It’s a common refrain in high school: go to college so you can get a good job to earn a good income. But what if you don’t want to take more general education classes and spend four years getting a university degree? What if that path is too expensive? What if you’re more interested in an active job that provides income sooner than later?
The skilled trades require reliable workers who are flexible enough to handle computer technology and the physical aspects of doing the work. Key Trend: the need for skilled trades people is growing as older tradespeople retire from their field and our nation’s infrastructure continues to age.
Here are 4 reasons why a skilled trade could be a good career field for you.
You prefer an active job. Not everyone is suited to working at a desk in the corporate world. The skilled trades aren’t filled with grunt work, though. They require knowledge of specific systems and technology. Take HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning), for example. In this field, you could install new energy-efficient systems to comply with new regulations. That requires knowledge of smart technologies and also the ability to put together and install a system. You’re using your brain in an active way.
The training takes less time than college. Most skilled trades require specialized training, but a trade program is shorter than a 4-year degree, and some training occurs out in the field. If you can secure a journeyman apprentice position, either through an apprentice program or with an employer, you can be learning on the job as you earn a paycheck earlier than your college peers.
Skilled trades employment opportunities aren’t going anywhere. We will always need our HVAC technicians, welders, and electricians to repair and install systems. As a result, these careers may provide steady job security. Plus, demographic research is showing that young people aren’t going into the trades fast enough to replace those retiring out of these fields. Even in the event of an economic downturn that might put something like new construction on hold, existing infrastructures such as residential and commercial real estate will still need repairs and retrofits to update to new standards for efficiency.
You could be your own boss. Down the road, once you’ve got training and solid experience under your belt, you could start your own small business if that’s something you want to do. To run a successful business, you need to be reliable and able to handle the business side of things, but running your own company as a contractor or subcontractor is certainly an option in the trades. At some point, everyone needs a skilled electrician to add or replace lighting fixtures, right? You could be the dependable business owner everyone calls.
If the thought of going to traditional 4-year college doesn’t appeal, take a look at the skilled trades. They may offer you a solid career path. Fortis offers programs in HVAC, welding, and electrical systems. Learn more about our programs here, or call 1-855-436-7847 to talk to an admissions advisor.