Skilled Labor Shortage: What Jobs Pay the Most?

Skilled Labor Shortage: What Jobs Pay the Most?

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A recent National Association of Business Economics study found that 47% of those companies responding had experienced a serious skilled labor shortage over the last year. That labor shortage isn’t going anywhere in the near future either, and those in the skilled trades may find themselves in line for pay increases as time goes by. Which jobs are paying the most right now? Take a look. 


According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs for plumbers are expected to increase by 16% in the next few years, and the average salary here is amazing. The median salary for plumbers is $55,160, but the longer you work in the industry, the higher your overall salary. In fact, the top ten percent of all plumbers in the nation bring in close to $100,000 every single year, so you’re likely to do quite well as you get a bit further into your career. 

skilled labor shortage

Construction Managers: 

This job will require you to gain a bit of experience before you take on bigger tasks, but once you know what you’re doing and you have a few resume entries, you can expect to hit the median salary pretty quickly. The median salary for these tradespeople is $95,260 per year, and given that your day-to-day is pretty exciting - keeping your team moving forward - you’re always going to be well paid in a job that will ensure you’re never bored. 


The median salary here is $56,180, but as with plumbers, as you gain experience on the job, the numbers are going to go up fairly quickly. Apprenticeships here tend to be fairly long - typically around four years - but you get paid while you’re working on your apprenticeship, so you’ll quickly learn everything you need to know to pass the licensure test and make a decent salary while you’re doing it. 

HVAC Technicians: 

Most HVAC technicians start their education in trade school, then head out for an apprenticeship, and these days, it really pays off to know how to install, repair, and maintain HVAC systems for residential and commercial clients. The median salary is $48,730, and as you build your client base, you can expect to see those numbers increase as well. 

More Than Money

The skilled trades have more to offer than great annual salaries, though. They also tend to offer a higher job satisfaction rate than many other careers today. According to a recent report from Angi, an online marketplace for home services, skilled tradespeople are often satisfied with their work. In their report, they listed 83% of all tradespeople interviewed were at least somewhat satisfied with their day-to-day work.

That’s not all the skilled trades have going for them, though. Employers are offering lots of bonuses for those who enter the industry. More than 32% of employers from the same Angi survey were offering flexible work schedules to try to attract potential tradespeople. Others offered performance bonuses, insurance, and even other perks like company vehicles. 

Understanding the Shortage

Many people worry that joining the skilled trades now may mean the need for these jobs will decrease before they even finish their apprenticeships, but that’s not likely to be the case. The simple truth is that there were shortages among skilled trade workers well before the pandemic, and now, there’s a bigger demand than ever for individuals because the housing market and the home improvement market show absolutely no signs of slowing as more people continue to work from home. 

Ready to begin your career in the skilled trades? Let us connect you with an employer who is ready to hire!