How Do I Get the Skills for an Essential Career?

essential automotive technician
essential automotive technician

How Do I Get the Skills for an Essential Career?

Whether you’ve see it on a daily newscast or scrolling past you on your social media feeds, the term “essential job” seems to be everywhere these days. For doctors and nurses to be considered part of an essential workforce makes a lot of sense. They’re at the center of the crisis, risking their lives to help others. But did you know that federal and state governments have come up with a long list of other essential workers, beyond the medical field that includes electricians, HVAC workers, plumbers, and auto repair technicians?1 Do you want an essential career? Here’s how to get started:

Choose a Path towards an Essential Worker

Healthcare careers are part of a multi-trillion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down. If you want one of those frontline careers at the heart of the pandemic, Nurses and Medical Assistants are critical members of the healthcare team. But maybe the medical field isn’t for you. Have you always loved cars? Especially during a crisis, many people rely on their vehicles to get where they need to go. As an Automotive Mechanic, you’d fulfill an essential need for all kinds of drivers who need to get to their jobs.

Select the Right Essential Career Training School

Once you’ve narrowed your options, research area schools that train people for the kind of career that might be a good fit. Choose one that has been around a long time, is accredited, and has a track record of career training. Contact the school and schedule a visit—whether it’s virtual or in-person. Ask lots of questions, like:

  • Do you combine online learning and on-campus training?
  • What kind of experience does your faculty have?
  • Do the teachers care about their students?
  • Will I get to work on the same kinds of equipment I’d find on the job?
  • What if I need extra help with my schoolwork?
  • Do you have evening classes?
  • Do you have externships?
  • What about financial aid?
  • Will Career Services help me get ready for the job market?

Dedicate the Time to Become an Essential Worker

Before you apply and enroll in any program, you’ll also need to ask yourself some serious questions. Do you have the time to dedicate to school? Are you ready to put in the work? The truth is that anything worthwhile is going to take some effort. But if you’re tired of one dead-end job after another and are ready for an actual career, now may be the right time for you. Set yourself up for success by choosing the right program and schedule to fit your life. Carve out time for class and schoolwork. Then tell people what you’re doing. It’s okay to ask for a little support at home. Maybe you have kids and need someone to watch them at class time. Or maybe you need to give up an occasional shift at work to finish up homework. Put your own personal support team together before you start.

Enroll, Attend, Accomplish Your Career Goals

So you’re ready to enroll. Now it’s time to attend class—every class. Pay attention, ask questions, and do the work. You’ve got this!


If you’re ready to commit to your personal and professional success, we’re ready to help. Porter and Chester Institute in has been training students to become employees for more than 70 years. Check out all our career training programs in Connecticut and Massachusetts today.