Debunking Common Myths About Skilled Trades Careers

When most people ask a high school graduate about their plans, they automatically ask about schools and/or degrees. This perpetuates the decades-long, inaccurate mindset that skilled trades are not important, low-paying, dead-end jobs for those who aren’t “smart enough” to go to college.

In reality, skilled trades offer stable work, competitive salaries and opportunities for professional growth and development – all without the investment in a four-year degree. And without skilled trade work being done, we wouldn’t have pretty much anything we own and use on a daily basis. Look around you, everything you see probably involved some sort of skilled labor to produce it. So, let’s look at, and debunk, some of the common myths around skilled trades.

Top 6 Myths About the Skilled Trades:

  1. Low Pay: According to com, the average base salary in the U.S. is $19.70/hour ($45,889/year) plus nearly $6,000 in overtime and benefits (e.g., paid time off, 401K, healthcare). Skilled trades not only offer competitive salaries, but in some cases, can surpass the salaries of those careers requiring a college degree. It’s not uncommon for an individual to reach six-figure salaries, depending on the industry and experience.
  2. Hard to Find a Job: There’s a significant demand for skilled trade workers across all industries, now and for the foreseeable future. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in August 2023, the manufacturing industry alone had over 600,000 open jobs. Not all were skilled trades, but a vast majority of them were.
  3. Limited Career Growth: There’s almost nothing but growth and career opportunities available! Careers include more than construction, electrician and plumber. From apprentice to journeyman to master, as well as foreman, project manager, supervisor and more. And you also can take an entrepreneurial path by starting your own business!
  4. You Don’t Need to Be Smart: Many skilled trades require problem-solving skills, critical thinking, knowledge of machinery, technology and tools, and continuous learning to adapt to new technologies and techniques. There’s also some that require specific training and/or certifications.
  5. It’s a Man’s Job: There’s growing recognition and understanding that women bring unique perspectives, skills and talents to trade jobs. And while women only make up a small percentage of skilled trade workers, the numbers are rising, thanks to changing narratives within industries and advocacy and education by organizations, including the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Women in HVAC and Women in Piping and Plumbing.

Why Choose Skilled Trade Careers at Cascade Die Casting Group

If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a career in the skilled trades, don’t let these and the many myths about them hold you back! Start by checking out the variety of skilled trade jobs in maintenance, tool and die, and machining available at Cascade Die Casting Group, Inc.’s Michigan and North Carolina locations. We are a premier die caster of products that you find on everyday items, including Kitchen Aid mixers, John Deere tractors, Whirlpool dryers and vehicles made by Ford, GM, Stellantis, Nissan and Toyota.