The skilled trades are becoming increasingly popular career paths for young adults. One of the many reasons trades are being pursued is paid training opportunities. Another reason being the minimal amount of student debt accrued when compared to that of 4-year university degrees.

Despite their popularity, there are some trade industries that are in need of workers/prospective workers. In this article, we’ll look at some of the top trades that need skilled labor in 2023.

Commercial Truck Driver

The trucking industry is in need of drivers; the American Trucking Associations states that the trucking industry began observing a shortage in the early 2000s. Recent years post-pandemic, and fuel prices, haven’t made these industry obstacles any easier.

However, trucking can be a great career with many specialties, stability – and in some cases – paid training. Some truckers got their start through company sponsored training, whereas others learned through a trucking school. Whichever option you choose, truck driver training can be completed in as few as 3-6 weeks.

The most common jobs for truck drivers are local, regional, or OTR. Local trucking jobs tend to offer the most frequent home time out of any other trucking positions. As implied by the name, these truck drivers make local deliveries to companies in their area and do not cross state lines.

Regional trucking jobs allow drivers to cross state lines and handle regional deliveries. Regional drivers tend to experience home time a few times per week.

Over-the-road truckers, or OTR trucking jobs take drivers on long-haul, nationwide routes. You can enjoy the open road for an extended period of time, with home time typically being every few weeks.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2022, truck drivers earned an average of $53,090, with the top 10 percent making $75,220 or more. Truck driving can be a great career for the person who loves driving, and doesn’t mind some independence.

Search for truck driving jobs near you today!

Construction Tradesperson

Construction is another industry that is expecting an increase in its labor needs. In order to meet the industry’s anticipated demand, construction careers are predicted to see an additional 168,500 jobs open yearly by 2031.

There are also many different paths you can take in the construction industry like HVAC, electrical, or carpentry. You could work in different job sites to rebuild/maintain roadways, or with architects on residential/commercial construction, or you could perform bricklaying or brick masonry.

There tends not to be formal education requirements for construction workers, however, having a background in mathematics, blueprint reading, or some other trade school or technical instruction can be beneficial to your career and skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2022 that construction laborers earned an average of $46,350, with the top 10 percent making $72,430 or more. Construction is a versatile industry that also offers different certification options in welding, scaffolding, or concrete finishing, to name a few.

Find a school near you offering construction programs today!


Plumbers install and repair pipes, piping fixtures, and systems. Plumbers may work in homes, or business/other commercial buildings. They might work on bathtubs, toilets, dishwashers, water heaters, and related appliances.

Depending on the project, a plumber may use different techniques, tools, and work with different materials. As with other skilled trades, plumbers at the journeyman and master level are capable of guiding apprentices. Master plumbers also might be responsible for developing blueprints and ensuring a project is up to building codes.

The typical path toward becoming a plumber usually involves a high school diploma, or a GED equivalent. You might enroll in a vocational or technical school plumbing program, or begin in an apprenticeship. Plumbing apprenticeships typically involve 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Once apprenticeships are completed, you can expect to be required to take a licensing exam.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2022 that plumbers earned an average of $65,190, with the top 10 percent making $101,190 or more. Like trucking and construction, plumbing is another industry that is expected to be in need of skilled workers in coming years.

Find a school near you offering plumbing programs today!

Solar Photovoltaic Installer

The need for future solar photovoltaic installers will be great. If you’re looking for a niche field of power generation, solar energy may be perfect for you. Solar photovoltaic installers install, assemble and maintain rooftop systems that convert sunlight into viable energy sources.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2031, demand for solar photovoltaic installers will increase by 27 percent – which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. The expected significant increase in solar energy systems can translate into plentiful job opportunities and stability.

To become a solar photovoltaic installer, it will typically be required for you to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some PV installers will also take courses at community colleges or technical schools to learn installation, the science behind solar energy, and system designs.

Some installers learn their trade through on-the-job training with experienced installers. This training may last between a month to a year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2022, solar PV installers earned an average of $47,970, with the top 10 percent earning $63,330, or more. Solar energy itself is an industry that is expanding very rapidly – the future of the field appears to be a promising one.

Residential Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring and internal electrical systems – and residential electricians specifically do so in homes.

As construction of residential homes and infrastructure increases, along with the needed maintenance to older homes’ electrical systems, there is expected to be a great need for residential electricians.

The minimum educational requirement for becoming a residential electrician is either a high school diploma, or GED equivalent. Next, some electricians will begin their career in an apprenticeship, whereas others get training and further education through trade school electrical technology program. Whichever you choose, hands-on experience will be a part of your training program.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2022, electricians earned an average of $65,280, with the top 10 percent making $102,300, or more. The electrical industry itself is an essential one, and specifically residential electricians, are expected to remain in steady demand for the foreseeable future.

Find a school near you offering electrical training programs today!

The Trades Lead to Many Options

Again, these are just five of the trades that are in need of skilled workers in coming years. Many trade school programs can lead to rewarding careers with ample opportunities in them. Finding the best trade program for you is a great way to start out.

Not sure which of the trades is best? We invite you to take our skilled trades personality quiz to help you brainstorm!

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