Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of contents
The economy is currently experiencing a nationwide labor shortage of skilled jobs. Employers are finding it tough to fill these gaps for many reasons. The biggest reason is that their skilled labor is retiring en masse.
Baby boomers that decided to work into their 70s are unable or unwilling to continue working to the bone. On top of that, college enrollments are increasing, and nobody is going into these trade fields. The result is a huge opportunity for anyone looking for extremely lucrative and secure careers.
Unlike the college debt trap, trade schools aren’t expensive and don’t require four years of commitment. Trade school careers often start with less than a year of classroom training, earning your certification, and the rest is on-the-job. If this job outlook has piqued your interest, dive a little deeper.
We’re going to show you why trade schools are the ticket to a more secure future.
Shortage of Skilled Labor
When we talk about skilled labor, we don’t mean flipping burgers and mopping floors. Those jobs are also in high demand, but their future prospects aren’t too bright these days. Eventually, all of the low-skilled labor jobs will get replaced by machines.
Tradeskill jobs, however, will never have to worry about this. Robots don’t have the dexterity to perform these tasks. In fact, as technology becomes more advanced, these trade skill jobs will increase in demand. People become busier with technology that they never learn basic plumbing or electrical skills.
Consider the desperate situation whenever there’s a major storm and utilities are down. Companies everywhere are understaffed for the next big storm. People need help during cleanup and rebuilding after events like that.
Cost and Accessibility
When jobs are in such high demand, the cost of labor rises. This is good for the worker, but it makes it harder for citizens to budget costs. Building a new home is much more expensive these days.
Construction spending in 2018 hit $1.3 trillion. Even the highest bidders are feeling the effects of the skilled labor shortage. Building projects are taking longer than usual as workers are spread thin.
While a shortage of trade laborers is pushing compensation higher in the fields of specialized trades, the advantages of holding a four-year college education are declining. Also, the understudy credit obligation that undergrads take on continues to increase.
Secondary school understudies are regularly urged to progress in the direction of a four-year certification as opposed to entering programs that educate and build trade abilities. This sort of preparation generally costs much less than a customary school or college. It’s easier to finish for hands-on learners and build into a lucrative occupation.
Causes of the Shortage
The lack of talented laborers appears to intensify each day. By certain metrics, for each trade laborer entering the business, five resign.
The general lack of gifted trade laborers in HVAC, carpentry, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work is common everywhere throughout the U.S. The more established associate of talented trade laborers is resigning significantly more than the rate at which they are being introduced. As indicated in details given by the Associated General Contractors of America, around 70 percent of U.S. contractors are having a hard time bringing in new trade specialists.
There are multiple layers involved in this shortage, including the following:
The fact that technology is so pervasive in our lives, we look at manual labor as a lower value. Students are focusing harder on STEM and technical education, while shop class and life skills are ignored. Budget cuts also exacerbate things, leaving these skills on the chopping block.
Office-related jobs also contributed to the impression that working inside is more desirable and less work. The fallout from these low-paying technical service jobs has proven this assumption false.
Our tech culture has distorted the landscape for trade skills, but the recession snowballed things. Once the economy crashed, the housing market was devastated. Every trade was affected, with upwards of half of all workers lost.
Most of these jobs were the veteran tradesmen and women who left a gaping hole in experience. This made it much more difficult and slower to replace those that were lost. Only a third of those jobs lost have been replaced since 2008.
Family trade businesses are less common now in the trade industry. Typically, trade skills are passed on from generation to generation. This is the best way to generate interest in jobs outside academia.
Millennials have expressed a stronger disinterest in following in their parent’s footsteps. This is another symptom of cultural differences and children wanting to carve their own legacy.
Why You Should Consider Trade School Careers
A conventional degree isn’t for everybody, same as carpentry or plumbing isn’t for most people. In any case, it is worth your time to consider trades outside the classroom. There are numerous ways to gauge your interest, it doesn’t need to be construction-related.
There are around 30 million positions in the U.S. that don’t require a four-year higher education. There are a lot of trade occupations for those who never went to college.
Depending on your particular circumstance, life objectives, and interests, a trade school program may save you thousands in debt. You can also return to college if you think it’s something you genuinely need. Right now, there are so many reasons to do a trade first.
Faster Transition to Employment
Going to college is expensive because: 1) tuition is expensive, and 2) you have less time to work. Learning a trade and being able to start working in that trade could happen in months, not years. This means you can actually afford your classes and increase your income immediately.
College grads usually have a tough time finding a job in their field. There’s usually a lengthy internship/entry-level phase before they reach their median pay.
Many of the positions referenced above are in extreme interest and are expected to grow. Post-trade school, you’ll see that practically every one of the trades you get aren’t outsourceable. This is important to remember, as outsourced careers often have to deal with wage cuts.
As a matter of fact, your job could even open doors to working overseas. These are hands-on skills that translate wherever you decide to travel. There are minor exceptions in regulations and licensing differences, of course.
Tips for Starting a Career in Trade
Learn about various trade occupations, schools, potential apprenticeships and networking opportunities you may have. Look into a couple of trades that you like or feel connected to. You have to have some level of passion when working long hours with your hands.
Start looking on Indeed.com and ads in the local paper. You will find that pay rates will vary wildly based on city, county, and state. This is worth keeping in mind because if you plan on starting your own business, you’ll need to establish a local presence.
Get advice from your relatives, companions, or colleagues. Ask whether they know anybody in the fields you’re thinking of joining. Every trade skill needs a good apprentice to learn from. Having a mentor that you can trust will improve your chances of success.
Certain trade skills transfer well into other fields. For example, if you decide to become an electrician. Knowledge of electrical wiring makes you an expert in home entertainment and car audio fields.
These are good backup careers that pay well if you find your passion elsewhere. This also works in reverse, becoming an electrician after wanting to know more about these home projects. It’s a big jump to make, going from installing stereos to wiring up a home.
Specializing in specific trades will help you stay relevant and earn more as a tradesman. You never stop learning, even decades after completing your apprenticeship. This is why most tradesmen retire well after other careers.
Join the Team of Skilled Professionals
We are living in a society that has forgotten the importance of trade school careers. The younger generations were told that the only road to success was through the four-year college. Students took out loans they couldn’t afford, to earn degrees for jobs that no longer exist.
There’s no better time than now to become a skilled laborer. When you pick a new skill that will never become obsolete, it’s priceless. A sense of pride will fill you once you are out there, making money, and solving real-world problems.
Start here if you’re ready to increase your potential to earn and contribute to society. InterCoast colleges have classes starting Online and for California residents. Browse our degree programs, professional certifications, and business training.
Your true calling is waiting for you. You just have to take that first step and enroll.