Skilled Trade Jobs: A Promising Outlook for the Millennial Generation | JobFLEX (2023)

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Many members of the millennial generation are fast approaching the need to find full-time employment. Today the job market is more competitive than it has ever been, so it is exciting for job seekers to learn about fields with a large number of job openings. Skilled trade jobs fit this bill perfectly.

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Skilled trade jobs include a wide variety of professions such as electrician, plumbing, auto mechanic, or construction. While these professions don’t require a four-year degree, most do require some sort of apprenticeship or certification. Even though these jobs don’t require a four year degree, they pay well for those who are good at what they do; some skilled trade workers earn as much as six figures yearly. Positions for skilled trade jobs are opening rapidly as the large numbers of baby boomers, or the generation born after World War II, begin to retire. The end of World War II caused a rapid increase in births which created a population spike. As this generation entered the work force the majority entered into skilled trade jobs as they usually followed the trade of their parents before them.

Today, the baby boomers have nearly all retired, or are looking to retire, leaving firms struggling to fill these skilled trade positions. With baby boomers leaving these professions, it gives those considering any field mentioned above a very positive outlook.

Current Status

Many baby boomers entered skilled trade professions due to relatively easier entrance requirements. At the time, a four-year college degree was not easy to come by. Only privileged families could afford the time and money it took to earn a four-year degree. Baby boomers often had families to support and needed to earn money at a very young age. Skilled trade positions provided a healthy living without the delayed results and expenses of a college education.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ most recent estimate for the number of baby boomers in construction and extraction occupations is about 5,088,030. Electrical and Electronics Repairers are currently the oldest professions with 72% of the workforce over 45 and 30% over 55. As more and more of this generation continue to retire it is leaving a void in the work force, a void that young workers need to fill.


Just because there are a lot of positions to fill does not mean that these jobs will be easy to obtain or adequately perform. Baby boomers are known for their amazing work ethic and firms are struggling to replace not only the number of workers, but the competence and work ethic of those employees.

You might also be asking why it is the skilled trade jobs that are suffering. What about the baby boomers that took white collar, desk jobs? As much as those jobs are struggling to fill positions they have a larger population to choose from. More and more millennials choose to get a 4 year degree and go to college. They are looking for more incentives, benefits and better pay. Today the business job market has become much more competitive than that of skilled trade jobs. This opens up more opportunity for those who are not interested in white collar careers.

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However, this does not mean that trade jobs have less pay or less benefits. Younger generations of skilled trade workers are beginning to speak up, where the older generations did not tend to be as vocal about these concerns. Employers of these skilled trade jobs now understand the need for incentives and benefits in order to obtain a more dedicated work force.

In total, an estimated 31 million positions will be vacant by 2020. The starting pay for these jobs will provide a comfortable living. Electricians, for example, can have a starting pay as high as $60,000 which is the same or higher than positions that require a 4 year degree such as an Accountant or Marketing Research Analyst.

Career Resources

Encouraging students to consider trade schools over universities is important in filling the gap created by millennials. If school, studying and exam taking were never really your thing that is okay. The requirements for skilled trade positions place more emphasis on on-the-job experience and training. When you go to a trade school you learn less from a book or lecture and more from hands on experience in whichever trade you choose. That does not mean that there are absolutely no tests; some positions do require you to take a test to become certified for that position or field.

If you are interested in looking at a vocational or trade school here are some with locations across the country:

These are only some of the many different trade schools that are in the United States. Some even offer courses online if you struggle with a busy schedule. If you would like to search different locations or different programs then check out, a great directory for trade schools all over the United States

Job-Specific Career Paths

The process for obtaining a job in a skilled trade may differ across different professions. Here are some examples of possible career paths

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  • Plumbing: For plumbers, apprenticeships are the preferred method of training. During a plumbing apprenticeship, which should last between four and five years, an apprentice will earn about half of the wage of an experienced worker. They will also receive classroom instruction during this time.
  • Electrician: Electricians are also usually trained via apprenticeships. The programs include 144 hours of classroom training and 2000 hours of on-the-job training. Students have the option of specializing in areas such as maintenance, electrical fitting or construction. In addition to apprenticeships, students also have the option of trade school training to be an electrician, which allows them to command a higher starting wage than those who don’t.
  • Auto Repair: Many of those in the auto repair profession learn through on-the-job training with those who are experienced in the field. They may work under those in private businesses or more formalized training at a dealership. Some companies sponsor two-year programs offered at trade schools.
  • Construction Management: Many construction management programs are available at two-year colleges. Construction industry associations also offer training opportunities. Unlike other trade programs, construction management programs are also available at some four-year colleges and universities. In this case, a four-year degree may create more employment opportunities.

Job Listings For Skilled Trades

Some job directory sites specialize in providing a platform for skilled trade workers to find employers who are hiring. Here is a list of job directory websites to help you jumpstart your career.

Traded Up is a job directory website that lists contract, temporary and permanent skilled trade jobs for a wide range of professions. They provide detailed data regarding the duties and qualifications for each type of job as well as background information about the employer. You can apply directly on by including your contact information and uploading a resume and an optional cover letter. If you have additional questions about the job, many listings also include the employer’s number or email address. At, you’ll have the opportunity to shortlist specific jobs that you’re interested in and may want to revisit later in time. You can also create an account and keep track of the jobs you’ve applied to as well as your interests.

HVAC Agent
If you’re specifically looking for HVAC jobs, consider creating an account with Many of the top HVAC employers list open jobs on this website. You can apply directly for listings and use the company’s JOB Match tool to help you locate the best jobs that fit your skills. With this free tool, your profile will be automatically submitted to prospective employers.

Construction Jobs is a leading site that allows aspiring construction laborers to browse jobs in different areas and submit resumes to employers. They offer an easy resume management system, where you can create and update your resume. You can also sign up to receive daily or weekly construction job postings in your inbox.

Plumbing Jobs offers a variety of job postings for employers and individuals looking to hire plumbers for one-time projects. You can create an account and browse jobs in different cities. provides online tools that allow applicants to post their resumes online.

Scholarships and Grants

If you are interested in exploring trade school opportunities, it is worth exploring financial aid opportunities and scholarships for trade programs. The links below offer information on available scholarships for those interested in trade school:

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Just like with getting a four year degree, it is never too late to start in a trade school. However, the earlier you start the earlier you can get through your apprenticeship and the earlier you can move up in your profession.

Skilled Trade Jobs: A Promising Outlook for the Millennial Generation | JobFLEX (1)



What is the job growth outlook for careers in the skilled trades? ›


There is a significant shortage of skilled tradespeople. In fact, the industry as a whole is expected to grow 10 percent by 20285, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What trades are projected to grow? ›

Trade Job
Trade JobAverage Yearly SalaryJob Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Nuclear medicine technician$69,0007.8%
Aircraft technician$68,50011.8%
Radiation therapist$68,5009.1%
18 more rows
May 9, 2022

What are the fastest growing skilled trades? ›

The demand for skilled trades can vary widely depending on a worker's location and employer. However, two positions that the BLS projects will increase dramatically from 2020-2030 include wind turbine technicians (68% projected growth) and solar photovoltaic installers (52% projected growth).

What do millennials want from a career? ›

Having a strong company brand and culture helps attract millennials and will keep them engaged. A job that helps cultivate, develop, and grow skillset drives this generation. Millennials are more apt to accept a job that they don't necessarily like if they believe it will allow them to enhance their skills.

What trades will be in demand in 2025? ›

The same report predicts that the following skills will be in high demand by 2025:
  • Data Science & Cloud Computing (Cloud computing goes hand in hand with data science, and cloud computing jobs range from architects and developers to data scientists)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Big Data Science.
Nov 29, 2022

What trades will never go away? ›

They'll just involve more robotics and higher learning.
  • Plumbers. Plumbers repair leaky faucets. ...
  • Electricians. Courtesy of Career Builder. ...
  • Stonemasons. Robots lack the dexterity of the human hand. ...
  • HVAC. ...
  • Civil engineers. ...
  • Carpenters. ...
  • Welders.
Sep 5, 2018

What is the best trade to get into for 2023? ›

10 Skilled Trades Jobs In Demand for 2023
  1. Residential electrician. ...
  2. Plumber. ...
  3. HVACR technician. ...
  4. Construction/carpentry. ...
  5. Industrial engineering technician. ...
  6. Auto mechanic. ...
  7. Diesel mechanic. ...
  8. Landscape designer.
Jan 5, 2023

What trade has the most potential? ›

There are quite a few skilled trades that are set to remain in high demand over the next 10 years in these outlooks, including:
  • Electricians.
  • Welders.
  • Plumbers.
  • Home inspectors.
  • Aircraft mechanics.
  • HVAC technicians.
  • Diesel technicians.
  • Construction managers.

What is the easiest trade to get into? ›

Welding is one of the occupations that are easy to learn in the skilled trades. You can learn how to weld within less than six months of practical exposure. Suppose you enjoy something that pays strong and has proper hours. Welding is a job you can drop your teeth into while also getting prospects for advancement.

What are the toughest trades to work in? ›

According to other contractors, electrical and HVAC are among the hardest to learn, but flooring and cleaning specialists were most likely to call their own crafts the toughest. Again, carpentry was viewed as one of the most difficult by both groups.

Which skilled trade is happiest? ›

Careers That Make People Happy
  • Software Developer. ...
  • Computer Network Architect. ...
  • Construction Manager. ...
  • Facility Manager. ...
  • Database Administrator. ...
  • Dental Hygienist. ...
  • Ultrasound Technician. ...
  • Web Developer.
Feb 11, 2022

Why do Gen Z quit jobs? ›

LinkedIn's research found that pay was the main reason why Gen Z are quitting (30% in the UK). However, their high quit rate isn't just linked with salaries.

What do millennials value the most? ›

They value family, personal connection, and loyalty. They seek out the genuine and are repulsed by phony. They are famously optimistic and believe in the possibility of change. They advocate for the environment and social justice.

What do Gen Z look for in a career? ›

Clarity into career paths and internal mobility opportunities. Gen Z is known as entrepreneurial and looking for a sense of ownership. They want to tackle exclusive projects that help them develop their skills, with nearly 1 in 5 Gen Zers stating they would stay at an employer that offers upskilling/reskilling.

What three jobs are expected to be in-demand in 2025? ›

A list of the most in-demand skills in the future
  • Data Science & Cloud Computing (Cloud computing goes hand in hand with data science, and cloud computing jobs range from architects and developers to data scientists)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Big Data Science.
  • Digital Marketing & Strategy.
Apr 13, 2022

What are three jobs that will no longer exist in 10 years? ›

10 Disappearing Jobs That Won't Exist in 10 Years: Professions That Won't Guarantee Career Opportunities
  • Retail Cashier: $21,000. ...
  • Telemarketer: $22,300. ...
  • Freight/Stock: $23,900. ...
  • Newspaper Delivery: $24,100. ...
  • Travel Agent: $31,800. ...
  • Postal Worker: $32,000. ...
  • Taxi Dispatcher: $43,000. ...
  • Word Processor/Typist: $45,000.
Mar 27, 2023

What jobs are going to be needed in 2028? ›

What Are the 20 Most In-Demand Jobs Over the Next Decade?
  1. Solar Photovoltaic Installers. ...
  2. Wind Turbine Service Technicians. ...
  3. Home Health Aides. ...
  4. Personal Care Aides. ...
  5. Occupational Therapy Assistants. ...
  6. Information Security Analysts. ...
  7. Physician Assistants. ...
  8. Statisticians.

What trades can make you a millionaire? ›

The jobs of millionaires
  • Investment banker.
  • Certified public accountant.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Day trader.
  • Real estate agent.
  • Engineer.
  • Lawyer.
  • Actuary.
Apr 14, 2023

What is the least demanding trade? ›

The consensus seems to be that plumbers and electricians have the least physically demanding work among the skilled trades.

Which trade is least hard on your body? ›

But identifying the jobs that are easier on the body is a lot trickier. But if you ask around, especially among men and women who have worked in several different construction fields, opinions as to what trade careers require the least physical labor generally fall into two camps: plumbers and electricians.

Which trade is the hardest to learn? ›

When asked what type of work was most difficult to master (out of 32 different trades), the two groups of respondents (the average age of which was 43 years old) were in agreement again — electrical work was the hardest to master, followed by carpentry, HVAC, and cabinets/countertops.

What is the future job market outlook for 2023? ›

Today's jobs report showed that the US labor market remains on solid footing, with a whopping 517,000 jobs added in January 2023, after an increase of 260,000 jobs (an upward revision) in December 2022. Labor shortages are still severe and layoffs across the US labor market continue to be low.

What markets to invest in 2023? ›

10 of the Best Stocks to Buy for 2023
StockYTD Total Returns Through April 24 Inc. (AMZN)26.4%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS)14.7%
PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL)4.3%
EOG Resources Inc. (EOG)-5.9%
7 more rows
5 days ago

What trade is more profitable? ›

Short-sell trading: Here, traders simply believe that the market is bearish and act accordingly. You borrow shares from a broker and sell them in the open market. You wait until the price falls enough for you to buy the stocks back at a lower rate. The difference acquired by this process is the profit.

What is the demand for skilled workers? ›

The Skilled Trades are in High Demand

High demand means lots of openings and opportunities. There are nearly three million unfilled trade jobs, with 500,000 in manufacturing alone. Skilled labor employers need workers and are looking to hire new employees daily.

Are skilled workers in demand? ›

The Skilled Trades are in High Demand

High demand means lots of openings and opportunities. There are nearly three million unfilled trade jobs, with 500,000 in manufacturing alone. Skilled labor employers need workers and are looking to hire new employees daily.

Which skilled trades career has the highest average salary? ›

10 Highest-Paid Trade Jobs Best Jobs 2022
  • HVAC Technician. The job of an HVAC technician involves working with any number of heating and cooling systems. ...
  • Plumber. ...
  • Electrician. ...
  • Home Inspector. ...
  • Construction Manager. ...
  • Pipefitter/Steamfitter. ...
  • Civil Engineering Tech. ...
  • Cable/Fiber Optics Tech.


1. Millions of men in their prime working age are leaving the labor force, creating a hole in the ma…
(CBS Mornings)
2. How would you describe your dream job? Discover the Millennials outlook
(Economist Impact Events)
3. The Skilled Worker Crisis - Why Blue Collar Workers are Hard to Find and What Can Be Done About it
(DIY with Dave)
4. Why Millennials Are Leaving Six-Figure Tech Jobs
(CNBC Make It)
5. Despite rising salaries, the skilled-labor shortage is getting worse
(PBS NewsHour)
6. Generation Comparison (1901-2024)
(Nerd Robot)


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