The Most Useful Trade to Learn: Exploring Essential Skills for Success

Choose the trade you think is the most useful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 18, 2024 07:57
Are you eager to discover the most useful trade to learn in today's fast-paced world? Look no further! StrawPoll has curated a comprehensive ranking of the most practical and in-demand trades, empowering you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about your future career path. Our extensive list features a diverse range of skills, from carpentry to plumbing, electrical work to automotive repair, and much more. By participating in our poll, you'll not only have the opportunity to vote for your favorite trade but also suggest any missing options that you believe deserve a spot in the ranking. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the exciting world of trades, explore our compelling list, and cast your vote to help us determine the ultimate most useful trade to learn!

What Is the Most Useful Trade to Learn?

  1. 1
    Plumbing is a necessary service in any community and can provide a stable income.
    Plumbing is a trade that involves the installation, repair, and maintenance of water supply systems, sewage systems, and drainage systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. It also includes the installation and repair of various fixtures such as sinks, toilets, showers, and water heaters. Plumbers play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient distribution of water and the proper disposal of waste.
    • Skill Level: Requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise.
    • Licensing: Plumbers often need to be licensed to work legally.
    • Problem Solving: Involves diagnosing complex plumbing issues and finding effective solutions.
    • Physical Stamina: Plumbers must be physically fit and able to perform tasks that require strength and endurance.
    • Attention to Detail: Requires careful inspection and precision while working with pipes, fittings, and fixtures.
  2. 2
    In today's world, electricity is essential, and electricians are always in demand.
    Electrical work is a skilled trade that involves working with electrical systems, equipment, and wiring in various settings such as residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. It is responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems to ensure their proper functioning and safety.
    • Training: Requires proper training, typically through apprenticeships or vocational education.
    • Electrical Codes: Knowledge and adherence to local and national electrical codes and regulations.
    • Safety: Emphasis on safety measures to prevent electrical hazards and accidents.
    • Wiring: Installation and maintenance of electrical wiring systems.
    • Electrical Components: Handling and troubleshooting electrical components like switches, outlets, circuit breakers, and transformers.
  3. 3
    Carpentry is a valuable skill required in construction, renovation, and repair work.
    Carpentry is a skilled trade in which individuals construct, repair, and install wooden structures and components. It involves working with various tools and materials to create buildings, furniture, and other wooden structures. Carpenters are responsible for measuring, cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing wood to meet specific requirements.
    • Hand Tools: Carpenters use a variety of hand tools such as hammers, saws, chisels, and planes for cutting, shaping, and smoothing wood.
    • Power Tools: In addition to hand tools, carpenters utilize power tools like circular saws, drills, routers, and framing nailers for faster and more precise work.
    • Measurement and Layout: Accurate measurement and layout skills are crucial in carpentry to ensure precise cutting and assembly of wood pieces.
    • Joinery Techniques: Carpenters employ various joinery techniques such as mortise and tenon, dovetail, and tongue and groove to securely connect wood pieces.
    • Building Codes and Regulations: Carpenters must be knowledgeable about local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance and structural integrity of their work.
  4. 4
    Welding is a necessary skill in manufacturing, construction, and repair work.
    Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials, typically metals or thermoplastics, by fusion. It involves melting the base metals and adding a filler material to create a strong bond when the melted materials cool down and solidify. Welding is widely used in various industries such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, and aerospace.
    • Shielding Gas: Gas is used to protect the welding area from contaminants and prevent oxidation of the molten metal.
    • Electrode: A consumable or non-consumable electrode is used to carry the electric current and create an electric arc for melting the base metals.
    • Power Source: A power source supplies the electric current required for welding.
    • Welding Position: Welding can be performed in various positions, such as flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead.
    • Joint Types: Different joint types, such as butt joint, lap joint, and fillet joint, can be welded using various techniques.
  5. 5
    With the demand for energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly heating and cooling systems, HVAC technicians are in high demand.
    HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) is a trade that focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and repair of systems used to control and regulate temperature, humidity, and air quality in buildings. These systems are commonly found in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
    • Heating: HVAC systems can heat spaces using various methods such as furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, or electric heaters.
    • Ventilation: HVAC systems provide fresh air circulation in buildings, removing stale air and preventing the buildup of pollutants and odors.
    • Air Conditioning: HVAC systems can cool spaces by removing heat from the indoor environment and releasing it outside.
    • Air Quality: HVAC systems can filter and purify the air, removing particles, allergens, and pollutants, thereby improving indoor air quality.
    • Energy Efficiency: HVAC systems are designed to be energy efficient, helping to reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs.
  6. 6
    With the number of cars on the roads today, automotive repair technicians are always in demand.
    Automotive Repair is a trade that involves diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining vehicles. It encompasses a range of tasks and skills necessary to keep vehicles in optimal working condition. From troubleshooting engine issues to repairing electrical systems, automotive repair professionals are responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of vehicles.
    • Specialized Knowledge: Professionals need a deep understanding of automotive systems and components.
    • Diagnostic Skills: The ability to identify problems and accurately diagnose issues is crucial in automotive repair.
    • Technical Proficiency: Professionals must be skilled in using various tools, equipment, and computer diagnostics.
    • Problem Solving: Automotive repair requires logical thinking and the ability to find effective solutions to complex issues.
    • Attention to Detail: Precision and careful attention to detail is necessary for successful repairs and maintenance.
  7. 7
    Masonry is a valuable skill in construction, renovation, and repair work.
    Masonry is a specialized trade that involves constructing with brick, stone, or concrete blocks. It is primarily used in the construction industry for building structures such as walls, foundations, chimneys, and paved surfaces. The technique of masonry dates back to ancient times and has evolved over centuries to incorporate various styles and materials.
    • Versatility: Masonry can be used in various construction projects, from residential buildings to commercial structures.
    • Durability: Masonry structures are known for their long-lasting and weather-resistant properties.
    • Aesthetics: Masonry offers a wide range of design possibilities, allowing for visually appealing buildings.
    • Fire and moisture resistance: Masonry materials provide excellent protection against fire and moisture.
    • Load-bearing capability: Masonry walls and structures can bear heavy loads and provide structural stability.
  8. 8
    Painting is a necessary skill in construction, renovation, and repair work.
    Painting is a visually captivating form of art that involves applying pigments or colors to a surface, such as canvas, paper, or wood. It can capture and convey emotions, ideas, and stories through the creative use of various techniques, strokes, and color palettes.
    • Mediums Used: Oil, acrylic, watercolor, tempera, etc.
    • Styles: Realism, impressionism, abstract, surrealism, etc.
    • Brush Techniques: Stippling, glazing, dry brushing, impasto, etc.
    • Color Mixing: Primary, secondary, complementary, tonal variations, etc.
    • Composition: Arrangement of elements, balance, focal point, perspective, etc.
  9. 9
    Landscaping is a valuable skill in gardening and property maintenance.
    Landscaping is the process of improving the outdoor aesthetic appeal of a property by modifying its terrain, planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, and designing various elements such as pathways, decks, and water features. It involves transforming the natural surroundings of a property into a visually appealing and functional space.
    • Increased Curb Appeal: Landscaping enhances the visual appeal of a property, making it more appealing to visitors and potential buyers.
    • Environmental Benefits: Landscaping improves air quality, reduces soil erosion, and provides habitats for wildlife.
    • Increased Property Value: Well-designed landscaping can significantly increase the value of a property.
    • Functional Outdoor Spaces: Landscaping creates functional areas for outdoor activities, such as patios, gardens, and play areas.
    • Natural Cooling Effect: Strategic placement of trees and plants provides shade and reduces energy consumption by lowering the temperature.
  10. 10
    Roofing is a necessary skill in construction and renovation work.
    Roofing is a specialized trade that involves the installation, repair, and maintenance of roofs on residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. It focuses on ensuring the protection of the structure beneath by creating a watertight and weather-resistant barrier.
    • Variety of Materials: Roofing offers a wide range of materials to choose from, including asphalt shingles, metal panels, clay tiles, slate, wood, and more, allowing for customization based on performance, durability, aesthetics, and budget.
    • Structural Integrity: Roofing ensures the structural integrity of buildings by providing a secure covering that can withstand various weather conditions and protect against water infiltration, minimizing potential damage.
    • Expertise in Installation: Roofing professionals possess the knowledge and skills required to properly install and fasten different roofing materials. This involves careful planning, precise measurements, and adherence to building codes and industry standards.
    • Repair and Maintenance: Roofing includes the ability to identify and address issues such as leaks, damaged shingles, loose flashings, or deteriorated underlayment. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can extend the lifespan of a roof.
    • Safety Considerations: Roofing involves working at heights, so professionals prioritize safety measures such as proper use of personal protective equipment, fall protection systems, and adherence to safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.

Missing your favorite trade?


Ranking factors for useful trade

  1. Job demand
    Consider the current and future demand for workers in that particular trade. Look at job growth projections and potential job openings in your area.
  2. Earning potential
    Look into the average salary range for workers in that trade.
  3. Level of skill and training
    Consider the level of skill and training required to work in that trade. Look into what type of education or apprenticeships are necessary to become proficient in that trade.
  4. Industry stability
    Consider the state of the industry associated with that trade. Ensure that the industry is stable enough to offer long-term job opportunities.
  5. Personal interest and aptitude
    Lastly, consider your own interest and aptitude. Do you already have some experience or interest in the trade? Would the job duties and work environment fit your personality and lifestyle?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most useful trade to learn. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or trading is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 232 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each trading once every 24 hours. The rank of each trading is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most useful trade to learn

When it comes to choosing a trade to learn, there are a lot of factors to consider. Some may prioritize job security and earning potential, while others may value creativity and hands-on work. Additionally, different trades may have varying levels of demand depending on geographic location and industry trends. That being said, there are a few trades that consistently rank as some of the most useful to learn. These include electrician, plumber, carpenter, and welder. These trades not only offer stable employment opportunities, but also allow for flexibility in terms of specialization and skill development. It's also important to note that learning a trade can be a great alternative to traditional college education. Many trades offer apprenticeship programs that provide hands-on training and the opportunity to earn while you learn. Plus, tradespeople are always in demand and can often command higher salaries than those with a four-year degree. Ultimately, the most useful trade to learn will depend on your personal interests, skills, and career goals. But with the right training and dedication, any trade can lead to a fulfilling and successful career.

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