We live in a society that often encourages our youth to pursue the traditional route of attending college in search of a profession that is more often than not, white-collar in nature. The option that many parents and high school career counselors are overlooking is obtaining training and preparation for a trade. Blue collar jobs and jobs within the trades often receive the unfair characterization as jobs that require little intelligence or skill. As a matter of fact, the reality is quite the opposite; careers in the trades require specialized skills that often require technical know-how and extensive training. With the emergence of more specialized equipment, operators in some trade jobs will have the opportunity to acquire advanced technological training.
Trade jobs have a strong presence in the current workforce and those with the most skill, get the best opportunities to advance in blue collar occupations. There is also the misconception that careers in the trades pay at the lower end of the salary spectrum. In reality, the pay for careers in the trades is often comparable to traditional white collar jobs, and many times, depending on the industry, trade workers may even make a significant amount more than the average worker. The following are the top blue color jobs that are still highly demanded in the current job market. The jobs on the subsequent list pay an average salary of over $40,000 per year and require varying skill levels.
Construction and Building Inspector
Most inspectors are trained on the job and they have to learn the building standards and codes that are specific to their industry. Seasoned inspectors often carry out the task of training new staff and may have additional duties that include reporting and record keeping.
Plumber, steamfitters and pipefitters
These careers involve the installation, maintenance and repair of pipe systems. The pipes that they repair are usually from the municipal water treatment plants to commercial, residential and public buildings. Individuals in this trade are typically required to attend a comprehensive training program.
Steel and structural iron workers are required to complete a three- or four year apprenticeship program. In the program, they learn the skills required to place and install steel or iron to erect structures such as bridges and buildings.
There are electrician training programs throughout the country that prepare candidates for the electrician trade. The most competitive programs effectively combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. The job of an electrician requires hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity and a good sense of balance. Electrician and energy trades training classes.
Elevator installers also train for their career through an extensive apprenticeship that can take up to four years to complete. After completing the apprenticeship, the candidates must apply by submitting an application to their local affiliate of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. Admission to the union also requires the successful completion of an aptitude test.
There are many more options of careers in the trades to choose fhigh demand and typically earn salaries of $50,000 or more a year. In these days of economic uncertainty, working in the trades can prove to be a secure and rewarding career option.
**The salaries listed above are just an average range and may be higher or lower based on the location you are employed in, as well as the varying bonus and commission rates included for the chosen field. Metropolitan cities are typically on the higher end of the pay scales. Salaries are cited from Payscale.com, Indeed.com and the US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor
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