Trades & Vocations

What is a Trades and Careers Degree?

According to the United States Census, 55.6% of Americans had completed some college in 2009, with 38.5% holding associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees. This means that more than 60% of Americans do not have a college degree, but most of them still have jobs and careers. These jobs, not requiring a college degree, are known as trades and they are important drivers of the American economy. Trades are not learned through traditional universities, but still require a thorough education to master.

What Kinds of Majors are Available for a Trades and Careers Degree?

Trades and careers degrees have many different focuses. Some of these include:


Trades and Careers Degree Curriculum

The curriculum for a trades and careers degree is very different from that of a traditional university experience. These programs typically last from one to two years and strictly focus on the skills required for the profession the student is studying for. They are very hands-on programs that encourage students to learn the trade through experience rather than memorization and reading textbooks. Instructors are usually industry professionals who have active careers in the subjects they teach, making it easy to ask them questions.

What Levels of Education are Available for a Trades and Careers Degree?

A trades and careers degree is not offered at the bachelor's degree level or above because these professions are not taught in traditional universities. Associate's degree trade and career programs are offered for some majors by community colleges. Most programs are offered as certification programs that are given through private institutions or government training programs.

Skills Learned in a Trades and Careers Degree Program

Trades and careers degree programs teach students the following skills:

  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to navigate dilemmas
  • Ability to work with your hands
  • Communication methods to deliver your message to customers or peers
  • Practical skills that can be applied to many different scenarios
Where Can I Get a Trades and Careers Degree?

Trades and careers degrees are offered at a variety of locations. They are offered from online colleges through various accredited schools. They are also available through government education programs, community colleges,  or private trade schools.

Possible Careers for Trades and Careers Degree Holders

Students who earn a trades and careers degree have a variety of professions available for them depending on their majors. The major they choose determines what career they will have, as the training is strictly geared towards the topic chosen.


Learn More About Trades & Vocations Programs

Air Transportation

Air transportation programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are therefore coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program means students will be exposed to a curriculum that combines classroom learning with practical training where students get a chance to try their hand at the skills they have learned.

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Boilermaking/Boilermaker

Boilermaking/boilermaker programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are usually coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program means students will be exposed to a curriculum that combines classroom learning with practical training where students can actually create the devices they study.

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Building/Construction Finishing, Management, and Inspection

Building/construction finishing, management, and inspection programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are usually coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities.

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Carpenters

Carpentry programs are considered trade or technical programs, and are therefore coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program means students will be exposed to a curriculum that blends classroom learning with practical training where students build and practice the skills they have learned.

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Construction Trades, General

Construction trade programs are considered trade or technical programs and are under the guise of these departments at colleges. The nature of the construction field dictates the way in which students learn about it. Generally, students spend equal parts of their time receiving hands-on training and learning about the field in the classroom.

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Electrical and Power Transmission Installers

Electrical and power transmission installer programs are considered trade or technical programs and are under the guise of these departments at colleges. The nature of this profession molds the way that students learn about it. Usually students spend equal parts of their time receiving hands-on training and learning about the field in the classroom.

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Ground Transportation

Ground transportation programs are administered as trade or technical programs, and are therefore coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the ground transportation degree means students undergo a training program that combines classroom instruction with practical experience in the field.

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Health and Physical Education/Fitness

Health and physical education/fitness programs are usually coordinated by the science or medical departments of colleges and universities. The degree is focused on teaching proper training methods and healthy habits. This means that students will engage in hands-on training to learn these methods along with their classroom instruction.

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Leatherworking and Upholstery

Leatherworking and upholstery programs are taught as trade or technical programs, and are usually coordinated by these departments at colleges and universities. The hands-on nature of the program allows students to combine a classroom learning experience with actual training in the area of leatherworking and upholstery.

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Leisure and Recreational Activities

Leisure and recreational activities programs are generally administered under the trades or vocations departments of colleges and universities. Leisure and recreational activities programs prepare students to help others achieve high levels of fitness or to coordinate recreational programs for people of different ages.

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