How technology helps contractors with their education
Twenty years ago, most aspiring contractors experienced their education the same way; vocational schools. While much more affordable than a four-year college, these multi-year programs would help people develop the skills for various trades such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other services.
Fast-forward to 2022, and the educational landscape for the trades and many other disciplines has changed. The usual path of going through high school, selecting a vocational school, finding an apprenticeship, and then getting licensed is not the only option for contractors.
A career in the trades is more affordable and accessible than ever as a result of technological advances in education, as well as new tools that can help business owners.
Most affordable path to learning.
Online courses have gained popularity in many disciplines in recent years. Experts in the field can now use the Internet to teach classes, create programs and modules to apply knowledge, and design tests for aspiring talent in any field.
For contractors, there are many online options to obtain and renew the license they need to be an electrician, plumber, or HVAC specialist. These courses are usually much more affordable than attending a vocational school, but the key is finding the right class that offers training from an expert in the field.
An education at your convenience
In addition to being more affordable, online courses also add a level of convenience to a contractor’s education. For people who have been part of the workforce in the past and perhaps have a family, online education allows them to receive training at home and at the pace they want. Some programs may have specific class times for attendance, but there are still virtual options that allow the person to stay home.
Other courses are set up to be completed at the student’s preferred pace, with all modules and lesson plans available once they register. As technology continues to advance and the online learning experience improves, these options will become more favorable for those looking to enter a trade.
New software programs specialize in coaching and video chats.
One area where in-person education has an advantage is the face-to-face aspect of learning. Especially for trades, practical experience is essential. However, with software services like Zoom, Google Meets, Slack, and other collaboration programs, there’s plenty of room for real-time communication. These programs enable live video chats, constant group communication, convenient file sharing, and other methods necessary for an effective learning experience.
There are even some simulators that have appeared in recent years or are under development for electricians and plumbers to gain practical knowledge in their field.
Technology that helps entrepreneurs
Some contractors choose to work in a trade independently. For these ambitious people, understanding the logistics of being an entrepreneur can be a heavy burden on top of the job itself.
Fortunately, there are plenty of new apps and programs available to help business owners with that side of the profession. They can help with scheduling, booking appointments, tracking invoices and clients, taxes, and other parts of the job that are important to the day-to-day operations of the business.
Construction companies are now even using drones to help manage a project site and record potential jobsite issues. There really is no limit to what technology can do for contractors.
How will technology enhance your education as a contractor?
Working in a trade like electrical or HVAC is in high demand in 2022, as many of these positions have been largely ignored in schools across the country for decades. But as the student debt crisis persists and online learning becomes a viable option in many disciplines, the potential for success for contractors is extremely high.
We live in a miraculous time. The world is more connected than ever thanks to the Internet, smartphones, mobile data and Wi-Fi. Will you take advantage of the plethora of online classes that can help you achieve your goals? Will you implement new applications and software programs that make the process of running a business easier? Will you be using drones to help determine a project site or record work being done?
We have access to incredible technology and can learn new skills with the push of a few buttons and an internet search or two. For aspiring contractors looking to educate themselves in their field, this creates a very manageable path to success. As technology advances, the possibilities for workers in this industry will continue to grow.