Right now, there’s a very high demand for skilled tradespeople. There has always been a need for electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians, and there always will be, but we need them more now than ever. If you follow any trades websites or have looked at job postings online lately, you’ll notice that there are pages of opportunities for job seekers to take advantage of. But why? And if you are one of those job seekers wondering how you can break into the field, where do you even begin? NexTech Academy offers some insights below.
Why Technicians Are Needed
The rising demand for tradespeople can be linked to several different factors. The first is that a large portion of the current workforce is retired or will be retiring soon, and there aren’t enough people to take their place. To give you some perspective, in 2012, more than half of all skilled-trade workers in the U.S. were 45 years or older. That’s because the baby boomer generation was one of the last to pursue vocational career paths before the big push for college education came along. Over the past one to two generations, young adults have decided to go to college and get office jobs, leaving trades positions unfilled. Now that the tail-end group of boomers is getting closer to retirement, that gap needs to be quickly filled by fresh faces.
The second reason why tradespeople are in demand is due to overall population growth. The United States population has been growing steadily every year, adding millions of more people to the total. In 2018, the population reached over 326 million. Just 50 years ago, the population was barely more than 200 million. As you might imagine, the more people there are, the more buildings are being built. Plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians are needed to install new systems in these buildings while still making repairs in the aging ones.
Third, people are more likely to request help from skilled technicians now than attempt to fix any problems on their own. As technology becomes more advanced, the average person doesn’t have the skills or knowledge required to take the DIY approach. HVAC systems, for example, are more fuel efficient than ever and are powered by complex technologies. Additionally, people are increasingly busy with a lot on their plates and would rather hire someone else they can trust to get the job done right.
Fourth, the trades offer abundant opportunities for all types of workers, including women and minorities, making these positions more attractive to the up-and-coming workforce. While the trades used to be composed mainly of men, that’s not the case anymore. Anyone can enter the trades and enjoy a meaningful career with high wages and great benefits. Gender and race pay gaps continue to exist in other industries, but the trade professions offer a more even playing field. Plus, there’s scholarships and financial aid available to help marginalized groups get the training they need to start their careers.
Opportunities for Job Seekers
With all of that in mind, some of the fastest-growing fields right now are electrical, plumbing and HVAC. In fact, all three are expected to grow significantly by the year 2026. Plumbing has the highest rate of growth at 16% with HVAC following just behind at 15%. These rates are significantly higher than the national average, which is only 7%.
But people aren’t just drawn to these types of jobs because they happen to be in demand right now. Income stability and job satisfaction make these careers an excellent option. Other reasons why people love working as electricians, plumbers or HVAC technicians include:
- Many opportunities for advancement in managerial and leadership roles
- Chance to use both hands-on skills and theoretical knowledge on a daily basis
- Ability to exercise soft skills, like communication and teamwork
- Get to work out in the field with new places and new people every day
- Jobs are available nationwide
- And more
How To Begin a Career in the Trades
So, if you’ve been considering a career in the trades, you’re in luck. There are a lot of jobs out there just waiting to be filled by motivated people just like you. The good thing is that it’s easy to get started. Once you have your high school diploma or GED, you can begin your training and apprenticeship. While you can sign up for classes at a local vocational school, many people find that doing online technical training at places like NexTech Academy is an easier and faster way to jumpstart their career.
Want to learn more? Explore NexTech Academy today. NexTech Academy offers online vocational training programs for Nexstar Member employees. Whether you’re interested in Plumber Training, HVAC Technician Training or Electrical Training, you can begin the enrollment process and be well on your way to becoming a skilled trades professional sooner than you might think.