Recently, Ryan came into the Marketing office and said he had a great idea for an article titled, “Tradesmen will soon be making more than doctors and lawyers.” We were intrigued, but also confused and wanting to know where his idea came from. He gave us some reasons why and from there we did some of our own research…
We talk to successful business owners across the country and we have found that over the past few years, more than ever, finding installers or technicians has become the number one problem. A few years ago, the problem was not having enough work, and now it is just the opposite – there is plenty of work but nobody to produce it.
With outsourcing and automation, hard, hands-on work has become de-glorified. Not only has hands-on labor become less than luxury, but the desire to go to college, get a degree, and work in a skilled office position has grown tremendously. Often those applying to jobs in the trades industry today are lacking skills, and lacking the ability to work hard and/or hold a job. Most companies are developing strong training programs to groom the unskilled laborer into a skilled craftsman, but this process takes time and money. Because of this, companies that have skilled employees are paying top dollar to keep them.
College is categorized as “higher” education, and any other form of training or schooling is looked down upon, as though these hands-on jobs are for the less educated, and the lower class. Ironically, with the huge increase in white-collar workers, and the decrease in the blue-collar/hands-on workers, they may be making more money in the near future. It is the classic rule of supply and demand. Finding skilled workers within the trades industry is becoming so difficult that when these men/women are found they will need/demand to be paid more.
According to an article on trademeninsights.com, manufactures, plumbers and contractors all say their biggest issue too is “finding qualified help,” and that apprentice programs are decreasing due to lack of interest. The lack of interest primarily stems from the pattern of young people consistently being steered in the “higher education” path.
Because workers with college degrees and office skill sets are so saturated, entry-level positions within this field are paid way less than desired and/or in previous years. With so few jobs available in popular industries like finance, marketing, teaching, and administrative work, college grads cannot find jobs that they have enough experience for and/or available positions at all. That being said, many are willing to work for lower pay because if they don’t, cheaper work will be found elsewhere among the huge pool of qualified graduates. For this reason, it is also common for college graduates to have to take jobs completely irrelevant to their degree.
“As I sit at a restaurant, grocery shop, go to buy tools etc., I notice that the people that are helping or serving are college educated,” said Ryan, “These industries or jobs were typically starter jobs for younger people, college or high school dropouts, or someone looking to earn a little extra part-time income. It’s one thing to hold a job like this until you get on your feet, but it seems these college grads are not able to do so, and remain in these positions for years while applying to countless jobs in their field with no success.”
Ryan stated that when he talks to other successful trades owners they revealed that their top installers/technicians easily earn over 50K, with some even earning 100K+. “It’s important to note that these are not sales people or managers, but tradesmen that run a crew and produce the work with their hands,” he said. Still, we inherently associate well-paid and well educated with suits and briefcases. On average, tradesmen positions today are earning anywhere from 20-30 dollars an hour, where as 50% of entry-level accountant positions are paid less than $23 an hour.
With a smaller pool of candidates, higher pay can be demanded without the desperate fear of blowing the one, and possibly only chance you are given. As the pool of blue-collar workers continues to decrease their demand will rise, and therefore their pay. Because of this limited supply of qualified and experienced trades workers, we at The Brothers that just do Gutters have had to create and mold skilled employees. We have essentially created our own little university within our company to teach our workers not only the skills they need to succeed, but also the mindset.
If you are, or you know any young, talented and driven college grads, you may want to point them towards the trades. Within the trades, people will always need your services and we have already entered into an era where the skilled workers providing these services are earning “white-collar pay.” If you can learn a trade and are good with people, a six-figure salary can be in your future.
Intrigued? Visit our recruiting page to apply for our field positions!