Four Trade Careers That Employers Are Looking to Hire

Source: Yahoo

Promising Trade Careers

Looking for work? Many trade careers have a bright outlook for the future.

With so much emphasis on higher education these days, it may seem like your job search is hopeless without at least a bachelor's degree. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
For one, the most recent U.S. Census data shows that 70.5 percent of those 25 and over who participate in the civilian labor force have less than a bachelor's degree.
And while it's true that a bachelor's degree can be a great route to career opportunities, there are a growing number of manufacturing, construction, energy, and other trade jobs that are definitely not reserved for bachelor's degree holders.
In fact, not only are those with higher education not taking manufacturing, construction, and energy jobs, they can't, according to the "A Better Measure of Skills Gap" study by non-profit ACT (American College Testing). ACT assessed examinees on three WorkKeys® dimensions: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information (WorkKeys® is ACT's proprietary assessment system for job skills that facilitates employers' ability to "select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce").
What they found was that when it came to targeted manufacturing, construction, and energy jobs, those with less education tended to have the edge over those with a bachelor's degree or higher.
The take-away: There's a skills gap, or lack of qualified applicants, when it comes to these industries. Robyn Saunders, career coach at the New York Public Library, agrees.
"There are definitely opportunities out there in the trades and the vocations, but many job seekers lack the skills and credentials to match them," says Saunders. "If you're looking for this kind of work, you've got to ask yourself, 'What am I willing to do to get this position?'"
Next step: Click to Find the Right Trade/Vocational Program.
Saunders contends that it's those who are willing to get the preparation, do apprenticeships, and adapt to new technologies who have the edge.
O*Net OnLine, a partner of the American Job Center network, has identified certain jobs as "Bright Outlook" occupations. These are jobs that "are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations."
Keep reading to learn more about four bright outlook trade careers that you don't need a bachelor's degree to pursue.

Career #1: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Find Degree Programs Number of jobs being added from 2012 to 2022: 55,900*
Ever wonder what your life might be like without modern conveniences like heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration? That should give you an idea of just how important heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) mechanics and installers are, and how prized their services are to customers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, HVACR mechanics and installers install, repair, inspect and maintain HVACR systems, connect systems to air ducts, fuel lines, water supply lines, or other components, install electrical wiring, and repair or replace defective or worn parts. They may also make recommendations regarding energy efficiency for HVACR systems.
Why It's a Bright Outlook Career: Pursuing a career in HVACR repair or installation makes for a smart choice in today's market because it's a robust field when it comes to job opportunities right now, according to Roy Cohen, of, a website that offers services such as defining career direction and strategy, preparing a resume, and interview prep.
Cohen says that HVACR installation and repair "might not be as clean as other options, but as the population gets larger and people are living longer, we're going to need these skilled workers to heat, cool, and handle food supply in homes, offices, schools, and public places."
Another factor driving growth here, according to Cohen, is the increasing concern over the environmental implications of heating and cooling. "The demand is for environmentally-responsible methods of supply, so a lot of development and growth will continue in this field."
Next step: Click to Find the Right HVACR Program.
How to Prepare: As HVACR systems become increasingly complex, the Department of Labor says that employers might prefer to hire candidates that have apprenticeships or post-secondary education. A growing number of these professionals get instruction from technical, trade, or community college programs in heating and cooling that could lead to a certificate or associate's degree. Some states may also require professional licensing, says the Department.

Career #2: Welder

Find Degree Programs Number of jobs being added from 2012 to 2022: 20,800*
From cars and planes to bridges and pipes - and everything in between - somebody needs to build these big structures and pieces of machinery by joining pieces of metal together properly. And that somebody is a welder.
A day in the life of a welder could include reading blueprints or sketches, calculating dimensions to be welded, and then using torches and machinery to join metal parts together, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Welders also polish metal surfaces and perform maintenance on their equipment.
Why It's a Bright Outlook Career: For Cohen, welding is a growth field that's seeing a spike due to the housing market rebounding in the wake of the recession. "With the way that construction and real estate have picked up in a significant way recently, again, we're going to need welders to restore old structures and build new ones."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Welding Program.
How to Prepare: Per the Department of Labor, requirements for welders could be as little as a few weeks of technical education, on-the-job training, or several years of technical education together with on-the-job training. The Department adds that welders can get formal education in high school technical education courses and postsecondary institutions.

Career #3: Construction Manager

Find Degree Programs Number of jobs being added from 2012 to 2022: 78,200*
If you've got problem-solving and leadership abilities and you're ready to take your construction knowledge and skills to the next level, there may never be a better time to pursue a career as a construction manager.
The U.S. Department of Labor tells us that construction managers, also known as general contractors, are typically responsible for tasks like planning budgets, explaining contracts and technical information to various professionals, collaborating with engineers, construction specialists, and subcontractors, and making sure all building and safety codes are adhered to.
Why It's a Bright Outlook Career: According to Cohen, the turnaround in the real estate market is again driving a need for qualified construction managers, which makes this position a top vocational career. "New construction means there will be a need for strong leaders to oversee the process of building," he says. He adds that leadership jobs such as this can also mean room for growth and higher salaries.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Construction Management Program.
How to Prepare: The Department of Labor tells us that some may qualify for construction manager positions with a high school diploma and by working many years in a construction trade, although most of these will qualify as self-employed general contractors. For smaller projects, an associate's degree plus work experience is typical. For larger construction firms, however, the Department points out that it is increasingly important for these professionals to have a bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, engineering, or architecture.

Career #4: Automotive Service Technician or Mechanic

Find Degree Programs Number of jobs being added from 2012 to 2022: 60,400*
If you know your car like the back of your hand and have a great feel for machines and tools, a career as an automotive service technician or mechanic may be worth pursuing. Duties for these workers include, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, testing car parts and systems, identifying mechanical problems, fixing worn parts or installing new ones, and performing basic car care processes, including oil changes, tune ups and tire rotations.
Why It's a Bright Outlook Career: According to Saunders, this trade is in no danger of dying anytime soon, as people aren't driving any less these days, and as cars get more use, technicians will be around to keep them running. But that doesn't mean auto repair isn't evolving. "Grease monkey work these days requires way more than meets the eye," says Saunders. "The skill set involved is very analytical - you have to have the experience and education to diagnose a problem and then be able to solve it. There are all sorts of systems involved here, so mechanics have to have electrical knowledge, engine knowledge, and even be in tune with newer technologies like satellite radio, navigation, and so on."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Automotive Program.
How to Prepare: Although a high school diploma or the equivalent is usually the minimum requirement, according to the Department of Labor, the best prep for pursuing an entry-level position in auto service technology is through completing a vocational or postsecondary program. Some service techs, says the Department, earn an associate's degree, which might include coursework in subjects like math, computers, and auto repair. The Department also says industry certification is typically required once a candidate is hired, and most must complete on-the-job training.

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