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How to Learn a Skilled Trade

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Some skilled trades include carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, plastering, hairdressing and car repair. Learning a skilled trade often requires working with your hand as well as obtaining specific technical knowledge. A skilled trade can offer secure employment, even in the worst economic times. Many labor unions regulate the pay that skilled licensed tradespeople, receive based on their training and experience. Many skilled trades people go on to own successful businesses. Do research and enroll in a training program to learn a skilled trade.


Visit the United States Department of Labor website for apprenticeship training to find general information about programs that are offered in your area.

Look under the subheading “technical/vocational schools” in your local Yellow Pages to find training schools in your area that specialize in the trade you’d like to pursue.

Search websites such as to find job-fair and hiring events in your area that will put you into contact with employers who may be offering apprenticeships or training programs. When navigating this and similar websites search the category "skilled labor jobs."

Contact a Training Program or School

Contact the local trade unions and technical/vocational schools in your area to inquire about enrolling in an apprenticeship program for your particular trade.

Visit the trade union office or school and talk to a counselor or career guide.

Once you find the school or training program that fits your needs, submit an application to enroll in the program.

Apply yourself and practice the techniques needed to excel in your chosen trade.


When deciding which skilled trade you would like to learn, consult the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, at, to learn about the outlook of your particular trade and how to pursue training.

Before you begin an apprenticeship, you may need to secure employment with a contractor who will provide you with the needed hands-on training.

Be prepared to study, because most apprenticeship programs require that some kind of written and practical test be taken to complete the training


Take your classroom training seriously. This is where you will be taught many of the technical and safety aspects needed to be successful in your trade.