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For some people, it is hard to find out exactly what career they would like to pursue until they actually choose a profession and experience it.

There are different careers in the trades, all of which require a particular skills set, but all which carry similar benefits: being your own boss, not being confined to the walls of an office, being able to take time off when you need it, and a variety of other perks.

Here are a few signs to help you determine which trade is right for you:

The Builder - Athletic, Collaborative, Mathematical, Precise, Tactile

If you’re the kind of person who sees the big picture but craves for the finer details; find comfort in maneuvering huge and heavy objects; and don’t mind calculating measurements down to the millimeter, you could be a builder.

A builder also finds little appeal in pushing paper at a desk behind the scenes, and would rather be on a shop floor transforming raw materials lying around into something tangible, or be on a job site hammering away alongside other trades people to bring a project to life.

If this is you, you may choose a trade as an iron worker, sheet metal worker, or construction electrician.

The Analyzer – Agile, Independent, Inquisitive, Logical, Persistent

If you are the kind of person who looks forward to the next puzzle, and the bigger the challenge, the better, you should consider a career in the trades. Once you have a general understanding of how the parts in a process work together, you will have no problem applying that knowledge in all sorts of situations.

A tinkering aficionado at heart, trial and error is your secret calling. You’re like a detective, carefully weighing the evidence and collecting clues to zero in on the perpetrator and solve the case.

Consider a career as a refrigeration & air conditioning mechanic, industrial electrician, or instrumentation & control technician.

The Operator – Calm, Careful, Confident, Co-ordinated, and Decisive

Do you ever feel like you were born for the driver’s seat, and whenever the dashboard lights up and the engine roars to life, so do you? You can stay cool under pressure, feel confident in your movements, and are always eager to set out on a new path, you should consider a career in the trades.

People who are at their best when behind the wheel, and were possibly first in line to get their driver’s license when they turned 16 should consider flexing their skills off the road and mastering something new like being a heavy equipment operator, mobile crane operator, or rig technician.

The Fixer – Analytical, Dexterous, Mechanical, Systematic, Resourceful

If you’re one of a kind who really likes to understand what makes things do this and that, love taking things apart, swapping in new parts and putting them all back together – whether it is a computer, toaster, or car, you are a born fixer.

If you are the kind of person whose instincts drive you to fix something that stops working instead of replacing it; you are like a doctor conducting tests and taking stock of the symptoms to diagnose the problem and find a cure, consider a career as an aircraft maintenance technician, automotive service technician, or industrial mechanic (millwright).

The Artisan – Attentive, Creative, Expressive, Inventive, and Precise

If you’re a keen observer with a great creativity and the talent to deliver on it, are imaginative enough to see new things where other people don’t notice anything, where people see a white wall you see a blank canvas, you’re an artisan.

Your mind is set so differently that when people see a cow and a garden, you see a delicious meal. You have a knack for assessing what is in front of you, visualizing possibilities and transforming your creative vision into reality, consider a career as a painter, decorator, cook, or automotive refinishing prep technician.

The Outdoorist – Adventurous, Curious, Nimble, Outdoorsy, Visual

Some people are in their element in the great outdoors with the earth below them, nature around them, and nothing but the sky above them.

If you were the fearless kid growing up, who was always busy climbing trees and dissecting bugs in the backyard, have a gift for identifying unusual things in your environment, recognizing stressed plants and making them grow, you could be a great arborist technician, utility arborist, or landscape horticulturalist.

Finding the right career

If you choose a career in trade, there are many industries that you can join, including renewable resources, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, or others, but what you should keep in mind is that you don’t have to choose the best job the first time. Simply start with a career that you find to be good enough and doable.

Put your body and mind to work doing what you choose to do, and you could grow to love it. No two trades are exactly the same, and every day comes with new challenges and opportunities. So anyone who chooses a trade has the opportunity to design and create a career that taps into their unique skill set.

The trades offer many challenges and opportunities for a mobile, flexible career that suits your unique interests. And as a certified trades person, your skills are in high demand all over the world.


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