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If you’re torn between pursuing a four-year college degree or exploring an opportunity or career path in the trades, then you’ve stumbled across the right article.  

I have years of experience as a manufacturing engineer/manager in the automotive industry and can tell you firsthand the success I’ve seen among individuals choosing a job in skilled trades. Trade jobs cover a wide range of fields, and learning and job opportunities abound. Aspiring tradespeople acquire skills through vocational, technical and trade schools, on-the-job training programs, apprenticeship programs, and internships.  

Below are some of the main reasons you might consider a job in the trades, where there is a huge demand for skilled labor – including in some exciting new industries.  

You can earn an excellent compensation package

  • Up to $100k per year, sometimes more  
  • Paid overtime, double time, holiday pay 
  • In some cases, buyout vacation time  
  • Solid healthcare coverage  

Check out this list of the best jobs for trade school graduates. The median salaries are pretty impressive!  

You get to work with your hands   

Not everyone is cut out for a desk job. If this is you, sitting in an office for hours on end probably sounds like a nightmare. If you would rather be working with your hands, feeling creative, and having a solid sense of accomplishment at the end of each day, then looking into skilled trades is the route for you. 

As mentioned above, trade jobs are expanding into many new fields and industries. Candidates for traditional roles, from electricians to auto technicians, construction workers, fabricators, plumbers, welders, machinists, HVAC specialists, pipefitters, and countless others, are in extremely high demand – and so are skilled trade workers in the areas of solar and alternative energy, battery storage, telecommunications, data communications, electric vehicles, and many other specialized areas.  

All of these are promising career paths that normally do not require a four-year college education. Learn more in this article about trade school versus college and the pros and cons of each.   

You’ll be making a difference   

Skilled trades are an important part of keeping our economy running and keeping people employed. Over the past two decades, U.S. trade jobs grew four times faster than U.S. jobs generally.  

In addition to commanding a great salary, income in the skilled trades is often more secure and stable, you have career flexibility, your job might have essential worker status (think job security), and due to their hands-on nature, many trade jobs are less likely to be replaced by automation. This career path also sets up aspiring entrepreneurs who ultimately want to own businesses. 

Some of the most talented people I’ve worked with don’t have a four-year college degree, but they are accomplished, happy, and well-paid CNC machinists, electricians, welders, you name it. And their jobs have had such a positive impact on their families, their salaries, and their lives in general. Job satisfaction is relatively high among tradespeople. 

People of all ages are pursuing and landing jobs in skilled trades, from high school students to baby boomers and everyone in between. Even some college graduates are retooling their plans into skilled trade careers. 

If you’d like to explore a new opportunity in the trades, check out our openings at Goodwin Recruiting or reach out to me today. 

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