Skilled Trades Catching on with High Schoolers as a Career Option

Opportunities in HVAC, insulation, landscape, plumbing, and power profession abound as retirements from industry increase

Doug Carroll

Doug Carroll is a freelance writer based in Chandler, Arizona. This article is reprinted with permission from

June 1, 2024

By Doug Carroll

They are electricians, insulators, plumbers, HVAC technicians, carpenters, industrial engineering technicians, auto and diesel mechanics, and landscape designers.

They are rarely out of work, and their salaries often exceed median U.S. worker pay by 30% or more.

High school seniors participated in 700 job interviews in 4 hours to qualify for positions in the skilled trades at a signing day hosted by the Brazoria County (Texas) Petrochemical Council.

How, then, to explain a persistent labor shortage in skilled trades?–20214