2015/02/02: "You can get a particular skill in a particular field and make more than a college graduate," he says. For example, he says the average electrician makes $5,000 a year more than the average college graduate. And the country is going to need a lot more skilled tradespeople.
"The baby-boom workers are retiring and leaving lots of openings for millennials," Carnevale says. He says there are 600,000 jobs for electricians in the country today, and about half of those will open up over the next decade. Carnevale says it is a big opportunity for that millennial generation born between 1980 and 2000.
With so many boomers retiring from the trades, the U.S. is going to need a lot more pipe-fitters, nuclear power plant operators, carpenters, welders, utility workers — the list is long. But the problem is not enough young people are getting that kind of training.
Not Enough Training
Hughes says she chose to work in the trades, in large part, because she went to a vocational high school. A lot of her friends are going into the trades. She got comfortable there with wiring light switches and doing basic electrical work and learning about the industry. But there aren't nearly as many of these types of programs in high schools as there used to be.