3 Compelling Reasons to Pursue a Skilled Trade in Virginia
Virginia is a great place to live and work. In fact, it has been ranked as one of the best states in the U.S. for doing business. But Virginia's skilled trade employers say they can't find enough trained workers to fill available job openings. According to one survey by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, 92 percent of Virginia contractors anticipate problems filling craft positions, a category which includes jobs for mechanics and carpenters. That means a lot of opportunities exist for skilled tradespeople with the right training.
Ready to learn more? Check out these great reasons to train for a skilled trade in Virginia:
1. Lots of Job Openings
Skilled trade employers in Virginia expect to hire a lot more workers. The Virginia Employment Commission says that between 2016 and 2026, job openings for construction trades workers are expected to increase by almost 8.3 percent.
Similarly, the repair and maintenance sector is expected to see an increase in job openings of almost 10 percent for the same time frame. That increase will probably lead to more jobs for workers such as auto mechanics and appliance repairers.
Take a look at the number of predicted yearly job openings between 2016 and 2026 for these trades (all data from the Virginia Employment Commission):
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics—2,358
- HVAC mechanics and installers—1,326
- Welders, cutters, and welder fitters—874
- Auto body repairers—510
- Sheet metal workers—441
2. Good Paychecks
You can make a good living as a skilled tradesperson in Virginia. In fact, in the AGC survey, employers said that the shortage of qualified workers is leading them to increase wages in the hopes of filling job vacancies.
Check out the average yearly earnings for the following skilled trades (all data from the Occupational Employment Statistics program):
- Heavy equipment mechanics—$53,190
- HVAC mechanics and installers—$50,210
- Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters—$50,330
- Diesel mechanics—$48,470
- Sheet metal workers—$47,440
- Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers—$46,360
3. A Beautiful, Tradesperson-Friendly Place to Live and Work
Majestic mountains. Beautiful beaches. Bustling cities. You'll find all of that and more in Virginia. It adds up to a great place to call home and pursue career opportunities. So it's no surprise that Virginia has been ranked as one of the top 15 places in the U.S. for people to make a living. In particular, the state has been recognized for its high wages, low unemployment, and central location. Take a look at the stats:
- Median household income—Data USA says that in Virginia, it is $71,535 annually, compared to $60,336 nationwide.
- Unemployment rate—Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that in Virginia, it tends to be significantly lower than the nationwide rate.
- Central location—Virginians are within a day's drive to almost 50 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
Take a More Direct Path to a Steady Career
Virginia trade schools can help open up opportunities in the skilled trades for people like you. And you can probably get started very quickly by finding a career-focused program in your area. So enter your zip code in the search tool below!