Why Is Hands-On Learning Important for Trades Careers?

hands-on trade school
hands-on trade school

Why Is Hands-On Learning Important for Trades Careers?

If you’re the type of person who enjoys working—and learning—with your hands, a career in the trades might be a great choice for you. What are the “trades?” Those are the kinds of careers where you get to use skills that people really need. Think Automotive Technicians and Plumbers and Electricians. Even Medical Assistants, Dental Assistants, and Hair Stylists are considered skilled trades. What do all those careers have in common? You need to work with your hands!

And if you’re going to work with your hands in your career, you better learn to do the job with your hands. You can’t learn how to repair a car or fix a toilet just by reading a book or listening to a lecture. You need to get your hands on the equipment and practice all the new skills you will need out in the real world.

6 Ways Hands-On Learning Prepares You for a Trades Career

  1. You may not always have a handbook with you when you encounter a problem at a job site. One of the best ways to learn problem-solving skills is to practice, practice, practice with actual materials and real life situations.
  2. Studies have shown that students remember only 10% of what they learn from reading, while they retained 75% of what they practiced doing.
  3. You will be able to practice using the materials and equipment you will need out on the job, and become familiar with the way they function.
  4. You will learn how to stay safe. One of the most important things you will learn in a vocational training program is how to protect yourself and your clients while on the job. In a controlled, risk-free lab situation you can practice all the skills you will need to stay safe.
  5. Learn to work as a team. You may have group projects assigned in your hands-on learning program where you can take advantage of the different skills people in your group have. You can practice working as a team and learn from each other in order to accomplish the task.
  6. You might be able to access an externship where you can work with professionals out in the field to practice your skills using their tools and equipment.


Of course, hands-on learning in a lab is not the only way to practice the skills you will need when you are out working in the trades. A good training program might have an online learning component as well, and will give you opportunities to practice what you learned on your own time.

At Porter and Chester Institute in Connecticut and Massachusetts, you can receive hands-on career training for a variety of jobs in the trades in as little as one year. Want to find out more? To take the next step for a rewarding career, please fill out the form or give us a call at 800-870-6789.