Jobs with extensive on the job training

Have you ever looked at someone in a particular profession and wondered what it took to be employed the way they are? In some jobs, people are handling big machinery, and in some cases, the extent of responsibilities are far-reaching, to say the least. 

There’s only so much one can learn from theory books. For most jobs, the ‘on the job’ learning aspect is the most crucial part. By doing the job itself, with the right mentoring, people seem to be able to pick up and learn the things they need to do for the job. In most cases, this also means that knowledge is codified more quickly. Here are some of those jobs that require ‘on the job’ training and what people do to get that experience.

An obvious one is the journey to becoming a chef. You usually start by having a keen interest in cooking and experiencing new things. The first step for most, after having the odd job in a restaurant bussing tables perhaps, is to go to culinary school. This is where you start learning all the basic techniques, ingredients and recipes that form the fundamentals of your culinary language. Once you finish culinary school, the next step would be to get some real-life experience. Some, now famous, chefs would have traveled the world, offer their services for free just to be able to work in the kitchen of renowned chefs and build their experience and palette. Once they have found their own style and vision of their restaurant, they might get lucky and find a financial backer to start their own restaurant. 

Then they will work from dusk till dawn to turn a profit and perhaps even get critical acclaim.

Truck drivers can’t just step into the cabin of their lorries and drive off. To be able to drive a truck as a career, you will need a commercial driver’s license, a so-called CDL. To get your CDL, you will need to have clocked actual driving hours on something called a DOT logbook. Commonly trucking companies will ask for 300 logged hours. That means that if you would drive 11 hours a day (roughly the legal limit), you could get to those 300 hours in a month. However, driving a truck is not always driving. You will have time spent waiting at terminals, downtime when your vehicle breaks down, etc.

In most cases, it will take 2 months before you can get to those 300 hours logged. There are trucking companies that train drivers and will send a mentor alongside you to get you qualified. Don’t assume it’s going to be an easy ride though, it’s a large vehicle on sometimes unfriendly roads.

Another job with extensive on the job training, even more so than becoming a commercial truck driver is becoming a wind turbine engineer. It’s a rapidly growing field that requires absolute specialists in the field. 

Because of the way most wind turbines are physically situated (at a dizzying altitude in hostile conditions), you can’t have an army of engineers to maintain and troubleshoot them. It’s usually a small team of two who will have to diagnose and repair wind turbines at quite high altitudes. That’s why next to extensive training, the ‘on the job’ training will last at least a year to complete.

So if you want to get ahead, opt for a job that provides all the training you’re going to need from day one.

*This is a contributed post

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