Trade jobs or “blue-collar” work can be a very fulfilling career path. “White-collar” jobs or corporate desk jobs are often touted as being a better option, but this isn’t always the case. Trade work can be a great first step into the broader world of work. It can also come with a set of important benefits which are often overlooked.
Trade Jobs: A Practical Skill Set
Trade jobs are usually focused on a particular industry (e.g., landscaping, air-conditioning, or refrigeration). A great many life skills can be learned on the job, especially during an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. This can include basic life skills like administration, banking, client invoicing, and management.
Trade Jobs: Good Income Expectations
White-collar jobs have traditionally been celebrated as high-paying and preferable to blue-collar work. However, in the modern job market, blue-collar work can provide competitive income opportunities (or better) than white-collar work and even better job security.
Trade Jobs: Paid Training Opportunities vs. Paying For College
One of the main reasons Trade jobs trump white-collar work is the difference in training. For white-collar work, you usually need to attend a college or training school that you will have to pay to get a degree or certificate to prove you are qualified. This situation is completely reversed when it comes to trade jobs. When training for a trade, trade jobs usually pay employees for the work they do while they learn about their trade.
Trade Jobs: Run Your Own Business
Skilled tradespeople are in demand in the job market. There aren’t enough skilled trade experts working today and, with much older tradespeople nearing retirement, the opportunities for tradespeople are increasing.
Possibly the best aspect of becoming a tradesperson is the ability to run your own business and to contract for work with clients. That’s right, once you are a qualified tradesman or tradeswoman, YOU are the boss. The hard yards done in on-the-job training or apprenticeship will lead you to establish your own clients and business network. Once you are niched and have found the aspect of the work you are most proficient at, the sky is the limit for how far you can go as small businesses can be very lucrative.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the sorts of jobs that are demanding skilled tradespeople now.
We used to say that ink was the lifeblood of civilization, but in today’s digital, power-hungry age, the same is true of electricity. No electrician–no technology boom, it’s as simple as that.
Working as an electrician means doing maintenance and installation work involving electrical supply to a building. Each job, each location and each requirement may be different, and with the huge demand for this kind of skilled worker, you may find yourself considering opportunities across the country. This trade commands a higher-than-average income as the skillset requires some training and a recognized qualification.
Concrete Masonry Worker
Concrete masons specialize in working with concrete to build building foundations, roads, architecture and engineering projects, drives, and roads. Think, if you can, of a form of construction that doesn’t involve concrete… Exactly. One source even suggests that masonry jobs are growing at an alarming rate in the US, encouraging news for any aspirant mason out there.
From air-conditioning units to boilers, from gigantic factory machines to construction work, insulators work across many industries in tandem with other trades. Insulators use practical and critical skills to assess the correct materials required to insulate machinery, piping, and ducts and safely insulate the required surfaces. This is a fairly unique role in trade jobs, and there is no shortage of work for this trade.
A mechanic, or service technician, is a professional tradesperson who repairs and maintains vehicles, trucks, and industrial machines. Mechanics ensure that machinery is running optimally by providing preventative maintenance and servicing on vehicles or fleets. This industry is always in high demand, and mechanics, especially experienced or niched tradespeople, are highly sought after.