It’s been on the horizon for a fair amount of time, but going into 2021, several skilled trades are experiencing a shortage of workers. This article will take a look at who is in demand and why.

The Rising Demand for Skilled Trades Workers

It might be surprising to note, but the U.S. expects to see a significant demand for manufacturing workers in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 264,000 job openings in the manufacturing industry in March of 2014. While employment in manufacturing is projected to decline in the next 10 years, a significant portion of the current workforce is getting ready to retire, creating a sharp and immediate demand to fill existing positions across the country. Demand for skilled workers means there will be jobs available in the coming years, and it also means that employers are willing to pay top dollar for industry talent.

Why the Shortage?

Today’s students are more likely to have their eyes on four-year colleges and the jobs that come with them than to think about vocational programs and careers in the skilled trades. This trend isn’t new, but it’s leading to a new problem: a shortage of workers. The cause of this shortage is easy to explain, but it will take some effort to solve.

Today’s skilled trades workforce is declining due to retiring craftspeople and post-Great Recession career switches. With the last wave of Baby Boomers set to retire in 2029, the labor shortage is prime to take another big hit. Meanwhile, the journey to becoming a seasoned professional is a multi-year process. If too few people join the industry, the retirees will outpace the new talent.

This creates an opportunity for craftspeople who want to find jobs in demand now and could lead to reliable, long-term careers (that pay well). If you haven’t given much thought to a skilled trades career, now is the right time. Although the process to be considered an industry expert might be lengthy, it comes with years of on-the-job training. In other words, working in skilled trades now allows you to gain experience while earning a paycheck.

Which Trades are Most In-Demand?

Carpentry – Carpenters are consistently in demand, but a growing population means additional housing needs and workplaces, schools, and health care facilities. Innovative technology changes the types of buildings we live and work in, which means constant renovations and updating. That’s on top of the everyday needs we have for carpenters, such as additions to homes and repairs. The future for carpentry is bright.

Electricians – Similar to the increased demand for carpenters, industrial and commercial electricians are integrated into new and existing construction projects. Electricians also have the unique need to broaden their skill set as technology becomes part of our everyday lives. Think of the ever-changing gadgets we use at home: programmable lights, security systems, remote thermostats. As our lives become more tech-savvy—and the line between IT experts and electrician blurs—we’ll be relying more and more on these experts.

Welders – Welders are essential to construction projects of all types, so their bright future alongside carpenters and electricians makes sense. You might not realize that welders can use their skills in various scenarios: manufacturing cars, production warehouses, building bridges, and other construction sites. Their versatility puts them in high demand and leaves room for each welder to choose their preferred career path.


Connect with Our Recruiting Team

Are any of these trades the right fit for you? Connect with the recruiting team at Williams today to learn more about skilled trade opportunities in the power industry.

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