If you or your nearly grown offspring are looking for solid work, good money and a great future, look no further than the skilled trades. Why? Because the skilled trades labor crisis is real. As reported often in the Washington Post and a plethora of other publications and media, there is not enough talent to fill the positions currently available in plumbing, electrical, carpentry and other vital trades, and this is not stuff that can be done from behind a computer screen.

As Jason Burns reports in his article Hiding In Plain Sight: Bright Futures In Skilled Trades, “As increasing numbers of parents send their kids to college, fewer families and schools focus on the lucrative earning potential that comes from learning a hands-on trade right in their community.”

Burns goes on to say that students are leaving college with a massive amount of debt, highlighting how, with some training and little to no debt at all, those same students can consider the sky as their limit for potential career advancement and earnings in the skilled trades.

“Instead of spending 4 years in college racking up debt, they’re beginning careers that allow them to earn while they learn,” says Burns. “These tradespeople can reach their mid 20’s not only debt-free but well along the path to financial freedom.”

Are trade career opportunities America’s best-kept economic secret? Possibly. And it could be the key to rebuilding the middle class, according to Burns.

“As more people discover the abundance of jobs available and the earning potential of these jobs, young people are increasingly looking at successful futures, rather than standing at the starting line with a mound of debt in their way,” adds Burns. “The skilled trades offer good, stable careers with almost unlimited earning potential.”

As an example, carpentry (to include framing homes and commercial buildings, installing decorative details and even creating cabinetry) has a median salary of nearly $43,000 with a 10-year projected demand number of more than a million jobs. Training takes 12 weeks for certification or one year as an apprentice. Going up the pay scale, consider electrical, bringing electrical power to residential and commercial buildings, appliances, and even large machinery by designing, installing, and maintaining electrical systems. Its median salary is a little more than $57k, and the demand for electricians is considerable. You’d need to spend 2-4 years as an apprentice.

As for plumbers, the median salary is $55,050, again with 2-4 years of hands-on experience. Add careers in HVAC or appliance repair, and you have a wide range of careers to choose from that are in plentiful demand.

“Whether you’re interested in getting down and dirty with plumbing and HVAC, or would rather work from a technical perspective as an appliance repair specialist or electrician, there is a skilled trades job out there for you,” says Burns, who adds the job opportunities are endless for qualified applicants. “As a result, the median salary will only increase, benefiting you now and in the long run.”

If you want a rewarding career, there are few others you can have that permit you to drive by entire neighborhoods knowing you helped to build them with your own hands. From a payback standpoint, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Source: Washington Post | TBWS