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Why do Millennials Join Skilled Trades?

June 6, 2018
Nearly half of millennial electricians believe employers should showcase how a job in the skilled trades solves everyday challenges and makes a difference in people’s lives.

In an effort to not only understand millennials who enter the skilled trades, but also to help employers learn how to attract the next generation to the trades, Klein Tools, a family-owned manufacturer of hand tools, released its annual “State of the Industry” survey. The survey collected information from more than 800 union and non-union electricians.

Age and Reason Electricians are Entering the Industry

Results showed that more than half of millennial electricians, 57%, entered the industry when they were 25 years old or younger. Of these electricians, 77% entered the field as an apprentice.

These millennials are choosing a career in the trades for the following reasons:

-- 52% of millennial electricians chose to enter the field because they enjoy problem-solving and the technical aspects of the electrical industry

-- Half of young electricians chose a career in the industry due to the field’s job security

-- This generation of electricians also sought out an electrical career because they prefer to work with their hands.

“As employers, we must continue to offer apprenticeship and training opportunities to continue to encourage the next generation to enter the skilled trades,” says Mark Klein, president of sales and marketing at Klein Tools.

Klein points out that his company is reaching out to the future workforce through partnerships at the local and national levels. For example, Klein Tools’ newest Pliers Promise initiative partners with Project H.O.O.D. and the HVAC Technical Institute to equip Chicagoans with the resources, skills, tools and experiences needed to be successful in the field.

There is also an apprentice program through The Electrical Training Alliance that develops unique hands-on opportunities for apprentices around the country.

How Employers Can Recruit the Next Generation

In order to change the perception of what a career in the trades entails, employers need to showcase the many benefits skilled trade jobs offer to the next generation. Nearly half of employers offer apprenticeship opportunities; however, millennial electricians believe employers can do more to recruit the next generation.

-- Nearly half of millennial electricians believe employers should showcase how a job in the skilled trades solves everyday challenges and makes a difference in people’s lives.

-- 45% of young electricians feel employers can highlight real life stories of how exciting a career in the skilled trades can be through videos and social media.--  Millennial electricians also believe employers should feature the high-tech skills required for the job and the flexibility a career in the trades offers.

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