A tradesman is a skilled manual worker in a particular trade or craft. Economically and socially, a tradesman's status is considered between a laborer and a professional, with a high degree of both practical and theoretical knowledge of their trade. In cultures where professional careers are highly prized there can be a shortage of skilled manual workers, leading to lucrative niche markets in the trades.
The training of a trade in European cultures has been a formal tradition for many centuries. A tradesman typically begins as an apprentice, working for and learning from a Master, and after a number of years is released from his master's service as a Journeyman. After a Journeyman has proven himself to his trade's guild (most guilds are now known by different names), he may settle down as a Master and work for himself, eventually taking on his own apprentices.
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