The 3 Main Trade Professions & How To Forge A Career In Each Of Them

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Whether you are already a professional tradesperson either working for yourself or as part of a larger company, then it may well be the case that your knowledge, skill set, and most importantly, passion lies in your chosen field.

However, it may also be true that of late, you have been considering diversifying your business to encompass one or more different areas, or else are thinking of changing your specialism entirely, then it is important to learn of both the similarities and differences of each trade.

With this in mind, continue reading to learn of the three main trade professions and how to forge a career in each of them.

1. Electrician

In the United Kingdom, remembering, of course, that every country’s rules and regulations are entirely different, to become an electrician, it is necessary to follow some clear and simple steps to ensure the best possible chance of a long and lucrative career.

Although GCSEs are not necessary to take the next step to become a professional electrician, the core subjects of English, science, and mathematics are incredibly useful, but either way, the first mandatory course you must take is the domestic electrical installation course. Either during said course or else directly after the completion of the course, it is important to gain practical and hands-on experience in an electrical internship. Whether you choose to gain experience working at a reputable and renowned electrical parts wholesaler or working alongside a practicing electrical engineer, experience is essential. During this experience, you will learn what high-quality tools you need and how to use them. Eventually, you will be able to go to websites like powerpointelectrics.co.uk to source everything you need without any assistance.

The next step to becoming an electrician is to successfully acquire an NVQ in electrical and/or electronic engineering before finally choosing an area of specialism and starting work either for yourself or for a larger company.

Roles and daily responsibilities of a professional qualified and working electrician may include many, or in some electrician’s cases, just a few of the following:

  • The maintenance and installation of vertical transportation systems, such as lifts and escalators, heating and boiler equipment, and all manner of lighting fixtures and fittings
  • The fitting, assembly, and repairing work on PLC (programmable logic control) panels, motors, and drives
  • The installation, servicing, and mending of any and all electrical devices within the home
  • The undertaking of legally required safety inspections inside both private and public buildings
  • The upgrading and assessment of rail and signalling systems
  • The servicing of road signs, motorway displays, streetlights, and traffic lights
  • The monitoring and mending of a plethora of equipment in manufacturing plants and factories

2. Plumber

There are essentially three different ways to become a professionally qualified and working plumber in the United Kingdom:

  1. The completion of a fast-track plumbing course
  2. Officially working as a ‘plumber’s mate’
  3. The completion of a traditional apprenticeship in plumbing

However, the most popular and indeed the most conventional route to the successful acquisition of a career as a professional plumber is to undertake a full plumbing apprenticeship, which usually takes between three and four years from start to finish.

There are several key advantages to this route into plumbing, which include the copious amount of on-site training time working as a plumber with already qualified tradesmen, the fact you will earn (although minimal) an income while you train, and the fact that the apprenticeship itself will be fully sponsored, meaning you won’t have to pay for any aspect of it out of your own proverbial pocket.

The role of a plumber, like any other type of trade, is always varied and multi-faceted but generally include the following responsibilities:

  • The fixing and installation of washing machines, tumble dryers, showers, baths, and other domestic appliances
  • The installation of heating, water and drainage systems in both personal and public buildings
  • The fitting of flashing and joints to chimneys, walls, and roofs, as well as the fitting of weather-proof materials on the exterior of buildings
  • The regular servicing of oil and gas-fired radiators and central heating systems
  • The joining, cutting, and bending of various fittings and pipes
  • The planning and measuring of all jobs to ascertain and communicate the predicted budget and duration of the job

3. Carpenter

Carpentry is one of the most traditional and equally impressive skills to possess, and as a result, the emphasis on carpentry is far less on academic qualifications and accreditations and far more on the level of passion and dedication you have to your chosen craft.

If you want to join the profession, it is, however, strongly advised to gain as much experience as possible within the industry, whether paid or unpaid.

General daily roles and responsibilities in the daily working life of a carpenter include:

  • Evaluating and choosing the right materials for found defects
  • Reviewing and the assessment of joinery or carpentry refurbishments
  • The installation of fittings and fixtures such as hinges, handles, and locks
  • The accurate sourcing of timber by budget, strength, and size of the various joinery or woodwork projects
  • The designing, developing, and installation of cabinets, drywall, and fitted wooden shelving units
  • Adherence to all legal requirements
  • Measuring and preparing the site prior to commencing work
  • Interpreting, reading, and even modifying specifications and blueprints designed by the architects
  • Working with a wide plethora of suppliers, other carpenters, tradesmen, and clients

Within the exciting world of carpentry, there are a number of specialisms that you may well want to move into, including shopfitting, set design, heritage carpentry, furniture design, and restorative carpentry.