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Trade Career Exploration Books For Kids

  • It is estimated that the school-to-counselor ratio is 1:491 in US schools.
  • Children start thinking about their futures in middle school.
  • Career exploration books for elementary-aged children can help open their world to new ideas.
best trade career books for elementary students

Right now your child might want to be a pirate or a princess when they grow up, but, we all know those job options are hard to come by.

Career exploration for kids can start as early as elementary school age. The earlier they are introduced to different types of careers, the more excited they may be about their futures!

Some school districts are even starting Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in elementary schools to help children explore their interests.

Books are also a great way to get that conversation started too!

Reading books about different blue collar careers will not only help them learn about different jobs that do not usually require a college degree, but can help kids understand just how important these workers are for our communities.

For teachers, these can make great career day books for reading time! Not only are they educational and engaging, but they can also help open up a child’s mind to new possibilities.

Studies have determined that most kids will start really thinking about their futures in middle school. So, even if they are not talking about it with you – they are giving their career options a lot of thought.

The problem is the lack of resources for kids to help them with career exploration.

The national average for school counselors to students is 1:491, which is almost 2x the recommended amount by the American School Counselor Association. Source: ACTE

This is why it is so important that the conversation about careers starts at home.

Below are some of the best career exploration books that are just focused on trade careers!

Skilled Trade Career Exploration Books For Kids

These books feature age-appropriate details about careers in the skilled trade industry. Most of these books are best suited for kids in grades 3-5, but some younger children, or even older may enjoy them too!

From fun illustrations or real images – to the ease of reading, these books are all amazing options to introduce trade careers to those young ones.

The Water Came To A Stop

the water came to a stop book cover

The Water Came To A Stop is the first book in what will be a series called “Next Up Trades”. This series will be rhyming books that will teach children about how important the jobs in the skilled trades are and help build a more positive perception of blue collar workers.

The first book focuses on the plumbing industry. When Dean’s water stops during his birthday party and a plumber needs to save the day, he learns just how important plumbers are to their daily lives.

The book is the vision of Ryan Kiscaden, who worked for an HVACR as well as a plumbing wholesaler.

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Supply Jane Clears The Way

supply jane clears the way book cove

Supply chain careers are an important part of our daily lives, but one that rarely gets enough attention or discussion! This book helps kids understand the ins-and-outs of how products are made and the troubles that the supply chain can experience.

Imagine your dragon needs food! Uncle Manny makes the best darn dragon food there is – but it is so good that he cannot make enough for his customers to buy.

Supply Jane and Fifo to the rescue! They will bring their inventory management and supply chain skills to help Uncle Manny get his business back on track.

The author, Megan Preston Meyer, also has other books available in this series!

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What Does Your Daddy Do?

what does your daddy do career book

Joshua Page, an electrician by trade, is an advocate for trade careers and is passionate about promoting the vocations to kids of all ages. He took some time during the pandemic to create a way he could bring awareness to the upcoming generations about the trades and show them just how cool they can be.

That is how “What Does Your Daddy Do?” came to be. This book is for elementary-age students and “shines a light” (get it?) on what it is like to be an electrician.

The book takes place in the 5th-grade class that Ashton attends. This week is career week, and Ashton needs to find out what his dad does. When he learns his dad is an electrician, he is amazed at all the cool things that his dad gets to do! So, join Ashton at career week and learn more!

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Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy Careers

everyday  superheroes women in energy book for kids

Let your child meet thirty-four female superheroes in the field of energy! These women are working hard in all types of jobs to help keep our world powered up so kids can watch their favorite TV shows, play video games, and use cell phones.

Whether they are digging wells, installing power lines, or even running a solar farm – these women are sure to inspire! And with energy being such a good sector to work in, it is one worth encouraging kids of all ages to consider.

This multicultural book showcases energy careers from science to trade and will open children’s eyes to opportunities, especially for young girls.

“There are trailblazing women in every part of the energy sector, from research and policy to engineers and technicians. This book will empower young people to take action and show that the energy transition is for everyone!”

Meredith Adler, executive director, Student Energy

The book includes:

  • Biographies of real women in the energy field
  • Energy career ideas that are science-based, in research, or trade jobs
  • What girls can do today to be their superhero in energy
  • The importance of energy in our communities

This book is just one of several from a line of books about “Stem Superheroes.” The girl behind the books is Erin Twamley, a passionate advocate for STEM and improving awareness about the many careers that exist.

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Future Plans For Kids: Skilled Trades

future plans for kids skilled trades book

Let your child go on an adventure with Wally, Max, Josie, and more as they share their career research in the skilled trades. Each character will work as part of a research team to help kids understand what each career will be like.

They will get lost in the world of construction, machinery, and heavy equipment to help them see the many opportunities that can lead to a fantastic future.

The author, Stephanie Audrey, has done a superb job of creating a book that also embraces diversity in the trades.

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Skilled Trade Careers: Various

Gary Sprott is the author behind the Skilled Trade Careers series of books. These books are specifically created for grades 3-5 and are filled with information about various skilled trade careers.

skilled trade careers books for elementary students

The series includes:

  • Welders
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Mechanics
  • HVAC Technicians

Each book focuses on a specific career and will bring awareness about what it takes to do the job. They will learn about the types of tools used, the kind of safety requirements followed, and the education they would need to land a job.

All are written at a level that grade school kids can understand! The books also include real-life photography, vocabulary definitions, questions, and more to help engage them.

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The House That She Built

the house that she built book

Letting your child see exactly how a house is built can be so inspiring! The book The House That She Built helps children understand all that is required to create their homes and inspires young girls to consider jobs in homebuilding.

Inspire girls to learn about being a framer, roofer, plumber, or interior designer! This book was inspired by a team of women who came together from all over the country to build a home!

“The books we read as children can shape the people we grow up to be. The House That She Built is empowering, encouraging, informative, and inspiring. Every child needs a book like this on their shelf that says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Amy Riley, Preschool Teacher

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Plumber Paige

plumber Paige trade career book

Join Paige as she takes on the challenge of fixing a toilet or a shower head in these adorable books that will introduce kids to the construction trades. These paperback books are easy to read for young children with fun illustrations.

The book is written by Paige Knowles who goes by the name “plumber Paige” and is a female plumber in real life. Her parents exposed her to the trades at a young age, and the rest as they say is history.

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Ultimate Spotlight: Firefighters

This fun, interactive book will take your child on a trip with some firefighters that will help them see all the things our firefighter heroes do in a day.

With popups, tabs, and fun illustrations, there is something exciting behind every page of this book. From putting on their fire gear or rushing on the big red fire truck to get to a fire – kids will be immersed in the experience and be excited to learn more.

This series of books offers other wonderful interactive books as well like the Construction Site Book, Airplanes and Airports, and a Book of Vehicles. All of these books offer an opportunity for children to learn about different industries that may spark a passion for a future career!

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So, what are you waiting for? Let these career exploration books help your child imagine a future doing some really cool things! If we can get them excited about skilled trade careers early, we can be helping them create an amazing future.

All About Smart Manufacturing

all about manufacturing kids book

This rhyming picture book from Mike Nager is a perfect way to introduce your child to the world of manufacturing. This field opens so many doors for those with college degrees – and without, making it a great career path that kids can consider.

In this book, children will explore the art and science of how things are made. It is perfect for kids in the K-5 group and will help them learn about the manufacturing sector in a fun way. With manufacturing improving due to technology advances, the dirt and danger of manufacturing, is no longer the norm. Smart manufacturing is moving in with new things happening with robotics and technology.

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