Have you ever found yourself sitting behind a desk, typing up numbers, eating a bad sandwich, looking at the next cubicle thinking “I should have gotten into a trade.” Yep, me too.
There are so many out there, but is woodworking one of them?
And, how do you get into it?
Woodworking is without a doubt considered a trade. A trade is something that requires an individual to have a very particular skill that, to some degree, requires manual labor which is either gained through practice and experience or through a professional trade school aligned with apprenticeships.
Knowing this, it is more than obvious that woodworking is a trade.
How could it not be?
It requires serious practice in order to master the skill and manual is its middle name.
Keep on reading to understand what exactly a trade is, how woodworking is considered a trade, and whether or not you can go to a trade school to master this age-old craft.
What is a Trade?
Before getting into all the ins and outs of woodworking as a trade, you first have to understand what exactly a trade is and what qualifies something as a trade.
No, this is not a matter of you swapping your Doritos in lunch for your friends Caprisun – not that type of trade.
This is a matter of defining what exactly makes woodworking something different from a collegiate degree.
And as it turns out, you do not have to have a degree to get your hands dusty
Ever heard of a bachelor’s degree?
If you haven’t, this is the degree a college is going to hand you at the end of four very long years of up-all-nights, endless study sessions, countless papers, and many tears.
Ok, I can’t make it sound that bad, I loved every minute of university, but it is a TON of work.
After you are done with all those grueling hours of studying, you get your degree and you are off into the big world to find your place among the working people.
Plenty of people go this route, however, there is a good chunk of people who decide to forgo that route and take one that is a bit less traveled – they step into a trade or go right into trade school.
More on this later, but let’s first define what a trade even is.
To be considered a trade, there typically must be an action that requires some type of specialized skill that usually encompasses some type of manual work. A trade does not require a four-year degree and can either be learned through training or through some type of specialized trade school depending on what you are looking to get into.
So long are the days of pencil-pushing.
With woodworking, this can be something you learn over years of apprenticeship, or you can even go to trade school to get more formal training.
You will find that many people going into trades do so because the manual labor is both enticing and well-paying.
Because common society has pushed four-year degrees from universities, many people going into trades have found that they are highly profitable due to the limited number of people working in them.
This all goes back to supply and demand- and trades are in demand.
How is Woodworking Considered a Trade?
If a trade is something (in so many words) you do with your hands, then woodworking should be at the very top of the list.
Many people, when they think of trades, go straight to welders, plumbers, and electricians.
These are just a few of the jobs that really see a huge need when it comes to customer use.
Everyone has something that breaks, leaks, and loses power at some point in time and they need someone skilled enough to get things in top shape.
All of these different trades require a very particular and special knowledge of the individual to work in that particular area.
They do not require a four-year degree, but they are manual labor jobs that take a lot of brainpower to keep the world running.
As it turns out, woodworking is no different.
Now, you may not be turning on the city’s lights with your skill, but woodworking is just that – a skill.
You have to be trained or practiced in the area to be able to perform.
This fact alone is what helps to qualify woodworking as a trade.
You are creating and fixing things with your hands and you have to have experience in order to get the job done right.
This skill is one that requires time to build and dedication in order to reach a level of expertise.
Not anyone can do it and those who pursue woodworking have the work cut out for them.
Just because something is fun for many, does not mean it is easy, but it certainly is a rewarding trade.
It is a rewarding trade in the sense that you have the power to take your craft as far as you want it to go.
If you want to simply learn to master a few quick woodworking moves and leave it at that? Go for it!
If you want to spend your days, weeks, months, and years mastering the craft, we are all here for it!
No matter what level your woodworking is at, you have the potential to do a lot of good whether it is fixing or creating, the benefits of your craft are tremendous.
More specifically, you can get into woodworking and more narrowly define your niche.
You can get into custom furniture making, cabinetry, interior trim and woodworking in homes, or smaller woodworking designs like jewelry, kitchenware, and more.
The limits are endless considering the nature of your woodworking imagination.
Are There Woodworking Trade Schools?
We all know that every electrician has to go to school in order to get to walk through your house and fix that janky chandelier wire.
(On a side note, if your electrician is someone you picked up on the side of the road, you may want to rethink your life choices as well as their credentials).
Moving on. Even though many of those “big” trades do require some type of trade school, is woodworking included in that?
To be a woodworker, you absolutely are not required to attend a trade school.
For many people, woodworking is a well-refined hobby and stays just that throughout their entire lives.
This is completely fine!
If you are someone who wants to use woodworking as a hobby, then saddle up and get to sawing because absolutely no one can or would stop you!
This is the joy of woodworking, you are able to educate yourself, unlike many other trades.
Of course, a little help from someone more experienced may help your development, but what if you want to get really serious about woodworking?
As it turns out, there are carpentry trade schools out there that will give you the more formal exposure you are looking for.
These are typically schools that offer a two-year degree or certification programs that will get you on your feet with woodworking.
If you want to go even bigger than a two-year degree, there are even some bachelor’s degrees and even master’s programs for those of you that really want to formally dig your feet into carpentry.
These programs are few and far between, but they are out there and are available to you if you want to get some bang for your buck (come on, no higher education is cheap).
Even with the expense, a big payout can always come with the right work!
If going to trade school is not your thing, do not sweat it.
One of the most enticing aspects of woodworking is that anyone can start it at any point in time.
This does not mean that everyone is skilled with it or even has talent, but you can start at the very lowest point of the woodworking totem pole and work your way up to the very top simply with practice and skill perfecting.
School is never a requirement and this is what makes it one of the greatest trades.
When you look at top performers in the woodworking world, you are going to find people who have a natural ability to see, study, and work with wood.
They will take the time to learn the ins and outs of their trade, will perfect their design work in their woodworking projects, and will provide the world with woodworking masterpieces that point to a higher manifestation of the mind and soul.
Truly, woodworking is one of the most remarkable trades that can be taken up on a smaller or more professional level.
If you are considering diving in, consider this your (not so) gentle nudge.
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