General Question

Nullo's avatar

How does one become a tradesman?

Asked by Nullo (21828 points ) September 9th, 2012

I am weary of my current job, and have had no luck finding the kind of job that I hoped to get when I graduated (or indeed, any other job), so I’m doing some mapping. I’ve heard that the trades pay well, and I’m already interested in some fields through my hobbies. But what of the education? Is a trade school my only recourse, or do they still go in for apprenticeships?

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6 Answers

Judi's avatar

If you go with a union there is usually a training program. Otherwise, you work as an assistant to a contractor. Journeyman is a union word to describe an expert.
My husband is a general contractor and a solar contractor. It was all basically self taught with a few classes here and there. (And an issue or two of Time Life~)
He passed the exams at the contractors licensing board, got the appropriate business licenses and insurances and had some good bread and butter clients. He has a few guys who work for him. Maybe one (The painter) could pass the test and get his own painting contractors license, but I don’t think he has the financial sense to manage a business.

jerv's avatar

Very few Machinists I know had any special schooling; most learned in more of an unofficial apprenticeship training.

jrpowell's avatar

I would look into you local branch of BOLI. For example here is the apprenticeship info in Oregon.

I went into their office to do a electrician apprenticeship. They helped me get in touch with the IBEW and get the ball rolling. I didn’t actually do the apprenticeship since they wanted me to have a drivers license.

But at BOLI they had a big book with all the different apprenticeships and the requirements.

*Note: HVAC is the easiest to get into.

Bellatrix's avatar

Here, you would most likely do an apprenticeship. This would usually include some block or day release college. The rest of your time is spent learning your trade on-the-job. The pay is usually very poor at first but as you move through your time the pay increases.

Tradespeople can certainly make a lot of money. Tradespeople are often on our ‘in demand’ occupations for people who want to emigrate here too.

Good luck with your new goal.

JLeslie's avatar

Apprenticeships certainly still exist. My husband has thought about working for free on the weekends with a friend of ours who is a car mechanic, because he is interested in the field. He also looked into schools several years ago when he hated his job, and there were one year programs.

This Wikipedia page seems to have some links that might help you.

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve worked in both the electrical and mechanical trades for the past nearly 20 years. I don’t know much about union/nonunion apprenticeships either. Most people that I knew who’ve worked in the blue collar trades started off by taking up some type of vocational school courses. You may have to take a lower paying position until your skill level increases, like I did.

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