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Layoffs?
Not in the Trades

Plumber vs Technical Support

Given the almost daily headlines announcing layoffs and future layoffs, we decided to take a deeper dive into these job cuts. We examined the industries being most heavily impacted and those avoiding the economic downturn.

Trade School versus College, Blue Recruit

Several segments of our economy are not weathering the current economic downturn very well. The tech industry has led news headlines with companies like Netflix, Robinhood, and Twilio accounting for over 42,000 layoffs as of mid-September 2022. Unfortunately, many of these layoffs are targeting entry-level employees just beginning their careers in fields like marketing, customer success, and technical support.

Most of those junior employees went to the best college they could afford and were excited to work for a cool tech company. Along the way, they gave up at least 4 years of earnings and borrowed a tidy sum to pay tuition. At BlueRecruit, we ask why those same enthusiastic tech employees didn’t consider a career in the skilled trades.  While the answer to that question could fill enough content for ten additional blog posts, we think a major factor is that young people are simply unaware of the incredible income potential within the trades. So, let’s try and start fixing that by taking a deeper look into two career fields: Plumbers and Technical Support.

Plumbing

An Apprenticeship Program is often a great option for launching a plumbing career. The national average pay for a 1st year Apprentice is $39,096, with most states requiring about 4 years of training before being able to sit for exams and earning a Journeyman License. All in all, an Apprentice can expect to pay no more than $18,000 for tuition, books, and exam fees to earn their Journeyman License– tuition accounting for an average of $10,483 of that total cost. Pro Tip – many employers offer tuition reimbursement and scholarships in exchange for long-term employment contracts.  So, becoming an Apprentice Plumber pays more than working as a Tech Support Specialist from day one, and you can get a 4-year head start on earning because you don’t need a college degree. Plumbing isn’t the exception, the earning opportunity is similar across trades like Electrician, HVAC Technician, and Welders.

The bottom line is the skilled trades industry is booming, and the demand for workers is greater than ever! The industry is expected to grow by 10% through 2028, and there are currently an estimated 650,000 open jobs in the U.S. construction sector alone. Employment opportunities, with the ability to grow in compensation and responsibility, remain plentiful and are projected to remain plentiful for years to come.

Of course, a skilled trades career is not for everyone. However, the growth potential, high job satisfaction, and uncapped earning potential within the trades – particularly in the plumbing industry – gives cause for young people and those looking for a possible change career to explore this option.

Trade School versus College, Blue RecruitTech Support

On the other hand, the average 1st year Tier 1 Technical Support Specialist averages a salary of $36,579 [$2,517 less than a 1st-year Apprentice]. Let’s not forget that many of these roles require a bachelor’s degree, with the average new college graduate leaving school with $28,950 in student loan debt.

So, becoming an Apprentice Plumber pays more than working as a Tech Support Specialist from day one, and you can get a 4-year head start on earning because you don’t need a college degree. Plumbing isn’t the exception, the earning opportunity is similar across trades like Electrician, HVAC Technician, and Welders.

The bottom line is the skilled trades industry is booming, and the demand for workers is greater than ever! The industry is expected to grow by 10% through 2028, and there are currently an estimated 650,000 open jobs in the U.S. construction sector alone. Employment opportunities, with the ability to grow in compensation and responsibility, remain plentiful and are projected to remain plentiful for years to come.

Of course, a skilled trades career is not for everyone. However, the growth potential, high job satisfaction, and uncapped earning potential within the trades – particularly in the plumbing industry – gives cause for young people and those looking for a possible change career to explore this option.

In case you need any additional motivation…the average 10-year Master Plumber earns over $90,000 a year!

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