How to Learn a Trade and Stick to It

There used to be a time when people had the same occupation their whole life, and they’d pass it down to their children.

Then, a time came when this wasn’t feasible anymore.

These days it’s difficult to see anyone passing down their job or even sticking to a single job throughout their careers.

Today, through this guide, you’ll learn how to learn a trade and stick to it as your forever occupation, so read on!

Research the Trade You’re Interested In

You can’t just jump into any skilled work to learn it, without knowing more about it.

There are some things you’ll need to know about the new skilled trade you’ll learn.

How Long Does the Training Last?

Some trades take longer to learn than others.

For instance, plumbers and electricians usually spend at least 2 years learning the theory and another 2 as paid apprentices.

You might not have the luxury to wait for 2 years, though enrolling as an apprentice directly is an option.

Where Is The Closest Training Center?

This is another thing to consider.

The distance from your home to the training center will affect how much time you spend away from home daily.

This distance will also have to be covered somehow, and if you drive, you’ll have to spend money on gas.

Buying gas to go to your classes can be incorporated into the cost of the course about which we’ll talk next.

How Much Will It Cost?

The training programs are rarely free, though you could get your employer to pay for them.

In some cases, you could find various grants and scholarships that can help you pay.

Usually, when you learn a new skill or a trade, you’ll need special equipment as well.

This can be offered by the school but you might have to pay extra.

In any case, the cost of the training could make some folks give up mid-way.

What Does a Day on the Job Look Like?

It’s important to know how your day on the job will look like.

Will you be working long hours?

Will you have to spend a lot of time in the same position?

Will you have to carry heavy items, or spend time outside be it sunny or rainy?

Not everyone is comfortable with the above working conditions.

Speaking with other tradesmen about what they do when they work will help you realize for how long you’ll be able to stick to your new occupation.

Will You Work Alone Or In a Team?

Some of us are team players while others work better on their own.

Team players will have a hard time working alone and those who prefer to be alone will have a hard time working in a team.

However, for the majority of industries, you’ll have to work as part of a team.

Teamwork involves having a supervisor as well, while working alone you may or may not have a supervisor.

How Much Will You Earn?

The salary is quite important as it helps us stay alive and have a roof over our heads.

It also needs to be balanced to the amount of work you’ll be doing.

Rookies usually earn far less than their experienced peers.

Usually, your earnings will increase the more time you spend on the same job.

With some occupations, you can earn more if you have more credentials.

Do You Need a License? Which Type?

Most trade-related occupations require a license or certification.

These credentials are usually obtained after graduating from the training course or apprenticeship and passing an exam.

You’ll have to check with your state and county’s regulations regarding this aspect related to your future line of work.

Many licenses and certifications have several levels and need to be renewed as well.

Some positions might even require more than 1 credential.

Is The Job Seasonal?

Some jobs can be performed only in summer, such as in construction.

This is something not many people take into consideration when taking upon a new occupation.

However, this aspect is important as it means you’ll need a different income source in winter.

How to Learn a Trade and Stick to It

What Are The Requirements For Getting Employed?

This is very important because, for some jobs, you’ll need to either be a certain age, have a specific education, or have a completely clean criminal record.

You also need to have the legal right to work in the US.

If you can’t meet the employment prerequisites, for instance, you might have just wasted money and time learning something that turned out useless.

These are just some of the questions you might want and need answers to and others could arise.

Chances are that if there are answers you’re not comfortable with, such as payment or schedule, you might not stick to the newly learned trade.

However, keep in mind that there’s no such thing a useless when it comes to trade-related work.

Are You Passionate About the New Trade You’ll Learn?

This is a very important question to answer.

If you consider becoming an electrician, but you’re much more inclined to work with wood, why don’t you choose the latter career instead?

This is a no-brainer: if you do something you enjoy, you’re less likely to ever stop doing it.

See if you can find workshops in your area that would allow you to use their tools for the new trade you’re interested in learning.

Perhaps you can meet someone who is already trained in this trade, watch them at work and see if you’d like to do the same.

You could be put off by smells, temperature, or the weight of the items you might have to lift or work with.

How Does The Future Of The Trade Look Like?

In other words, is this trade in demand or not?

Is the demand likely to go up or down?

This is another practical aspect when it comes to learning a new skill.

For instance, becoming a mason may not be the smartest choice in the long run, as the demand for such workers is not high.

With new construction techniques being developed, masons will have fewer and fewer opportunities to find employment.

Set a Goal and a Deadline

The majority of jobs that are based on some skill involving using your hands allow you to become a business owner.

If this sounds like something that could interest you, then you need both a goal and a deadline.

Becoming a business owner is a good goal, but you need to be a bit more specific.

Keep in mind that it could take at least 6 years until this can happen.

However, both the goal and the deadline can be motivating enough for you to stick to the new trade you’re trying to learn.

Make sure you research which trades allow you to run a business, such as being a plumber or electrician, while others won’t, such as a truck driver.

Instead of a Conclusion

Remember that there’s no such a thing as “talent” at a skill.

Skills usually are learned through regular practice, so anyone can draw or paint if they practice long enough.

Learning a trade is useful because in most cases, it can allow you to have an income for the rest of your life.

Some of them don’t require specific training as this is done directly on the job.

Such occupations include roofers and masons.

You can’t get hired for some of the trade-related jobs without having proper qualifications beforehand.

These include truck driving, where you might need more than a truck driving license.

Additional Resources