How to become a good and qualified tradie

The timeless Mark Twain quote, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life” is as true today as it was when Twain first coined it all those years ago. If you have set your sights on becoming a reputable and qualified tradie, there’s a fair chance that you enjoy working outdoors, working with your hands, and embracing the challenge of practical problem solving.

So, if you are mulling over a decision to pursue a career as a tradesperson, read on to find out all you need to know about becoming a qualified tradie and where a trade career may take you.

Why becoming a tradie may be a wise career choice

Whether you are a freshly minted school leaver considering what career path to pursue, or a career journeyman looking for a new challenge in a different field, big career decisions almost always feel intimidating and may come with some hesitation. If you are weighing up the decision to become a qualified tradesperson, but haven’t quite convinced yourself to make the leap, here are five reasons that may help sway your decision.

1. Get working and earning right now

A trade apprenticeship can be a great way to dive in with both feet and start earning an income straight away. The beauty of an apprenticeship is that it simultaneously mixes formal studies with paid employment, rather than requiring that you to complete your studies prior to earning an income and valuable on the job experience.

 2. Career opportunities abound

Qualified, skilled, and passionate trade professionals will rarely be short of work given the demand for tradespeople. Once qualified, tradespeople can enjoy steady wage growth, and a defined career path towards forming their own trade business.

3. Create something out of nothing

Becoming a qualified tradie gives you the freedom to create unique things with your hands every day. As a tradie, you’ll build, create, design, or repair something daily. Each day will pose different challenges, opportunities and locations, meaning it rarely gets old.

4. Work where you want to

Unlike some other career paths, tradespeople generally have the option to work where they want to – because it is not an industry that is concentrated in any one general geographical area.

5. Become your own boss

Many tradespeople go on to form their own tradie business, which provides the opportunity to become your own boss and the freedom to set your own schedule, determine how to price your services as a tradie, and enjoy the lifestyle benefits that can come with that.

Essential tradie skills for a rewarding trades career
While becoming an expert tradesperson requires plenty of time on the tools and gaining experience on a variety of different projects, there are certain trades skills that can benefit all tradespeople. These include:

Practical problem-solving skills

Being able to identify the problem, devise potential solutions, nominate the best solution, implement it, and evaluate the results. Having strong critical thinking skills allows tradies to develop efficient solutions to any potential issues.

Mechanical skills

Mechanics often fix motor vehicles and other motorised machines. You may attend mechanics school, complete an apprenticeship or work in a related position to develop mechanical skills.

Listening skills

Attention to detail can be critical for tradespeople, because it increases your chances of delivering mistake-free work for clients. Paying close attention to detail can be critical for tradies because it helps you to complete jobs safely and to your client’s expectations.

Communication skills

Tradespeople are often part of a larger team with individuals with different skill sets and different roles. As such, strong communication skills can be extremely helpful for long-term success in your trade career These skills allow them to communicate their progress, ask questions and assist other team members.

Risk management skills

Whether you are pursuing a career as a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, or any number of other trades, your career may expose you to some on the job risks that can potentially have serious consequences. As such, many tradies reduce their exposure to risk through business insurance for tradesmen. Tradies insurance can provide:

  • Protection against claims from third parties for accidental personal injury or damage to their property.
  • Protection for the tools of your trade in the event they are lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Financial protection in the event you are faced with a claim.

It’s also worth noting that certain types of business insurances may be required when taking on a certain contract.

Recommended reading: Risk Management Guide for Tradesmen

Upskilling for qualified tradespeople

Once you’ve completed your trade apprenticeship and gained your trade qualification you are qualified and ready to get stuck into your trade career.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your learning and development should stop, because every day in the field can be a learning opportunity and a chance to upskill. Here are two options tradespeople may consider for upskilling after they’ve completed their trade apprenticeship.

Enrol in additional trade education

A strong appetite for lifelong learning can elevate your trades career and open doors to exciting new opportunities in which you can truly demonstrate your mastery of your craft.

While you are already certified in your trade with plenty of on-the-job experience under your belt, continuing your formal trade education can be beneficial and allow you to develop your hard and soft skills.

Recommended reading: Guide to Handyman Course and Training: Improve your business

There are several trades courses that qualified tradies can enrol in to further improve their knowledge. For example, a drywall installer may register for a wall and ceiling lining course to further develop their craft and offer additional services to clients. And there is also plenty of scope here to develop your soft skills as well, including leadership skills, communication skills, decision making skills, emotional intelligence, and assertiveness.

Find a mentor

A second strategy that qualified tradespeople may consider for upskilling is finding a mentor to help guide you on your trade career path. Seek out a true industry leader and thought leader in your chosen trade profession – someone who is held in the highest esteem in your industry.

If they agree to become your mentor, make it easy for them, and be appreciative of their time. In return your mentor may offer you career tips, including business tips, tradies quote tips, how to estimate a job, or additional training to teach you more about the industry and help you improve your skills. Consider industry experts you worked with in the past when looking for a mentor as you may already have a relationship with them.

At BizCover we help tradie small business owners compare competitive trade business insurance quotes from leading insurers online fast, enabling you to get covered in minutes and get on with your day. If you prefer to pick up the phone, you can reach us on 1300 920 864.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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