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What is National Skilled Trades Day?

In a well-lit factory, a male control systems worker wearing dark coveralls, a bright yellow hard hat, safety glasses and bright yellow ear protection around his neck, operates industrial machinery.

National Skilled Trades Day takes place on the first Wednesday of May. The holiday celebrates the men and women in the United States who work in skilled trades. Today, we’re going to tell you a little bit about National Skilled Trades Day’s history, its significance and the amazing people behind it.

First, “trades” refers to an occupation that requires a very specific skill set and education. Occupations include electricians, mechanics, welders, carpenters and many more. Skilled tradesmen and women typically can get started learning on the job or earning a certification from a trade-specific school, which typically takes less time than earning a four-year bachelor’s degree from college.

Though the education may be quicker, the work is just as important to our economy and society. Trades are responsible for building houses, managing our energy infrastructure, serving as our first responders and police officers, and helping in the medical field. Skilled tradespeople can make just as good a living as more educated professionals, especially with the increased demand for them.

When Did It Come Around?

National Skilled Trades Day was created in 2019, in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to raising awareness for the important work that skilled tradespeople do, National Skilled Trades Day also aims to get more young people and students interested in trade schools and a skilled trades career.

The effort was started in the hopes of countering the trade labor shortage which started before the outbreak of COVID-19 and was greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. Even though COVID seems to be waning, the shortage isn’t going away anytime soon because many tradespeople are part of the aging Baby Boomer generation and looking to retire soon.

Why Skilled Trades?

Being saddled with high student loan debt is a common challenge amongst Millennials and it’s making many question whether college is the right path for them. With the cost of living rising, many high school students are questioning the value of an expensive college degree. That’s especially true when they consider that being a skilled tradesperson can result in a lucrative career. This makes it a very viable alternative to bachelor’s degree and white-collar professions.

National Skilled Trades Day celebrates and promotes the incredibly important work done by tradespeople. The job market is very hot for tradespeople and should remain so as the government invests more into the country’s infrastructure. The trades provide a chance for a great salary, meaningful work and you can get started quicker and more cheaply than most other career paths.

For more information on any skilled trades jobs available through Aerotek, please contact us today.