Choosing a Career Based on Your Favorite Toys as a Kid

Choosing a Career Based on Your Favorite Toys as a Kid

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December 17, 2019

Author: Jonathan Arnholz, NCCER Social Media Specialist

As children, there was nothing as fun and exciting as unwrapping a new toy on Christmas morning.

Along with being fun to play with, toys helped fuel a growing imagination and expanding sense of the world around us. Toys often gave us our first glimpse at new things or concepts we had yet to discover.

Because of this, our favorite toys often inspire our futures. How many kids wanted to grow up to be firemen because of their red toy fire engine? How many model rockets spawned a new generation of astronauts, astronomers and aerospace engineers?

The toys we learned about the world with can put us on a course toward the careers we earn a living with. Here are a few popular types of toys and playthings you might have grown up loving, and which craft careers they might connect you to.

Toy Trucks

If you loved to spend hours out in the sandbox digging and moving sand and dirt with a yellow toy bulldozer, you’re not alone. Trucks and vehicles are classic source of enjoyment, and seeing a real-life version of your favorite construction truck working alongside the road would widen our eyes in awe.

Luckily, you don’t need to admire these massive machines from afar anymore. With a career as a Heavy Equipment Operator, you can be in the driver’s seat of excavators, bulldozers, forklifts, dump trucks, and many other construction vehicles. You can make good money, too – heavy equipment operators earn an average base salary of $60,828.

Building Blocks

Another traditional toy, building blocks helped us build houses, towers, and other structures straight from our imagination. From simple wooden blocks to the incredibly popular LEGO bricks, these building materials gave us the perfect medium to create with our own hands while (perhaps unknowingly) learning concepts such as physics and structural support.

For those who loved to build, Carpentry or Masonry might be a perfect career path. Carpenters mainly use wood while masons specialize in stone, but both professions are key in the construction of almost any kind of structure. And while both require math and science applications, they also scratch that creative itch that developed as a child playing with building blocks.

Arts and Crafts

From painting and drawing to gluing together popsicle sticks, everyone loved arts and crafts! Admit it, you felt proud when your handprint Thanksgiving turkey got posted on the refrigerator or your felt ornament was hung from the Christmas tree.

Even those small decorations and creations took craftsmanship, and those skills can apply to a number of construction jobs.

Professional Painters help ensure structures are the desired color and apply protective coatings to help prevent deterioration. Some specialized painters can even work on the preservation of historic buildings.

Meanwhile, Welding is the ultimate evolution of Elmer’s glue! Instead of squeezing paste out of a white bottle, welders use heat and pressure to fuse materials like steel together. We don’t recommend using a torch to stick on googly eyes, though.

Video Games

Nothing beats the joy of grabbing the joysticks and playing some video games. Whether you’re moving a character, driving a car or flying a fighter jet, the feeling of control that holding a controller brings is unmatched.

But did you know your years of playing video games could have been preparing your for a career as a Tower Crane Operator or Mobile Crane Operator?

The controls used in the operation of cranes are in many ways similar to how you would play on PlayStation, Xbox or arcade games. In fact, more and more video game-like technology, such as simulators, are being used to train construction students for their careers. There are many advantages to doing some training through simulators, especially given the size and expense of cranes and the area required for using them.

The toys we played with as a kid can reveal a lot about our developing personalities and interests. In turn, the toys we have can affect how those personalities and interests develop.

While you were busy having fun, the toys and games you grew up with may have unknowingly been preparing you for an in-demand and lucrative career.

Interested in learning more about potential careers? Check out our craft trading cards.