What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Trades
All you need to know about the Trades industry
Those who enjoy practical work and don’t want to be sat in an office from 9-5 will be well-suited to the trades industry.
General roles that are in the trade industry are plumbers, electricians, builders and mechanics. These are highly skilled professions that provide practical services which are critical across all avenues of society. Whilst there are college courses available for all of these, there are also a number of apprenticeships and work placements that’ll allow you to ‘earn as you learn’.
Plumbers work with our water infrastructure. You could work on a freelance basis and be helping individuals who are having issues with their sinks and showers at home, or if you would prefer to be a part of a large team you could work for a company on large-scale projects that involve the installation of complex plumbing systems. There is currently a significant skills shortage in plumbing, so you can be very well paid for your work.
Electricians and electrical workers are high in-demand and they will always be needed, so you won’t struggle to find employment. Our modern way of life is dependent upon the reliable delivery of electricity and you could be responsible for installing these systems in new developments or helping to fix things when they go wrong.
Mechanics can either carry out general car repairs, or work for a specific car company and become specialised in that particular brand. All vehicles require mechanics so you could also choose to specialise in construction vehicles, buses, cars or even farming vehicles.
The building industry has a wide range of opportunities and you can start with general, basic building work and, if you wish, you can specialise further on in your career as you find out what you enjoy. Building offers the chance to work on everything – from conservatories to 5* hotels.
You can have a wide and varied career working in the trades industry. You’ll need to be good with people and be able to practically apply your knowledge when faced with a problem.
Skills & interests needed for Trades
Most trade jobs will be practical and require you to work through problems on-the-job, applying all the knowledge that you have of whatever field you have chosen to work in.
You could be working in a team on a big project, but even within these teams you will be responsible for carrying out certain jobs and must be able to work independently and motivate yourself.
Often you will have to work with customers so you will need to be able to provide a good level of service and be able to build up a good rapport, whether you work freelance or on behalf of a company.
If you want to work in joinery or woodwork you will also need to be design-focused and have a keen eye for detail.
What work experience do you need for a career in Trades
Many businesses offer entry-level apprenticeships and work experience without requiring any prior experience. However, it’s never too early to start learning so try contacting your local trade companies to see if they have any work experience available. You could also try to source a summer placement or internship.
Working on projects in your free time will help you further develop your practical knowledge and help you when trying to secure a job. If you’re still in education you could potentially utilise your college or University resources. Try talking to your teachers or Careers Adviser and see what help they can give you.
Some companies may also have part-time roles that will mostly involve assisting the qualified professionals, but this will enable you to see what the day-to day work is like and ask any practical questions that you have.
Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors Limited (APHC)
Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering
National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers
Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA)
National Federation of Builders (NFB)
Builders Merchants Federation
British Woodworking Federation
Institute of Carpenters
Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
Chartered Institute of Building
Federation of Master Builders
The Guild of Builders and Contractors