The Importance of Trade Careers

Staying close to hands on work is important.

This Old House

This Old House

William Sawicki, Staff Writer

Going to college and receiving a degree is a very common and almost standard procedure for those leaving high school. Many students do not consider the importance of staying close to manufacturing or hands on work. They are often ushered towards the four year college education and find a serious full time job that pertains to their career.

Most trade jobs or careers do not require a college education, they require time and experience on the scene. For instance, you can show an apprentice how to fix a head gasket failure on a car over and over through lessons, but getting that apprentice on the site to do the job is much more beneficial.

The cost of college hasn’t always been as high as it is now, but with current inflation and current events, the cost of college and uncertainty of said education is very concerning. From Student Loan Planner, “the average student loan debt in America is $37,013 according to the most recent data from Q1 2022 according to the Department of Education.” This instant debt upon leaving college can lead to failure for many graduates.

As of now, college is also slightly uncertain. By this I mean that when you pay for tuition, you could be receiving a class that is virtual rather than in person due to vaccine mandates or because people concerned about being or getting sick.


If you choose to work in a trade such as being a machinist, carpenter, or mechanic, you will mow likely be able to avoid the stress and costs of being in a college.

Being close to manufacturing is very important when choosing a job. This is because there will always be a need for things to be made in this world. For example, during 2020, when concerns of COVID were at their peak, many people lost their jobs because they were considered “unessential”. By having a job that people will always need around, you can nearly ensure that you will have a stable source of income.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics constantly releases statistics in regards to labor and employment. If you view the graphs in the link above, you will see that those who were in trades lost less jobs than other careers.

If you feel that doing schoolwork is pointless and you need to be physically doing something then a trade job is most likely the perfect route for you. Not everyone is “wired” the same and careers are certainly not a one size fits all part of life.

A common misconception is that in order to properly enter a trade, you need to receive a high school education that is directly related to said trade, but this is not true. A student can go to any public or private high school and still be successful in the trade they want to pursue. This is because finding a mentor or training for your interest that is outside of school is not hard. As stated earlier, people are always going to need those who are hands on.

So for those of you who are concerned whether or not you should go to college, talk to your family and friends about it. They may open you mind to new ideas or paths. You should most definitely consider looking into a trade job, but also keep an open mind to other things.