Learning a trade can swing the doors to prosperity wide open! When skilled labor is in constant demand, the economy offers tradespeople job security and potentially lucrative opportunities. We do ourselves and our children a great service by keeping an open mind about a career as a tradesperson.
So many of today’s tradespeople are approaching retirement or have already left the workforce. With so many of today’s high school graduates opting for college, members of younger generations have not filled these vacancies in kind. Due to a shortage of skilled workers, today’s tradespeople are in high demand. This is expected to continue growing well into the future.
Young men and women often start learning a trade as an apprentice, developing skills and competence as they strive toward mastery. With certifications and training, talented professionals ascend the proverbial ladder step-for-step with the value they create. Good foremen and forewomen are almost always in top demand. If a tradesperson has entrepreneurial aspirations, the sky is the limit.
Artificial Intelligence Won’t Displace Tradespeople Anytime Soon
When considering a career, job security is an important consideration. While no line of work is 100% secure, some professions are better insulated against the threat of technology. Trade work cannot be outsourced to tech. The world will always need people who can work with their hands.
Savings by Skipping College Loans
College graduates are often burdened with student loan debt. By choosing trade work, high school graduates can better avoid this debt crisis. While trade workers may need some training, many companies hire people with no or little experience as apprentices. Many trade-specific courses are available (online and in-person) and nearly all trade-related education is less costly than traditional college degree programs.
The Earnings May Surprise You
Many graduating high school students choose to attend college, convinced that a degree will help them make more money. Earning a degree does not guarantee better earnings potential. To maximize lifetime earnings, we should view the world holistically, consider which skills we’ll need to master so we can pursue doing work that we’ll enjoy, and invest time to continuously strengthen our value to the marketplace. The earnings potential of tradespeople often exceeds the earnings potential of college graduates.
Between ages 18 and 65, most folks spend nearly a third of their time working. If we are bored or dissatisfied in our profession, we will spend a lion’s share of our lives unfulfilled. For many people, working with our hands to fix or create something can be more satisfying than working on the computer all day plugging numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. It is so important to do something we enjoy.
So Many Options
Learning a trade offers the chance to fill a growing need in the marketplace, not only now, but for many years to come. While by no means an exhaustive list, carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians, landscapers, painters, plasterers, plumbers, roofers, window cleaners, and welders are in demand. Trades aren’t limited to construction either, other careers include beauticians, chefs, childcare professionals, dental & medical assistants, legal secretaries, nurses, and hairdressers, just to name a few.
Chinese philosopher, Confucius, wrote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” With an abundance of opportunities worldwide and less exposure to being displaced by technology or artificial intelligence, learning a trade can set up an attractive and rewarding career path. Especially in the upper echelons of management and ownership, many blue-collar professionals earn more than they would have in the white-collar world. While everyone’s professional journey is different, the trades are certainly a worthwhile consideration.
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”
—1 Corinthians 3:10 KJV
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