Lesson

Myths, Truths, Skilled Trades, & a whole lot more!

First up… watch the video above. It was put together by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, but it’s relevant to Skilled Trades careers everywhere in the world. They’ve done an amazing job of getting to the heart of what Skilled Trades are in a really fun way!

Let’s get a few things straight about what Skilled Trades careers are because there are hundreds of thousands of opportunities out there, and not enough people who have the “skills” to fill those jobs; that’s a problem. You need to know what’s up.

Skilled Trades careers require people who’ve had some serious and intensive training to become a MASTER at what they’re doing.  Although “Skilled Trades” require you to use your hands, your brain is just as much at work if you expect to be successful.

FYI…  Most Skilled Trades require a level of “Essential Skills” that is as high, or even higher, than it is for many white-collar jobs.

Before we dig any deeper, let’s bust some Myths about working in the Skilled Trades.

busting the myths
  • number 1

    MYTH: People who get good grades shouldn't go into the trades.

    TRUTH…  That’s so false it’s laughable. Skilled Trades are the perfect choice for anyone regardless of whether they were in Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school, or if they barely scraped by. Your grades and GPA are irrelevant to whether or not you could be successful in the Skilled Trades if you decide that’s a good career direction for you. What’s important is your motivation for something that’s exciting to you, and your willingness to learn and succeed!

  • number 2

    MYTH: You need a college degree to be successful.

    TRUTH… Of course you can be successful with a college degree, but you can also be ridiculously successful without one.  That’s a fact! Keep in mind though that to be successful in a career of your choice you’ll likely need some form of additional education and training for you to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become a master at your job and to have opportunities that might not otherwise come your way.

    That could be on-the-job training, apprenticeship, certification, licensure or college degree… any of these could be the ticket to your success so don’t limit yourself to just the college degree option.

  • number 3

    MYTH: Skilled Trades jobs are seasonal.

    TRUTH….  Obviously if your job requires you to be working outside you’re at the mercy of the weather, but many of these jobs are located indoors.  Even those jobs that are primarily outside often have new technologies available to them that makes it possible to work in extreme temperatures.

  • null

    MYTH: Working in the Skilled Trades is a dead-end.

    TRUTH… Skilled trades aren’t just jobs, they’re careers.  If you want to continue to practice your trade eternally that’s great, but if you decide you want to change things up there are so many chances for advancement; from being a supervisor to getting into management. You could even own your own business, or even become a teacher training others in your trade.  How far you choose to go is entirely up to you.

  • number 5

    MYTH: Skilled Trades jobs don't pay very well.

    TRUTH… Whoaaaa, wait a minute.  Like any job or career you get what you put into it. If you’re motivated and skilled, the world is your oyster and you can make an exceptional salary.   If you’re just going through the motions your salary could be “meh”.  Either way, it really depends on the person.

    Overall, the Skilled Trades offer great incomes and many of the salaries are above the national average for all jobs out there in the working world. Not only that, the cost of the education and training to get “skilled” in a trade won’t overwhelm someone with debt; that’s a huge plus. 

  • number 6

    MYTH: Skilled Trades careers are messy and dirty.

    TRUTH… They can be, depending on the career you choose, because obviously being “hands-on” may very likely get dirty and messy. But for people who want to work in the Skilled Trades, that’s not a problem (at all) because being hands-on is what they want and much prefer over being inside behind a desk.  Keep in mind also, that with the constant evolution of technology much of the work people do in the trades is done using sophisticated computer equipment and technology as well as “getting their hands dirty”.

  • number 7

    MYTH: Working in the Skilled Trades is physically hard.

    TRUTH… Again, most Skilled Trades certainly can be physically demanding and require a certain amount of strength.  In fact, that’s why many people choose this type of work; they want to be moving around each day and they enjoy the physicality of their job.  But, keep in mind that there are many different types of Trades careers and each has it’s own type of work environment, and each likely includes creativity and problem solving skills in addition to the physical aspect of the job.

  • number 8

    MYTH: Skilled Trades aren't a good fit for women.

    TRUTH… That’s a ridiculous statement but I had to include it.  Like men, many women want a job where they can be physical and use their strength, stamina, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and problem solving skills. Move over guys, there’s a place for women in the Skilled Trades if that’s where they choose to be for many of the same reasons that men may choose these career paths.

  • number 9

    MYTH: Working in the Skilled Trades is unsafe.

    TRUTH… Yes, some Skilled Trades have significant level of risk involved which is why there is so much government oversight to ensure that strict safety standards are followed at job sites. Employers are required by law to ensure that their workers have a safe work environment, the safety equipment they need, and the training necessary so that employees can maintain their own safety as well as the safety of others on their job site.

Now that we’ve gotten the biggest Myths out of the way, click on the Topic below “10 Careers you probably never thought of, or even heard of.