Hands-On Happiness: The Unique Perks of Pursuing Skilled Trade Professions

While college is the path popularly pushed in high schools around the country, the fact is that it’s certainly not the only path. Skilled trade professionals, such as construction workers, health care workers, and electricians, enjoy a wide range of unique perks that those pursuing typical office jobs will likely find more difficult to secure. Read on to discover some of these benefits and see if perhaps a skilled trade profession is right for you.


An abundance of local jobs

For those who want to stay local, pursuing a skilled trade profession may be just the thing. Trade careers tend to have plenty of openings all over the country, so finding a position where you currently live shouldn’t be a problem. Whether you want to stay close by because you love your locale, you have certain family obligations, you don’t have the funds for a cross-country move, or some other reason entirely, you’ll likely find something nearby pretty quickly and easily. That’s because these types of jobs are always in demand, no matter where you happen to reside.

Recessions are less of a worry

While everyone else braces themselves whenever the word “recession” is mentioned in terms of the job market, those working in skilled trade professions have much less to worry about. Why? The skills involved in specialty areas are still going to be in demand because consumers usually don’t have the option of putting those types of jobs off. For example, while people will likely put off home improvement projects when money gets tight during a recession, they are not going to put off fixing a leaky toilet or repairing an electrical issue—and that’s where skilled laborers come in.

You have quite a bit of flexibility

If the idea of sitting in an office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. makes you break out in hives, you might be interested to know that being a skilled trade professional affords you an impressive amount of flexibility. Instead of the typical Monday - Friday, 40-hour work week, you’ll likely have more options where you can work longer hours during the day but have more frequent days off. For example, you might work four ten-hour days, followed by three-day weekends. Or if you build up enough over time, you could even find yourself working twelve-hour days for a couple of weeks, followed by a couple of weeks off—and that doesn’t even count as your paid vacation. Other trade industries focus more on the number of tasks you get done versus how many hours you actually show up. If you’re a quick worker, this may mean you can squeeze in even more time to yourself.

The job market tends to be less competitive

As anyone who has applied for a typical office job probably knows all too well by now, there are often hundreds, if not thousands, of people competing for the same job. Skilled trade professionals don’t have to worry about that kind of bottleneck. There are consistently plenty of job openings for skilled laborers, from dental hygienists to HVAC technicians and beyond. These positions require specialized skills and years of training, which means that only a very specific type of person can fulfill the role. Between the strict criteria and the fact that many of these roles are underfilled as it is, finding a job is often fairly easy.

The truth is, many trade jobs have their own specific advantages—and some of those advantages may particularly appeal to workers who are currently experiencing a volatile job market in which they worry about things like job security. While the college route may feel like the way things have always been done, more and more employers are recognizing the value of experience earned even without a four-year degree. Skilled trade professionals who put in the effort and the time can be well on their way to securing a successful and satisfying lifelong career.

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