What Jobs Qualify as Skilled Labor?

What Jobs Qualify as Skilled Labor?

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Many job openings are available right now that need skilled laborers.  Doctors, nurses, lawyers, policemen and policewomen, firefighters, and teachers are each an example of skilled labor positions that lack a sufficient number of workers to fill the openings.  Positions that need experienced, educated, and highly trained workers who can complete both physical and mental tasks diligently is a skilled labor definition.  Many times, gaining greater education will take a longer period of school and learning.  Positions that need skilled labor pay higher incomes than semi-skilled or un-skilled and they often have more responsibilities.  Often, continuing education programs and training are required when working as a skilled laborer.

Example of Skilled Labor: Three Types of Skills Professionals in Demand 

Foundation skills are the basic understanding of a particular job or role and include the skill set necessary to be successful in the position.  Foundation skills are also the skills that a worker will be able to build on as they grow and gain more knowledge in their chosen field.  

Transferable skills are those skills that can be easily adapted to several different fields and/or job positions.  Transferable skills form a sound base of knowledge that can easily be used in a variety of professions.  Transferable skills can also be called “portable skills” because you can take them with you to different jobs/positions.  Transferable skills include excellent communication (verbal, non-verbal, and written), being confident, being responsible, dependability, being a good listener, and being comfortable speaking in public.  They also include having a solid work ethic by being punctual, honest, have integrity, and have the ability to meet deadlines.

Vocational/technical skills are specific to particular tasks in a chosen field or industry.  Vocational/technical skills build a strong base of knowledge and practical application to be able to understand what’s necessary to perform a task successfully.  Technical skills vary from job to job but examples include technical writing, data analysis, computer programming languages, proficiency in specific software, project management, and common computer operating systems.


Hard skills are specific to particular jobs, and they include the ability to converse in more than one language, know specific industry-accepted and industry-applied software, SEO/SEM marketing, statistical analysis, data mining, network security, database management, mobile development, and storage systems and management, among others.

Soft skills show your ability to work well as a team and communicate with others.  They are your interpersonal and non-technical skills.  Soft skills also include the ability to solve problems and be creative.

Having knowledge of both hard and soft skills will make you more marketable and give you the ability to apply for a bigger variety of jobs and, therefore, a larger salary.


Let’s take a look at some of the requirements for specific jobs that are an example of skilled labor.

Carpenter – needs a high school diploma, although an associate degree is preferred and a carpenter must have a 3-4 year apprenticeship under his/her belt.

Electrician – although no college education is required to become an electrician, other stringent requirements include an apprenticeship and the need for state licensing, along with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Nurse – to become an RN (registered nurse), you would need to complete the course of study and receive an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), at the very least, and successfully complete the NCLEX-RN examination.

Doctor – it takes between 10 and 14 years to become a fully licensed doctor.  You would need to earn a four-year undergraduate degree, and then spend four years in a medical school, and then between three and seven years in a residency program.

Lawyer – typically needs seven years of full-time study, after graduating high school.  The seven years includes 4 years of undergraduate study and 3 years of law school.  The law school should be accredited by the American Bar Association and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree needs to be completed.  Internships are required and you must pass a two-day “bar” examination to practice in that state.

Police Officer – needs a high school diploma (or GED) before proceeding to training at a police academy, although a college degree is preferred, and who are – typically – at least 21 years of age. Policy academy programs typically last between three and four months and involve both classroom learning and hands-on training.

Firefighter – there is a minimum age of 18 years and a maximum age, typically between 28 and 35 years old.  A high school diploma or GED is required, with many choosing to earn a degree in fire science and also becoming an EMT.  You also need to pass a written examination.

Teacher – to be a teacher, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is necessary, preferably in education.  That’s the first step.  If you have earned a bachelor’s degree in another major, you can still apply for a master’s degree in teaching.  There are a variety of options available on the path to becoming a teacher.  Almost always, continuing educational classes are encouraged if not required.

Computer Programmer – typically a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or another field that is related, such as mathematics, is necessary.  It will depend on the employer as another specialized degree may also be considered for the position, especially if it has to do with programming languages.


Now is a great time to call Labor for Hire to discuss the opportunities that may be available to you.  You’ve read each of the above, which is an example of skilled labor.  Call Labor for Hire today at 1-561-585-9859 or 1-866-648-6650 to learn about the possibilities today.  The job market is wide open, and it has changed so much over the past couple of years, as well as the skilled labor definition, perhaps.  Solid advice from one of the most knowledgeable, leading staffing agency experts can help you make the most of this time in history.