What all trades have in common is that they require a particular system of knowledge and skills to get the job done. There is high demand for this kind of expertise in trades as varied as plumbing, electronics, automotives, carpentry, and even bridal consulting. Skilled workers provide customers with the... kinds of services that would be unsafe (or at least unwise) for them to do for themselves.
Most skilled workers acquire their expertise through experience, both in formal training and on the job. Formal training might include the education received at a vocational school or through professional certificate programs. While a degree is generally secondary to concrete skills in landing a trade job, many professionals believe that higher learning augments their knowledge base and conveys quality to their customers. Some jobs, such as heating and cooling specialists, require specific licensing.
Beginning a trade career has several advantages. Employees in this field are likely to be union members, which helps guarantee that their wages are fair and they are able to stay employed through tough times. For others, the possibility of self-employment is more appealing. Self-employed workers can set their own schedules and fees, but are subject to different tax structures.
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