Vocational skills are trade skills that apply to a technical and practical profession. A typical baby boomer may know all about vocational skills, but millennials are now also beginning to revive the popularity of vocational courses.
If you are interested in learning about vocational skills, what vocational courses you can take, and what to expect in job interviews, then read on as we take a look at vocational careers and the skills needed to succeed in them.
Careers Using Vocational Skills
A vocational career means you have already learned a hard skill that relates to a specific kind of hands-on work. There are different vocational career sectors, each with their own training courses.
Below, we have compiled the different vocational specializations, the skills employers are looking for, and potential jobs.
Automotive Industry Skills
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The automotive industry is all about developing, designing, and manufacturing vehicles. The level of skills necessary for employment in these trade positions will vary, but in general, they require leadership, problem-solving, operational analysis, and teamwork skills.
Automotive Industry Jobs
- Car mechanic
- Car detailer
- Car body repair technician
- Car electrician
- Quality test engineer
Emergency Services Skills
People in emergency services must arrive in an instant to help people. The general skills employers in this field seek are the ability to work well under pressure, strong communication and interpersonal skills, bravery, honesty, responsibility, decision-making, and empathy.
Emergency Services Jobs
- Police officer
- Search and rescue officer
- CPR and first-aid responder
- Coastguard officer
Healthcare and Nursing Skills
Healthcare and nursing, in particular, have become incredibly vital vocational career options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Important prerequisites to employment include empathy, personal hygiene, medical knowledge, procedural knowledge, written and verbal communication, and meticulous attention to detail.
Healthcare and Nursing Jobs
- Licensed practical nurse
- Certified nursing assistant
- Vocational nurse
- Registered nurse
- Surgical prep technician
- Medical technician
- Dental hygienist
- Dental assistant
- Pharmacy technician
- Laboratory technician
- Veterinary assistant
- Veterinary technician
Culinary Arts Skills
The culinary arts deals with the foodservice and catering industry. Required skills include food safety and nutritional science knowledge, time management, leadership, communication, customer service, multitasking, and creativity.
Culinary Arts Jobs
- Sous chef
- Pastry chef
- Foodservice manager
- Quality assurance specialist
Below is a list of other trade jobs commonly associated with vocational education, such as an electrician, and several others that you may be less familiar with, like a web designer.
Miscellaneous Trade Jobs
- Web designer
- Construction manager
- Computer-aided drafting
- Network administration
- Civil engineering tech
- Court reporter
Types of Vocational Education
Different types of vocational schools will help you get started in your trade job training. Students can take training programs in high school, get a degree at a community college, or attend a trade school designed specifically for one vocation.
Many high schools offer vocational training for juniors and seniors, either on-campus, online, or in a school’s career training center. These training options will allow students to start work immediately after graduation.
Some schools allow you to get a trade skill certification and a high school diploma simultaneously, making it possible for graduates to attend college afterward.
Although some colleges and universities offer trade education, for the most part, these types of skills are mostly taught at community colleges. Many of these colleges provide vocational career certificate training programs, in addition to two-year associate degree programs. This can help students acquire a specialized skill set and increase their potential for entering a high-paying job.
There is also a wide range of courses offered online by community colleges, which has helped students continue their education throughout the pandemic.
Going to college or a trade school are both great ways to get vocational education. The main difference is the tuition cost.
Community college tuition tends to be much lower than that of four-year higher education institutions. Trade schools can sometimes cost even less, at an average of $33,000 in total. Furthermore, trade schools offer a more specialized education that centers on hands-on learning rather than emphasizing theory and research.
Vocational Job Interviews and Prospects
During a job interview, your prospective employer will likely ask you questions about your specific skills.
To demonstrate your soft skills, such as teamwork, think of examples both in and outside of your career when you have displayed the skill that your interviewer has inquired about. Try to structure your answer as an issue that needs resolving and explain how you solved the problem.
Make sure to check the requirements of the job you are applying for so you can prepare for the interview before you apply.
The salary for someone with vocational skills depends on their career path. For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a firefighter earns an average of $50,850 per year, while a registered nurse earns $73,300 per year, and a plumber brings in an average of $55,160 per year.
Conclusion: Choose Vocational Skills You Love
If you are still wondering whether it is worth your time to learn a vocational skill, consider whether any of the careers mentioned above are of interest to you. Then, decide if you enjoy working with your hands, helping people, and creating things.
Whether you are interested in saving people, working in health care, fixing cars, or cooking food, there might be a vocational career path that is right for you.
We hope you have gathered insight into some possible vocational skills and the variety of careers that are available to you. By choosing a subject that interests you, you can shape your career and create your own success.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.