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6 Trade School Career Opportunities for Hands-On Learners

Trade School Careers

Many high school students take advantage of trade school programs within their high schools. However, not all schools offer these opportunities to young students who are trying to figure out a career path to choose after obtaining their high school diploma. Whether your high schooler has received trade school training, would like to pursue a program upon completing high school, or is considering all of their job and college options, here are six trade school careers where hands-on learners would thrive.


Roofers can work for construction companies or, more specifically, roofing companies that specialize in roof construction and repair. With more styles of roofing and materials being used to construct roofs, the industry continues to grow. However, this job is dangerous. Roofers must take safety precautions seriously, and hands-on training is essential to perform this job safely and efficiently.

Roofing companies have begun to explore more opportunities to better the environment, too. Roofers have become equipped and trained to install solar panels onto the roofs of residential and commercial buildings alike. The average rooftop solar panel system can reduce pollution by 100 tons of carbon dioxide in 30 years. In the roofing industry, there is room for growth and innovation when it comes to the environment, new styles of roofs, and building a steady career.


Becoming a welder requires much training. Welders must be patient, careful, and meticulous. The primary function of the job is to join metal parts together. However, this task can be done in a multitude of industries. Pipelines, ships, vehicles, bridges, and buildings are all areas in which a welder's practices can come into play.

Welders can earn a great deal of money depending on their years of experience and additional training for particular industries or jobs. For example, a welder can work underwater, which is extremely dangerous but would earn more money.

HVAC Technician

HVAC technicians work with heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. They install, repair, and maintain these systems in residential homes and commercial buildings. After obtaining a certification, an individual must participate in an apprenticeship. Then, they can earn their license.

HVAC technicians can work for companies or on a freelance basis. For example, an HVAC tech may work for a company that solely works within commercial buildings. A freelance tech may work for a family-owned business and only work when called upon to install or repair a system or product within a residential home. They may repair air conditioning systems or furnaces, which are designed to last for about 15-20 years.


Plumbers install, maintain, and repair pipes and other fixtures within homes and buildings. To become a plumber, attending trade school and then completing an apprenticeship can take between two and five years. However, plumbers can make excellent money while working, earning their license and certification, and moving their way up within a company. Plumbers can work for small family-owned businesses, larger corporate companies, or for a particular company, business, or entity as the manager of the plumbing within a building, such as a hospital or nursing home.


Construction Worker

Construction workers can attend a trade school to learn the necessary skills and information needed to work in the industry. Construction workers construct buildings and residential homes, repair homes, operate heavy equipment, remove debris, and distribute and work with a variety of materials, such as concrete. They can also utilize specialized heat treating and cooling techniques, such as annealing, hardening, tempering, and normalizing. Normalizing is a heat-treating technique. A part is held under extreme heat, as high as 1700°F. Then, it is air-cooled to increase ferritic grains in the steel for consistency.

Construction workers have the opportunity to learn interesting techniques, earn certifications in particular areas within the industry, and work their way up within a company to become a construction manager, which requires leadership ability and adds responsibilities but earns more money.


Essentially, electricians install, maintain, repair, and design electrical systems within commercial buildings and residential homes. This job can be dangerous. However, electricians are one of the top-paying trade careers in the country. An electrician's schooling and training altogether can take approximately two to four years. As electricians continue to learn on the job, they can earn more certifications to become qualified for higher positions within the industry and within the company they work for.

Roofers, welders, HVAC technicians, plumbers, construction workers, and electricians must attend a trade school and complete additional training and even apprenticeships in order to become a licensed professional in their state. Each of these positions requires a great deal of hands-on learning and training in order to become properly equipped for the job. If your teen is a hands-on learner and would like to work in an industry that values professionalism and expertise as well as allows for growth and innovation, then any of these six career choices would be a great fit. Consider trade school options that your teen can take advantage of within their high school and beyond.