While you might be encouraging your teen to go to college, there is another option you may not have considered: a career in the skilled trades. Here are 10 reasons why you should encourage your high schooler to explore a skilled trades career after graduation.
1. Trade school is less expensive that college.
The average price of college tuition is nearly $10,000 per year in the United States, trade school is usually between $5,000 to $15,000 total for a certificate or trade diploma. College tuition doesn’t factor in extras such as housing and textbooks. That’s a huge price difference! Furthermore, many trade careers do not require additional schooling after high school – it just depends on which trade your teen decides to pursue.
2. They can start working and earning money quickly.
When additional schooling is required, most students finish trade school in as little as 12 to 18 months! Depending on the trade they choose, they will have paid apprenticeships with on-the-job training. Yes, they can start earning money while in school and gaining valuable work experience!
As I mentioned earlier, many trade jobs do not require additional schooling after high school and simply offer on-the-job training. Right now, the number of open construction jobs currently averages between 300,000 to 400,000 each month which makes it a great time for your young adult to start their career!
3. The pay is good.
The average pay for trades depends on skill level and occupation, but the industry usually offers a great starting rate with opportunities to grow. Half of payroll workers in construction earn more than $50,460 annually, and the top 25% make at least $71,000, according to the Home Builders Institute. In comparison, the U.S. median wage is $49,150 with the top 25% making at least $67,410. You can find median for different construction occupations here.
4. Most skilled trade work comes with a benefit package.
You read that right. In addition to excellent pay, most skilled tradespeople in the construction industry receive benefits with their compensation packages. You can learn more about what our company offers employees here.
5. You feel a sense of accomplishment each day.
Encouraging your teen to pursue a career in the trades means encouraging them to invest in a career where they see tangible results of a job well done each day. It is a great feeling!!
6. There is a lot of room to grow.
When you enter a skilled trade, you commit to several levels of apprenticeship. When your child starts their career, they are generally able to earn several promotions and pay raises as they complete their schooling and gain work experience. Of course, this depends on which trade your child wishes to enter but know there is always room to grow and expand your skills in the trades.
7. There’s room for everyone at the table.
It is predicted that there will be more than 3 million job openings in the skilled trades by 2028. Employers are looking for long-term employees with good attitudes and great work ethic. And in case you needed a reminder, there’s room for both men and women at the table! The share of women in the construction industry has increased, growing from 10.3% in 2019 to 10.9% in 2020.
8. They can choose a job they love.
While we are partial to carpentry and construction, there are so many choices when it comes to working in the skilled trades. There is a job for just about every interest and skill level. Learn more about what types of jobs are available and what skills each trade requires here.
9. They receive safety training.
While some trade work is more dangerous than others, all trade workers receive continuous safety training to ensure they are working safely.
10. Many trades are “recession-proof.”
Even in substantial economic downturns, there is always a demand for skilled laborers, especially in specialty areas.
The Home Builders Institute estimated the construction industry needs an additional 2.2 million new hires from 2022 through 2024 to keep up with demand. Ed Brady, HBI President and CEO, stated, “We need to build the next generation of skilled tradespeople in construction. One of our most important tasks as an industry is to work with parents, educators and students, as early as the middle school years, to demonstrate that young people can have the promise of great jobs and careers in the trades.”
We could not agree more! If you or your teen have questions about a career in the industry, you are welcome to reach out to us. And if you are wanting to begin your construction career, we hire humble, kind, hardworking people of integrity. You can learn more about working for us on our careers page.