Types of Trade Jobs


Trade jobs have been a favorite choice of employment for millions of people over the decades. Trade positions that exist in many different fields offer opportunities for lucrative and productive futures to those willing to commit to the required specialized training and licensure. In terms of salary, trade jobs can offer some of the best wages, benefits and union support, even during slow economic periods.


  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians install, repair and maintain electrical components of commercial and residential buildings. Construction electricians install fuses, circuits and wiring, while maintenance electricians specialize in repairing and upgrading electrical systems that already exist. Some electricians perform additional duties, such as installing fiber-optic cable lines, low-voltage wiring systems and electrical equipment used in factories and plants. Because of safety issues, the government heavily regulates the electrical trade. Electricians learn their profession through a combination of formal instruction and union0sponsored apprenticeship. Upon completion, electricians are qualified to work as both maintenance and construction electricians. Most states have licensing requirements for electricians, although the requirements vary for each state and type of work being done.


  • A welder's job is to connect metal parts, using extreme heat that melts and then bonds the metal parts together. While there are more than 80 different processes of welding, the two most common types are TIG and MIG arc welding. According to Top Trade Colleges, professional welders fall into nine categories, and are required to complete specialized instruction either before or during their apprenticeship. Welders are employed in industries such as bridge and building construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding and fabrication. On the job, welders are expected to know how to use various types of machinery; be familiar with welding terms and symbols; possess dexterity, mathematical and mechanical skills; and most important, demonstrate adequate safety procedures.

Trade Union Research Officers

  • A trade union research officer works to identify key economic, social and political issues that affect the development and operation of a trade union. The research officers work alongside other unions and agencies that share common goals regarding workplace issues. Trade union research officers work in a multitude of fields, with the purpose of supporting workers' rights, while recognizing the bargaining power of unions and their membership. The job requires research officers to remain current on issues, maintain contact with organizations, interview union officers and members, write analyses of recently passed legislation, respond to research queries, coordinate with members of management, write speeches, publish articles and hold conferences and meetings to determine future activities.


  • Plumbers are responsible for installing and repairing the pipes connected to water, heating and drainage systems. Plumbers also specialize in the installation of appliances, sinks, tubs and toilets in a manner that meets the specifications of the manufacturer, as well as the safety codes and regulations of where they work. In addition to their standardized duties, plumbers repair garbage disposal systems, the pipes in commercial and residential gas systems and inflow/outflow systems for such places as parks, campsites and public pools and fountains. To become experts in their trade, plumbers receive specialized training in trade schools. Many local unions offer paid apprenticeship positions that supplement the required hours of formal classroom instruction.

Mechanical Drafters

  • Mechanical drafters design particular diagrams and specifications for mechanical devices and machinery, using computer programs, like AutoCAD, as well as traditional manual equipment. Although computer software programs have drastically changed the drafting industry, drafters are still required to know how to draw and produce freehand sketches and renderings, and transfer drawings onto paper for blueprint reproduction. Drafters generate illustrations for manuals and publications, design various size blueprints, impose comments and directions onto drawings, compute formulas for machinery and perform modifications to address production issues. In addition to working on drawings and schematics, senior drafters train apprentices, technicians and others entering the field.

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  • Photo Credit "metal and thread with cha cha's new collection of fall hats" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: denise carbonell (denise carbonell) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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