The United States has faced an unprecedented skilled labor shortage for years. For many companies, this has challenged daily operations and limited growth opportunities. When COVID-19 hit, the pressure only mounted as previous school partnerships and outreach programs halted to control the spread.
Fortunately for job seekers, there are plenty of good-paying, stable careers in the trades that are available immediately. From career growth to job security, joining the skilled trades is a viable career move that helps the industry thrive. Here are just a few of the many benefits of a skilled trades career.
Shorter and Cheaper Training
Unlike college, where degrees are acquired after two to eight years, skilled labor training programs are much shorter typically ranging from six months to two years. Often employees are able to take these classes while they are already working, allowing them to earn income and gain on-the-job experience.
Over the last few decades, college tuition has increased substantially. As college graduates are discovering, they’re leaving school with student loans while jobs in their desired field are hard to come by. The reason for this is that as college enrollment grew, so did tuition costs and job competition. On the other hand, skilled tradespeople often leave community colleges or trade schools with less debt than those in private or in-state four-year institutions.
According to U.S. News and World Report, plumbers rank as one of the best careers for those without a college degree. With a median salary of $55,160 and an estimated 20,900 available jobs, there is no shortage of possibilities within this field. And this is just one example. Compensation packages vary based on the trade but will typically include impressive benefits packages on top of above-average wages.
Tradespeople are indispensable. Even during economic hardship, when building or household upgrades normally stall, people rely on tradespeople for their everyday tasks. For example, plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists will focus on home maintenance while a rigging company may relocate machinery to increase plant efficiency. These smaller projects still provide steady work for skilled laborers when the market is slow.
Between Baby Boomers and Gen Xers making up most of the skilled workforce, the need for a younger generation of skilled workers is at an all-time high. This growing demand has companies eager to hire qualified candidates with incentives that can include sign bonuses and additional vacation time.
While a college degree may be a great path for some, it’s not for everyone and isn’t the only option for a successful career. There are many benefits to working in the trades that far exceed even the ones listed above.
High school students interested in pursuing a skilled trade career can start by seeing what your school offers for technical courses. Many of these programs help students build their resumes by introducing them to industry basics and setting them up with certifications like an OSHA 10 or forklift certificate. However, if you’re out of school and looking to join a trade, don’t fret. Checking with your local workforce development office or online programs like apprenticeship.gov are great resources to help you get started.
If you’re looking for a career where no two days are the same, Boulter is looking to add to our growing workforce. Apply today: Employment Opportunity