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Old 04-09-2021, 02:37 PM
 
Location: West of Louisiana, East of New Mexico
2,916 posts, read 2,975,059 times
Reputation: 7036

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo Gibby View Post
Plain and simple: opportunity and working conditions.


Tradespeople generally don't make big bucks as evidenced by the table below. Half of the people working in the trades make less than about $52,000 annually which is modestly above the 2019 median income for all American workers of about $40,200 or a little bit more than $19/hour.



The median annual income in 2019 for various occupational groups:
Management occupations: $122,480
Legal occupations: $109,630
Computer and Mathematical occupations: $ 93,760
Architectural and Engineering occupations: $88,800

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations: $83,640
Business and financial operations occupations: $78,130

Construction and mining occupations: $ 52,580
Installation, maintenance, and service occupations: $ 50,130


(https://www.statista.com/statistics/...tional-groups/)


Most tradesmen work for small businesses that offer minimal benefits. Many construction jobs are seasonal in many parts of the country. Construction, especially, is often a feast or famine industry especially vulnerable to economic downturns.


Most trades involve significant manual labor, frequent work in extreme weather, and sometimes in unhealthy/dangerous conditions.



One of the reasons that there's a "shortage" of plumbers or HVAC techs or electricians, etc is because many workers who start out in trades leave for work that's less physically stressful with more regular hours and better benefits, especially as they age. Younger workers in trades tend to spend years working at a few dollars above minimum wage with few benefits until they can catch on with a bigger employer or start their own business.






Best response in the thread. People are comparing the top-shelf tradesmen to the average office worker. The "average" office worker can go to the gym for 90 minutes a day, eat a salad at their desk and have far less knee/back etc., pain than the "average" tradesman.

CityData skews older so it's funny to hear the older folks here talk about lazy kids hanging out on facebook, twitter etc.

Young folks aren't in trades today for the same reason why most people here on CD are no longer small farmers out in the sticks.

Going into the trades should happen because you WANT to do the job and are inclined towards that kind of work. Shuffling kids that perform poorly in school into the trades is not a good idea unless they have an aptitude for working with their hands and are bored with school.
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:28 PM
 
28,563 posts, read 18,563,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgn2013 View Post
Best response in the thread. People are comparing the top-shelf tradesmen to the average office worker. The "average" office worker can go to the gym for 90 minutes a day, eat a salad at their desk and have far less knee/back etc., pain than the "average" tradesman.

CityData skews older so it's funny to hear the older folks here talk about lazy kids hanging out on facebook, twitter etc.

Young folks aren't in trades today for the same reason why most people here on CD are no longer small farmers out in the sticks.

Going into the trades should happen because you WANT to do the job and are inclined towards that kind of work. Shuffling kids that perform poorly in school into the trades is not a good idea unless they have an aptitude for working with their hands and are bored with school.
However, the "average" person today is not a college graduate, because only 20-35% of people (depending on race) have ever gotten bachelor's degrees since the 60s.

What is that average non-college graduate actually doing today? He's not in a white collar job...and apparently not in a trade either.
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Old 04-09-2021, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,003 posts, read 7,140,523 times
Reputation: 17096
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post
I've had 4 employees graduate from college, 0 of 4 got a job at 60K even though all 4 had that expectation!

Bachelors degrees:

Biology- 22K offer at a national laboratory
Graphic Design- 24K job at a local ad agency, quit after a week
Economics- hired by brokerage firm 40K year but needs to relocate to the midwest
Political Science- Costco, $13 an hour stocking shelves.

The latter two were 2020 graduates.

Where I feel all four failed, ZERO internships.

I had another short term employee graduate from a state fire academy......which is also pumping these kids heads full of fantasies. Kid was dead average, definitely on the lazier side side of the scale (not good for a fireman career). The fire academy was telling tales of 57K hiring salaries (at prime departments, what they don't mention is the very high standards they were looking for also) and working basically 8 days a month with 5 "Kelly days" off per month. So this kid thinks he will be drinking at the sandbar for 22+ days a month, making $57,000 while working (or sleeping at the fire house) 8 days a month.

Well reality is here: He graduated a year ago, 3 dept interviews and NOT A SINGLE OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT! He is sitting on his mom's couch waiting for the phone to ring.......
He is a white male with average scores.........the highest paying departments want the highest test scores and love to have well rounded representation (meaning minorities and women). This kid could get hired tomorrow at a department in a rough area (ghetto) but he would probably make 40K a year and work his absolute azz off with drug overdoses/violent crimes which is common in those areas.

A neighbors kid took the same route but upon graduation he went to work for a private security company in a wealthy neighborhood as a private paramedic (basically do nothing but ride around in a Ford Explorer and wait for an old lady to slip in the shower/break a hip). He worked that for 5-6 months (decent pay too) until he got hired by the county. He did get an offer from a premium department but it came a week after he already accepted a position with the county, so he stuck to his commitment and stayed with the county job. I would consider that private security gig a paid internship which made him look more appealing to hiring departments.
If it's under 35-40k salary, it's not a real job. It's part-time, or some kind of gig.

I had expectations of 60k too when I graduated college (at that time 50k was equivalent). The education system builds you up with this propaganda of how smart you are and how you'll change the world, and I had to shed that. It took me a good 5-6 months to realize that was unrealistic UNLESS I hustled the s**t out my job search.

I then approached my job search like a class I had a C in at mid-term that I wanted to still pull an A by the final. I read several books about job search strategies, resumes, interviewing, etc... I read sociological research that showed how important looks and charisma are job interviews. So I paid to take a couple classes on acting and improv, and worked out like a fiend. This was outside my comfort zone, having always been introverted. That helped with things like my posture, public speaking, and my general confidence.

I also ramped up my search to an obsessive level. I started approaching it like Tinder. I applied to ANY job I thought I was HALFWAY qualified for in EVERY state that had the kind of status and progression I wanted. Tailored my app, triple and quadruple checked my cover letters. My goal was to stop pinning my hopes and dreams on one job or one type of job, and instead increase my numbers of call-backs and interviews, and THEN discriminate on whether or not to move forward. Took hours for each one; I was a regular at this one coffee shop where I'd work on them for 5-8 hours a day. All 50 states and some overseas jobs too. I send out hundreds of apps that I worked a few hours each on to tailor. My writing and research skills were already there from college, so at least that was worth something.

That process took a while, about a year all told, and it was frustrating, but it paid off in results, especially the more I put in apps and the more interviews I did. I saw every call back and every interview as a win and a chance to hone my skills for the next interview (advice from the job search literature). I got some crazy call-backs for interviews from companies I never thought would look twice at me. One was for some kind of sales firm that sold construction equipment. WTF I was a history major, lol. But I looked at each call as a win.

I didn't get 60k off the bat but did get something close enough with the potential progression to that level of advancement in a reasonable time, and I had more than one choice.
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Old 04-09-2021, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,921 posts, read 4,755,196 times
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It's very demanding work getting into trades. But you are guaranteed jobs even if starting pay is mediocre. If you're good you'll move up fast like any other job, or you start your own company and have the new grunts work for you.


No such guarantees getting a bachelors degree in humanities these days. You better have at least 1 internship during college. As in the past, networking and connections is really what you go to college (in a soft degree) for, and that's where many careers are built from.
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:44 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
8,434 posts, read 3,695,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportslover View Post
People act like working in a trade is the greatest job in the world. Then why do so few people want to do it then? Why doesn’t society push going into trade school rather than going into college ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportslover View Post
If the trades are such great jobs, then why isn't trade school more heavily promoted ?
If people thought working a trade was the greatest job in the world, there would be more who would actively pursue it (and there would be no need for 'society' to push or 'heavily promote' it). Bottom line, even when one fails to excel in college and/or find successful employment, it's still not considered by many as an option i.e. blue collar work is on the decline (and often has a 'stigma' associated with it).

I'm not stating I agree (with the stigma); but it's reality (and far from the 'greatest job in the world' theory).
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Central Mass
4,525 posts, read 4,782,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
However, the "average" person today is not a college graduate, because only 20-35% of people (depending on race) have ever gotten bachelor's degrees since the 60s.

What is that average non-college graduate actually doing today? He's not in a white collar job...and apparently not in a trade either.
Admin assistants. Techs. White collar work.
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,003 posts, read 7,140,523 times
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Something we leave out is that there is LESS blue collar work than there used to be, proportionally speaking. Or more accurately, fewer good blue collar jobs. Factories that made stuff are gone, unless they're advanced factories making something advanced. Not that those old factory jobs were ever particularly good jobs anyway. There used to be a wood mill in my town, and all the people that I've talked to that used to work there said it sucked pretty bad. It was half-way decent pay but you got treated badly and people would lose fingers and stuff like that.

Yes there are still the various service technicians that work on things in people's houses, and those that are needed for construction. There were always those jobs. I don't see those jobs as any more plentiful than they were 30-40 years ago. There's more housing so we need a few more them to make up the proportional difference, but if anything newer houses have less that breaks down frequently than older ones. Things like water heaters are better than they used to be. So yeah, the plumbing techs command higher pay because they're more skilled than in the old days in order to be certified to work on modern equipment. But they are also needed somewhat less. E.g.: I replaced my furnace this year. Yes the job was expensive but the techs were certified by whatever professional organization accredits that industry. You could see it too. They did a job on the ducting that was better than the original work when the house was built. This furnace will probably last 50% longer than the old one.

Beyond that, what are we counting as "blue-collar?" Probably things like Amazon warehouse work, which pays $15 an hour at best.

Last edited by redguard57; 04-09-2021 at 06:29 PM..
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:21 PM
 
28,563 posts, read 18,563,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio516 View Post
Admin assistants. Techs. White collar work.
Admin assistants is "pink collar" work.

Techs are actually blue collar. A "trade" does not necessarily denote someone with dirty fingernails.
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:43 PM
Status: "I'm turquoise happy!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
23,864 posts, read 32,129,837 times
Reputation: 67719
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
Something we leave out is that there is LESS blue collar work than there used to be, proportionally speaking. Or more accurately, fewer good blue collar jobs. Factories that made stuff are gone, unless they're advanced factories making something advanced. Not that those old factory jobs were ever particularly good jobs anyway. There used to be a wood mill in my town, and all the people that I've talked to that used to work there said it sucked pretty bad. It was half-way decent pay but you got treated badly and people would lose fingers and stuff like that.

Yes there are still the various service technicians that work on things in people's houses, and those that are needed for construction. There were always those jobs. I don't see those jobs as any more plentiful than they were 30-40 years ago. There's more housing so we need a few more them to make up the proportional difference, but if anything newer houses have less that breaks down frequently than older ones. Things like water heaters are better than they used to be. So yeah, the plumbing techs command higher pay because they're more skilled than in the old days in order to be certified to work on modern equipment. But they are also needed somewhat less. E.g.: I replaced my furnace this year. Yes the job was expensive but the techs were certified by whatever professional organization accredits that industry. You could see it too. They did a job on the ducting that was better than the original work when the house was built. This furnace will probably last 50% longer than the old one.

Beyond that, what are we counting as "blue-collar?" Probably things like Amazon warehouse work, which pays $15 an hour at best.
That's true. FAR FEWER jobs that are categorized as blue Collar are available. You are correct that they were never all that good. Mill work caused white lung disease and coal mining black lung.

Amazon Warehouse work, is, from what I have read, soul crushing.

For profit trade schools (and proprietary colleges) are responsible for much of the student loan defaults. It's easy to see why. A student takes out a loan of 25K for a job that tops out at $15 per hour. Unless they plan to live with their parents indefinitely, they will most likely default.

Most trade schools are over priced and for profit.
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Old 04-09-2021, 08:37 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,065,706 times
Reputation: 867
Working in building trades not only got me a good salary all of my life, it also enabled me to do 90% of my own home repairs.


That alone saved me untold 1000s of dollars not to mention not having to wait for unreliable unqualified contractors most of which are either no shows or do shoddy work.


My parents knew I had mechanical aptitude at an early age and did not push the college thing, it's not for everyone



If you can get by the Wood Shop Teacher that is missing a few fingers, go for it.
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