“He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” -Saint Francis of Assisi
It’s a well-known feeling, that immense satisfaction that comes from working with your hands.
Still, these 9 facts rarely mentioned about trade work may surprise you. Read on to learn why this career path might not be exactly what you once thought…
1. Trade Work Requires Intellect
Far too often the so-called “blue-collar” career path is assumed to be a less intellectually stimulating course.
At the risk of disappointing those looking for a potentially “easier path,” the fact is, most trades require a great deal of thought, creativity, and problem-solving.
Consider your typical electrician. Every day he is traveling to a new location, interacting with new individuals, learning to solve problems in new situations each time.
Some folks envision seeking a degree that will lead them to be innovative–the next Steve Jobs. However, the truth of the matter is, most jobs do have some degree of tedious work required. (Especially office jobs).
2. There’s Great Job Satisfaction
There’s a reason everyone’s favourite classes in secondary school are often things like textiles, food tech or wood tech.
People love creating things with their own hands and seeing projects through from start to finish.
There is a great deal of satisfaction in the trade industry for those who get the chance to use their hands to take something from raw materials and shape or create it into something totally new.
Most trades are at their most basic form, are some type of art.
3. Enjoy Job Security
With trade work, once you become certified in your field, you can basically always count on finding a job. Not only this, but you can enjoy more mobility.
Anywhere you choose to live, there will be a need for mechanics, plumbers, builders, or other trades.
4. Receive Benefits
This is one of the aspects of trade work that often surprises many people. Sure, back in 1900 when mining was among one of the largest popular trades, the working conditions weren’t exactly ideal.
However, today, most trades carry with them an excellent benefits package, great pay, and even opportunities for needed certification.
Because there are thousands and thousands of unfilled trade and labour jobs these days, many governments are working hard to incentivise students and even older individuals to choose trade work to fill these needs.
5. Freedom from Debt
With literally millions of “white collar” workers struggling to pay off student loans, it’s no wonder many of them aren’t feeling at peace with their career path.
In contrast, trade workers can become certified and begin jobs with far less financial burden if any.
As mentioned in our reason #4, many governments and private companies are now providing programs for students who commit to college.
This means that while those white-collar workers are spending years of post-graduate work paying off their student loans, trade workers are not only debt free but upon certification, they enter quickly into work that pays well and has the potential for upward mobility.
6. A Healthier Lifestyle
It’s no secret that heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other similar life-threatening illnesses are running rampant. Many researchers have proven how a major contributing factor to these killers is a sedentary lifestyle.
One of the most long-term and all-encompassing perks of being a tradesman is not having to sit around on your rear all day.
Merely being up and walking about more than the average adult who works in an office could add years to your life.
The health benefits of cardiovascular activities like lifting, bending, climbing, and a myriad of others are innumerable.
7. You’re a Literal “Jack of all Trades”
In today’s economic climate, many tradesmen have definite need of intellect and a variety of skills. Gone are the days of merely doing one task well and calling it good.
Most trade jobs today entail a little bit of business knowledge to garner clients, financial savvy to balance books and know how to turn a profit, management skills to hire and oversee a team. We could go on and on, and on!
While many ignorant souls may assume a builder is merely good at hammering nails, many trade workers are adept at highly specialised business or legal matters as well.
8. More Family Time
How often have you seen people who are doctors on the sidelines of their kid’s football game? Sure, it happens, once a month when their 18-hour shift cycle is over.
Fortunately, for trade workers, time for family is much more easy to come by. Most trade jobs have normal business hours or are even based on weather or sunlight.
This means trade workers are more able to guarantee they will be there for anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays. In the grand scheme of things, this aspect of a job is huge.
After all, how many people do you think wish they had spent more time at work than with their families when their lives were coming to a close?
9. Develop Talents
Trade work allows you the chance to learn new skills that will be useful not only at work but often in daily activities.
The talents and skills you can develop in trade work can lead to fun hobbies, home projects, community service opportunities, or merely the great benefit of being self-reliant when something needs doing around the house.
Finding Happiness in Trade Work
If these 9 little-known perks of trade work haven’t convinced you it’s a great career path, perhaps a little research will.
Check out our post, The Pursuit of Happiness, and read up on how research shows that plumbers are the happiest in their own profession.