What Are the Benefits of a Career in Skilled Trades?

The benefits of a career in skilled trades are numerous. From working in a high-demand field to getting trained and certified quickly, there are several potential upsides to choosing this line of work. Keep reading to discover whether a career in skilled trades is right for you. Along the way, we’ll also explore how the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy (GCTA) can help set you up for success.

What Are Skilled Trades?

As the name suggests, skilled trades are career fields that involve mastering specialized skill sets. These vocations typically do not require a four-year college degree. Instead, education and qualifications are built through methods such as hands-on work and certification courses.

When you think of skilled trades, your mind may automatically go to jobs in the plumbing, construction, and manufacturing industries. However, skilled trades jobs exist in a wide variety of sectors, from healthcare to information technology (IT). Here is just a small sampling of potential skilled trade job titles:

  • HVAC Technician
  • Plumber
  • Carpenter
  • Electrician
  • Bookkeeper
  • IT Specialist
  • Cosmetologist
  • Office Manager
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Graphic Designer
  • Medical Assistant
  • Head Cook or Chef
  • Cable or Fiber Optics Technician
  • Licensed Insurance Sales Producer

If you want to pursue a future in skilled trades, there is most likely a career path to fit your interests and talents.

Skilled Trade Career Benefits

As you can see, skilled trade careers offer a ton of benefits. They include:

  • Certification and training that take far less time and money than a four-year degree.
  • Company paid training opportunities to build skills
  • Job security
  • The opportunity to earn a lucrative salary
  • Hands-on work that can make a huge difference in improving communities

GCTA: A Path to Thrive

Once you know you want to pursue a skilled trade career, how do you get started? This is where we come in! Goodwill Central Texas offers a range of programs and opportunities to help members of our community succeed. The GCTA provides training in industries such as healthcare, business and professional sectors, skilled trades, and technology. From free training for qualified applicants to career support and job placement services, the GCTA can serve as your partner, guide, and support system throughout your career journey.

How Daquawne Oliver Succeeded with GCTA

Amarillo, TX native Daquawne Oliver grew up working on his family’s ranches. Here, he developed an incredible work ethic. Although Daquawne previously attended college, he found it to be too time-consuming and financially demanding. Ultimately, he chose to discontinue his collegiate endeavors. He had almost given up on finding a career when a family member told him about the skilled trade programs offered at the GCTA.

Daquawne has loved physics since he was a child and was also looking for a career path that enabled him to earn a lucrative living, so he chose to enroll in GCTA’s Electrical Helper program. Through this program, Daquawne pursued and attained certification in General Construction, Electrical Helper (Level 1), Core Construction, and OSHA.

Thanks to the HELPS and Samsung grants, Daquawne didn’t have to pay for these certifications. He states, “I did not have to pay for my license. They paid for three of my certifications.”

About his work and time in the program, Daquawne also says, “People say it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s easy if you set your mind to it.” He goes on to say, “Once you learn the tools, it’s a lot easier.”

Daquawne now enjoys a thriving career in the electrical field working for FSG, a large electrical helper contractor that works all over the US. Upon graduating from the Electrical Helper program, Daquawne started his job making $17 per hour. Since then, he has received two pay raises and now earns an hourly wage of $22. Additionally, has access to as many overtime hours he wants, significantly increasing his hourly pay. He gets time and a half if he works Saturday, and double time if he works Sunday. He was even promoted to a special safety position at FSG and now trains people to be safety managers.

In Demand: A Career in Skilled Trades

Just recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated an increased demand for skilled laborers in the workforce over the next 10 years. Individuals like Daquawne and those who pursue a career in the skilled trades fields are becoming increasingly in demand. As a result, many of our graduates have found success immediately after graduation, landing jobs with opportunities for career growth and high earning potential. Several of our graduates have even started successful businesses and now manage their own team of employees.

The GCTA offers skilled training courses for careers such as electrical helper, construction, and commercial vehicle operator. “We’re really thoughtful and strategic about the way we select our programming,” said Alexis Denny, Senior Director of the GCTA. “We know that the programming we offer sets students up for jobs that are in-demand and well-paying.”

There’s never been a better time for someone to consider a career in the skilled trades. You can earn your certification in six weeks at no cost to you. In addition, Goodwill offers one-on-one guidance with a Career Coach to update your career skills and get connected to employer partners in a professional workplace. Daquawne is one of many success stories from our Goodwill Career & Technical Academy program. Do you want to be the next one? Get started today!