What are the Different Vocational Careers?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
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Vocational careers are classified as jobs based on a skilled trade or practical skill. Many people who are good with their hands and enjoy seeing the results of their efforts find great success in vocational careers. The primary difference between vocational and other career streams is the focus on practical or manual activities. In most cases, this category includes all the skilled trades or careers where the training is provided through an apprenticeship program.

There is a wide range of vocational careers, but they can be grouped into three primary categories: technology based, manual process, or skilled trade. People drawn to this type of career are active learners, do not enjoy theoretical discussions, and are results-oriented. Professional pride in a job well done is very common in this career stream, as the end work product is usually a physical item that meets a practical purpose.

Technology based careers include everything from a mechanical technologist to a computer technician. The primary focus of the career and the training is on practical, physical work that must be done. It is important to note that theory is useless if it does not translate into a physical unit or item that can be used to complete a task. A career in technology from a vocational perspective provides opportunity to make a difference in everyday life. These positions are well compensated and offer a range of career advancement options.


A manual process based vocational career includes positions such as baker, florist, carpenter, cabinet maker, and cook. All these careers rely on the physical completion of manual steps. These steps cannot be automated, enhanced with technology, or replaced with alternate processes. All these careers provide a wealth of opportunities for growth and are often the basis for starting a company or business. The skills required to complete these jobs must be learned in a vocational training program.

Skilled trades include auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, and other construction related careers. All these jobs require a combination of physical skill and knowledge. Of all the vocational careers, the skilled trades are the most recognized by the general public. Training in any of these vocational careers provides the skills necessary to start work immediately upon graduation or open your own business.

All vocational careers have the potential to provide a very comfortable income. However, this is based on the level of effort, skill, and determination of the candidate. Take the time to find a career that is of interest to you and put in the work required to make your dream career come true.


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