Deconstructing Blue Collar Jobs: The Myths

Over the past decade, the number of people going into skilled trades has fallen. In fact, it has plummeted as more and more people tussle for white collar jobs. Of course, a rise in people wanting to secure a “good” job is one reason for the disparity. Also, there is the fact governments have invested heavily in the white collar areas. Let’s face it – university is available to all nowadays.

However, one of the main causes of the change is blue collar myths. Simply put, there is a stigma which comes with working in a trade. Not only do people look down on tradies, but they assume they are less intelligent and skilled. Of course, nothing is further from the truth, which is why the myths need debunking.

Below are the most common ones and why they are downright false.

Trades Aren’t Skilled

Sitting behind a desk and dealing with numbers comes across as more skilled. After all, only people with strong mathematical skills need apply. Knocking a piece of wood together, on the other hand, is a cinch. The reality is that both require a certain level of skill. Indeed, a tradesman or woman uses a lot of the skills which are synonymous with office work. A joiner, for example, needs to be able to manipulate numbers to manufacture enough resources. Also, geometry is essential as a tradie has to understand angles to get the perfect fit. Trades are very skilled and require lots of knowledge. Just because it takes place outside with working-class men and women doesn’t make it any less accomplished.

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They Are Less Lucrative

Without a doubt, this is the biggest myth. Yes, there seems to be better career progression within the white collar world. But, these businesses are more prominent and have more room for growth. Well, as long as you play the game and secure a promotion. However, the fact the organisations are big doesn’t mean the wages are as high. People at the top earn a healthy salary. Still, the tradies who are at your level probably make more per year. The reason is simple: there’s more cash in the industry. Not only are the skills high, but so is the demand. Because supply is low at the moment, plumbers can charge up to one hundred dollars an hour. And, that’s only a call out fee. Should the job be a big one, the value can skyrocket.

It’s Backbreaking Work

Sure, trades may pay well but that’s because the work is so strenuous. Yes, being a tradie means lifting heavy objects and standing on your feet all day. Plus, there is the health and safety issue. Not to scare you, but if you are on a site long enough, an accident will occur. The majority of men and women take it with a pinch of salt. Why? It’s because the industry is getting better and better from a security standpoint. More importantly, lots of businesses don’t make their employees work all hours God sends. Just like a modern company, lots believe in flexitime and a balance between work and life. It’s harder than typing, but there are great benefits, too.

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No Job Security

There are two things to consider regarding job security. The first is the average life cycle of a tradie. For the most part, it spans decades and only includes employment for one or two companies. Secondly, even if one business closes a door, another opens a window. One of the best parts of the job is the flexibility. Any construction workers who are out of work can find construction jobs online at the click of a button. In truth, the world is growing and skilled workers are essential to the process. Until buildings are no longer necessary, work will be abundant. Also, workers can use it to their advantage. If you are undervalued, it is possible to find a better employer who offers all the trimmings. Sometimes, getting stuck in a contract isn’t a savvy career move.

It’s A Boring Career

No, this is not true! Consider working on a building site and working in an office. Out of the two, which seems the most mundane? Typically, a working day in an office consists of sitting behind a desk and typing. Onsite, the work can range from installing doors and windows to concreting a swimming pool. The work has much more variety which prevents the onset of boredom. Plus, there is the “banter” as the men and women love to laugh and enjoy life. Compared to a sterile office, it’s a barrel of laughs.

If you’re interested in a career in a trade, don’t let the myths hold you back.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Joey@careeralley.com
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