Why You Should Consider Learning a Skilled Trade

A key element of construction career advancement – and the workforce development process – lies in skilled trades, such as masonry, carpentry, or electrical work. While these positions are generally more lucrative, there has been an ongoing skilled labor shortage in New York City and across the nation. As part of Building Skills’ work, we look for opportunities to fill this void by getting workers enrolled in various trade courses.

Here’s more information on some of the benefits that come with learning a skilled trade and how Building Skills can help:

Contractors Are Looking for You!    

Over the past several years, the skilled trade gap has been a significant challenge for many contractors looking to hire specialists on the job site. A 2019 joint survey from Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk found that around 84 percent of New York contractors say they have difficulties filling “some or all” craft positions. Jobs like pipelayers, electricians, and welders were cited in the survey as being particularly hard to fill. In short, skilled trade labor is a job seekers’ market. If you get specialized training in a specific trade, there’s a good chance your skills will match the needs of a contractor with job openings to fill.

Increasing Your Skills Will Increase Your Pay

Not only are skilled trades in higher demand, they also generally lead to higher wages. When you increase your skills knowledge, you are enhancing your overall value to your employer, resulting in a better chance at a boost in pay. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2019, $46,810 is the national average annual income for carpenters, $50,860 for masons, $53,550 for electricians, and $54,730 for iron and steel workers. A full list of trades and salaries can be found here. Investing in your skills knowledge now is in investment in your future, increasing your chances of securing a higher wage and landing future jobs.

How Building Skills Can Help  

In addition to our job placement process, Building Skills also seeks to provide workers in our network with access to local skills and trade courses. In 2019, 39 percent of Building Skills’ job placements were in skilled trades. We believe that by acquiring advanced construction skills, you can broaden your career pathways and expand your job opportunities with higher compensation, ensuring you are not stuck in a “dead-end” job. Skills training is the next step in creating a long-term construction career.