Blending knowledge with applied skills, vocational workers form the backbone of our economy. Whether they’re creating homes or repairing vehicles, the work of these individuals is essential. If you have natural skills or simply an interest in pursuing a vocational career, consider yourself lucky. Training programs for these careers are usually fairly affordable, and the high demand for qualified workers in many vocational fields can make your job search a cinch.
What’s Involved in a Vocational Career?
One of the best words to describe the range of career paths that fall under the vocational category is diverse. Whether they’re driving an eighteen-wheeler, teaching an aerobics class, or installing a hot water heater, vocational workers get to use a variety of skills on the job. While it’s difficult to generalize among the wide array of vocational careers, most are hands-on and many involve direct contact with clients.
What are the Benefits of a Vocational Career?
Individuals employed in a vocational career enjoy a myriad of benefits, depending on their area of expertise. Consider some of the following examples:
o Due to the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road, employment of auto mechanics is expected to grow by fourteen percent through 2016. Average hourly wages for mechanics topped $17.50 in 2007. In addition to steady earnings and good job prospects, skilled mechanics can go into business for themselves, adding independence and flexibility to an already attractive career.
o If surrounding themselves with beautiful flowers wasn’t appealing enough, one-third of floral designers are also self-employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for many new replacement workers in this field, and average hourly pay was nearly $12 in 2007.
o Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians should have excellent job prospects through 2016. Median annual earnings approach $40,000 in this field and many HVACR employers offer company vans, tools, and uniforms as well as health insurance and pension plans.
How Can I Get Trained to Enter a Vocational Career?
Training for vocational careers differs from occupation to occupation. In general the training requirements fall into one of the following categories:
o On-the-Job Training. In fields such as child care and truck driving some employers may offer on-site training to new hires.
o Certificate Programs. For topics ranging from aviation technology to welding, these training programs can usually be completed in six months to one year.
o Associate’s & Bachelor’s Degrees. In some of the more skilled vocational professions, such as diesel mechanics or fitness training, you may need to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to be considered for the most competitive positions, vocations, vocational careers, jobs, and careers.