There's a growing demand for skilled professionals in the trades, but there aren’t enough workers to go around. As Baby Boomers retire, they’re leaving employers with a significant skills gap to fill as they take their experience with them.
For those without a job – or a degree, for that matter – you can help meet the immediate needs of trade employers and enjoy a rewarding career by becoming a tradesman. Good trade careers offer a unique blend of hands-on experience and technical know-how, making them a great option for those seeking stable and well-paying jobs.
Here’s what you can expect to learn in this blog:
- What are the trades?
- Why don’t more people enter the trades?
- Best trades to learn
- Highest-paying trade jobs
- Where to find good trade careers
Let’s start by defining the trades.
What Are the Trades?
The trades refer to a wide range of careers that involve hands-on work and practical skills. These jobs typically require a high school degree and specialized training and certification, often gained through an apprenticeship or vocational school instead of college.
Trade jobs are spread across various industries, such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, electrical, plumbing, etc., and are integral to maintaining and improving the world around us.
Why Don’t More People Enter the Trades?
Historically, the trades have been dominated by men, leading to the perception that they aren’t suitable for women. While this is changing, and more women are entering the trades, gender stereotypes may still prevent some individuals from considering good trades to get into.
Misconceptions About Earnings
Many people mistakenly believe that tradespeople earn significantly less than those with a college degree. While this may be true in some cases, many trade jobs offer high-paying salaries, excellent benefits, and long-term stability, as we’ll see in this blog.
Lack of Exposure
Many students are not exposed to the trades during their education, leading to a lack of awareness about the opportunities available in these fields. Schools often prioritize academic subjects, and there's little emphasis on vocational education. As a result, attending a university becomes the default for most students.
In our opinion, the most significant factor that keeps people from entering the trades is the societal stigma attached to these professions. Many people perceive "blue-collar" jobs as less prestigious or respected than "white-collar" ones. This built-in bias can deter young people, in particular, from pursuing good trade careers.
Best Trades to Learn
With the growing demand for skilled workers, now is the perfect time to explore the numerous opportunities available in the trades. Here are some of the best trades to learn because they will always be needed.
Electricians are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining electrical wiring, outlets, switches, and circuit breakers. With the growing emphasis on renewable energy, electric vehicles, and smart manufacturing technology, electricians with expertise in these areas are necessary. Additionally, as infrastructure development and renovation projects increase, opportunities for electricians will continue to grow.
Plumbers not only work with water supply and drainage systems but also install and repair gas lines, appliances, and fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. As more cities focus on water conservation and efficient plumbing systems, plumbers with experience in these areas will see increased demand for their services. Plumbers will also be needed to update and maintain the plumbing systems of older buildings that undergo renovations.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians work with a wide range of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, ensuring that indoor environments remain comfortable and safe. With the increased awareness of energy efficiency and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, HVAC technicians skilled in installing and maintaining energy-efficient systems will be in high demand.
Welders are skilled professionals who use various techniques to join metal components in industries like construction, manufacturing, and automotive. They may work on infrastructure projects, such as bridges and pipelines, or help create components for vehicles, ships, and aircraft. As the case for infrastructure development in the U.S. gains more traction, the need for skilled welders will remain strong.
Top 3 Jobs in the Trades That Pay Well
While many trades offer competitive salaries, there are lucrative trades that make more money than others. Here are a few top jobs in the trades that pay well:
1. Construction Manager
Construction managers oversee construction projects from start to finish, coordinating resources, budgets, and timelines. Though they likely have an office, construction managers spend most of their time in the field monitoring job sites. With hard-earned experience and a good track record, construction managers can earn upwards of $100,000 annually.
2. Elevator Mechanic
Elevator technicians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, escalators, and other lift systems. Though this top trade is growing slower than other occupations, it offers an average salary of $98,000 due to the specialized skills and potential safety risks involved.
3. Electrical Lineworker
Electrical lineworkers install and maintain electrical power systems, including power lines and transformers. This is among the highest-paying trade jobs, reflecting the skill level required and the inherent dangers of working with high-voltage electricity. The average pay for an electrical lineman is $77,500, but they can make well over twice that amount depending on factors such as their experience and employer.
Find Good Trade Careers By Becoming a Skillworker
Whether you're looking for good trades to get into to jumpstart your career or seeking the highest-paying trade jobs as a seasoned tradesman, contact Skillwork. As America’s premier skilled trades travel staffing agency, Skillwork connects talented tradesmen with employers across the United States who are in need of their expertise.
By becoming a Skillworker, you can take advantage of numerous benefits, such as:
- Access to a wide range of job opportunities: Skillwork has a vast network of employers in various industries, ensuring that you have access to diverse job opportunities that match your skills and interests.
- Flexibility and variety: As a Skillworker, you have the freedom to choose the projects and locations that appeal to you, allowing you to gain experience in different settings and expand your skill set.
- Competitive compensation: Skillwork understands the value of skilled trades professionals and is committed to offering competitive pay that reflects your expertise and experience.
- Professional development: Skillwork provides ongoing support and resources to help you grow in your career, including access to training, development opportunities, and industry insights.
- Seamless transition between jobs: Skillwork's dedicated recruiters work tirelessly to find your next assignment, ensuring a smooth transition between jobs and minimizing downtime.
To learn more about the exciting opportunities available through Skillwork, reach out to one of our skilled trades recruiters today. They are ready to help you find the perfect job that aligns with your skills, experience, and career goals. Don't miss out on the chance to explore new horizons and excel in your trade career – become a Skillworker today!