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The trades industry is a collection of various fields requiring specialized skills—anything from plumbing to hairstyling can be considered a trade. These jobs tend to be hands-on and require specific training. 

Historically, many trades have been dominated by specific demographics of people; however, not only are the trades a good opportunity for anyone, but having a diverse workforce is beneficial to employers. 

Why are the trades a good opportunity for employees? 

  • Less debt. According to a 2023 Zippia article, trade school costs over 50% less annually than college, on average. Additionally, there are more opportunities to work while learning. 
  • Solid earning potential. According to a 2023 SoFi article, the average salary for trade jobs across the United States is between $43,000-$63,000 annually, with earning potential in the six figures. 
  • Easier to find work. According to a 2019 ISHN article, for every person entering the trades, there are five more retiring, creating a huge need for new talent. It’s also easier to live where you want to—trades jobs are needed anywhere people live. 

Why should companies try to find a diverse workforce? 

  • Greater innovation. A study published by the Kellogg School of Management shows that when people of different backgrounds come together to solve a problem, they perform better than a homogenous group. 
  • Better understanding of potential customers. According to a 2020 Forbes article, when a company employs a wider range of people, it is easier for that company to reach a wider customer base. 
  • Increased community wellbeing. Not only does your company become more creative and understanding, creating a better working environment, but you are offering access to underrepresented groups in your community. 

How can you make your company’s trade jobs accessible to even more people? 

  • Provide training. If an employee has a good attitude and work ethic, they can learn a trade, even if they don’t have a background in it. Providing training can also help you lower the barriers of potential hires needing specific previous experience, which might be difficult if they are young, haven’t had access to internship opportunities, or are underrepresented in your field. 
    • Training includes both in-person mentoring and online training on products, safety, and hard or soft skills, as well as technical training. One benefit of online training is that you can track which employees are taking the initiative to learn and grow within their role and might be good for promotion, regardless of what they look like or have a background in. 
  • Educate young people. Many high schoolers and young people don’t realize the trades are an option. By presenting in high school classrooms about post-grad apprenticeship options or even offering short after-school workshops, you can educate young people about the benefits of the trades while also attracting potential future employees. 
  • Encourage a safe, collaborative environment. Keep your company up to date on harassment training, and make sure that employees know that discrimination will not be tolerated. 

When you are intentional about diversity and accessibility in your job offerings, your business improves, you can serve customers better, and you are promoting a healthier community.  


To learn more about educating a new generation of tradespeople, check out this article on young people in the trades.


Sources: Average Trade School Cost [2023] - Zippia, Average Salary for Trade Jobs by State for 2022 | SoFi, Baby Boomers retiring, leaving many open trades positions | 2019-06-04 | ISHN, Better Decisions Through Diversity (, 8 Reasons Why Diversity And Inclusion Are Essential To Business Success (, Why diversity within your organization matters fundamentally | World Economic Forum ( 

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