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Five tips for an aspiring trade worker

The role of a trade worker is an essential part of any industry landscape. Always in-demand, the opportunities available are as diverse as they are important.

The ability to build, construct or even design are appealing options to a range of individuals. However, like all pursuits, once you've chosen your career path, it's not as easy as just taking that first step. You need the proper guidance and correct knowledge to make the right choices.

Holmesglen Carpentry teacher Malcolm Dawson shares five tips for an aspiring trade worker who is considering a career in the field.

Consider your options

Considering a career can be daunting. Therefore, it's not simply about finding the right career path, but rather finding the career path that is right for you. As you approach the end of high school or perhaps you're looking to re-skill and/or change industries, look at your options and the opportunities that may be available. Online portals, such as, can help with these insights.

Do your research

So you've chosen the trade… now you want to know: What's involved? Is there plenty of work? Is there work in your area? Do you know anyone in that trade?

Speak to the professionals; find out what they have to say about the trade. Ask questions and perhaps spend some time looking at building sites to see how it all works.

Understand your trade choice

Some of the trades these days have different streams (or paths) e.g. plumbing can cover six streams, which include water, sanitary, drainage, mechanical services, roofing and gas services. Carpentry can cover domestic construction, framing, fixing (interior or exterior work), formwork and partition work.  Electrical has different streams too. Essentially, finding the umbrella trade is one part of the process, then finding your specific area of interest is equally as important.

Recognise every career path has a starting line

So you've made your choice, now what?

Well, as with most careers, you have to start somewhere and usually it's somewhere near the bottom of the ladder. Don't be disheartened, there's a lot to learn and a lot to understand.  Be observant, watch the experienced tradesman, ask questions and "read the plans". You will never stop learning.

Look at the bigger picture

Your trade choice can give you options and/or provide you with endless opportunities with regards to a suitable career pathway.

The carpentry trade can lead to roles such as a building inspector/surveyor, site supervisor or project manager. You could even start your own business. Plumbing is the same, as with a licenced trade all the work is vitally important. Moreover, electrical include repairs, maintenance, new installations, new work, re-wires on old houses. This licenced trade has many great opportunities too.

As with all of the trades mentioned above, there are also related peripheral businesses. Supply businesses for all trades need people with product knowledge and with your previous trade experience you could become invaluable.

You can think even bigger as well. These opportunities are worldwide.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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