20 Reasons To Explore The Trades

1. More than one in six skilled tradespeople end up owning their own business and another 20% become partners in a business.
2. 30% of small business owners have no more than a high school diploma.
3. Construction is the most popular profession for people who own their own businesses.
4. The average cost to attend college for four years is $142,000. The average cost to graduate from a trade school is $33,000 over two years (and many employers offer free training or reimbursement of trade school tuition).
5. About 40% of college students drop out without a degree, and among those who obtain a degree, 64% take more than four years to graduate, racking up more debt.
6. Meantime, more than 40% of college graduates settle for jobs that don’t require a college degree.
7. Today’s skilled trade workers average more than 50 years of age, leaving plenty of opportunity for young replacements.
8. Most trade schools have strong placement programs and many instructors are owners or managers of trade businesses.
9. Many trade schools offer evening classes to accommodate students who work daytime jobs.
10. Skilled trades are among the most difficult positions to fill, and 75% of contractors report finding it difficult to find qualified workers.
11. As of 2017, women’s median income was 20% lower than men’s median income and well below that of a skilled tradesperson. However, in the skilled trades the wage gap is much smaller, with women earning an estimated 95.7% of men’s earnings.
12. Unlike college students, trade schoolers aren’t subjected to political indoctrination.
13. Skilled trade wages are rising faster than inflation due to worker shortages.
14. Pride in craftsmanship is a priceless bonus to skilled trade workers.
15. Brains are much more important than brawn to a skilled trade worker. An old adage in trade work is “measure twice, cut once.”
16. Skilled trade work cannot be outsourced or fully automated.
17. People will always have a need for sanitation, temperature control and electricity.
18. College enrollment has steadily declined in recent years, while the trades are gaining in prestige.
19. Trade workers can hold their heads high knowing they contribute value to society.
20. Once you learn a skilled trade, nobody can take your skills away from you.