Benefits of Being a Skilled Trade Worker

If you haven’t heard the news yet, NPR says, “the financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price – and the average debt into which it plunges students – keeps going up.” At the same time, the demand for skilled trade workers is skyrocketing, with great wages being paid for the top talent. While college may be right for some people, there are plenty of skilled trade jobs that don’t require the debt of a four-year college degree. This article will look at the benefits of being a skilled trade worker in the U.S. today.


If You Have Skills, You Have Options


Today you may have heard about the demand for technology workers, but you may not realize that skilled trade workers are just as in demand. 75% of contractors today are having a hard time finding qualified workers. That means skilled workers in manufacturing, general labor, light industrial, transportation, construction, and more, all need skilled workers. That also means these fields are paying more than they ever have for experienced talent. But here’s another fact that may shock you: The U.S. Department of Education reports that skilled trades workers are more likely to be employed than college graduates.


Now think about the fact that trade school is cheaper and takes less time than more traditional education. This means you can get in, get trained, and start earning money faster and with much less debt. We know that traditional college educational expenses have gone up 300% in the last decade. The cost of a four-year degree is $100,000 to $150,000. That leaves new graduates with, potentially, a large amount of debt when they finally graduate.


It might be true that the cost of a four-year degree will be worth it because it increases the potential of your lifetime earnings potential. That doesn’t mean the average skilled trade worker makes less than the average college graduate.  One recent article pointed out that companies like 64 Lumber pay their managers six figures and they’re having trouble finding workers to take the job so they are taking people without experience and training them into these roles.


In 2019 Skilled Labor is a Hot Market


Today, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says there are about six million job openings in the United States. Manufacturing alone accounted for more than 522,000 of these positions. Today’s skilled trade workers now also need some technology skills in addition to hands-on job expertise. SHRM says some of the top skilled worker jobs in the U.S. today include:

  • Elevator mechanic Salary $88,200
  • Journeyman lineman Salary $74,700
  • Refrigeration mechanic Salary $67,800
  • HVAC service manager Salary $67,800
  • Electrical supervisor Salary $66,000


If you’re looking for your next career, it’s time to think about the skilled trades. Talk with the team at Twin City Staffing to explore your options today.