How to Determine Your Skilled Trade Career

  • Which Skilled Trade is Right for You?

    OKLAHOMA CITY - January 23, 2020




    Deciding On A Skilled Trade Job

    You're ready to take the next step in your career and invest in your future by learning a skilled trade, but how do you know which skilled trade is the right one for you? How do you decide which path to travel on this new Occupational Therapy adventure?

    To start, you'll want to identify some important aspects of your own personality and capabilities, and then match those with careers that show potential for long-term growth. 


    When you think about the things you enjoy doing, do you ever think about using them in your career? The saying goes that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. If that's true, one of the most important things you can do to think about what brings you joy and if that can play even a small role in what you do each day

    Have you always enjoyed working with your hands? Maybe you're the type of person who'd rather try to fix something rather than buying a replacement. Perhaps a career in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration repair and installation would be right for you. 

    What if you're an early adopter to all new tech? You love staying up-to-date on the latest devices and innovations, connecting how they can improve the lives of you and others. Becoming a computer support specialist could be the path for you to follow.

    It's likely that you could be in this career for many years, maybe even multiple decades. Wouldn't it be nice to look forward to going to work each day, instead of dreading Monday mornings and living only for the weekend?

    Projected Growth

    Your interests shouldn't be the only consideration though. If you've decided to pursue a post-secondary degree or certificate to go into this new career, it doesn't make sense to invest time and money in a job that is on the decline and could be difficult to find in the future. 

    There are specific industries projected to have tremendous growth over the next eight years, including medical, alternative energy, and information technology.

    The potential for long-term job stability is an important factor to consider as you think about the career you want to pursue, but you'll also want to consider the salary available in the role or industry you want to pursue.

    For example, personal care and home health aides are expected to have a 36% increase in jobs between 2018 and 2028, but the median pay is $24,060 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Compare that with solar panel installers who have a projected 63% increase in jobs in the same time frame and have a median pay of $42,680 per year or occupational therapy assistants with a 31% increase in employment with a median salary of $57,620.

    Now, not everyone will be interested in becoming a solar panel installer or occupational therapy assistant. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't do the research about growth potential and salary expectations for multiple careers.

    Next Steps

    Once you've thought through your interests and the opportunities available in the careers you're considering, it's time to get to work. If the path you've chosen requires further education, research local colleges or vocational and technical schools that offer the training and certification you need.

    If the path doesn't require attending a certification program or continued education, but requires on-the-job training, it's time to start working on your resume and references. Express offers a free educational video series called Job Genius that includes information on writing a resume, preparing for an interview, and the right way to follow up after the interview. To access this resource visit YouTube and search Job Genius or visit

    Express Employment Professionals places 550,000 job seekers annually in a variety of positions. Contact one of our 800 locally-owned Express offices today to learn more about opportunities available with the more than 82,700 client companies we work with each year.