Did you know there are 2.5 million skilled trade job openings expected this year and they’re not just in construction? Skills-based career opportunities exist across many industries, and the path to reach them is shorter, more focused, and less expensive than the journey to a four-year degree.
I know it is sometimes hard to think of new ways to say the same old thing about trying to convince or educate someone to get into the trades. That’s where I come in! Continue reading for seven talking points to use when promoting your open positions on social media or even when educating others at a community event.
Right click on each image to download and use them to promote the skilled trades on your own social media channels!
Why a skills-based career might be a great fit for a young adult you know:
Some teens are happiest working with their hands.
Students interested in fields like automotive technology, solar energy, or respiratory therapy don’t want to spend all their time in an office or a lecture hall. Trade schools, on-the-job apprenticeships, and workforce development programs at local community colleges prioritize hands-on teaching, helping students build the skills they will use in their careers and preparing them to enter the workforce.
Community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeships take two years or less to complete. That means they enter the workforce earlier than grads of four-year colleges — and gain experience, develop connections, and move up the career ladder sooner. While college students are amassing debt, tradespeople are earning income.
Skills-based careers offer a good bang for the buck.
Many entry-level jobs in the skilled trades pay upwards of $20 an hour, and the wages go up from there. Given the high demand for skilled technicians, electricians, plumbers, and the like, it’s not uncommon for skilled tradespeople to open their own business — and earn six figures.
You can’t be what you can’t see.
For many of our teens, the problem isn’t the false stigma of the trades but simply that a lot of kids don’t see a clear path to these great jobs. All of us — employers, parents, and guidance counselors — can highlight the great opportunities that exist. We rightly celebrate students with great grades or the best student-athletes. We should also celebrate those who can troubleshoot a diesel engine in the fastest time, design the best app, or install fiberoptic wiring in a competition.
The country needs us.
The future can’t build itself. The labor shortage of skilled workers is well-documented throughout the United States. Older generations of skilled tradespeople are entering retirement much faster than they can be replaced. One statistic indicates that over 50% of skilled-trade workers in the U.S. are 50 years old and older, and nearly 20% are over 60. If we want a strong economy, then we need new talent to get us there.
For women, the future is particularly bright.
Women earn only about 80 cents on the dollar compared with men, even though half the U.S. workforce is female and women account for more than half of all college grads. But in the skilled trades, the story’s different. In construction, for example, women earn about 99% of men’s pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
It’s cool to be a maker!
Being a “maker” is more important now than ever as people shift from passive consumers to become active creators. Fixing things, building things, seeing the physical fruit of your labor can be far more personally fulfilling than the tasks associated with many traditional careers requiring four-year degrees.