Skilled trade workers provide valuable services to society. They need to employ various skills and their knowledge and experience to provide people with items, skills, and services they need. A skilled trade worker is anyone who works in a profession that requires vocational training. It can include carpenters, construction workers, painters, electricians, plumbers, and more.
Although people are encouraged to go to University, get a bachelor’s degree, and then look for a job, this isn’t the only option available to people. Skilled trades offer more than just career stability. You will be able to earn earlier than many of your peers, and you can enjoy several opportunities for career growth as well.
Five reasons why skilled trades are important
There are various benefits to working in a skilled trades profession that goes beyond getting a head start in your career. Here are five reasons why you should consider a career in the skilled trades:
1. Vocational training and apprenticeship
A career in the skilled trades may not require a bachelor’s degree, but you will still need to have technical skills. The good news is that the courses you’ll be asked to take typically take less time to complete than a standard bachelor’s degree. While it can take you up to four years and cost thousands of dollars to get your college degree, the technical school only takes two years to complete.
You also won’t be accruing as much student debt as people who go to college. While you can be expected to spend upwards of $100,000 to get a bachelor’s degree, over four years, it costs less to go to a technical school. You can usually finish your classroom hours for many skilled trades courses, having spent no more than $10,000. While it can be hard for many college graduates to pay back the student debt, leaving them indebted for years, you can pay back your debt faster.
Before you can get your trades license, you’ll also need to complete an apprenticeship. Apprentices start earning while they learn on the job. While you won’t be earning as much as a licensed skilled worker, as an apprentice, as the years go by, the amount you’ll be earning will increase.
2. Great job prospects
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts positive career growth for skilled trades. Various kinds of skilled trades are expected to see a rise in demand, making the time ripe for entering into the field of skilled trades. BLS predicts that between 2016 to 2026, the demand for construction workers is expected to rise by 13%. This kind of growth is faster than average. Nearly 183,000 construction jobs are expected to be available by 2026.
Similarly, the prospects for plumbers, steamfitters, as well as pipefitters are expected to grow as well, nearly as much as 16%. Those who get degrees don’t always have a guaranteed job at the end of their course. This means that even after investing thousands of dollars into getting a degree, people find themselves struggling to pay that amount back.
3. Diverse options to grow your career
There are various kinds of skilled trades available. You can be a construction worker, or a painter, a carpenter, or a plumber. Even jobs like chefs and hairdressers fall under the skilled trades category. With the various career options available, you can find something that suits your requirements.
The prospect for achieving career growth can also be seen with the skilled trades. Depending on the skilled trade you choose, you’ll come across options to develop specialized skills in that field. As a painter, you could learn special techniques and painting styles. As a carpenter, you could learn how to specialize in special woodworking processes. In this way, even electricians, construction workers, chefs, and other skilled workers, can choose to develop specialized skills.
The value of developing such specialized skills is that it allows skilled workers to earn more. Since specialized skills are rare, clients may seek you out, especially for your skills. Such skilled workers can charge more for their skills, especially as they get better with time.
4. Work available
The kind of work a skilled worker does may not be restricted to their industry alone. Take, for example, the skilled workers who work to create television and movie sets or those who care for animals or work in coal mining. The demand for skilled workers is varied, and this gives you the opportunity to work in unique industries that may seem unrelated to your job.
Television and movies is a field where you’ll often find skilled workers. Tradesmen are hired to work in all kinds of capacities, from helping build sets to providing food on set. Similarly, there are skilled workers who work for themselves as well. Cabinetmakers, jewelers, and similar tradespeople tend to operate shops of their own. They provide their services by selling the wares they make themselves in their own shop.
Skilled workers also have the option of working in businesses as well. The opportunity to reach a senior position where you can lead teams and one day run your business also increases. Being a skilled worker gives you the freedom to grow your career. You can pursue additional certifications after getting your license to gain additional skills.
5. Earning potential
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the average median wage of an administrative support employee is $34,410. In contrast, a construction worker earned an annual median wage of $44,960. This shows that skilled workers are already earning more than several other kinds of jobs available for college graduates.
And this is not counting the opportunity for career growth. Skilled tradesmen have the opportunity to learn specialized skills, which can help them grow in their careers. Aside from these, they can also become foremen, supervisors and work in leadership positions. A skilled worker also has the option of getting a contractor’s license. This gives them the opportunity to be a business owner as well.
Skilled trades provide valuable and useful services to people while also acting as stable careers for the people who venture in that direction. Not only does it take less time to finish your vocational education when compared to getting college degrees, but you’ll also be earning while you learn. Skilled workers have less to pay back in student debt and can usually land jobs quickly. This is because they need to complete apprenticeships and on-the-job training before they can get their license.
If you’re interested in becoming a skilled worker, then you should also consider insurance for contractors. This is because there are certain career risks that skilled workers are exposed to. A disgruntled client could sue you, leading to a court case. Here, you may need to pay out of your own pocket unless you have contractor liability insurance. Insurance for contractors provides you with coverage against the most common career risks faced by skilled workers.