As generations age, the jobs they leave behind must be filled by members of the next generation. This pattern has gone on for years, as elders have passed along their knowledge to those who are coming in fresh to a given industry. But as professionals look for careers in fields such as law, medicine, accounting and others requiring extensive education, jobs that require hands-on skills are being left in the dust.
Somewhere along the line, skilled trades were forgotten as high school teachers encouraged students to pursue college. As a result, the pool of candidates for skilled labor is more like a small puddle. Today, people who can work in the skilled trades are in high demand, and the work offers a rewarding career path that helps keep the backbone of America strong.
Reviving Skilled Trades Education
Fields like automotive, health care, I.T., culinary arts and cosmetology, plus skilled trades like computerized manufacturing, welding, HVAC and electrical are all wide open for fresh workers to fill the positions left vacant by retiring professionals. Hiring managers refer to this as the Skills Gap — a serious problem that’s preventing them from filling their open positions, because candidates don’t have the right job skills. Simply put, people are no longer trained to weld, finish the wiring of a home or draw blood from a patient, and this affects both the industries and the individuals. Because they do not have the skills needed, they cannot move forward in their careers.
A 4-year college degree is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and between the time commitment and the high cost, this plan isn’t attractive to everyone looking to enter the workforce. In the end, you have to weigh the pros and cons of what is unique to you. But one advantage skilled trades have is that for a lower educational investment, students can choose from numerous fields that are hungry for workers. Instead of waiting months or even years after college to find a career in your field, you can begin working right away in a hospital, auto dealership or manufacturing shop with technical job skills. The median wage for the skilled trades is $20.25 an hour, and even the bottom 10 percent earn $13.14 an hour, according to EMSI. As a result, you can get to working and paying your bills quickly.
Closing the Skills Gap
Employers are providing fewer opportunities for on-the-job training than they have in the past, so it is the responsibility of the job seeker to find appropriate training for skilled labor through avenues like Lincoln Tech. With comprehensive training, you will be ready to step up to the plate and fill the gap of highly skilled technical professionals, helping to build up the foundation of our country.