Trade Careers

Trades as compared to professions are those occupations which may not require extensive post-high school education. Plumbing, private investigation, floral designing, office assistance and many other occupations like these, are some of the most commonly adopted trades. Given that these occupations do not require college education, and what mostly counts is on-the-job training, many join these fields each year, hoping to earn competitive wages. Trades as compared to professions such as law, accountancy, engineering, information technology, do not get affected during recession. There may however be exceptions.

Vocational Careers

If you are thinking of opting for vocational careers such as the ones mentioned earlier, you need to know that you may not be able to become eligible for them right after high school. You may need some on-the-job training, enroll in courses offered by technical schools and be licensed in some cases.

Plumbers, for example, install and repair gas, drainage and water pipes, in homes, factories, and businesses. They also install and repair water lines, both small and large. Furthermore, fixtures like toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, and appliances like water heaters, garbage disposals, and dishwashers are also installed and repaired by them. Clogged and leaking pipes are also fixed by them. Some plumbers also perform maintenance on septic systems where they collect waste from houses and businesses like restaurants, not connected to a county or city’s sewer system.

Plumbers, in most states, need to be licensed. If you are interested in becoming one then you would need to go through a 4-5 year apprenticeship where in addition to hands-on training, you may also study chemistry, applied physics and mathematics.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 21% job growth in this field from 2012 to 2022. The BLS also reported that plumbers were earning an annual median wage of $49,140 in 2012.

If crime investigation interests you, then consider becoming a private investigator. Private investigators:

  • Gather information regarding a crime by interviewing people
  • Conduct surveillance
  • Search records to uncover clues
  • Collect and document evidence for the court’s use
  • Run background checks like income, employment and other checks
  • Investigate cyber crimes and information theft

Most private investigators have previously worked in law enforcement. Others have a military background or held intelligence jobs. In most cases, private investigators need to be licensed. The BLS predicts 11% growth in the field from 2012 to 2022 and reported PIs as earning an annual median wage of $45,740 in 2012.

Floral designers make decorative displays of fresh and dried flowers. In addition to their creative skills, their customer-service skills require them to help customers select flowers, ribbons, containers and other accessories.

Like most other trades, they also get experience on-the-job over the course of a few months. They do not need to be certified though. However those who have obtained a certificate of the American Institute of Floral Designers may find their employability prospects to be higher than non-certified florists.

The BLS reports that florists earned a yearly median salary of $23,810 in 2012.


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