For those interested in entering the world of skilled trade professionals, it can be a challenge to figure out how to become a tradesman—where to start, what skills to learn, etc. Without a close relative or friend with experience working in a trade, it can be difficult for a novice to understand how the process works.
Attending a Trade School vs a College
In recent years, attending a trade school with the goal of becoming a skilled tradesman is often deterred among attending an institute of higher education, like a college or university. The fact is, these two paths are fairly similar.
In each case, the goal is to invest time and money in oneself 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 trade are:
- Time: College education typically takes 4 years or more. Attending trade school typically take months up to two years before completing one’s training.
- Financial investment: Costs for training at a trade school are a fraction of college expenses.
- Hands-on work aspect: A trade school works with students both in the classroom and with hands-on training working on the same tools and equipment one would use out on the job.
- Ease of the job search: After completing training, a trade school graduate is searching for specific positions, such as welding, not just “a job that fits with a degree.”
It is often much easier for a skilled tradesman to find work than it is for 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/her career but knowing exactly what they can do allows the tradesman to focus their 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
The big question is, what are the exact steps for someone who wants to become a tradesman. Simply put, there are two steps in becoming a tradesman:
- 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 certification testing in a fraction of the time of an apprenticeship
- Learn career skills, not just technical skills – Trade schools do more than teaching 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 the right answer, then the biggest decision before you is deciding on a trade. New Castle School of Trades staff are able to provide information regarding the different trades you might be interested in and are 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!