Vocational colleges across the country offer career training that can help the student for a lifetime. Whether you're interested in traditional manual trades or cutting-edge computer careers, your local vocational school probably has something for you.
Welders join two pieces of metal by using a third piece of metal, heat and electricity. Arc welding is the most common type of welding, but there are at least 100 varieties of welding. As part of their studies, welders generally also learn brazing and soldering--two processes similar to welding. Approximately two-thirds of welders work in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Machine tools like milling machines, lathes, grinders, drill presses are the domain of machinists. Machinists use these tools to produce precise pieces of machinery, tools and other products from metal, glass and plastic. A machinist works with many tools, but his best tool is his ear, which he uses to detect problems with his machine. Machinists use high tech-tools such as water jets, lasers and electrified wires.
Computer-Aided Design and Drafting
In the past, drafters were men and women who sat at large boards drawing plans, blueprints and schematics by hand. This time-consuming process has largely been replaced by computer-aided design and drafting. Drafters now work on computers crafting blueprints in digital form, making revising blueprints much easier. Drafters specialize in fields such as aeronautical, electrical, civil, electronic, mechanical and architectural drafting. Drafters generally require at least an associate's degree to obtain entry-level employment.
Automotive technicians work on engines, drivetrains, transmissions and other complex systems that keep your car running. If you've ever enjoyed working on your car or other engines, you may want to consider a career in automotive technology. Contemporary automotive technicians use high-tech computers to diagnose problems with automobiles. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is a professional organization that certifies auto mechanics. Some schools allow students to earn their ASE certifications while training.
Most electricians work installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Other electricians work repairing transformers, generators, motors, machine tool controllers and industrial robots. Employment in the field is expected to grow by 12 percent between the years 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.