What It's Like to Work in the Skilled Trades While there is a great deal of satisfaction in being able to do work that most people can't, the stigma of an industry that doesn't require a college degree continues to hamper the efforts of employers to meet the need for skilled workers. The trades should be viewed as an option as seriously as a college education. A skilled tradesman has a career, and they can be quite financially successful. Electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, construction managers and HVAC professionals are well-paid professionals that provide needed services to the public and to the manufacturing industry. While a four-year degree is not required, some post-secondary education is usually required and increases your value. Although the general unemployment rate remains high, skilled workers are in high demand. With many current skilled tradesmen nearing retirement, in many parts of the country there is a looming shortage of skilled workers. Apprenticeships can lead to a successful career in many of the trades. Why You Need a Resume As you pursue your job search, you want to attract employers that are willing to pay for your skills, and the only way they'll know about your skills and accomplishments is through your resume. You should mirror their job requirements by highlighting your corresponding qualifications and education so they can visualize you as part of their team. For help putting together a resume that can tip the scale in your favor, go to LiveCareer for examples of well-written resumes.