The Rising Satisfaction Among Skilled Tradespeople: A Closer Look

Chris Andersen
Published Jun 26, 2024

The Rising Satisfaction Among Skilled Tradespeople: A Closer Look

A recent Forbes article highlights that skilled tradespeople are finding substantial satisfaction in their careers. This news comes against an evolving job market where traditional paths are being reassessed. 

A recent survey by Angi highlights that 91% of tradespeople reported feeling either "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with their career choices—a notable rise from 83% in 2021.

The Appeal of the Trades

Job Security

In an era where the shadow of AI looms large, skilled trades stand out as a bastion of job security. According to the survey, 65% of tradespeople do not fear replacement by AI, and 47% believe that machines cannot replicate the personal touch they provide. 

This sense of security is bolstered by the physical and problem-solving nature of the work, which integrates technology as an aid rather than a replacement.

Economic Wisdom

The pathway to a trade career often avoids the pitfall of heavy educational debt. Trade schools and apprenticeships offer a "learn while you earn" model, which aligns well with the financial sensibilities of today's workforce, particularly young people wary of college debt. 

Moreover, earnings potential is strong with the demand for skilled labor outpacing supply. The growth in global construction needs—as cited by Tooey Courtemanche, founder and CEO of Procore, with predictions of building a city the size of Paris weekly for the next 40 years—further solidifies this point.

Satisfying Work

There is a profound satisfaction reported by tradespeople in creating tangible, lasting contributions to society—from the buildings we live in to critical infrastructure. This aligns well with the desires of a new generation that seeks meaningful work and tangible results.

Related Reading: 10 Trade Jobs With 6-Figure Salary Potential

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the rosy outlook, the sector is not without its challenges. A significant skills gap has led to a shortage of one million tradespeople when compared to 2007. Businesses consistently report difficulties in finding skilled labor, which could potentially hinder growth and innovation within the industry.

In addressing these challenges, there is a push to reshape perceptions of the trades. Historical biases and a strong cultural push towards four-year degrees have obscured the benefits of trades careers. Recent efforts have focused on showing the trades as not just viable, but desirable career paths that offer job security, economic advantages, and the satisfaction of tangible work.

The Role of Technology and New Generations

Modern technology, such as AI, drones, and AR/VR, is becoming increasingly integrated into the trades, making these fields appealing to tech-savvy individuals. Gen Z, in particular, finds the combination of cutting-edge technology and hands-on work compelling. 

The increasing visibility of trades on social platforms also plays a crucial role in drawing interest from younger generations, who highly value job satisfaction and work-life balance.


As the skilled trades continue to navigate the complexities of modern labor demands, the need for more skilled workers is clear. Addressing the skills gap and shifting societal perceptions are critical to ensuring that the trades do not just survive but thrive. 

For those willing to look beyond traditional career paths, the trades offer a secure, financially wise, and satisfying career choice.


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