As technology continues advancing and industries evolve, the job market changes to adapt to new needs and innovations. Some careers that are popular today may decline, while entirely new trades emerge to support developing sectors. When choosing a trade school program, it’s wise to consider which skills will likely be most useful and in-demand in the coming years.
In-Demand Trades of 2024
Several trades are expected to experience strong growth and see robust hiring demand in 2024 and beyond. The list covers key trades that will be crucial for supporting vital industries and infrastructure in the coming years. By developing in-demand abilities, tradespeople can build rewarding and meaningful careers.
Healthcare occupations, especially nursing, are anticipated to have some of the greatest needs. As the large baby boomer generation ages and lives longer, more healthcare services will be required. There is already a nursing shortage, which is forecast to intensify. Other medical support roles like orderlies, pharmacy technicians, and medical assistants will also be essential.
- Nurses – registered nurses provide medical care and treatment plans under physician supervision.
- Orderlies – orderlies assist patients with basic care, transport, and administrative tasks in hospitals and clinics.
- Pharmacy technicians – pharmacy techs prepare medications, verify prescriptions, and carry out routine tasks under a licensed pharmacist.
- Medical assistants – medical assistants perform administrative duties and basic clinical tasks to support healthcare operations.
The technology trades will remain vital, including computer support specialists, technology integration specialists, drone operators, electric vehicle (EV) charging station installers, and solar photovoltaic installers.
- Computer support specialists – computer support techs diagnose, troubleshoot and resolve software, network, and other tech issues for individuals or companies.
- Home technology integration specialists – home technology installers mount TVs, set up smart appliances, program systems, and ensure all electronics work cohesively.
- Drone operators – drone pilots remotely operate unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect infrastructure, survey land, photograph events, and more.
- Electric vehicle (EV) charging station installers – EV charging station installers place, connect and service electric vehicle charging stations in public areas, residences, and businesses.
Renewable Energy Jobs
The renewable energy sector as a whole will necessitate more skilled workers to construct, inspect, and maintain systems like wind turbines and solar panels. The continued push towards more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings will require contractors knowledgeable in environmentally-conscious construction practices.
- Wind turbine technicians – wind techs install, inspect, and repair wind turbines that generate power.
- Solar photovoltaic installers (and Inspectors) – solar panel installers assemble, install, and maintain solar panels on roofs or other structures to generate solar electricity.
Sustainable Construction Careers
Also crucial will be green construction and HVAC technicians who can install and service heating/cooling solutions using the latest green technologies.
- Contractors using environmentally-conscious building practices – green contractors oversee construction projects focused on sustainability through energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction.
- HVAC technicians specializing in green technologies – sustainable HVAC techs install and service heating/cooling systems incorporating the newest energy-saving solutions.
Home Building Trades
With infrastructure aging in many places, construction tradespeople to rehabilitate bridges, roads, water pipelines and more will be hugely important. Areas expecting population booms like the Mountain West will also have greater needs for home builders and related professionals like electricians and plumbers.
- Contractors – construction contractors manage home building projects, oversee subcontractors, ensure quality workmanship and timely completion.
- Electricians – electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems and equipment in residential settings.
- Plumbers – plumbers assemble, install, and repair water systems, drainage networks, appliances, and piping fixtures in houses.
Masonry workers, welders, equipment operators, and general construction laborers may also see robust demand.
Vehicle and Aircraft Mechanics Jobs
Mechanics able to service both traditional and newly-emerging vehicles will also be in high demand. Besides general automotive technicians, those specializing in hybrid/EV repair will be invaluable as emission-free cars grow in popularity. With self-driving vehicles on the horizon, autonomous vehicle technicians may emerge as a necessary new specialty. Aircraft mechanics will also be critical as air travel continues increasing globally.
- Automotive technicians, including hybrid/EV specialists – auto techs inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light duty vehicles using the latest diagnostic tools; EV techs have specialized skills for electric motors and batteries.
- Autonomous vehicle technicians – AV techs service and calibrate sensors, programming, and other systems needed for self-driving vehicles.
- Aircraft mechanics – aviation techs overhaul, test, service and repair aircraft engines, instruments and other systems according to strict FAA guidelines.
Culinary Arts Careers
Another key trade that provides an indispensable service to communities is culinary arts and baking. Well-trained cooks, chefs, and bakers will always be required to prepare meals at restaurants, hospitals, schools, events venues, grocery store delis, and more. Butchers and fishmongers are necessary specialists within food service as well.
- Cooks, chefs, and bakers – culinary professionals prepare food in commercial kitchens, including creating menus, preparing ingredients, and overseeing cooking staff.
- Butchers – butchers cut, trim and package meats from larger livestock carcasses.
- Fishmongers – fishmongers clean, filet, and sell fresh fish and seafood at retail markets or grocers.
No matter the sector, trades that involve interacting with customers, operating specialized tools/technology, or working with one’s hands intricately cannot be easily automated and will remain in demand. By developing skills in an essential trade and continuously learning, workers can build satisfying careers and make important contributions too.