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Recently, societal trends suggest that younger generations perceive a future that’s better secured through careers requiring university degrees, such as medicine, accounting, or law. In essence, they’re dedicating over three years of their lives and accumulating substantial debt to secure white-collar jobs recognized as ‘professions’ rather than settling for ‘just a job’.
The outcome? An excess of professionals in these highly competitive white-collar fields, contrasted by a nationwide scarcity of skilled trade workers amidst a surge in construction. In this
Reasons to Consider a Tradesperson Career
- Less student debt
- High demand for skilled tradespeople
- Opportunity for entrepreneurship
- Potential for higher earnings
- Job satisfaction through tangible results
- Continual skill development
- Hands-on work experience
- Flexibility in career options and specialization
- Strong job security and stability
- Contributing to essential industries and infrastructure
Every year, thousands of tradespeople across the country relocate, transition into new industries, or retire. To keep up with the demand placed on these industries by our growing population, there needs to be a constant stream of new entrants following them. However, according to recent statistics, apprenticeship numbers dropped by 10.9% in 2022. This is due to a number of factors, including:
- The COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to a sharp decline in economic activity, which resulted in a loss of jobs in many industries, including the trades.
- The rising cost of college. The cost of college has been rising steadily for many years, making it more difficult for students to afford a college education.
- The increasing demand for skilled workers. The demand for skilled workers is increasing in many industries, including the trades. This is due to a number of factors, including the aging workforce, the increasing complexity of technology, and the growing global economy.
Regrettably, the surge in applicants for white-collar jobs doesn’t align with the demand from society. As a result, intense competition ensues, compelling individuals to accept unpaid roles just for a chance to enter the field. Conversely, the dwindling number of apprentices in trade industries benefit from ample job opportunities, accompanied by impressive salaries.
Irrespective of the chosen trade industry, significant skill and training are required to excel in the tasks at hand. Contrary to popular belief, these jobs are often demanding and not something everyone would willingly undertake—unless they knew about the impressive earnings of tradies.
The outdated notion of tradies toiling in the dirt for meager pay no longer holds true. Thanks to the soaring demand, the average tradie now earns approximately $60.88 per hour, with top earners reaching the high $90s. These figures can rival the earnings of doctors and lawyers. As basic economics dictates, demand always emerges victorious.
“Do you like building or fixing things? Are looking for a way to fast-track your career and have no interest in a four-year degree program? If this sounds like you, then maybe you should consider a tradie” – Kick-Start Your Career
Many professions requiring university degrees are bound by geographical regulations, standards, and legislation. The job requirements in one state of Australia, for instance, may differ from those in another. Consequently, relocating and seamlessly transitioning into similar roles across the country or internationally often necessitates extensive re-training.
In contrast, tradies operate under specific geographical rules but enjoy greater ease in acquiring qualifications and licenses both interstate and worldwide. This is facilitated by recognition of prior learning programs and universal practices. Furthermore, the longer one remains in the trade industry, the more opportunities arise, including international travel, entrepreneurship, or the ability to be selective when choosing clients.
Take Advantage of the Opportunities Available
As Australia and the world stand poised for the next generation entering the workforce, it’s crucial to pragmatically assess the profession that best aligns with your talents and future goals. The uncertainties surrounding university degrees and the abundant opportunities in trade careers have never been more apparent. This could be the ideal moment to embrace change and explore new possibilities.