Imagine getting a workout while you work…feeling fit when you come home…earning a livable income that frees up your days off with relaxation that comes from strength.
These are just a few of the benefits of working in the trades. We were pleasantly surprised by the considerable advantages this field offers. From paid training and education to internships, supported licensing, equipment and clothing—not to mention abundant jobs throughout California and the rest of the nation that are going unfilled—until now. We’ll also share with you the key success factors for creating a fresh, new start in this expanding field.
First, the Overview
Despite pandemic conditions, a growing shortage of workers have been pushing wages higher in the skilled trades over the past few years. That means developing a skilled trade during pandemic times offers three core benefits:
- The compensation is good, even in your first year.
- Job growth in the field of skilled trades is strong and diverse.
- You’ll be on a relatively quick path to a reliable career.
Few people—or jobs—out there can say that and hold strong.
New legislation emphasizing skills over a college degree is already changing the workplace landscape. This executive order emphasizes competency-based hiring that ensures that individuals who are most capable of performing the roles and responsibilities required of a specific position, are in fact those people who are hired for that position. The idea is grounded in a merit system that essentially says: If you consistently demonstrate the abilities, you earn the role—and the compensation that comes with it. Notice the word consistently. We’ll talk about that later.
Now, the Upshot
Many people are beginning to consider a different work paradigm, one in which a typical office may be less appealing. Job shortages in the trades means that there is a strong need for hands-on talent that can have on-the-job value right away. As you build skillsets through mentorship and training, the income you generate affords you with less debt, better pay, and an overall better quality of life as a result.
Other key points to consider include:
- Saving time. Skilled trade apprenticeships take about half the time to complete as a four-year degree.
- Saving money. The average cost of a 2-year Trade School in 2019 was $33,000. By comparison, the average cost of a 2-year public college was $53,180; while a 4-year university tuition ranged on average from $106,360 (public) to $147,520 (private).
- Earn income while training. Trade School grants abound—go for it!
- Do what you enjoy. If you prefer a hands-on learning style, why earn a costly college degree just to settle for any job that’s hiring?
- Low competition means you have a chance to shine right now. Why compete with dozens, if not hundreds of college applicants for a job you may not truly care about?
Different Paths for Everyone
There are as many varieties of interests in the world as there are people. Maybe you grew up in a family that instilled a solid work ethic, yet believed in letting you find and develop your own interests and passion. Maybe you were encouraged to take a “white collar” path, but it just didn’t excite you. Perhaps you’re a kinesthetic learner—the kind of person who busts out some of their best moves through hands-on learning. Such individuals would rather dive into action and build their career with experience instead of formal education—then possibly re-visit college for a certification. Whatever your aptitudes and interests are, a skilled trade job can give you the launch-point you need to support yourself, your family and to thrive.
From appliance repair technicians to HVAC, electrical, plumbing, metal fabrication, welding, carpentry, mechanics and construction—many trade schools are currently offering grants for people who want to step into this line of work.
In skilled trade careers, apprentices immediately work on projects and earn viable certifications. They don’t compete for unpaid internships. They’re already on the floor learning from skilled professionals.
Generation T is upskilling people joining the trades at rates higher than pre-Covid conditions. Why? Because housing continues to be a basic human requirement and existing housing—including the infrastructures within them—wear out, requiring repair and eventual replacement.
And finally, benefit #9: A career in the skilled trades develops aptitudes and competencies that translate to other fields over time, such as IT, media arts, healthcare, teaching and entrepreneurship.
Four Keys to Career Growth in the Skilled Trades
Once you have the skills, the keys to growth in this field are virtually the same as any other:
- Deliver consistently good / great work—aim for great.
- Communicate regularly and often.
- Show up on time—consistently.
- Be prepared to dive in distraction-free.
In the end, we all want the same thing: to choose a life that fulfills us and makes us feel good about ourselves. The opportunity to be engaged with a craft that offers team collaboration and visible results can be an incredible, lifelong gift. Depending on where your inspiration lies—and with help from online resources—there is truly no limit to what you can accomplish.
- The Artizen Staffing team
written by Catrina Walker
We’re here to enrich your job search and fill employment gaps as you prepare your next steps. Whether you’re apprenticing, studying or just navigating through slow times, we have gigs right now with a variety of schedules that fit your needs. Reach out to us today!Enjoy more of your summer—take sensible precautions to stay healthy and safe. Click here for the latest updates on COVID-19