Trade school jobs and workers in demand in 2018

There are dozens of different types of Trade School jobs, which are also called vocational positions. The demand for talented workers continues to be  very high, and examples of these positions may be electricians, plumbers, radiation therapists, and many others. I can tell you first hand it is hard to find these types of workers and I am always surprised at the hourly rates that the skilled ones can charge.

The national unemployment rate is at 4.1%, which is close to a historical low. Ever since 2010 – 2011, employers have been hiring hundreds of thousands of people per month and the job market has been increasing in strength. Now, with the tight job market and strong economy, many trade school type positions are in very high demand, and many of them have incomes that are above the national median average.

I also see this on a first-hand basis too. I have hired plumbers in the past, electricians, and other professionals to work. I am always surprised at the prices they charge for a “quick and simple” job; or at least what is simple to them. Even fixing some minor flow issues on a toilet, that takes the plumber less than an hour, can cost a good chunk of change! Even looking for a home inspector for a house that I am having built has been challenging. Now while the professional of course does not net all that they charge, as much goes to their expenses (insurance, income taxes, certifications, transportation, etc.) skilled jobs still seem to make a decent wage to me.

So what is a vocational job? There are hundreds of them. Carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians, auto mechanics trained on latest computer technology, etc. They can often demand high rates for the work they do.

As an example, we at get requests from people looking for assistance programs for paying for home repairs, plumbing, electrical work, etc. Most of that type of work would fall into what someone can learn at a trade school. As many people find out, it can be costly to address those needs. Whether hiring a company, or finding a “handy man” type service, the bills add up quickly.

How to get a trade school job? These vocational jobs come with different types of pre-requisites. Some jobs require a certification and not a 4-year college degree. Other positions may provide the training someone needs by an Associate Degree. Or apprenticeships too are used to meet the demand of vocational jobs, and apprenticeships is something that the Republican party is encouraging as it is is used extensively overseas in countries such as Germany.

The fact is a 4-year degree (or even 2 year) is not always the best fit for every person. Some people have other strengths, such as they are great with their hands in building things, they can visualize art or design or how to fix something, or they may be great at any of a million things…but the “traditional” educational system is just not one of their strengths. Trade schools can help those individuals take advantage of the strengths they have. Historically, and even today, there are still studies that show that some Americans “look down” on those vocational jobs, or the kids may have a more difficult time in school. But people that possess those skills should be appreciated and greatly respected for the talent as well as various strengths they bring to the table.

I am horrible at fixing things around the home or other handy type work. I am a computer and number’s person, but I will tell you there are many days in which I wish I had some of those skills that are taught at trade schools. I appreciate the skills, talent and knowledge those individuals possess. Even going through a process of building/owning a home, I have very limited knowledge of the process and wish I was more informed, so I could verify the builder’s work, ask the proper questions, and ensure everything is done properly for a home being built.

The demand for trade school jobs is very high and is expected to increase even more in the future. Many of these jobs, such as electricians or construction managers, can’t be automated, which is becoming even more common these days. Even the million+ people who drive tractor trailers are at risk of automation these days. Automation can’t replace an electrician or carpenters.

Demand and salaries of vocational jobs

The demand for their services is ever growing. It is estimated by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) that the growth of vocational, or trade school jobs, is increasing at a much faster rate than the overall job market. This means that the demand for health care workers in vocational roles (such as a hygienist), construction managers, high tech manufacturing, plumbers, etc. will be much higher that say an office worker.

The salaries for vocational jobs are competitive too, with some making over 6 figures, including construction managers. Many other jobs, such as steamfitters, electrician and carpenters, can also make close or more than 100K per year in the proper part of the country, such as the Los Angeles, Boston, NYC or parts of the country that have a large metro area. But then again, the wages tend to be higher for all jobs in those metro areas due to cost of living there.

Demand and wages are a positive for trade school. Another benefit to vocational jobs is that workers often do not incur any debt from say student loans. An apprenticeship will often be free (if the person qualifies) and certifications often cost a fraction of a 4-year degree. So not only can a trade school job pay a very decent wage, but the worker is not drowning under student loans as they launch their careers. So this is a growing field, with a lot of benefits for people that possess these skills.

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