5 Trade Jobs That Affect Your Everyday Life
Last updated August 21, 2023
When you turn on a light switch, start a car, or eat at a restaurant, do you ever think of the people who made it happen? We all have to work for a living to support ourselves and our families, and while a career path can look different for everyone, most of us are wanting to find jobs that will positively contribute to society. We’re not just talking about doctors and lawyers! We’re talking about the trades - or any career path learned through hands-on training. Want to learn more? Here are 5 trade jobs that affect your everyday life:
Wherever you live, work, and go to school, a carpenter helped build the structure around you! Carpenters work to construct buildings made from wood, plastic, drywall, and other materials. They use different hand tools (i.e. wrenches, handsaws, and screwdrivers) and power tools (i.e. sanders, circular saws, and welding machines). In some instances, carpenters also use smartphones or tablets to help with planning and making sure the calculations are accurate. To become a carpenter, a high school diploma or GED is required, and training is on the job through apprenticeship or trade school programs.
When you take a shower or turn on the sink, plumbers are the people who made it happen! Plumbers not only install tubs, toilets, and sinks, but they also ensure the pipes that run through houses and buildings carry water, gas, and other substances in a safe and effective way. Most plumbers start with their high school diploma or GED, then get formal training through an apprenticeship program or trade school.
Even if you’ve never driven a car, you’ve probably been in one to take you from point A to point B. Automotive service technicians - aka mechanics are there to make sure all vehicles - cars, buses, and even subways - run smoothly! Their day-to-day work includes inspecting, maintaining, and repairing vehicles. Mechanics typically repair or replace things like brake pads and tires, or perform basic maintenance like changing oil or checking fluid levels. Mechanics also use computerized systems to test vehicles and figure out what’s not working properly. Mechanics complete theireducation and training though a trade program, and some high schools offer courses in automotive repair!
Licensed Practical Nurses
Did you know that some jobs in the medical field don’t require a 4-year or advanced degree? If you’ve been to the doctor’s office there’s a chance you’ve interacted with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPNs provide basic medical care, and are usually the first to meet with you before your doctor sees you. They record your medical history and take your vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, and pulse. LPNs must complete a state-approved trade program that combines both in-classroom and hands-on learning.
Chefs and Head Cooks
Try to think of the best meal you’ve ever eaten in a restaurant - a chef with culinary school background likely made that for you! Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants, hotels, and other places that serve food. They oversee kitchen staff, develop recipes, plan menus, and order ingredients and kitchen supplies. Chefs also take into account food health and safety laws, to ensure their food is safely prepared and stored so that customers don’t get sick. Some chefs are even self-employed and open their own restaurants! There are many culinary arts programs that offer formal training (find out more about culinary school here!), and most chefs and head cooks work in other positions (such as line cooks) to gain experience and knowledge.
While we only shared five examples, this is just a small look into the many ways trade careers impact your everyday life! Some of these professions also make similar salaries to careers that require 4-year degrees, and as experienced workers are aging out and retiring from their trade careers, the demand for these types of jobs will only increase in the future.
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