5 Myths About Skilled Trades You Need to Debunk

April 16, 2019 Anthony Balderrama

You work in the Skilled Trades, so you know what an exciting and growing industry it is. Unfortunately not everyone understands why a career in Skilled Trades is a smart move in today’s economy. In fact, many workers have a negative view of the industry based on some common misconceptions—and many don’t even understand the variety of jobs available within the industries.

As you work with your staffing partner to plan your talent needs and focus on retaining workers, be ready to debunk these 5 myths so you can attract and keep workers who help your business now and even in the years to come:  

Myth 1: “These jobs don’t pay well.”
Truth: New workers don’t expect huge starting salaries the first day on the job, but they do want to know they’re entering a field with salary growth potential. Help them learn about the competitive salaries that you offer and show the trajectory for skilled trades workers who gain additional experience, broaden their skills, and even gain certifications along the way.

Myth 2: “You can’t find work year round.”
Truth: Not everyone understands the breadth of skilled trades and many people often confuse them with general labor that ebbs and flows with the seasons.  Whether you specialize in one aspect or staff workers across a variety of jobs, be ready to discuss the constant need for plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and other roles.

Myth 3: “I don’t have enough experience.”
Truth: If you offer apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training, and education assistance, let workers know. If you don’t, be ready to point them toward resources that will help them work toward the qualifications they need. Few workers expect to show up to work without formal training and begin working as an electrician or concrete setter, but they don’t always realize that these roles are within reach. Be ready to talk about paths to gain skills and experience and even discuss your own career journey and what you’ve done to succeed.

Myth 4: “It’s a dying industry.”
Truth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the average growth rate for all occupations from 2016-2026 to be 7% as carpentry, sheet metal workers, electricians and other related fields grow at the same rate. Even more, the BLS predicts plumber and pipefitter jobs will grow 16% during that same time period. Of course, the easiest way to refute this myth is to point out the variety of customers your business serves. Recently, PeopleReady Skilled Trades has partnered with Generation T, an initiative aimed at encouraging workers to join the rewarding skilled trades industry to meet the rising demand for workers. We know these roles are and will continue to be sought after, and we are committed to showing students and workers what a bright future it has.

Myth 5: “It’s boring.”
Truth: Any skilled trades worker can dispel this myth in a few seconds, and you probably have your own stories to share. Maybe the easiest way to show how exciting these jobs can be is to point out the many environments you can work in: residential homes, skyscrapers, government projects, factories…the options seem endless. If there’s one job that’s the opposite of working in a cubicle all day, it’s going to be in the skilled trades.

The myths that surround skilled trades are easily debunked, especially when you can share your own personal career journey. After all, you’re still working in this industry for a reason; don’t keep it a secret! When you’re dealing with prospective or current workers, the best defense against these myths is the truth.

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Skilled Trades Energy and Industrial - Sell Sheet
Skilled Trades Energy and Industrial - Sell Sheet

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