Evidence shows that continuing to learn is a good way to help boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning can also give you the training and experience to become qualified to work in a new trade. Here are two common occupational trade jobs and what you can expect from each one, if you choose to pursue either one.
If you enjoyed math, shop, and physics in high school, you may have an interest in becoming an HVAC technician. In this career, you can work in homes and offices to control the air quality and temperature of the building. As a trained HVAC technician, you will be able to install and repair heating systems, air conditioners, and refrigeration systems in storage and transportation trailers.
According to the US Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $43,640 in May 2012. The top 10 percent of HVAC technicians earned more than $68,990 in May 2012.
You will need to learn the knowledge and gain the experience to become hired as a trained HVAC technician by most companies. So, you can either enroll with a local trade school like the HVAC Technical Institute or get on-the-job training with an apprenticeship. If you choose to enter this field working as an apprentice, you can expect to start off earning about half what experienced workers earn. But, as you gain knowledge and experience, your income will increase.
To get into an apprenticeship, you will need to take and pass a basic math test, a drug screening test, be at least 18 years old, and have a high school diploma or GED. Your apprenticeship will last from three to five years, and you will work 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of related technical training. Then, when you have completed your apprenticeship, you can continue working as an HVAC technician with the company you completed your apprenticeship with. Most states will require you to become a licensed HVAC technician to be qualified to work in the area, so you will need to register with your state licensing board.
To become a licensed plumber, you will need to complete a bit more training, but you can also earn more annually. The median annual wage for plumbers was $49,140 in May 2012 and the top ten percent earned more than $84,440. To become a plumber you usually need to be licensed with your local state licensing board and complete the required training. You can fulfill your training with a trade school or complete an apprenticeship.
For an apprenticeship, you need to take a basic math test, drug screening test, be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and know how to use computers. During your four to five year apprenticeship, you will need to have 1,700 to 2,000 hours each year of on-the-job training, and take at least 246 hours of related technical training. When your apprenticeship is finished, you will be a journey worker and will be able to work on your own as a plumber. Then, after you have worked as a plumber for several years and with extra hours of training, you can be eligible to earn a master plumber status.
Both of these trade occupations require you to have good customer service skills because you will be working with customers on a daily basis. You will also need to be able to troubleshoot equipment to determine what needs repairs. You should have enough physical strength to be able to lift heavy items on the job, so it is a good idea to stay in shape. With the right training and education, you can become an HVAC technician or plumber.