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While working as a skilled tradesman is the career option most often contrasted with attending an institute of higher education, like a college or university, the fact is that these two paths are really fairly similar.
In each case, the goal is to invest time and money in yourself for the purpose of securing full-time employment, hopefully, job satisfaction and a comfortable quality of life. In each case, a student will begin knowing little and complete a basic course of study, which lays the foundation for more advanced learning.
The major differences between college and entering work in a trade are:
- Time: You can begin making money in a trade within weeks or months of starting your training
- Financial investment: Cost for training is a fraction of college expenses
- Hands-on work aspect: In a trade, you use your mind and your hands
- Ease of the job search: Searching for specific positions, not just “a job that fits”
A fact that may surprise many is that it is often much easier for a skilled tradesman to find work than it is someone with a college degree. Discounting some of the “hard science” majors like engineering, much of what is taught in college is theoretical. Students are given a very wide base of knowledge that they should be able to use in a large number of fields.
By contrast, studying a skilled trade prepares students to perform a very specific set of tasks and to become highly proficient in them. A tradesman may diversify his skillset later in his career, but knowing exactly what he can do allows the tradesman to focus his employment search on specific jobs. It also lets employers know precisely what they are getting when they hire a tradesman to perform a job.
Steps to Becoming a Tradesman
So the big question is, what the exact steps are for someone who wants to become a tradesman. There are, in the simplest view, two steps in becoming a tradesmen
- Decide upon a trade
- Attending a trade school or securing an apprenticeship
Top Benefits of Choosing a Trade School Over an Apprenticeship
- Jumpstart your career path quickly – With a streamlined training process from skilled instructors, trade schools can prepare you to take your Journeyman examination in a fraction of the time of an apprenticeship
- Learn career skills, not just technical skills – Trade schools do more than teach you technical skills, they can teach the skills you need to land that new job, such as resume writing, interviewing skills, etc.
- Enter the job field with greater experience and value than a new apprentice – Apprenticeships can often take as much as four years! Trade school graduates can enter the workforce ahead of the apprentices with dedication and proper training.
The decision to attend a trade school, and which trade school to attend, can make a significant difference in your career path.
The Easy Decision – Start Your Future Today
If you know that working as a skilled tradesman is for you, then the biggest decision before you is deciding on a trade.
To get started in your career, contact New Castle School of Trades for more information and career path advice. Call us at 1-800-837-8299 to learn more about the programs we offer. Our staff is also able to provide information regarding the different trades you might be interested in and is happy to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can.
You are your own best bet for the future, invest in yourself today!