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If you're considering learning a skilled trade, you're making a smart choice. The world will always need skilled professionals to build, repair, and innovate. However, with so many trades out there, which one is right for you? By asking the right questions, you can identify a career path that not only offers a good income but also resonates with what you love doing.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself:
Work Environment Preferences:
Do you want to work outside or inside?
- Outside: Consider trades like construction, landscaping, or roofing.
- Inside: Explore options like electrician work, plumbing, or HVAC.
Commercial or residential?
- Commercial: Think about jobs like commercial electricians, construction equipment operators, or elevator installers.
- Residential: Home builders, residential electricians, or plumbers might be your path.
Learn more about commercial vs. residential vs. industrial trades
Precision vs. Flexibility:
Do you like high-precision work or larger projects with more wiggle room?
- High Precision: Machinists, watch repair technicians, or tool and die makers may suit you.
- More Wiggle Room: General construction, landscaping, or house painting can be considered.
Are you good at math or struggle with it?
- Good at Math: Electricians, machinists, and architects rely heavily on math.
- Not a Math Fan: Think about painting, landscaping, or carpentry trades.
Repair vs. Creation:
Do you like debugging broken things or building/installing new things
- Debugging: Appliance repair technicians, auto mechanics, or computer repair specialists.
- Building/Installing: Carpenters, masons, or welders.
Comfort with Tight Spaces:
Do you mind crawling under houses or in attics?
- If Yes: Avoid jobs like pest control or HVAC repairs.
- If No: Plumbing or cable installation might be a good fit.
Interactions with People:
Do you like dealing with customers or homeowners directly?
- If Yes: Consider becoming a residential contractor, plumber, or landscaper.
- If No: Trades like welding, machining, or commercial construction may be more suitable.
Do you have a passion or interest in any of the following?
- Electronics: Electricians or electronic repair technicians.
- Woodworking: Carpenters or furniture makers.
- Fixing Leaks: Plumbers.
- Debuggin broken products: Appliance repair technicians.
- Cars: Auto mechanics or body repair professionals.
- Puzzles: Sheet metal work or HVAC
- Setting up smart home devices: Electricians or A/V technicians
- Drywall: Drywall installers or plasterers.
- Climbing: Cell Tower Technician
- And the list goes on...
Skilled trades offer a plethora of options, and the key to success and job satisfaction is finding the one that aligns with your preferences and passions. Answer these bullet-pointed questions, and you'll be well on your way to choosing a trade that you'll excel in and genuinely enjoy.