If you want to enter the workforce quicker without spending years in college then we recommend attending a vocational or trade school in your area. Unlike a traditional college, a trade school focuses on hands-on training that is specific to a skill or trade. When you graduate you’ll have all the knowledge and experience necessary to apply for an entry level job in your training profession. Most trade schools will teach you the trade in as little as a year and are a fraction of the cost of attending a four-year university. Below are the top 15 most flexible vocational careers and how to go about finding a school in your area to research.
If you have ever dreamed of becoming your own boss then look no further than becoming a contractor. The industry has so many different areas you can concentrate in including the housing market, commercial, inspector, concrete, framing and more. Every state has specific licensing requirements on what is needed for you to practice legally in the state. If you have prior experience you could qualify to get the training part waived. Most states require you pass a law program as well as one that is specific to your trade (like plumbing or carpentry).
2. Landscape Designer/Owner
Landscape design has changed so much over the past 10 years as the world faces drought. Home owners are looking for an easy to maintain lawn and landscape that is environmental friendly all while saving water and chemicals. Another area of landscape design is the AutoCad design of what the home will look like before work starts. This allows the home owner to see a detailed map of the property.
3. Electrical Technician
Becoming an electrician is a great career that can lead to you owning your own business one day. Finding an electrician school is easy. You’ll learn about air conditioning and heating units, lighting installation, power line installation and more. Most electricians work with home owners on their projects but many work for home builders installing electrical lines and setting up wiring for new homes. Once you gain enough experience you can then contract out your services to companies.
4. Plumber - Installer and Repair Techician
Get started with a flexible career such as being a plumber. As the housing market continues to grow so does the need for good plumbers. Plumbers are in charge of trouble shooting issues at your home including the inspection and even installation of water and gas pipes.
5. HVAC/R Technician
Search your area to find the best HVAC training schools available. Many cities have plenty of choices when it comes to HVAC/R training schools so make sure to research the best fit for you. HVAC technicians can earn between $40,000-$68,000 per year depending on the state and city you work in. Many technicians become residential installers and deal with air conditioners and humidity machines where others might deal in larger commercial installation and or repair.
6. Diesel Mechanic
Would you enjoy working on large diesel engines? Many people think you’ll be working in a dirty auto shop when in fact some of the top diesel mechanics make over $100,000 a year and work on some of the most complex engines. Programs are sometimes hard to get into and can last 2 years in order to gain enough knowledge to enter the workforce. During your training you’ll learn about torque converters, electrical systems, engine management, electronic control and maintenance.
Do you love working with your hands? Do you enjoy working with tools to make a finished product ready to be sold? Carpenters today are still a vital part of our economy and skilled labor is still being taught at our trade schools today. Everything from framing of houses to prefabrication all require carpenters to do the job that machinery can’t.
8. Truck Driver
Start training today and earn your CDL license. Being a truck driver is one of the more flexible careers you can have as you decide how often you wish to travel. If you enjoy the open road then this could be the perfect career for you. The average truck driver can earn up to $55,000 per year, more depending on who you work for and how often you plan on driving.
9. Automotive Detailer
Many auto detailers first start our working at an auto dealership and soon find out car owners are willing to pay big money to have their cars detailed. Many detailers can earn as high as $1000 per car depending on what needs to be done to the car. Some specialize in leather restoration and others engine detailing. It take skill to buff out paint and make it look show quality. Many training programs you’ll find cost under $1500. This career is perfect for those who want to have a mobile auto detail business traveling to clients home and working on their car.
Ever get locked out of your home or car? It happens every day to 1000’s of people. The average locksmith can open up a home or car in under 2 minutes and can charge from $75-$150 per call. You can learn how to become a locksmith in less than 6 months and be on your way to becoming a mobile locksmith or open up your own shop.
11. Auto Mechanic
Become a certified auto mechanic and start your new career. The great thing about this career is you are typically paid by the hour so you’ll have the flexibility to work the hours you want. Every city has auto mechanics and you can join the ranks of those working for general mechanic shops or get the right certification and work for specialty places such as Chrysler, Mercedes Benz or Ford. Auto mechanics can earn between $40,000- $70,000 per year.
12. Appliance Repair Technician
Some of the larger appliances of the home including refrigerator, dishwasher and kitchen stove are items that constantly need maintained. When they break you can’t take them in and have to call a repairman. As an appliance repair technician you’ll take service calls and work on these and other appliances.
13. Motorcycle Repair Technician
If you love working on motorcycles then take it to the next level and make a career out of it. Motorcycle technicians do more than just fix bikes. These days they assist with custom bike builds and help build some of the best custom engines around.
14. Small Engine Repair/Owner
Every lawnmower in the county runs on a small engine. They are easy to fix yet very few people can actually work on them. Courses are available for under $1500 that will teach you how to properly maintain, build and overhaul small engines.
15. Jewelry Designer
If you loved art and enjoy being creative then you should consider becoming a jewelry designer. Shops across the county design their own jewelry either by scratch or using custom molds. You’ll learn in school how to design rings and even molding.
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