Blog Post

5 Benefits of Working in the Skilled Trades

With the uncertainty of the economy in Alberta, making decisions regarding career and job choices is becoming more and more difficult. There is no assurance that jobs will be available and it may be time to re-evaluate the belief that a university education guarantees a secure future. People have always sought the ultimate white collar job as the perfect career goal. As the economy changes, here are some reasons to consider working in a skilled trade as a career choice.

  1. For anyone considering their options, expensive tuition fees for post-secondary education can be a deterrent.  On average, a university student currently pays $7,000 per year for tuition fees. Add living expenses to the budget, and total costs become extremely high.  According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the average Canadian student owes around $27,000 after graduating. This translates to paying student loan payments of $300 per month for a decade. Starting a career with debt makes it difficult to move forward financially especially when you factor in life goals such as buying a home or having a family.
  2. With more than 50 trades and occupations in the construction industry to choose from, pursuing an apprenticeship is a good option to consider.  If you become an apprentice, you will begin earning money immediately. Obviously, the rate of pay is less than what a journeyman makes, but each year of apprenticeship means an increase in salary. Training programs associated with getting a trade are shorter in duration, therefore the educational expenses incurred are much less. The long-term benefits of becoming a skilled tradesman are apparent when income potential is considered….most trades pay very well and there are opportunities for advancement or becoming self-employed.
  3. The demand for skilled workers has continued to increase even during periods of economic decline.Canada is a resource-rich country and many huge construction projects are centered on resources. This creates a variety of job opportunities and an opportunity to relocate to different areas within Canada.
  4. Given the nature of construction, things are always changing as is the potential of finding a variety of work opportunities.  With so many options, work is never boring. Finding work in other countries is also possible… trades are in demand all over the world.
  5. The number one factor in job satisfaction is being able to use your skills and abilities.  Finding a way to use your skills can make you more passionate about your work.  When you are working with your hands, it is not so easy to disengage from what you are doing. There is a satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from manual work that simply cannot be achieved in any other setting.  In addition, when work is done, you can go home content with the work day being over….no e-mails and after hours communication with the office.  You aren’t always “plugged in” and have a better chance to refresh your body and mind for the next day’s work.

For too long skilled trades have been neglected.  The tide appears to be turning as blue collar work offers real advantages over white collar work.  Factors such as job availability, good pay, job security and benefits all contribute to a high rate of job satisfaction. The benefits of working in the skilled trades deserves serious consideration.