50 Trades to Learn for a Successful Trade Career –

Learning a trade is one of the best ways to pursue a lucrative and fulfilling career path. If this sounds appealing to you, there are many different trades that you can consider in a wide variety of industries. By examining the many trade options available, you can find the best possible trade career for you. In this article, we discuss what trades are and share some of the best trades to learn across various industries.

What are trades?

Trades are industries that call for one or more highly specialized skills. Often, trade professionals attend a vocational or trade school where they receive focused education in their chosen field to learn these skills. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training are other popular methods of learning a new trade.

Trades exist across a broad range of industries. This means that a professional can seek a trade that they find appealing to have a career that is both financially and professionally satisfying.

What are the benefits of learning a trade?

If you’re considering a career in a trade field, knowing some of the best reasons to pursue a trade can help you determine if it’s the right path for you. The top benefits of learning a trade include:

Lower costs

Because most traders do not require a college degree, trade professionals can often enter into their careers without collecting much student loan debt.

By studying at a less-expensive trade school or progressing directly into a career out of high school, trade professionals can save a significant amount of money compared to individuals who pursue careers that require college degrees.

Start earning young

Entering into the workforce without debt isn’t the only financial benefit of not attending a college or university. Most trades allow workers to begin straight after high school or after a trade program that usually lasts for less than two years.

This allows trade professionals to begin earning full-time wages at an age where their peers are still attending school.

High earning potential

Although trade professions often do not require a degree, many still have earning potentials that equal or exceed the average salaries of individuals who earn higher education like a bachelor’s degree.

Many trade industries are also backed by unions that fight for high salaries. You may even be able to start your own company someday when you have more experience, which could be extremely lucrative.

Fulfilling careers

Most trades involve working with your hands to build, install or create, and this makes for a career that many trade professionals find to be highly satisfying.

Many traders are also held in high esteem, allowing individuals who work in them to feel a great deal of pride in their work.

Read: Top 20 Skills to learn to make money in 2022

Job security

Although advancing technology is leading to enhanced automation in many industries, the majority of trade jobs project strong prospects in the future. By mastering a trade, you learn skills that will be useful for the entirety of your professional career.

Trade Skills

Trade skills are professional competencies that anyone can get, which don’t require the standard four or more years spent in colleges and universities.

According to the Jackson Community Foundation’s College & Career Access Center, trade skills can be obtained through specialized training that usually takes weeks to a few months, providing more accessible alternatives to jobs that may require a college diploma.

Trade Schools

On the other hand, trade schools (or vocational schools) are institutions where you can earn trade skills, earning special certification for the programs of your choosing.

These schools provide extensive and practical training needed for jobs in the skilled trade industries, concentrating entirely on areas rather than going through the whole general education pathway.

Students can gain valuable experience and training in several ways, including apprenticeship programs.

50 trades to learn for a successful trade career

Web programming and coding

Web developers are a sub-type responsible for building websites and integrating essential elements that make it all cohesive.

They can choose to build the main interface (incorporating elements of graphic design in the process) or focus on back-end maintenance and security to keep everything running smoothly.

White Hat Hacking

White hat hacking is an essential part of IT Security Management, preventing leakage of sensitive data and other avenues of cybercrime by continuously penetrating and assessing vulnerabilities in the system.

Breaking into these systems demands a certain level of skill, that’s why it’s one of the most lucrative industries in tech, with most experts earning at least a hundred grand each year.

Read: 20 New Skills to Learn To Advance Your Career

Game Development

Game Development is currently gaining ground when it comes to becoming a top choice by IT job seekers.

Developers usually work in teams involved in planning gameplay strategies, designing visual elements of the interface, and writing code to help everything run smoothly.

Moreover, teams must continually test and debug games to detect possible problem areas, ensuring that the whole experience is excellent for prospect gamers. It is known to be one of the highest-paid fields in the modern world.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a sought-after profession today. This profession is also popular among millennials who value self-employment and flexibility – this is an excellent opportunity for individuals who want to become freelancers!

If your interests lie in art and other creative pursuits, you may want to take an online course and learn more about color theory, foundations of typography, illustration, and product design, among others.

Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics

SEO is an all-encompassing field that focuses on growing businesses through increasing traffic to a website through organic search engine (Google) results. On the other hand, Google Analytics measures organic search traffic and makes use of high-volume competitive keywords within platforms.

WordPress Development

As part of the web programming and coding family, WordPress Development is also one of the most sustainable and lucrative areas for anyone who’s looking to venture into tech. Did you know that WordPress powers more than a third of all websites?

It holds around 35% market share in terms of all websites on the Internet, yielding WordPress Development experts stable careers that allow them to venture out into various niches.

Chatbot Development

Chatbot Development involves dabbling extensively in different aspects of web programming and coding, but possibly under more specific areas and conditions. Bots are tools used to reach consumers, performing automated tasks based on a list of typical responses.

These bots come into play as part of platforms made to reach customers, reducing the time and effort it takes to address the most common problems related to products and services.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

The heavy equipment mechanic is responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of excavators, cranes, and other large vehicles used in construction, farming, mining, and transportation.

Often skilled in the use of computerized tools to diagnose problems, these mechanics are also extremely detail-oriented and knowledgeable in engine components and systems.

Video Editing

In the audiovisual and multimedia realm, Video Editing takes the cake in being one of the most in-demand jobs. From simple vlogs to large-scale film productions, video editors always have a place in various creative pursuits.

Content creation is a fast-paced industry that’s heavy on visuals, so it may be about time to sign up for a course on video editing.

Dental Hygienist salary

If you’ve ever spent time in a dentist’s chair, it’s likely the majority of your visit was in the care of a dental hygienist.

Skilled in preventative oral care and working under the supervision of a dentist, dental hygienists clean teeth, take X-rays, examine mouths for disease, and provide advice on good oral health.

Digital Marketing and Company Branding

Digital marketing and company branding go hand in hand, encompassing sales and marketing initiatives done over the Internet, and reaching people through their laptops or smartphones.

Some techniques must be adapted to boost sales, adding strategies involving specific product niches with their target audiences.

Social Media Marketing

Targeted at specific audiences such as millennials, social media marketing focuses on the strategic use of platforms, which eventually increase traffic and sales altogether.

Additionally, Social Media Marketing helps you engage with your followers and customers in a timely and more effective manner, using tools such as blog aggregators, automation tools, and posting strategies to achieve this.

Photography 

In the age of Instagram and photo sharing platforms, Photography has risen above the primitive, analog age and is undergoing a significant packaging revamp via smartphones, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras.

Influencers also understand its value because it is a huge part of content creation and marketing efforts.

This is one of the best trade to learn.

Photo Editing 

After taking and choosing all the right shots, post-production is the next step. Photo editing, or the “post” process, entails enhancing pictures to make them more refined and visually appealing.

Of course, this process is sometimes more grueling and extensive and might take hours, depending on the project.

Respiratory Therapist

Using a variety of tests to measure both lung capacity and blood oxygen levels, respiratory therapists develop plans to help treat diseases of the lungs and airways.

An excellent fit for those who enjoy helping others and communicate well, the position is often located in hospitals, pulmonary rehabilitation clinics, and diagnostic laboratories.

Electric Lineman

If a job with a view sounds appealing, you might want to consider a career as an electric lineman.

Also called power line technicians, these specialists install, maintain, and repair electric power lines and other equipment critical to electrical distribution and transmission systems. As most all work is done outdoors and in all conditions.

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Pipefitter/steamfitter 

Pipefitters or steamfitters take advanced blueprints for residential, commercial, and industrial construction piping systems and turn them into reality.

Skills utilized by established craftsmen include cutting, threading, or hammering pipes to specifications, as well as an assembly through welding, soldering, or threading joints.

Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators manage and maintain equipment required to generate electricity.

A growing field thanks to advancements in power generation technology, opportunities now exist for operators to manage equipment fueled by coal, gas, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, wind, or solar power.

Civil Engineering Tech

Employed by engineering firms and government agencies, civil engineering technicians assist with the design of commercial, industrial, and residential infrastructure projects.

Responsibilities include analyzing blueprints, estimating costs, evaluating site conditions, and ensuring projects meet design specifications and codes.

This is another best trade to learn.

Project Management

Project Management is an objective-driven career and involves the use of tried-and-tested processes, knowledge bases, skills, and experiences to achieve deliverables within the timeframe set.

Because many niches are all about the results, many companies require project managers who can get the job done in no time.

Human Resources

With new jobs and career opportunities emerging from every corner, companies will be needing professionals who can ensure a steady influx of talents to get the job done.

This projected emergence makes working in HR one of the most stable and profitable careers, with a steady demand that won’t go off anytime soon.

Additionally, HR specialists can choose to explore various fields because of their flexibility.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic

The heavy equipment mechanic is responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of excavators, cranes, and other large vehicles used in construction, farming, mining, and transportation.

Often skilled in the use of computerized tools to diagnose problems, these mechanics are also extremely detail-oriented and knowledgeable in engine components and systems.

Stock Investment and Trading

Building a stock portfolio and learning to trade takes a lot of effort in terms of research, but it’s an excellent place to start if you have a lot of time on your hands and currently looking for lucrative opportunities.

This is another best trade to learn.

Customer Service Support

Customer Service Support staff are often thought of as the “faces and voices” of the company they are working for, being the point-of-access between the customer and the brand.

The traditional setup took place in call centers, but this time, there is a lot of CS staff working remotely, giving them more flexibility and convenience.

This job entails a lot of problem-solving and de-escalation, with most professionals tackling problems and issues firsthand.

Paralegals and legal assistants offer multiple supportive tasks for attorneys, including the organization of case files, research duties, preparing relevant trial paperwork, and in some cases, helping with the client and witness interviews.

They are beacons of organization and efficiency because tiny missing details could jeopardize any case entirely.

Virtual Assistant Services

A virtual assistant is regarded as the “jack-of-all-trades” in tech and business, assisting business owners, executives, and even individuals who are occupied with many projects. It’s one of the most flexible positions in the world of freelance and remote work.

Virtual Assistant Services are about setting appointments, arranging travel itineraries, answering emails and business inquiries, and possibly, cold-calling potential clients.

This is another best trade to learn.

Read: How Can I Become a Graphic Designer in 2022? Skills, Tools, Salary, Cost, Schools

Real Estate and Brokerage

High-rise towers, mortgages, and closing deals—these are all associated with the world of real estate, with most seasoned brokers and realtors raking in thousands of dollars every time they make a sale.

This is a profession that will set you for life, with millions of Americans buying properties left and right.

Owning property is mostly a win-win for owners and agents because it provides better financial returns, and is easily the more stable choice compared to buying and trading stocks.

Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft mechanics help keep aircraft flying safely and efficiently by performing a variety of scheduled maintenance and repairs.

On-the-job responsibilities include diagnosing problems with mechanical and electrical systems, as well as inspecting all aircraft components from de-icing systems to landing gears.

Plumber

Plumbers install, maintain, and replace everything from gas and water lines to kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

While the job may include unpredictable hours on both nights and weekends, it also comes with a high degree of independence, income stability, and flexibility.

Professional Hair Stylist

Becoming a Professional Hair Stylist also offers growth opportunities, as many talented professionals have been given a chance to showcase their artistry in magazines and fashion runways.

If you have an eye for beauty and think you’ve got what it takes to pursue this industry, you may want to sign up for an online hairdressing course.

Make-up and Beauty

Make-up and Personal Beauty are all the rage, especially in the digital age, with self-made individuals scoring name-brand endorsement deals and garnering a million views on social media.

If your interests lie in creative pursuits and making this world a bit more beautiful, signing up for an online make-up course may open up a lot of doors for you.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy provides a lot of opportunities for individuals when it comes to building a fulfilling career with a respectable income (after completing the necessary training and certifications).

It is becoming one of the most flexible and sought-after professions, with most massage therapists setting appointments around their schedules.

Creative Writing

Are you a certified wordsmith with a colorful imagination and passion for storytelling? Going for a career in Creative Writing may give you the kind of work-life balance you’re looking for, allowing you to delve into creative pursuits while making a living out of them.

This is another best trade to learn.

Technical Writing

Technical Writing is a valuable skill that can take you to greater heights in a professional capacity, with most industries requiring at least one to make excellent copies and marketing content for business.

It may take the ability to digest high-level, even at times sensitive, information and translate them into a more digestible and readable piece for the target readers.

Publishing

If you’re skilled enough when it comes to writing, but want to explore more career options, working in Publishing as an independent contractor may give you more of an edge than most book authors.

Pursuing a career in publishing would entail getting a lot of work done, from acquiring (or producing) the actual literary work, developing and editing the manuscript, and finally, rolling out the final product for marketing and sales.

Medical Transcription

Medical Transcription and records management are essential parts of healthcare that most of us aren’t necessarily aware of.

As the health care team deals with the most sensitive, life-threatening situations, it’s crucial to uphold accuracy and accountability in the workplace, particularly in medical documentation.

Electrician

Electricians plan electrical systems, inspect and maintain circuit breakers and transformers, and install/repair wiring, fixtures, landholdings, and fuse boxes.

One of the few career paths with paid on-the-job training, electricians often learn their trade via apprenticeships lasting anywhere from four to five years.

Data Entry Specialist

If you would want to break into the freelancing scene as a first-timer, becoming a Data Entry Specialist is one of the surefire ways to land an instant project, even as a beginner.

Data entry is an umbrella term for a network of responsibilities, including data processing, typing, transcription, and other clerical tasks.

Read: Free Online Course: Communication Skills for University Success 

Industrial Engineering Technician 

Industrial engineering technicians use observation and creative thinking to assist industrial engineers with improvements in efficiency and standard operating procedures for a variety of businesses.

As the position makes heavy use of charts and diagrams to illustrate workflow, it’s ideal for a candidate skilled in communication and problem-solving and who has good attention to detail. 

Jewelry Designing and Metalsmithing

Designing jewelry and metalsmithing may seem like more of a hobby at first, but this creative pursuit can be a significant income source for innovative, business-minded individuals!

The artistry and craftsmanship behind Jewelry Designing and Metalsmithing, as well as the marketing side of things, can be acquired with the right tools and mindset – as long as you’re seeking ways to improve your craft, the possibilities are endless.

Interior Design

Designing a functional and aesthetically-pleasing space can set you up for life, with A-list interior designers raking in around seventy to a hundred grand every year! Interior designers are one of the world’s most celebrated creatives, impacting the lives of the clients who reside and work in the spaces they bring to life.

Soap Making

Bath and body products are considered essential supplies that we usually take for granted, but did you know that you can pursue the art of soap making online?

Many courses feature this field entirely, from cold-process soap making to creating an actual marketing and sales strategy.

There are even business-minded individuals who are cashing in on their soap, making hobbies, and making the rounds online by creating tutorials.

Woodworking and Carpentry

As a woodworker, you will be expected to study design concepts extensively and learn industry-proven techniques useful in manufacturing different products, including furniture, cabinets, and other household fixtures.

Additionally, woodworking is one of the most renowned traditional skills built solely on one’s skill and craftsmanship. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a woodworker, take advantage of the many resources online!

Pottery

Aside from being a relaxing and fulfilling hobby, learning pottery and ceramic arts will surely pay off in terms of potentially becoming your next income stream. The best part is that budding creatives can now learn how to throw clay into the wheel outside of a pottery studio – they can do so at home!

Real Estate Appraiser

Real estate appraisers provide an unbiased, objective estimate of the value of a building and the land it resides on.

This in-demand profession, ideal for those with great interpersonal skills and attention to detail, offers critical assistance for those who own or manage property or invest in real estate or landholdings.

Industrial Mechanic 

Industrial mechanics utilize their diverse skill sets to maintain and repair a variety of equipment in commercial and industrial facilities.

In addition to being proficient with electronics, these specialized mechanics are also familiar with welding, cutting, and the use of manuals and diagnostic equipment to solve equipment failures.

Personal Finance and Budgeting

For most Americans, drowning in personal debt has become a living nightmare, with the total consumer debt approaching $14 trillion in 2019.

Of course, this is due in part to federal and state policies that seem to push people to the wall, but the lack of financial literacy and problems related to needless spending is up there.

Cable / Fiber Optics Tech 

Cable/fiber optics technicians are critical frontline workers in the effort to improve the speed and reach of broadband communications.

Also called cable installers, these technicians are responsible for the design, installation, operation, maintenance, and repairs of telecommunication networks.

This is another best trade to learn.

IT Support Specialist

If you’re someone who people repeatedly turn to for help when their technology fails, you might want to consider a career as an IT support specialist. These technical wizards offer personalized front-line support for everything from hardware issues to network repair.

Electronics Technician

Have a knack for designing, developing, testing, and repairing electronic components? Electrical and electronics engineering tech, working under the supervision of an electrical engineer, help create everything from electrical control systems to basic circuitry and prototypes. 

Read: Top 10 Academics Skills to Prepare you for College

FAQs on the best trades to learn in 2022

What is the best trade to learn for the future?

Some good trades to learn include:

Electricians.

Plumbers and Pipefitters.

Construction Equipment Operators.

What are the highest-paying trade careers?

Licensed practical nurse. National average salary: $25.18 per hour.

HVAC technician. National average salary: $23.25 per hour.

Home inspector. National average salary: $52,066 per year.

Plumber. National average salary: $24.58 per hour.

What skills must a person have to do a trade career?

Stamina, dexterity, and good problem-solving skills are usually more useful than brute strength. If you’re someone who prefers being creative and active or working with your hands to sitting at a desk, then the skilled trades are an ideal choice for you.

What are the 4 main sectors of skilled trades?

Construction.

Transportation.

Manufacturing.

Service.

How can I be a good tradesman?

Provide a breakdown of your costs.

Be fair with your prices.

Call upon previous clients.

Present yourself properly.

Commit to feedback.

Have an online presence.

Conclusions

Over recent years, employer surveys have found that skilled trade jobs are among the hardest to fill. And in many regions throughout the U.S, a shortage of qualified tradespeople is becoming the new norm, especially as many older workers from the Baby Boomer generation continue to retire.

That’s why a lot of the highest paying trade school careers also have bright outlooks going forward. The market for people with these skills is expected to be very large for decades to come.

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