Learning a trade is one of the best ways to pursue a lucrative and fulfilling career path. 72 Trades To Learn for a Successful Trade Career. If this sounds appealing to you, there are many different trades that you can consider in a wide variety of industries. By examining the many trade options available, you can find the best possible trade career for you. In this article, we discuss what trades are and share some of the most popular trades across various industries.
What are trades?
Trades are industries that call for one or more highly specialized skills. Often, trade professionals attend a vocational or trade school where they receive focused education in their chosen field to learn these skills. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are other popular methods of learning a new trade.
Trades exist across a broad range of industries. This means that a professional can seek a trade that they find appealing to have a career that is both financially and professionally satisfying.
What are the benefits of learning a trade?
If you’re considering a career in a trade field, knowing some of the best reasons to pursue a trade can help you determine if it’s the right path for you. The top benefits of learning a trade include:
Because most trades do not require a college degree, trade professionals can often enter into their careers without collecting much student loan debt. By studying at a less-expensive trade school or progressing directly into a career out of high school, trade professionals can save a significant amount of money compared to individuals who pursue careers that require college degrees.
Start earning young
Entering into the workforce without debt isn’t the only financial benefit of not attending a college or university. Most trades allow workers to begin straight after high school or after a trade program that usually lasts for less than two years. This allows trade professionals to begin earning full-time wages at an age where their peers are still attending school.
High earning potential
Although trade professions often do not require a degree, many still have earning potentials that equal or exceed the average salaries of individuals who earn higher education like a bachelor’s degree. Many trade industries are also backed by unions that fight for high salaries. You may even be able to start your own company someday when you have more experience, which could be extremely lucrative.
Most trades involve working with your hands to build, install or create, and this makes for a career that many trade professionals find to be highly satisfying. Many trades are also held in high esteem, allowing individuals who work in them to feel a great deal of pride in their work.
Although advancing technology is leading to enhanced automation in many industries, the majority of trade jobs project strong prospects in the future. By mastering a trade, you learn skills that will be useful for the entirety of your professional career.
11 skilled medical trades
While the first medical jobs most people think of all require extensive education in college and graduate school, many of the crucial roles in medical facilities are carried out by trade professionals. The medical industry is an excellent field with career options that can be both financially rewarding and personally fulfilling since your job is to provide important medical care that has a tangible effect on your patients’ lives. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Popular medical trade careers include:
Emergency medical technician
National average salary: $17.98 per hour
Primary duties: An emergency medical technician responds to calls for emergency healthcare. An EMT arrives at the scene of medical emergencies to stabilize and treat individuals and transport them to the hospital if further treatment is required.
National average salary: $44.95 per hour
Primary duties: An occupational therapist works with individuals who have diminished physical capabilities. These therapists create and oversee treatment plans that use exercises to help patients build their motor skills so that they can perform more basic life skills without assistance.
Read more: Learn About Being an Occupational Therapist
Additional skilled medical trades
If you’re interested in pursuing a medical trade, other options include:
- Cardiovascular technician
- Dental hygienist
- Licensed practical nurse
- Medical lab technician
- Physical therapist
- Radiation therapist
- Registered nurse
- Respiratory therapist
14 skilled residential trades
One of the safest routes for pursuing a career is to pick a trade skill that applies to a residential setting. Because homeowners need experts to deliver the quality work their homes require, residential trades are rated well for prospects. Residential trades are typically hands-on jobs that provide a great deal of satisfaction when properly executed. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Top residential trade skills include:
National average salary: $23.76 per hour
Primary duties: An electrician installs and repairs electrical systems in buildings. In addition to interpreting technical documents and ensuring that complex electrical systems are created accurately, electricians may be tasked with planning out new electrical installations in a building.
Read more: Learn About Being an Electrician
National average salary: $24.23 per hour
Primary duties: Plumbers are responsible for the installation and maintenance of plumbing systems in homes. Plumbers primarily work with the pipes in a building that transport water, but they may also provide repairs to the outlets and fixtures in a home’s plumbing system.
Read more: Learn About Being a Plumber
Additional skilled residential trades
For more options in residential fields, consider one of these trades:
- Carpet installer
- Construction worker
- Home inspector
- Mechanical installer
- Mechanical insulator
18 skilled energy and industrial trades
If you’re interested in a career where you get to perform a lot of hands-on physical work, then energy and industrial jobs may be a great fit. Many trades in these fields allow you to spend most of your day doing manual labor in an outdoor setting. Although the shape of the energy industry is changing, there is still a need for energy jobs, making it a secure sector to pursue work in. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Top energy and industrial jobs include:
National average salary: $18.35 per hour
Primary duties: A mechanic is responsible for maintaining cars, trucks and other automobiles. Mechanics are responsible for examining vehicles to identify potential problems and repairing any issues they discover. Many mechanics work on a broad range of vehicles, but they may also opt to specialize in a specific manufacturer or vehicle style to gain enhanced mastery in their trade.
Read more: Learn About Being an Auto Mechanic
National average salary: $20.84 per hour
Primary duties: A solar installer is responsible for the installation and maintenance of solar panel systems. In addition to caring for panels, a solar installer may be responsible for meeting with property owners to discuss solar options and ensuring that all installations follow safety and local zoning regulations.
Additional skilled energy and industrial trades
Here are more industrial and energy field trades you can pursue:
- Auto service technician
- CNC machine tool programmer
- Diesel mechanic
- Electrical power-line technician
- Extraction worker
- HVAC mechanic
- Heavy machine operator
- Marine mechanic
- Rotary drill operator
- Wind energy technician
8 skilled cosmetic trades
The beauty industry has a longstanding trade tradition, with specialized skill sets that allow clients to receive the best possible styling care. Whether you prefer working with skin, hair or nails, there are many different routes to pursuing a cosmetic trade. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Top cosmetic trade skills include:
National average salary: $18.66 per hour
Primary duties: An aesthetician is a skincare professional who specializes in helping clients achieve cleaner and clearer skin with fewer blemishes. Aestheticians perform a variety of skincare procedures on clients, including applying cleansers, clearing blocked pores and using lotions to promote healthy skin. An aesthetician also gives recommendations to clients for home skincare plans to maintain their skin between appointments.
Read more: Learn About Being an Aesthetician
Hair color specialist
National average salary: $19.27 per hour
Primary duties: A hair color specialist helps customers achieve the hair looks they desire by applying bleaches and dyes. To succeed as a hair color specialist, an individual should master many different types of coloring to create a range of looks, from single-color dyes to gradient-style effects.
Additional skilled cosmetic trades
If helping others look and feel great appeals to you, here are more trades to consider:
8 skilled technology trades
The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing markets, and that remains true for trade positions as well. Technological trade professionals possess skills that allow them to excel in a variety of critical technology jobs. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
If you are fond of working with modern technology, one of these modern tech trades may be the right fit for you:
National average salary: $3,351 per month
Primary duties: A graphic designer is responsible for creating visual art for branding, marketing and other commercial purposes. They often use computer software to design graphics that appeal to their clients. Graphic designers might create things like magazines, advertisements, websites, brochures and logos.
Read more: Learn About Being a Graphic Designer
National average salary: $77,166 per year
Primary duties: A web developer uses code to build websites and other online platforms in a user-friendly way. In addition to working on current projects, a web developer is also tasked with remaining up to date on new online coding languages and maintaining websites to ensure they perform optimally.
Read more: Learn About Being a Web Developer
Additional skilled technology trades
Technologically inclined professionals may excel in one of these tech trades:
- App developer
- Database administrator
- Game developer
- Search engine optimization specialist
- Software developer
- Tech support specialist
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13 additional skilled trades
The value of mastering a trade skill is not confined to a select group of industries because trade talents are needed in countless fields. Each of these trade skills requires expertise in a specific craft and provides the opportunity for a successful and rewarding career. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the national average salary link for each job title below.
Additional skilled trades to consider include:
National average salary: $33,439 per year
Primary duties: A locksmith is responsible for installing new locks and replacing old locks that no longer function. A locksmith may also be called by a client who has lost the key or combination to a lock or has locked their keys inside of a building or vehicle. The locksmith uses specialized tools to open locks without the proper key or code.
National average salary: $60,954 per year
Primary duties: A commercial truck driver is responsible for safely transporting shipments from one place to another. To be hired as a commercial trucker, a driver must first learn the specialized skills required to drive a large truck and then earn the appropriate type of license. Truck driving often requires long hours to meet delivery targets.
Read more: Learn About Being a Truck Driver
Additional skilled trades
There are many excellent trade options to consider as a career, including:
- Air traffic controller
- Commercial driver
- Elevator installer
- Interior design
- Massage therapist
- Pet groomer
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