Skilled tradesmen are more in demand than ever as the construction industry heats up. Employment is expected to grow 6%, with about 400,000 new jobs projected from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As our economy and population grow, so does the demand for new buildings, roads and other structures. Though more jobs are recruiting trades workers, there’s still not enough people with the right skill set and expertise to do the job.
To help you understand what it takes to be a skilled tradesman in today’s market, we’ve put together a comprehensive overview to answer the following questions:
What is a skilled tradesman?
A skilled tradesman or tradesperson is a worker that specializes in a particular occupation that requires a special skill and ability, usually to perform hands-on tasks. Skilled trades can be separated into different categories, including construction, manufacturing, technology, energy and healthcare. A skilled tradesperson has generally gained hands-on experience and training through an apprenticeship or trade school.
The most prominent trades in today’s market include:
- HVAC Sheetmetal Installers
There are many types of skilled tradesmen. For example, here at Grus, we provide construction jobs in specialties such as electricians, HVAC sheetmetal installers, plumbers, millwright workers, boilermakers, carpenters, crane operators, equipment operators, instrumentation tech workers, ironworkers, pipefitters and welders.
What is the role of a tradesman?
The role of a tradesman is to complete projects, working either independently or with a team. It’s important to know how to balance efficient work with quality results. Attention to detail is a must to ensure projects are completed in a professional manner and as safely as possible. A skilled tradesman must know all the safety protocols and carry out tasks with care and precision.
Working as a skilled tradesman requires identifying and resolving issues associated with your line of work. For example, if you pursue HVAC sheetmetal installer jobs, you may have to install boilers and troubleshoot problems for clients. On the other hand, people working in electrician jobs may pull wire, set lights and switches, and connect panels. Regardless of the trade, a skilled worker needs to have exceptional knowledge of the equipment and tools they use. This knowledge plus on-the-job experience helps skilled tradesmen prevent damage and injury to themselves or their surroundings.
Lastly, providing satisfactory customer service and having exceptional interpersonal skills are a plus. Knowing how to communicate with coworkers and supervisors can help you avoid accidents and injuries. If you’re part of a team, recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses also helps you complete projects efficiently and in a timely manner. Tradesmen who work consistently with clients need to describe problems and articulate solutions to best meet customer needs.
What qualifications do you need to be a tradesman?
The qualifications needed depend on the line of work. However, all tradesman professions require you to be at least 18 years old and to have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a G.E.D. certificate. Often, skilled tradesmen have an associate degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school. Skilled trades are a great alternative to positions requiring at least four years of college education.
Some skilled tradesmen complete an apprenticeship with a master tradesperson in their field. The background knowledge and hands-on experience you learn will help you successfully handle projects on your own.
For the construction industry, there are several top trade schools that offer a wide range of certifications and apprenticeships. For example, New York has some of highest ranked certificate or associate degree programs in a construction-related area, according to Best Accredited Colleges. Those schools include Alfred State, SUNY Canton and Morrisville College. Still, many local vocational schools offer programs to teach the skills required for various trades.
When you’re looking for educational options, be sure to choose a program that offers hands-on learning. You’ll also want to research the types of certifications and licenses required for your chosen field in your state.
What is a skilled tradesman's earning potential?
One reason many people gravitate toward skilled work is the potential earnings, which is higher than the average for all vocations. The median annual wage for skilled tradesmen was $48,610, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you’re a skilled tradesman, Grus Construction Personnel offers an extensive selection of skilled tradesmen positions to choose from. We pride ourselves on providing higher pay and more benefits for our construction personnel, with wages ranging from $20 to $47 per hour.
Browse our list of skilled tradesman job openings to learn more.