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Oswego Career Ladders - Craft and Trade Workers

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Craft and Trade Workers

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Facilities

Plumbers install and repair the water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including climate control, security, and communications. They also may install and maintain the electronic controls for machines in business and industry. Although most electricians specialize in construction or maintenance, a growing number do both.

General maintenance and repair workers, have skills in many different crafts. They repair and maintain machines, mechanical equipment, and buildings and work on plumbing, electrical, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Painters apply paint, stain, varnish, and other finishes to buildings and other structures. They choose the right paint or finish for the surface to be covered, taking into account durability, ease of handling, method of application, and customers wishes.

Work Settings

Trades people and craftsman have to stand for long periods, lift heavy objects, and work in uncomfortably hot or cold environments, in awkward and cramped positions, or on ladders. They are subject to electrical shock, burns, falls, cuts, and bruises.


Many general maintenance and repair workers learn their skills informally on the job. Most people learn the electrical trade by completing an apprenticeship program lasting 3 to 5 years. Virtually all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters undergo some type of apprenticeship training. Painting and paperhanging are learned through apprenticeship or informal, on-the-job instruction

Job Outlook

Employment for plumbers, maintenance workers, and painters is expected to grow about as fast as average, for electricians faster than average.


In 2002, median hourly earnings of painters were $13.98, general maintenance workers were $14.12, plumbers 19.31 and electricians $19.90.

Work Schedule

Trade and craft workers generally work a standard 40-hour week.

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