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New Year, new career? Becoming a tradesman in 2013

As the New Year swings around, many people’s thoughts turn to a change of career and finding a job that is more personally fulfilling and often more lucrative too.

Becoming a tradesman could be the right career move for you. You don’t have to go into this type of work straight from school and many people train for trades careers in later life. You could become an electrician, plumber, tiler, plasterer, gas fitter, carpenter or something else.

People increasingly look for these skills as they try to renovate their homes and make them pleasant places to be. With the housing market the way it is, many people are choosing to improve the homes they already have rather than losing money in a move. Whilst a minority of people will do a lot of the handiwork around the home themselves, most simply don’t have the time or inclination, and of course everyone knows it’s safety first when it comes to gas, electrics and plumbing. Aside from domestic work, you’ll find there are plenty of commercial opportunities too, which can be even more lucrative.

You are probably weighing up whether a career as a tradesman is right for you. Most people in this type of work are practical people who enjoy working with their hands – working behind a desk isn’t what they want! Writing out a list of the pros and cons as you see them will be a good way to help you make an informed decision. Ask friends and relatives and perhaps a careers professional for their thoughts too - some outside opinions can add new perspective.

You’ll have to be happy to work hard – tradesman contracts are almost always on a schedule which can’t be missed so you’ll need to do all you can to hit those deadlines. You’ll also need to be physically pretty fit. Being good with people helps too as you’ll be meeting customers face-to-face on a regular basis.

If you’re thinking about moving from your current career into the world of being a tradesman, you might not be starting totally from scratch. You probably have a lot of transferable skills that you don’t realise. List the skills and qualifications you already have and research those you’ll need for your new career – then you have a clear idea of where you are and where you need to be. There are loads of tradesman courses available to get you on the way to your new career.

Are you interested in being self-employed or would you prefer to be an employee if at all possible? Think about whether you have any good contacts who could help you move your new career forward. Talk to people in the trade, contacts who run their own businesses and even people who use the services of tradesmen to get a better feel for what the job takes and what people are really looking for.

Good luck with your career change in 2013!