How Do I Become a Tradesman?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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There are various ways you could become a tradesman, but your exact course of action will depend on the trade you want to enter. With most trades, you can get started either through taking courses at your local trade school or technical college, or through an apprenticeship with a practicing tradesperson. No matter which method you choose, you will probably also need to take an exam in order to become licensed in your chosen trade.

One of the most common ways to become a tradesman is to attend a trade or technical school. The duration of your schooling will depend on the trade you want to enter. Some may only require a certification program lasting one or more semesters. Other trades, such as heating and air installation or electrical work, may require a two-year associate’s degree. In some cases you may have to complete a year or two as an apprentice following school before you can take your licensing exam.


Another way you can become a tradesman is to enter an apprenticeship right away without going to school first. If you take this route, you’ll probably have to work as an apprentice for longer than you would if you had attended school first. An apprenticeship is where you work for a practicing professional in your chosen for a set amount of time in order to gain experience. This option may not be available for all trades, since some require some level of schooling no matter what.

Once you have obtained all the necessary training, you will need to complete a written exam before you can become a tradesman. You will probably need to study a specific manual or training course before you take the test. There are often classes available to help with studying for these exams as well. If you don’t pass the first time, most exams allow repeat tests after a certain length of time.

In some trades, you will have to work in the field for a set amount of time and then take a follow up exam before you can start your own business as a tradesman. For instance, upon completion of your initial education you can take an exam to become a journeyman electrician. In order to become a master electrician you will need to work in the field under a business owner before you can take your master electrician exam to obtain your master’s license. These requirements will vary depending on your location and the trade you will be entering.


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