Speak to a College Advisor
Call 888-652-3494

Back to top

Trade Jobs and Careers: Learning the Basics

For some people, a day’s work is not complete if it doesn't involve getting their hands dirty or breaking a sweat. If you are a “get down and get dirty” kind of person, you might pursue a career in auto mechanics, electrical work, carpentry or plumbing, among many others. There are nearly 6,000 vocational and technical schools in the US, which can provide you with the information and training you need to break into these fields.

Skilled trade jobs are currently in high demand, but trade careers have become less popular in favor of professional office positions, and this is causing a nation-wide shortage in several of these fields. Some companies are concerned that soon they will not have enough skilled workers, making careers in the trades a hot commodity. If you’ve been putting off your college search, consider training for one of the many trade jobs available instead.

Skilled Trades in Demand

Did you know that skilled tradesmen can earn over $40,000 a year? That is the same salary as entry-level teachers and accountants who may have to pay student loan debt from four or five years of college tuition. However, trade careers typically only require a two-year degree or short-term certification program, which can be much less expensive to complete than a four-year bachelor's degree.

There are a variety of skilled trade jobs to choose from, such as those that will allow you to explore your artistic side, like cabinetmaking, woodworking or architectural drafting. If you love plants, working as a landscaper or in a plant nursery might be a sound choice. Or if you enjoy animals, you could become an animal trainer or veterinary assistant. There are also plenty of technical trade jobs, such as HVAC repairoffice machine repair or masonry. If you think a skilled trade career is for you, explore a few of your options below:


  • Auto mechanics- Mechanics, also called automotive service technicians, find satisfaction in the repair and servicing of automobiles and light trucks. Mechanics must have in-depth knowledge about how vehicles work in order to fix broken parts, as well as perform routine care that keeps cars and trucks running smoothly and efficiently.
  • Electricians- While the main responsibilities of an electrician are to install and maintain electrical systems, specific systems can range from climate control to security to communications. Some electricians specialize in preventive maintenance, where they routinely inspect equipment and search for problems before systems break down.
  • Carpenter- The building trades might be a good fit if you receive satisfaction from building structures. Most building trade positions are in carpentry. Carpenters are people who cut, shape, and assemble wood to construct buildings or create other products, such as cabinets and doors. Carpenters work on construction sites, inside buildings, in factories, and in small woodworking shops. The vast majority of individuals employed as carpenters work for contractors who build, remodel or repair buildings and other structures.

Hot Trade Jobs

Here is just a small list of some of the skilled trade jobs that are available today:

Are you interested in challenging and physical work outside of a traditional office environment? Then you might find that a trade career is the best way to satisfy these needs. Your first step to a trade job is to begin investigating career colleges for programs in the trades that work best for you. Search for schools today!

Search for schools

Trade & Vocational Colleges in Your Area

Provo College

With thousands of graduates along the Wasatch Front, Provo College is a leader in career education in Utah. Gain real-world experience in the classroom and through externships that can evolve into full-time positions. You’ll learn from experienced faculty to enter the workforce with confidence.

Blue Cliff College

Blue Cliff College is committed to using its human and physical resources to provide services to our students that facilitate personal growth, professional development, and a sense of responsibility.

Branford Hall Career Institute

Branford Hall Career Institute instructs you with computer-driven technologies and leading-edge materials that today's employers are seeking in their hiring prospects. With a rapidly changing economy, the time is right for you to acquire the specialized skills needed in today’s business world.

Jolie Hair and Beauty Academy

Jolie Hair and Beauty Academy is a modern Cosmetology school that has been in operation for more than 15 years and is dedicated to the education and training of students in the professions of Cosmetology and Manicuring. The objectives of this program of study are to prepare student for the state board exams and to provide students with specialized training in all the most modern areas of Cosmetology and Manicuring.

CBT College

CBT College is dedicated to preparing our students to become industry professionals. Our applied approach to teaching, allows students to build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the global marketplace. We offer our students flexible class times, four locations in the heart of Miami, financial aid to those who qualify and a 15:1 student to teacher ratio.

Degree Programs

Art & Design (19)
Automotive & Motorcycle (11)
Aviation (7)
Business (33)
Communications (7)
Computer & IT (17)
Culinary & Hospitality (10)
Education & Teaching (16)
Government & Law (11)
Health & Medical (32)
Liberal Arts & Humanities (12)
Psychology (8)
Religious Studies (8)
Science & Engineering (16)
Trade & Vocational (14)

Popular Careers

Discover the top careers in the US.