In recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift in the career aspirations of younger generations. Much to the delight of industry advocates like “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe, skilled trade careers are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, especially among Gen Z. This trend is most visible on social media platforms like TikTok, where the hashtag #BlueCollar has amassed more than half a million posts this year alone. Young tradespeople are sharing their day-to-day experiences, inspiring a new generation to consider careers in skilled trades over traditional college routes.

The Social Media Movement

The rise of social media has given a voice to blue-collar workers, allowing them to showcase their skills and the value of their work. Influencers like 27-year-old electrician Lexis Czumak-Abreu, who has over 1.1 million followers, are leading the charge. Her posts, which include clips of her installing utility outlets and wiring homes, not only highlight the technical skills involved in her job but also portray a fulfilling and lucrative career path. Stories like hers are becoming more common, showing that skilled trades can be both financially rewarding and personally satisfying.

Why Skilled Trades Are Attractive

There are several reasons why skilled trades are becoming more attractive to younger people:

  1. Cost of Education: Unlike traditional four-year colleges, trade schools are generally more affordable, helping students avoid the crippling debt that often accompanies higher education.
  2. High Demand: The demand for skilled tradespeople is growing. For every five tradespeople who retire, only two replace them. This gap creates numerous job opportunities with competitive salaries.
  3. Job Security and Prosperity: Skilled trades offer a path to prosperity without the need for a traditional college degree. Tradespeople like plumbers, electricians, and welders often earn substantial incomes, sometimes exceeding $200,000 annually.

FlexTrades: Leading the Charge in Skilled Trades Employment

At FlexTrades, we are proud to be at the forefront of this resurgence in skilled trades careers. We understand the unique needs and aspirations of today’s tradespeople, and we are committed to providing opportunities that offer freedom, choice, financial benefits, and travel.

Why Choose FlexTrades?

  • Freedom and Flexibility: We offer our employees the freedom to choose assignments that fit their skills and preferences. Whether you prefer short-term projects or long-term engagements, FlexTrades has options that can suit your lifestyle.
  • Financial Benefits: Our skilled tradespeople enjoy competitive wages, comprehensive benefits packages, and opportunities for financial growth. With FlexTrades, you can build a prosperous career without the burden of student debt.
  • Travel Opportunities: For those who love to travel, FlexTrades provides opportunities to work in diverse locations across the United States. Experience new places while doing what you love.
  • Premier Employer: As the premier employer of skilled tradespeople in the United States, FlexTrades is dedicated to supporting your career development. We provide ongoing training, support, and resources to help you succeed.

Join the FlexTrades Team

If you’re inspired by the growing trend of young people turning to skilled trades, consider joining the FlexTrades team. We offer a supportive and dynamic work environment where your skills are valued, and your career can thrive.

Explore the opportunities available at FlexTrades today and be part of a movement that’s redefining what it means to have a “cool” career. Visit our website to learn more and apply for current openings. 

In recent years, there has been a notable shift in the career preferences of young Americans, with many opting for skilled trades over traditional college paths. This trend is particularly significant in addressing the growing demand for skilled workers in various industries. FlexTrades recognizes and celebrates this shift, highlighting the opportunities and benefits that skilled trades offer to the younger generation.

Changing Perceptions and Rising Opportunities

The skilled trades, once perceived as low-end and dirty work, are now experiencing a renaissance. This resurgence is fueled by several factors, including rising pay scales, advancements in technology within trade fields like welding and machine tooling, and a growing skepticism about the return on investment in traditional college education.

Enrollment Surge in Vocational Training

As more young individuals explore alternatives to traditional education paths, enrollment in vocational training programs is on the rise. This surge in enrollment is evident in fields such as construction trades, HVAC, and vehicle maintenance and repair. These programs offer a blend of hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge, preparing individuals for successful careers in their chosen trades.

Empowering Career Choices

FlexTrades recognizes that the skilled trades provide a smart and viable career path for individuals who prefer practical, hands-on work over traditional office-based roles. This shift is exemplified by individuals like Tanner Burgess, who found fulfillment and success in welding after exploring alternative career options.

Building Strong Foundations for the Future

The demand for skilled tradespeople is on the rise, driven by retirements in older generations and the need for expertise in various industries. This demand translates into secure job tracks, steadily growing earnings, and a sense of accomplishment for individuals working in skilled trades.

Embracing the Future of Work

FlexTrades acknowledges the changing landscape of work, where blue-collar jobs are gaining recognition for their job security and growth potential, especially in light of advancements in generative AI. This shift in perspective is reshaping career choices for the younger generation, offering a diverse range of opportunities beyond traditional white-collar professions.

Looking Ahead with Optimism

As the skilled trades continue to evolve and gain prominence, FlexTrades remains committed to supporting and empowering individuals pursuing careers in these fields. Through training initiatives, technological advancements, and a collaborative approach, FlexTrades aims to foster a skilled workforce that drives innovation and success across industries.

A Positive Shift

The rise of skilled trades in America signals a positive shift in career preferences and opportunities. FlexTrades celebrates this trend, recognizing the value and contributions of skilled workers in shaping the future of work. Embracing the diversity of career paths, including skilled trades, is key to creating a dynamic and resilient workforce for tomorrow. 

Dear High School Students and Those Considering Your Next Steps,

You’re at a crossroads, facing one of the most significant decisions of your life: What comes after high school? While college is often presented as the primary path, it’s not the only route to a successful and fulfilling career. The world of manufacturing and skilled trades offers a wealth of opportunities that align with the practical, financial and personal aspirations of many young adults.

Quick Entry to the Workforce & Financial Benefits

Entering a trade can provide a faster transition to starting your career, often requiring less time than the four-year commitment to college. Trade programs typically last from a few months to two years, allowing you to gain the necessary skills and start earning sooner. The financial aspect is also compelling. Trade school can significantly reduce educational expenses compared to university tuition, lessening the burden of student debt. For example, the average cost of trade school tuition in the United States is around $5,000 per year, compared to the tens of thousands spent annually on a four-year degree.

Breaking Barriers & Building Futures

Trade school isn’t just for men; it’s a viable and rewarding path for young women who are eager to build a successful career. Women in trades can thrive in environments that value skill, determination and creativity. Pursuing a skilled trade career offers stability, competitive salaries and the satisfaction of hands-on work. The diversity in trades means there are numerous opportunities to find a niche that aligns with personal interests and strengths, from construction and automotive to technology and renewable energy sectors. Women entering the trades are breaking stereotypes, contributing to a more diverse workforce and proving that these careers are not defined by gender but by expertise and passion.

Growing Demand & Job Security

The demand for skilled tradespeople is on the rise, with sectors like manufacturing, construction and green energy experiencing particularly high growth. For instance, solar panel installer positions are projected to grow by 52% through 2030. This demand creates a robust job market and offers job security that is often unmatched in other fields.

Hands-On Learning & Real-World Application

Many of you thrive with hands-on learning and practical application, traits that align perfectly with careers in the trades. Apprenticeship programs offer the opportunity to earn while you learn, gaining real-world experience under the mentorship of seasoned professionals. This approach not only provides a solid foundation of skills but also allows you to apply what you learn immediately, making education both relevant and engaging.

Opportunities for Advancement & Innovation

The trades are not a dead-end path; they offer substantial opportunities for career growth and advancement. With experience and additional certifications, you can progress to supervisory roles, manage projects or even start your own business. The field also encourages innovation, with technology integration offering new ways to work and solve problems, ensuring the trades remain both dynamic and evolving.

Essential to the Economy & Society

Skilled tradespeople play a crucial role in maintaining and advancing our infrastructure and quality of life. From building homes to maintaining energy systems, these careers are essential to society’s functioning and offer a sense of purpose and contribution that is deeply fulfilling.

Pursuing a career in manufacturing and skilled trades is not just a backup plan — it’s a viable, rewarding and often overlooked path to success. It’s about matching your interests and strengths with opportunities that offer not only financial rewards but also job satisfaction and the chance to make a tangible impact on the world.

Embrace the possibilities that lie in the skilled trades, and consider how this path might be the right fit for you.

If you have questions about the skilled trades, feel free to contact the FlexTrades team at any time. We’d be more than happy to offer our support and guidance.