Exploring The Skilled Trades

Top 4 Reasons Now Is The Best Time To Learn A Skilled Trade

Erin Wallace
Sr. Writer

Posted 12/10/2019

There's literally never been a better time to get into a skilled trade job. Employment in carpentry, plumbing, HVAC and other skilled trades is booming, and it's set to keep on growing for at least another decade — the sky is truly the limit. If you've been wondering where you can find an open career path that promises a decent standard of living, here are four reasons now is the best time to enter the skilled trades.

1. Baby Boomers Are Retiring

In 2020, the youngest Boomers turn 56, while the oldest will be celebrating 74. About half of this generation, which filled more trade positions than any other before it or since has already retired, and the rest are within 10 years of leaving a vacancy. Those vacant positions need to be filled, and skilled young workers fit the bill perfectly.

2. Manufacturing is Getting More American

Manufacturing jobs are opening to more American workers than has been the case for decades. Japan alone makes 75% of its cars in the United States, and recent trade deals come with the promise of thousands of more jobs in those plants alone.

3. College’s ROI Has Diverted Young Workers

As of 2018, over one-third of Americans reported having a four-year degree, but the earnings may not be worth it. Among students who started college in 2003-04, a staggering 56% were earning less than $40,000 six years later. At least a dozen trades pay more than that for average workers with a vocational certificate.

4. Infrastructure Jobs Need Trades Workers

One of the big issues in the 2016 campaign season was the need to invest in America's infrastructure. Things move slowly in government, but in April 2019 Congress and the White House agreed to invest $2 trillion in infrastructure projects. These jobs, more than most, are heavy in carpentry, paving, electrical and plumbing work, HVAC and the other building trades.

Skilled trades are doing unusually well in the current American economy, and the outlook is as rosy as it could be for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to look for training opportunities to join one of these booming career fields.