If you’re considering a career in the skilled trades, you may be familiar with the individual skills required to succeed in each job—for instance, you likely understand that a welder should have steady hands and good concentration. But if you’ve heard of employers looking for “soft skills”, you may question what qualifies as a soft skill and whether soft skills are really all that important in the skilled trades.
The simplest explanation is that soft skills are the interpersonal skills that you need to succeed in your career. In other words, they’re people skills, and all workers need to develop them as part of their career training. It doesn’t matter whether you choose an academic degree program or technical training; you should always invest in a program where your instructors and mentors will put an appropriate focus on your entire skill set because that approach offers the greatest chance of lifelong success. Strong technical skills may get you a job, but a successful career requires equally strong interpersonal skills.