With the economy constantly changing, many people find themselves looking to change careers to keep up, or at the very least update their training and
With the economy constantly changing, many people find themselves looking to change careers to keep up, or at the very least update their training and educational background. With traditional university education yielding less job prospects each year, many people are exploring the trades – specifically HVAC, plumbing, roofing and electrical work. The qualifications it takes to work in each of these industries varies, and in today’s article we’ll go over what it will take to find employment in each of these emerging fields.
HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is an ever-increasingly demanded profession. A certified HVAC tech can be expected to work on a multitude of projects, most of which being repair, and often in a team with other skilled tradesmen. The main goal is to make sure ventilation, heating and AC units are working properly and diagnosing any issues. To qualify to work as an HVAC tech, you’re going to need to finish high school, get trained by an accredited by a trade’s school, and pass a state-specific licensing exam. Often the apprenticeship is the most grueling part, lasting 3-5 years, it encompasses work in the field, but also includes paid work opportunities. Once licensed expect to work on the ground, in the field alongside other tradesmen doing maintenance and installations.
An additional field that has become popular with those looking for a career change is Plumbing. Plumbing is a special skill set and whether new homes are being constructed or renovated, someone with the knowledge and experience is going to be needed on-site to make adjustments. The majority of plumbing education is done through four or five year apprenticeships where you would be expected to work alongside a master plumber, gaining hands-on experience with real projects. The work itself is physically demanding, and you are definitely going to be standing or kneeling for extended periods of time. However given the barrier of entry and the job security provided by your local plumbers union, this continues to be a very lucrative field to work in, especially with residential and commercial demand so consistent.
Another often overlooked field for young professionals these days is roofing. While it may seem like an out of reach or overcrowded industry, there is a constant need for qualified roofers all over the United States to do installation and repairs, especially in areas where storms and inclement weather is expected. Educational requirements are generally much less strict then an electrician or plumber. Most start learning on the job as a laborer and gain apprenticeship experience over the course of four or five years. Those interested in roofing as a career may start as a low-end worker and once enough on-the-job experience is gained, start offering your own roofing service. Work is often heavily seasonal and days are long with lots of time spent up high, but the rewards are there for those that can compete and offer the better roofing service.
Finally, we haven’t overlooked the electrical field at all – in fact it’s one of the most lucrative trades you can get involved with. It does require a 4-5 year apprenticeship and state-specific licensing requirements, however the industry has been growing steadily when compared to traditional university career paths. If you’re looking to become an electrician you can expect a diverse workload. From working directly with residential homeowners resolving their problems to integrating yourself
accordingly with larger commercial projects. Knowledge of building permits and codes for safety and liability reasons is also something you’ll need to be familiar with.