While the unemployment rate in the U.S. has recently decreased to around 6%, plenty of people are still out of work and many families are struggling to make enough money. An often overlooked solution is to become trained in a skilled trade. These trades don't require a college degree, but do require specialized training. Because these are skills that are always needed, and that most people do not have the expertise to do themselves, jobs are plentiful and often pay quite well. Here are five in-demand skilled trades to look into:
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians are always in demand by individual homeowners, corporations, property management companies, schools, and more. Typically, you will need to take classes in an training program at a HVAC Technical Institute or at a community college and then complete an apprenticeship with someone who is an expert in the field. The apprenticeship pays a decent living wage while ensuring you become a truly skilled HVAC repair technician.
Once you complete your apprenticeship you will be fully licensed and able to earn significantly more. Like other skilled trades, you may be able to earn much more if you start your own HVAC business rather than working for a company who keeps a percentage.
Plumbing is one of those jobs that will simply always be available because everyone needs a plumber from time to time. Like other skilled trades, plumbing can often be a flexible career that allows you to set your own hours (especially if you start your own plumbing business) and find work no matter where you live or move to.
Plumbers can make especially great money if they offer after hours emergency plumbing services. Customers are typically willing to pay you a lot of money if you are able to come repair that pipe that burst and flooded their basement in the middle of the night.
Electrical work is dangerous for unskilled people to do themselves, meaning that virtually everyone who needs electrical work done at their home or office will hire a trained and licensed electrician. Schooling for electricians tends to involve a lot of hands-on electrical work as well as more theoretical electrical material. The idea is that if you understand how electricity works you will be a more skilled and safe electrician.
Electrician schools also teach you how to read electrical blueprints and electrician safety regulations. Like many other skilled trades, you can expect to complete an in-depth paid apprenticeship, often sponsored by a labor union.
Aviation maintenance can be a very rewarding and well-paid career option for those who are mechanically inclined and fascinated by how airplanes work. Aviation maintenance technicians work on a wide variety of airplanes, from small private aircraft to huge commercial jetliners.
There is one caveat: when looking for a school to receive your aviation maintenance training, be sure to find one that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. This will help ensure that you receive the most up-to-date and high quality instruction, as well as make it much easier to find a job once you complete your training.
Welding is one of the more diverse skilled trades. By learning to weld you may be able to have a career in custom welding, at a mechanical shop, or in the construction industry. Like other skilled trades, many welders are now reaching retirement age, which may cause a shortage of skilled welders in the near future.
If you are at all mechanically inclined and looking for a reliable and lucrative career, one of these skilled trades might be a great option for you.