.
If you’re someone who has always felt compelled to undertake a trade, but has also experienced pressure to attend a 4-year university you don’t hold the same passion for– have no fear! Trade schools offer hands-on education with a lower tuition rate, and leave much room for future success.
Skilled Trades and Medical Careers with Upward Mobility
There is potential for upward mobility in most trades. And since many trade schools offer medical career training, we added information about a couple medical careers too. The processes differ depending on which industry you choose.
Provided below are just some examples detailing how your career can advance through the years in a given career.
Upward Mobility in Plumbing
If you decide you’d like to pursue plumbing, you will typically begin your education at a vocational school or community college. In school, you can enhance your understanding of algebra, geometry, and thermodynamics. Once you complete your education, you will likely begin an apprenticeship where you experience on-site training, guidance from a master plumber, and an introduction to OSHA regulations along with state codes.
Not only is an apprenticeship required for anyone wishing to become a licensed plumber, but it is an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge and gain experience. Before you take your license exam, you will typically be required to complete 2-5 years of an apprenticeship.
Passing this license exam is your next step to becoming a journeyman plumber who can work independently across residential and commercial settings. You can choose to maintain journeyman status, or you may opt to advance to master plumber.
After earning a journeyman’s license, you may be required to work 4-5 additional years (depending on your state), before you are considered eligible to take another certification test. Passing this will allow you to advance as a master plumber, although some states may require additional training or background checks.
As a master plumber, you can perform more extensive services, oversee and guide apprentices, manage a crew, and even open your own business if you choose. Plumbing is a rewarding career path to take with many possibilities.
If you are interested in training towards an apprenticeship, our partner school Porter and Chester offers plumbing courses.
Upward Mobility in Medical Billing and Coding
Enrolling into a medical billing and coding program can also provide you with ample opportunities for future advancement. Medical billers collect patient and insurance information and input it into billing software to generate invoices. Whereas medical coders extract information from a patient’s medical record, translate that information into medical codes, and submit it to insurance companies.
Both are rewarding career paths that offer many remote work options, flexibility, and excellent growth potential. You will be required to enroll in a medical billing and coding program. The good news is, most are online, and some can be completed in as few as 10 months!
Once you complete your program, the next step will be to seek an entry-level position. After working in the field for a few years, you will be eligible to take additional certification exams. While these exams are not required, they strengthen your resume, expand your overall knowledge, and leave room for growth in the medical administration department.
As you receive additional certifications and your skill set becomes more refined, you have the potential to progress toward becoming a healthcare administrator, or even applying for a role in the management of medical facilities. If being involved in the behind-the-scenes of healthcare is an interest of yours, and you’re also seeking the capacity to advance in your chosen career path, medical billing and coding may be for you!
Apply today to one of our partner medical career training schools.
Upward Mobility as an HVAC Technician
HVAC training will not only benefit those who would like to become a technician– it will also serve as a stepping stone for those whose goal it is to advance in the field. Like any profession, there are steps to take before elevating your career. They can all, however, set you up for success in reaching your end goal.
You will be required to possess at least a high school diploma, or a GED equivalent. Since the field is becoming increasingly competitive, you may be encouraged to further your education by obtaining either an associates degree or certificate. Although degrees aren’t always required, many employers prefer applicants with the knowledge that an accredited school can provide.
You will likely be required to undertake an apprenticeship or another form of on-the-job training before you are eligible for a certification exam. Apprenticeships can last between 3-5 years, provide hands-on experience, and prepare you for what a future in HVAC will entail.
Once you pass your certification exam and have a few years of experience under your belt, you may be qualified to opt for additional certifications which can advance your career beyond technician. Opportunities can range from becoming an HVAC superintendent, to a project manager, or even specializing as a duct mechanic. Requirements for these different positions vary, but they all stem from starting your career as an HVAC technician.
If you are interested in the many opportunities an HVAC career can offer you, apply to one of our partner schools near you today.
Upward Mobility as a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are professionals who can also anticipate a fulfilling— and growing– career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for dental assistants is expected to increase by 11% between now and 2030.
First, you will want to complete a dental assistant program. These programs are offered either by trade schools or community colleges. If you choose to enroll in a trade school, your program can take as little as 10 months to compete. If you decide to register through a community college, it may take closer to 2 years before you graduate. Both educational paths however, lead to the same end goal.
Whether or not you end up needing to take a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, depends on the state you live in. Some states will require certification to work as a dental assistant, while others will not. However, if you live in a state where certification isn’t required, it may still be a good idea to take your CDA. Certified dental assistants tend to earn a higher salary than uncertified dental assistants.
As you gain experience, you have the potential to advance your career at a dental office. You could become an Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA), a dental office team administrator, a dental consultant, or even—a dentist. It’s fairly common for dental assistants to further their career by deciding to become dentists themselves.
Browse through our partner dental training schools to learn about dental assistant programs that are available in your area.
Your Options are not Limited!
What people aren’t told enough is that your opportunities in the trades leave much room for growth. A large part of moving higher up in any industry is gaining the experience you need to do so.
You could become a master plumber owning your own enterprise, decide to pursue healthcare facilities management, become an HVAC project manager, or advance your position as a dental consultant. You may also decide that you enjoy working as a journeyman plumber, medical biller or coding specialist, an HVAC technician, or a dental assistant. It’s all up to you!
If you find that you like the idea of working in the trade industry, but are unsure of where to begin, take a look at “Good Skilled Trades to Consider if You’re Undecided” for some guidance.
- How to Become a Plumber in 2021
- 16 Great Reasons to Start a Medical Billing and Coding Career
- Medical Billing and Certified Coding Specialist