Skilled Labor Wages: Why Are Tradesmen Paid So Little?

Skilled Labor Wages: Why Are Tradesmen Paid So Little?

It’s no secret that we’ve slowly devalued the trades in recent decades, even though almost everything in our country is dependent on these industries and their workers.

In this episode, we discuss some of the comments we’ve received from skilled workers around the US. The two things we hear about the most are 1) unfair wages and 2) not feeling respected.

In our opinion, the two are connected. You can’t truly respect skilled workers without paying a fair wage, and good money alone isn’t enough without a healthy work environment. 


Main Takeaways:

:hammer_and_wrench: Companies need to pay a respectable wage to their workers.
:hammer_and_wrench: Truly respecting and valuing skilled workers is just as important as good pay.
:hammer_and_wrench: Wages are location-dependent, sometimes differing up to 30%.
:hammer_and_wrench: Bringing respect back to the trades will take time, but we’re on the right path.
:hammer_and_wrench: The trade labor shortage has increased demand for workers.


:stopwatch: 2:56 | Why choose skilled labor when the pay isn’t always competitive?
:stopwatch: 9:34 | Promising trends in skilled labor pay
:stopwatch: 13:12 | How to find good wages as a skilled worker (location, location, location)
:stopwatch: 18:07 | Fair wages and respect for the trades are linked
:stopwatch: 22:16 | “The Cost of Bad Behavior” study results
:stopwatch: 26:40 | Respect is a critical piece of a successful company


:speech_balloon: “Most people if you ask them ’are you satisfied with the compensation you’re getting for what you’re doing?’, 50% automatically say no.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: “You’ve got to have the skill and you’ve got to take the time to invest.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon:”There wasn’t any job in the Top 15 Skilled Trades Jobs list that was paying less than $25 an hour.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: “A company like ours, if you’re willing to travel…you do that exact same job with the exact same skills, we may get you 20, 25, 30% higher wages in a different location.” Tim Raglin
:speech_balloon: “If you want the talent to keep your plant run efficiently, you’re going to have to pay a fair wage to get that talent, because somebody else is going to be willing.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: “When you say the most important to thing is our people but you continue to not address hiring lesser quality, not providing the training, the message is mixed.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: “Individuals pick up on it very well. You’re either genuine, that your people matter, or you’re not.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: “Over a 20 year period we have so devalued the trades, which are so important to this country.” Brett Elliott
:speech_balloon: People will take lower compensation, lower benefits if they feel appreciated and respected.” Tim Raglin


Connect with Skillwork:

Ep30 Transcript

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