Business school isn’t the surest way of becoming your own boss. There are many small business owners who have taken a different path to being the masters of their own lives. A lot of these small business owners have a different kind of training: trade school.
Attending trade school or completing a practical degree puts you in a prime position for either joining forces with a more established veteran in the field, or going out on your own and being contracted for work as needed. Wondering what kind of trades are best suited for a small business model? Here’s some at a glance:
A plumber takes care of the hydraulics in residential and commercial properties, repairing leaks, clogs, and more. If you have ever needed to hire a plumber, you’ll know that their hourly rates are quite high, anywhere from $45 to $150, exclusive of any parts or materials. Yes, you’ll have to get certified and get a diploma, go through an apprenticeship, and invest in some equipment, including one of those strong and durable one piece fiberglass van bodies and truck bodies. However, if you don’t mind the possible smell and the messiness, you’re well-suited for the life of a plumber.
Electricians have a wide spectrum of jobs available to them once they have their certifications, however, many choose to be self-employed and be contracted by either general contractors or private individuals. Though there are electrical emergencies, in general the life of an electrician is much more predictable than one of a plumber who can be called at any hour of the day or night. Similar to the training of a plumber, an electrician will go through a trade school degree, a lengthy apprenticeship, and then become a fully licensed electrician. If you don’t yet have the client base or the proper investment for equipment, it’s perfectly normal to work for another electrician until you have saved up enough and plenty of connections for your own business venture.
- HVAC Technician
Heating, cooling, and ventilation are all important to the comfort and safety of a building, and this is exactly what an HVAC Technician is responsible for. So whether you specialize in commercial or residential contracts, you will have a lot of equipment to tote around. Much like the earlier two trades, most technicians work in a bigger company until they have the experience and savings to start their own business.
- Hair Stylist
A hair styling certificate can give a person a lot of flexibility when it comes to work options. A professional can either decide to rent a chair in a salon, be formally hired through one, open your own, welcome clients in your home, or do home visits. Depending on your personal goals and life realities, you might find that one option suits you better than another, however, it all starts with a formal certification from a local beauty or trade school. Not only is this usually a requirement when salons are looking for employees, but even if you decide to go at it alone, you will be able to charge more money than if you were a self-taught enthusiast.
Aestheticians deal with everything from facials, waxing, makeup application, eyebrow shaping, eyelash extensions and more! Whether you later decide to specialize in a certain service or a method of treatment, you are going to need formal certification for both insurance and the safety of you and your clients. Many aestheticians start as apprentices at local salons, however they later either open their own practice or work freelance with the client base they have built over the years. For those looking for a hybrid option, look for complimentary businesses like hair salons, spas and massage practices that may be looking for someone to come in a few times a week and “do their thing” there.
It’s true that not every trade gives you the flexibility to open your own business, however there are many that allow you to be your own boss, often without going to business school. If you are looking for a career where you make your own hours and choose your services, trade school might actually be the route for you.