Top 10 Transferable Skills for Artisans

Do you work in a trades-related field? Have you considered changing your career path? Finding a new job can be challenging, especially if you don’t know which of your talents are transferable across industries. This article explores the top ten transferable skills every artisan should have.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills can be defined as those that allow you to access a new job and/or industry. These skills are valued (e.g. more desirable) because they make you interchangeable for employers and give you adaptability in the workplace.

Transferable skills depend on the type of work you’re doing; if you’re an artisan, some transferable skills might be creativity, good communication, and good organisational skills. If you’re a tradesperson, another set of transferable skills might include problem-solving and decision-making.

It’s important to note that while these are some of the most popular or common transferrable skill sets, there is no “ranked” list. This is because you can’t assume all tradespeople will have one set of skills over another. There are always exceptions!

Our top ten includes:


A core skill in the workplace is the ability to communicate effectively. It is critical you can communicate with clients, colleagues, suppliers, etc. This goes beyond just improving your English language skills. As an artisan, you will often have to give directions and guidance to your co-workers, and you should be able to clearly describe your opinions.

Effective communication is one of the most essential skills in many jobs, including banking and finance, education, and social work. For example, you need excellent communication abilities to work as a customer service representative. You must be kind, professional, and ready to answer any inquiries from clients. You must also be able to solve their difficulties or address their grievances.

transferable skills  - discussion at work

You can learn to communicate effectively, and your skills will improve with time. If you practice regularly, it will be easier when the time comes.

Employers prefer to hire people who can communicate well. This makes it easier for them to understand the job needs and engage with other team members to get the job done. It is important to be able to tell people the truth; even if you are afraid, they will judge you. This is a valuable skill both at work and in your personal life. 


Working in teams is often needed as trades jobs can be big and complex. Your ability to work in tandem with other skilled workers will be helpful, whether it is with teammates or clients. You must know how to work effectively with other people. That way, everyone can move in the same direction towards achieving the company or project goal. 

These skills are transferable across industries. Again, as a customer service representative, you would have worked with teammates to resolve issues or complaints from clients. This experience would be valuable if you were to then take a job in the hospitality, retail, or even construction industry.

transferable skills  - planning

Teamwork strengthens both professional and personal connections. This can lead to more happiness and success both at work and in your personal life. Collaborating with others is a great way to develop character and learn how to thrive in group settings. Almost every industry you can think of will have you working in teams, so learning these skills will be valuable to your job growth.

Consider becoming a teacher if you want to work in an industry that values cooperative people. You need excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team. 

As you can see, there are several fantastic advantages to becoming a team member. Who knows what your co-workers are up to? It could lead to something far more significant than you could have imagined. 

Working with your hands 

One of the most valuable skills to have is using your hands at work. You’ll be surprised to learn that your colleagues and competitors put a lot of time into learning and sharpening their practical skills. You can do this too by watching YouTube lessons and connecting to learn from others online.

transferable skills - handicrafts

Depending on the work you do in your trade, it may be necessary for you to get good at using your hands in both artistic and practical ways. You can find this in jobs ranging from construction work to building musical instruments. The combination of good hand coordination and physical strength is powerful. 


Creativity is about more than just your artistic abilities. Creativity can be defined by how you approach projects and solve difficulties. A creative mind can spark innovative ideas that help solve problems or improve projects. The ability to create original work inspires others, so it’s crucial to share your vision with your teams. Creativity is a valued skill for any worker in the trades.

Creative thinkers have a unique way of looking at things. They can see things that other people cannot. This helps them develop innovative solutions to problems others don’t know about or think they cannot solve.

Woman creating a ceramic scuplture

Your creativity can serve you well in many jobs, like being an architect or designer. Abilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, multitasking, communication, and leadership will help you flourish in many occupations. If you can show employers that you have a creative way of solving problems, they may think that you are the right person for their work.

Organising Skills 

Every experienced artisan should be well organised. This will help you keep a productive schedule and make your workflow run more smoothly. Being collected saves time and reduces friction, but it can also increase productivity.

Organised people tend to keep a tidy workspace and can find information, documents, and connections with ease. Employers can rely on well-organised people to meet deadlines, communicate with others on schedule, and follow directions.

Neat array of multi coloured spools of thread

You can succeed in marketing or retail sales if you have good organisation. Employers will take you more seriously if you show them you have excellent attention to detail and can manage tasks with many moving pieces.


Mathematical skills are one of the most important abilities that an artisan needs. Numbers are important as they help you measure lengths and widths with fractions. You can also use them to calculate the costs of materials and projects. Before you look for a job as an artisan, brush up on your numeracy skills.

Two people working out a job quote

Tradespeople, such as mechanics, farmworkers, and electricians, must be able to deal with figures, perform computations, understand graphs and charts, recognise relevant numerical information, and analyse statistics. 

Although you may not need to work directly with mathematics and statistics, you may find many practical applications for just a basic understanding of numeracy. Employers often tell graduates that they need to get better at math. If you plan to go back to school for more practical training, keep this in mind. 


It is critical to understand yourself and what motivates you. You can be inspired by many things, such as creating something, helping someone, or perhaps feeling successful.

Knowing your personal goals will help you when you are thinking about a job. If you find work that enables you to advance your personal journey, it will feel more meaningful to you and less like a job that simply pays the bills. Feeling more connected to your work will help you stay motivated to do it well.

Employers are looking to work with people who show drive and determination. The work environment is full of challenges, and it is helpful to have a positive attitude.

Being a self-starter is another important trait for tradespeople. If your boss does not assign you work, you can find new projects or areas for improvement on your own. By taking the initiative, you can learn new skills and disciplines that may help you take the next step in your career. A carpenter, for example, may develop an interest in real estate property management to gain experience and exposure to the world of management. 


Making quick decisions is a crucial skill that you can carry across various career paths. If you want to advance in your career, it is best not to second-guess yourself. Situations at work move swiftly, and you won’t always have enough information. You need to make quick and confident decisions in these situations. 

If something goes wrong at work, you should do everything you can to fix it as soon as possible. You need to gather all the information at hand and make the best possible decision on the way forward for your teams. The goal is to decide what is suitable for the situation in front of you.

To help you make the best decisions, it is helpful for you to stay on top of trends in your trade or other changes within the field. Employers are looking for people who can respond quickly when market movements necessitate a shift in some aspect of their business model or product line. Keep an eye out for new products coming onto the market. 

Listening skills 

You can learn a lot from other people by simply listening to them when they speak. They may be offering you some advice or pointing out areas of your work that could use some improvement. Being a good listener is a great way to gather the information you need to improve your work.

Woman and man having a conversation on site

The ideal way for listeners to improve this talent is to participate in feedback sessions with other people they work with. In these sessions, everyone can share constructive criticism on what aspects of the project need improvement for the team to succeed. 

By listening to the feedback without taking it as a personal judgment or attack, you may find they have given you valuable solutions to challenges you have faced. You may also find that your teammates are willing to help you with the parts of your work that you struggle with.

Time management 

Time management is an important aspect of most trade-related jobs. The ability to assign work and handle many projects simultaneously is a skill that you can use in various fields. People who excel at managing their own schedules and the schedules of others can do well in managerial roles.

Juggling priorities while meeting deadlines helps people succeed in whatever career they look for – not just trades occupations where this skill is essential. As an artisan, you need to finish projects on time and within budget. So, you’ll need to learn how to work with your co-workers’ schedules and their own.

Another important skill is the ability to take the initiative – which is related to time management but goes a step further. Great tradespeople can take the initiative and do their own work. They don’t have to wait for someone else to tell them what to do or give them directions. This is also helpful in any sector because it shows that you are motivated and have good judgment. Employers like to see this skill in potential hires.

In Conclusion 

We all have a set of skills that we can use to better our lives. The abilities listed above are a few of the most transferable and beneficial for people working as an artisan. 

If you want to improve your communication, teamwork, creativity, organisation, or math skills, find someone who has these qualities and work with them to develop them. If you have an opportunity to go on job training, the skills outlined above are great topics for you to enrol in. For example, if you want to be a better listener, choose a friend who asks lots of questions and is interested in what others say. You’ll need to be patient.

As a social network, Umwuga is a great place for you to find and connect with great people to help you develop your skills.

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