7 In-Demand Skilled Trades Worth Pursuing in New Jersey
Good job opportunities are becoming a lot easier to find in New Jersey, especially for those with formal training in the skilled trades. In fact, this career sector has one of the state's best employment outlooks. Thanks to renewed economic progress and an aging workforce (in which almost half of all NJ workers are over the age of 45), the possibilities just keep growing for newly qualified tradespeople in the region.*
Two of New Jersey's brightest industry clusters for skilled trades jobs are construction and advanced manufacturing. Between them, they support good employment in a wide variety of occupations. Look at these stats:
- New Jersey's construction sector is expected to grow by 1.4 percent per year from 2016 to 2026, which could help lead to an overall rise in employment within the industry of about 14.8 percent.*
- In 2017 alone, about 22,400 construction-related NJ establishments employed skilled tradesmen and women.*
- The state's advanced manufacturing sector employed almost 161,300 workers at more than 5,200 establishments in 2017. They contributed to the manufacturing of everything from electronics to chemicals to industrial machinery and fabricated metal products.*
- Average annual wages in New Jersey's advanced manufacturing industries were significantly higher than the statewide average wage for private-sector workers in 2017.*
Here are seven trades that are particularly worth exploring:
Like most other skilled tradespeople, plumbers are vital to sustaining our economy and way of life. And they can find terrific job opportunities across a number of industries, including residential, commercial, and industrial construction and some types of manufacturing.
In 2018, the average annual wage of plumbers, steamfitters, and pipefitters in New Jersey was $71,370.** And the state's plumbing trade is growing. Between 2016 and 2026, it's expected that about 1,360 job openings will become available for qualified plumbers each year.*
2. Electrical Work
Skilled electricians always seem to be in high demand. And with many of New Jersey's older electrical tradespeople set to retire very soon, that demand could grow significantly.
Electricians in NJ earned $71,660, on average, in 2018.** Plus, 2,320 openings per year are projected to become available in the trade from 2016 to 2026.*
With construction on the rise across New Jersey, the need for well-trained carpenters is also rising. In fact, projections indicate that 2,560 openings could become available each year between 2016 and 2026.* And carpenters in the state often make a good living. In 2018, they earned $63,230, on average.**
4. HVAC and Refrigeration Technology
Nearly every modern building requires a good system for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). And many businesses cannot operate without a functioning refrigeration system for their products or supplies. So this trade has an impact on almost every industrial, commercial, and residential sector in New Jersey. Plus, the annual wages of HVAC technicians in NJ are very compelling. In 2018, they made $59,630, on average.**
This is another important trade that several industries rely on. Without skilled welders, we wouldn't have most of our modern bridges, skyscrapers, or countless manufactured products. And with New Jersey's growing construction and industrial sectors, the need for welders is expected to remain strong. In 2018, the average annual income of welders in NJ was $47,050.** However, many within this trade are able to earn way more than that, especially if they are willing to travel or go into an area such as underwater welding.
6. Industrial Machining Technology
New Jersey needs plenty of qualified machinists, particularly those with the skills to work with today's advanced manufacturing technologies. For instance, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine specialists and programmers play a crucial role in ensuring that industrial machines do what they are supposed to do. Machinists in NJ earned average incomes of $50,160 in 2018. And CNC machine tool programmers made $55,980, on average.**
7. Automotive and Diesel Technology
This state's automotive repair sector is quite large. And opportunities are on the rise. In fact, in total, about 2,570 annual job openings are projected for auto and diesel mechanics in New Jersey from 2016 to 2026.* Plus, the wages are enticing. In 2018, auto mechanics averaged over $48,620, and diesel technicians made $55,500, on average.**
Begin Your Own Journey in the Skilled Trades
Increasingly, many employers are looking for people who've received formal trade school training. That's why a lot of New Jersey skilled trade schools have fast, market-driven programs you can enter with little or no prior knowledge. Discover the options in your area right now by searching with your zip code!
* State of New Jersey, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, website last visited on July 15, 2019.
** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on July 15, 2019.