The Labor Shortage Epidemic

When did we forget that there are two options: college OR career?

Most students post-graduation have their sights set on a university, even if they have no foreseeable plan for their professional career. Statistics show that some university-enrolled students have yet to complete their degree after six years of paying a hefty tuition. In that time, some skilled trade workers have actually found success and may be working towards an average of $55,000 per year. According to the US Department of Education’s Education Statistics Report, people with skilled trade and technical education are more likely to be employed in their field of study. In fact, only about 35% of the openings in the future workforce will require one to have completed a university Bachelor’s degree or higher, according to Explore the Trades.

Vast Opportunities in the Skilled Trade Industry 

The skilled trade industry is very vast and is made up of many career paths: labor, demolition, mechanical, electrical, truck drivers, equipment operators, etc. For those still in school considering one of these career paths, consider ways to get you ahead in those given fields.

Here’s a few rapidly growing skilled trade industries to consider
  • Wind Turbine Technicians
      • Requirements: 2-year technical school + 1 year apprenticeship or on-the-job training
      • Median pay: $52,260
      • Job growth*: 108%
  • Electricians 
      • Requirements: 4 or 5 year paid apprenticeship
      • Median pay: $57,720
      • Job growth*: 14%
  • Elevator Mechanics
      • Requirements: 4 year apprenticeship
      • Median pay: $78, 890
      • Job growth*: 13%
  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
      • Requirements: on-the-job training (approximately 1 year)
      • Median pay: $49,100
      • Job growth*: 16%
  • HVACR Technicians
      • Requirements: 6 months to 2 years of an apprenticeship or trade school
      • Median pay: $45,910
      • Job growth*: 14%

*Projected job growth statistics are for 2014-2024

For more information on the above careers, check out the full article on Glassdoor! 


Avoid High Student Loans

One of the main perks is the cost-efficiency of this given career field. Some skilled trade fields have paid programs that teach students in addition to supporting related instruction at local universities or community colleges. These classes can be paid for by state grants and are a great way to enter the workforce debt-free. Each student would receive a mentor and a pay increase after each successful year completed. The Department of Labor has actually supported ventures of these natures for years now in hopes of gaining a larger workforce of laborers in future years. In addition, many companies offer apprentice programs that will pay participants while being trained in the field.

No matter what you choose, remember that the skilled trade field is an equally rewarding career path that leaves a considerably smaller dent in your pocket!