Has your son or daughter had an interest in hands-on tools since an early age? Now might be a good time to help them learn more about careers in the auto or diesel industries, manufacturing, or other skilled trades. Not everyone is gifted with an innate ability for mechanics, so those who are have always been in demand. A number of factors, however, have recently ramped up need in several related fields. The result is that skilled workers holding two-year degrees are often able to command better starting salaries than college grads with four-year degrees.
In manufacturing alone, industry leaders expect to have to fill 3.5 million jobs by 2025, due in part to economic expansion and retirements by baby boomers. Further, pay rates in manufacturing have increased in recent years; one source notes hourly compensation is now 17 percent higher than in many other industries.
A few other projections about future hands-on careers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources (all projections through the year 2024)*:
- Demand for electricians will grow 14 percent from 2014 through 2024, with more than 100,000 openings projected.
- The need for qualified HVAC professionals in the U.S. will ramp up twice as much as general workforce demand, according to one recent report.
- More than 90,000 welders will be needed by 2024 across the country.
- Computerized manufacturing is revolutionizing the concept of “factory work” in the U.S., and hiring managers need people with strong math skills and sharp problem-solving abilities to program the computers that operate these machines.
- Cars, trucks, heavy equipment, transport refrigeration units, and many other types of diesel-powered equipment are driving a combined need of more than 300,000 maintenance technicians over the next seven years!
Has your mechanically inclined teen ever considered one of these trades? If not, encourage him or her to check out our hands-on programs offered across the nation. He or she could be on their way to a rewarding, steady career while many of their peers are still finishing their education!
* Source: careeronestop.org