Skilled tradesmen are in high demand these days. The competition for well-paying jobs is fierce, and it’s not easy to find your way into the industry. But if you’re willing to work hard, there are many ways to break into the trades.
If you want to become a skilled tradesman and reap the sweet fruits of your labor, here are seven ways that will give you the best chance of success:
1. Get hands-on experience from an expert tradesman
Without getting some sort of job as a teenager, your chances of becoming a skilled tradesman are very slim. The only exception is if you know someone that will teach you and let you work with them; then, ask about how they learned what they know. The best way to learn is by doing and seeing how things are done.
Taking the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track in high school can be a great start to your career as a skilled tradesman. And applying what you learned during your courses under the TVLstrands is the best way to get valuable experience to jump-start your career.
2. Start with something simple like installing electrical outlets
When you start, it might be helpful to take a course on a specific trade and then start working on small projects. That could be as simple as learning how to install electrical outlets or changing a light bulb. As you get better, you can move on to more complicated tasks.
Before you know it, you’ll be the one teaching the next generation how to do simple tasks. So, don’t give up too easily when you hit a roadblock; instead, take the time to gather your bearings and get back on track.
3. Find your niche by looking for the type of work you feel most comfortable doing
Not everyone is cut out for the same type of job. If you’re not sure what you want to do, try browsing through job listings online to find the available types of jobs in your area.
It’s helpful to find work in an industry that uses different types of tradesmen. Then, try doing some volunteer work with people who have experience in those fields so you can decide if it is something you would like to pursue further.
4. Find opportunities where you can learn by shadowing experts
Learning from experienced tradesmen is a great way to gain experience in your intended trade. You can also meet various tradesmen and get a feel for what they do and how it differs from others in the same industry. It’s free and is a great way to increase your knowledge.
Plus, being an apprentice is one of the best ways to learn a trade. Many companies are willing to take on apprentices, and you can even get paid while you learn.
5. Research online resources for books and videos that teach specific skills
There are many ways of learning, so try different things until you find one that interests you. There are plenty of online resources that can help teach you a specific skill. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking on YouTube for videos on the topic you want to learn more about. You can also find books on Amazon or your local library.
6. Take classes at your local community college or vocational school
In addition to books and videos, you can also take classes at your local community college or vocational school. If you ask around, one of these schools might help recommend a good teacher who is knowledgeable in the type of work you want to do.
You still won’t have as much experience as someone who has been working on projects for years, but a class or two should help build your skills and knowledge before you immediately go into the workforce.
7. Pursue lifelong learning to improve skills and knowledge
Even after you have experience and have been working for a while, it is still extremely important to keep reading books and watching videos on topics that interest you. You should also constantly update your resume to reflect the new skills you have learned.
The best way to stay ahead of the competition is to never stop learning. So, whatever you do, don’t stop pursuing knowledge. The most important thing to remember when becoming a skilled tradesman is that it takes time and practice. You won’t be able to do everything perfectly from the start, so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t go the way you planned. With a bit of hard work and determination, you can become a skilled tradesman in no time.