The Growing Shortage: Skilled Trade Positions

In the United States, college has become less of a choice and more of a mandatory step in furthering your education after completing high school. While the idea of transferring from a 2-year community college to a major 4-year University has become more widely accepted, technical or vocational schools are still yet to become a popular option. However, now more than ever the need for skilled trade individuals is in demand.  Due to the growing shortage of individuals choosing college over acquiring a skill trade in America. What’s going on? As the baby boomer generation is phasing out into retirement, they’re leaving skilled positions open that businesses can’t fill. If you or someone you know is looking at their options after high school, keep reading to find out if maybe becoming trained in a specific skill is the perfect pathway for you!

It’s estimated that there will be 3 million skilled trade positions that will be left vacant by 2020. The biggest shortage is in the construction industry with over 5 million positions currently being held by baby boomers that will eventually need to be filled as these workers begin to retire. Companies in the U.S. that rely heavily on skilled trade positions are beginning to invest more in the future of their workforce by offering to pay for an employee’s education at a technical school.  Offering apprenticeships and even partnering with schools to start programs that are specific to training individuals to work for their company.

If the growing need for skilled trade employees isn’t enough, just factor in the cost difference between an undergraduate degree versus a vocational school. On average, trade schools cost around $33,000 compared to a bachelor’s degree costing a whopping $127,000. This leaves you with a savings of $94,000! Although there are many statistics that show bachelor’s degrees long-term pay for themselves with an increase in salary over the length of your career.  Many skilled trade positions are starting to increase their already comparable high salaries as the demand for those skills continue to increase.

The discussion regarding the shortage of skilled trade workers is not meant to discourage the idea of pursuing a bachelor’s degree.  Its intention is to open your eyes to the vast need for more skilled trade workers in America.  Not long ago the ‘traditional route’ was to obtain a skill.  The need for skilled workers is only going to increase over the next decade.  As you and others consider their options in obtaining a great salary, keep an open mind when it comes to choosing a vocational school education and a skilled career. Have any questions regarding skilled trade positions? Contact us here at The HR Girl!


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