Whether you’re young and looking for a career path, or perhaps looking for a career change, there’s never been a better time to look into skilled trades. There’s no doubt that certain professions require advanced college degrees, but you can make a great living without a college degree.
From plumbers, to roofers, to electricians, to contractors, there are many jobs available in skilled trades and the highest trades in demand can earn you good money.
If you’re uncertain about what career path you want to follow, here are some great reasons to consider a career in skilled trades:
Do you find yourself struggling in a classroom environment, even if you know how to work hard? Look no further for jobs than in some of the highest trades in demand. If you don’t consider yourself a test taker, you can instead learn on the job and build your resume in a skilled trade job.
One of the biggest benefits is that you can gain experience immediately. Not only that, but you can earn important certifications quickly and learn from skilled professionals, all while making money. It’s understood that you’re not going to have all the skills you need right away, but you’ll be apprenticing under experienced workers who can give you all the tips and tricks of their trade.
A Workable Cost
There’s no doubt that pursuing education for your future career can cost money. If you pursue a bachelor’s degree at an in-state university, you might end up spending $30,000 per year. By contrast, earning an associate’s degree through a community college or trade school costs much less and is usually very affordable. This sets you up for your future career with little or no debt and plenty of schooling.
A Good Living
Salaries for many of the highest trades in demand vary from state to state, industry to industry, and company to company, but with a job in a skilled trade, you can make a decent living. The average salary for commercial plumbers, for example, is roughly $44,000.
Using Your Skills
If you’re looking for a career, you should consider skilled trades, because, if nothing else, you get to use the skills you have. Rather than putting money into a degree you may or may not get to use after you graduate, you can get right to work in a skilled trade using the skills you’ve picked up in trade school. If your goal is to open up your own business, pursuing a skilled trade is a good way to do it. The average citizen in your area is always going to need help with plumbing or welding, or masonry, so you’ll be able to use your skills every day if you wish to.
Taking Pride in Your Work
One of the biggest advantages of working a job in the highest trades in demand is that you do work you can be proud of every day. Take roofing work for example. If you’ve ever driven by a row of houses and marveled at the craftsmanship of the home, you’re looking at the work of tradesmen who put in many hours to learn their craft, and, as such, can produce high-quality work all the time.
The same thing can be said of being a plumber, being a welder, working in brick masonry, or pursuing any other skilled trade job. It’s work that may not be considered glamorous all the time, but it’s nonetheless important work that requires skilled hands. By taking on a skilled trade job, you’ll become part of an important workforce that helps keep households safe, allows companies to conduct business, and helps keep the nation’s infrastructure intact.
Looking Into Skilled Trade Jobs
Now that you know about some of the benefits of pursuing jobs in the skilled trades, let’s look at some specifics of some of the highest trades in demand. You’ve probably heard about shortages of tradespeople and how there’s always a need for tradespeople. Well if you’re curious about some of the trade jobs that are available, a closer look at some specific jobs may pique your interest:
One of the best reasons to pursue a job in plumbing is that there is always a need for plumbers. Think of plumbers like doctors; everyone always needs their help. If you become good at what you do, you’re always going to have job security. Plumbers are always in demand because homeowners are always dealing with dripping faucets and leaking bathtubs, so if you’re good at what you do, there’ll be no shortage of work you can take on.
Among the highest trades in demand, there’s plenty of chances for advancement in the plumbing industry too. Since it is a licensed and regulated trade, you can advance as far as you want to. The higher you go, the better opportunities you’re going to have and the more money you’re going to make.
Plumbing also offers plenty of variety. You can certainly make a good living fixing household leaks all day, but you can do much more than that if you want. You can go into industrial plumbing, fixing high tech equipment for big companies, you can help design plumbing systems for new buildings, or you can work for municipal water systems, helping to develop new technologies and maintaining equipment. The sky is the limit when it comes to variety.
If you own your own plumbing business, you can choose where you want to work, when you want to work, and what kind of jobs you take on. It’s estimated that the average worker at any job gets typically 15 vacation days a year. If you own your own plumbing business, you can take a month-long vacation in the summertime if you want. Since you’re your own boss, you get to be flexible.
There’s no doubt that many homeowners enjoy working around their homes and repairing things. But when it comes to roofing repairs, those usually require expert skills. Commercial roofers traditionally don’t work 9-to-5 jobs, but by working in the industry, you’ll gain expert skills and the work you do will be met with a trust that you’ve done a good job.
As with plumbing, there’s plenty of variety in roofing. As one of the highest trades in demand, one of the most interesting things about roofing is that no two jobs are alike. If you’re working in commercial roofing, for example, you might work on different kinds of commercial properties and with a litany of different building materials. If you’re a residential roofer, you’ll have to adapt the skills you have to each house you work on. After all, there are many different kinds of roofs and if you want to be a good residential roofer, you need to know how to work on every kind of roof there is.
If you’re going to work in roofing, it’s beneficial to be physically fit since roofing requires going up and down ladders, usually while carrying heavy materials. It also helps if you’re adaptable when it comes to working in different kinds of weather conditions.
As with plumbing, there’s plenty of job security in roofing and it’s one industry that typically grows faster than the national average. You may see some occasional dips in work during the winter, but there’s always a demand for high-quality work, especially in springtime and summertime.
There’s also plenty of room for growth. With so much roofing work available, you can work your way up in your company or work your way up with certifications. All the while you can make good money and you’ll gain a lot of satisfaction from your work because it will be well-received for its quality.
Another one of the highest trades in demand is contracting work. By putting in the time and learning the skills to become a contractor, you can become your own boss, which leads to great independence. You can work as much as you want and where you want, so there’s plenty of security.
Another important advantage of being a contractor is that you can maintain a good job between your life and your work. If you’re lucky enough to someday own your business, you might be able to work from home, saving you from a miserable morning commute as well as office politics, or time-consuming meetings.
Paving contractors, roofing contractors, and other contractors also have the advantage of having great benefits. Now if you’re an independent contractor, you will probably have to buy your own benefits, but the good news is you can customize your plans for medical, vision, and dental to your needs rather than paying into a plan that doesn’t really work for you.
If you’re young and looking for a career path, there’s no doubt it can sometimes be a difficult and stressful undertaking. After all, you likely want something that pays well, has decent hours, and is a job you can really sink your teeth into while also getting opportunities for advancement.
Among the highest trades in demand, welding is one profession that checks all the boxes above. By going to a trade school to learn welding, you set yourself up to become a welder, a pipefitter, or a service technician for HVAC systems among other things.
With a welding job, there’s no shortage of variety. Welding is a skill that is highly transferable, you can shake things up from time to time, or move up as you gain more training. You may start with simple welding jobs on construction sites to getting into industrial welding jobs in the oil and gas industry or in manufacturing. If you constantly work on your skills and take time to learn all you can, the doors you can open for yourself are endless.
They may not be glamourous, but there’s plenty of appeal in waste management jobs for those wondering what kind of career to pursue. Among the highest trades in demand, it can be messy. Picking up trash and recyclable materials can be messy, but it helps keep cities clean. Believe it or not, it’s also a job that people respect. Think about the last time you’ve seen waste management employees pull up to pick up your trash. You’re likely very happy because it means you don’t have to worry about getting rid of your trash.
As with other trade jobs, the salary for a waste management job can vary by geographic area, but in some places you might be able to make up to $50,000 or more depending on where you’re at. As if that wasn’t enough, the benefits are good and so is the job growth. As a city experiences population growth, more waste is created, and it means there’s an increased need for sanitation jobs. You may have some long hours, but the pay will be good.
So how can you work in waste management? If you’ve got a love of driving, are adaptable to working in different kinds of conditions, and can work hard, you can set yourself up for success. You’ll be trained in how to maintain and operate garbage trucks, simulating garbage routes, and even writing reports. Eventually, you’ll need to get a driver’s license that qualifies you to drive a garbage truck on your own.
Don’t Discount Skilled Trades Jobs
As you can see, by pursuing jobs in the highest trades in demand, you can set yourself up for a great career, make great money, and have great job security. By putting in the time to learn your craft, you’ll be learning important skills that can transfer across a variety of fields, learning quality craftmanship, and learning jobs where you can proud of your work every day.
There’s no doubt that skilled trades jobs pay well, whether you’re your own boss as a contractor, working for a paving company, working as a welder, or even working as an industrial plumber. But more importantly, by choosing a career in the skilled trades, you’ll be able to enjoy what you do every day while giving yourself plenty of opportunities for advancement and growth.