3 pro tips to help you jumpstart your career in the skilled trades
Posted: October 02, 2023 | Word Count: 820
For recent high school grads, anyone transitioning from military service or those seeking a new career path, exploring job possibilities in the skilled trades can be eye-opening. The skilled trades present a variety of career pathways in the construction and home improvement industries including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, HVAC, roofing, painting and much more. During Careers in Construction Month, it’s the perfect time to discover job options that may be available to you with the right training.
The demand for skilled tradespeople in the U.S. remains strong, with over 400,000 current skilled labor job openings, according to the Home Builders Institute — and a need for over 61,000 hires in construction per month to keep up with job growth and to replace exiting workers. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts over 3.9 million jobs becoming available for home improvement–related trades over the next decade alone.
With thousands of skilled jobs ready for the taking, making the best career choice becomes easy when you have multiple paths to explore — and will continue to do so for many years to come. If you already work in a skilled trade, this also means it's a great time to increase your skills and continue growing your career.
One resource to get you started is The Home Depot's Path to Pro program. PathtoPro.com provides skilled trades career information and free educational content — in English and Spanish — to help you explore jobs in the skilled trades, as well as training and opportunities to make connections with employers.
One man's journey to a fulfilling career
Residential contractor Brandon Williams always knew he wanted to get into the trades. "Growing up, I loved building things," Williams said, which led him to learn about building as a hobby. "I knew some skills for hobby work, but for an actual job, I wasn't fully trained, and Path to Pro put me in a position where I could get trained."
To prepare for his first job in the trades, Brandon registered for the Path to Pro Skills Program, which now offers free introductory trades training in both English and Spanish..
Hands-on experience made all the difference. "I'd been looking for something in this profession for months before I learned about Path to Pro, but most employers wanted someone with experience," Williams recalled, "and Path to Pro really helped with that."
After he joined the Path to Pro Network, a potential employer contacted him about a job, and his career began. "Every day, there's something new, and this is the part I love about my job," added Williams.
How to find resources to benefit your career path
If you're unsure how to get started, there are many free resources available for jobseekers and career changers. For example, The Home Depot's Path to Pro program offers three options to support your progress in your trades career journey.
1. Visit PathtoPro.com: This website includes a free resource library, in English and Spanish, containing educational guides and video content, training opportunities and helpful information on different career paths to help you better understand your career potential in the skilled trades. The website also helps you navigate the registration process for the Path to Pro Skills Program and Path to Pro Network.
2. Register for the Path to Pro Skills Program: The program offers free introductory trades training, now available in both English and Spanish, for anyone interested in pursuing or growing their career in skilled trades. You can access on-demand content that provides the necessary training to secure entry-level positions in the highest demand trades, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall and painting. You can work through the program at your own pace, at times that best fit your schedule. You'll receive assistance to help you discover the best job for you, improve your resume writing and interviewing skills, learn safety standards and material handling best practices, build and identify transferable soft skills — and plan for your future career growth.
3. Join the Path to Pro Network: This jobseeker marketplace was created to connect skilled tradespeople to hiring trades professionals in the construction and home improvement industries. You can use the digital and downloadable guides, available in English and Spanish, to help you create your profile, upload your resume and even add photos of your work to help connect with The Home Depot's Pro customers who are looking to hire in your area.
"No matter where you are on your trades career journey, Path to Pro has you covered," said Jenna Arca, Director of Workforce Development at The Home Depot. "Whether you're just starting out or looking to make a career change, our program is designed to empower you with the resources, training and networking opportunities you need to build a successful, fulfilling trades career."
Ready to kickstart your trades career journey? Take the first step toward success with The Home Depot's Path to Pro program. Visit PathtoPro.com to learn more.