Many graduates in the ‘90s and early 2000s sought courses that would earn them university degrees and jobs in the medical, financial, and IT industries. The ultimate dream then was to acquire a position at a company and make millions while sitting inside a comfy office. But with continuous population growth and the job market becoming more saturated and competitive, fresh graduates these days are having a harder time getting employment at these “dream” jobs. What many of young people fail to realize is that there is a great untapped potential in the skilled tradesman job market.
We list down the 5 best things about being a tradesman, especially in today’s society.
1. Trade Education is Cheaper and Shorter
Trade school costs relatively less than getting a college degree. An individual spends an average of 5 -8 years finishing a degree and getting a masters or doctorate business degree, which often results in massive student debts. Sometimes a college graduate’s student loan bill is even bigger than his first car payment.
On the other hand, trade schools offer apprenticeship programs that last from 6 months to 2 years, with only a fraction of the cost of a college education. These learning centers offer training for various trade skills such as chefs, commercial cooks, event managers, tourism and many others. While most of your peers would be slaving away at a uni, paying tens of thousands per year, a skilled tradesman like you would have your certification and be earning money early in your 20s.
In case you already have existing skills and knowledge in your chosen discipline, you might not even have to undergo additional training if you can supply evidence of your expertise and experience in that field. You have the option of going through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment process so your competencies can be evaluated and officially recognized.
2. Trade Jobs Pay well.
Trade jobs can be physically hard, but contrary to the popular belief that they are low-paying professions, they actually pay well. A skilled tradesman’s starting salary reportedly matches up against the average salary for starting college graduates. According to recent reports, plumbers and electricians in Australia earn double than what an average lawyer earns. Most tradesmen have a base salary of $38,000 just for having the proper skills, while licensed and higher end trades work can earn up to $73,000 annually. After gaining enough experience and additional training and skills, tradies can also start their own business, increasing their potential annual income. It is also estimated that in the next 15 years, a bigger number of tradesmen will be in a better financial position to retire more comfortably as compared to white-collar professionals.
3. Skilled Tradesmen Are Always In-Demand
In America, there are more tradesmen retiring than entering the work field. This phenomenon, coupled with continuous economic growth and infrastructure demands, has resulted in a situation where more trades job openings are available than trained workers who can fill these vacancies.
In 2015, Australia needed 67,000 to 76,000 new tradies completing their apprenticeship in order to meet the demands of the country’s construction industry. The Australian government is currently addressing the talent shortage in a number of skills trade, including bricklaying, stone masonry, roof tiling, wall tiling, and plumbing. The government has also begun offering incentives to handyman businesses who would take on apprenticeship programs, in order to encourage and support more trade apprentices to complete their training and take on the available jobs.
4. Qualified Tradesman Have Job Security.
Once you have your skills qualified and certified, you can take your skills anywhere in the world. Complete job security is hard to find in today’s economy, but skills trade jobs are more secure because they cannot be outsourced. The world will always be in need of mechanics, electricians, plumbers, welders, and locksmiths. Without these people, society won’t be able to function normally. Buildings and bridges will not repair themselves, vehicles will break down, plumbing systems will fail, and everyone would be swimming in waste.
Tradesmen who already have industry experience need to upgrade their expertise and have their skills nationally recognized. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can help tradies get official recognition for their skills and knowledge, whether they work in the electro-technology, automotive, air-conditioning, refrigeration, or engineering trades . A qualified tradesman can also acquire a foreign working visa and work a high-paying job in a country of his choice.
4. Most Tradies Experience High Job Satisfaction.
In 2012, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that the number one factor in achieving overall job satisfaction was having the right opportunities to use one’s skills and abilities.
Workers are now realizing that feeling happy and fulfilled at work is vital to their personal growth. Tradies get to spend their time using their skills and abilities into producing something. They often get a sense of fulfilment creating stuff – transforming raw materials into finished products, for instance. While most office workers push papers and repeat the same routine every day, tradies enjoy flexible hours and varying work environments. Once their tasks for the day are completed, they can come home to their families and disconnect from their jobs. This differs from jobs that entail individuals to be plugged in 24/7 to their gadgets.
Trade jobs have previously been viewed as less enticing and rewarding than jobs in glamorous industries like the IT and finance sectors. Thankfully more studies are coming out to reveal the many benefits one can reap from being a qualified tradesman. Tradies are in-demand anywhere in the world, enjoy good pay and job security, and they achieve satisfaction more than being in the business or information industry. When it comes to employability and earning potential, it is clear that a tradesman can often come out on top.
Image from http://www.careersinconstruction.ca/en/career/building-inspector