- “The Skilled Trades are for Dummies.” Actually, the trades require a varied skill set. Tradespeople usually possess a keen understanding and high aptitude in mathematics, problem solving, logic and science. While most in the skilled trades do not pursue college (not all, I have two degrees myself), education is crucial to the trades. Instead of college or supplemental to college, we apprentice in our industry and earn while we learn. Nothing stupid about that at all.
- “The Trades are a Dead-end with no room for Advancement.” Career options are infinite in the trades. From supervisory roles to ownership, the trades allow you to access financial freedom using your skilled trade. Hard work and dedication required. There’s no short cuts in the trades.
- “Tradespeople aren’t paid well.” A skilled worker could make an upwards of $100,000 depending on motivation, availability and skill level. The average skilled trades worker makes between $40,000-$50,000 a year plus incredible benefits packages meant to entice employees due to skilled worker shortages.
- “Women Can’t be Contractors.” As a woman in the trades, I’ve heard this one. “Women aren’t strong enough,” the trades are not the toughest industry out there. Women often populate industries such as nursing and childcare that require them to lift obscene amounts of weight and deal with some dirty work. The trades require machinery for all large jobs, for men and women.
- “Doesn’t require anything special.” A skilled worker must be licensed through their appropriate state agency. Without proper licensing, certifications and insurance, they are operating illegally. If they are caught operating a business without the proper licensing they can be fined and imprisoned. Tradespeople often deal with dangerous materials, gases and workplaces and MUST be trained and certified to do so.
Allie Perez is director of operations, Mr. Plumber / Mr. AC, San Antonio (http://www.mrplumbersa.com). Her interesting viewpoints on the trades can be found on her blog at http://www.mrplumbersa.com/blog. She also is founder of Texas Women in the Trades (TWIT). Visit texaswomenintrades.com. Fortunately, TWIT is off to a strong start. If you have any interest in membership or mentorship, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please like Texas Women in Trades on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/texaswomenintrades.