April 17, 2024

Hiring Trends Down the Pipe: 6 Skilled Trade Jobs in Demand in 2024

Skilled trade workers are striking gold in the job market. Single-family housing and industrial construction are high in demand. Trillion-dollar public infrastructure projects are taking shape. And a historic boom in the remodeling market is still to come. These days, it seems like every industry needs tradespeople—and as the skills gap grows, pay may rise as fast as competition.

Today, tradespeople (including plumbers and roofers) are experiencing some of the fastest growing wages in the country. Companies need to start strategizing to recruit high-demand workers—especially if a tightening budget is a concern. Skilled trade workers can take this time to shift into much-needed roles.

To help clients plan for the year ahead and inspire candidates to seek great opportunities, we’ve leveraged our insights as a skilled trade staffing firm to build a list of much-needed positions. Here are the top six skilled trade jobs in demand this year.

1. Electricians

Electricians are needed for practically every building construction project—but that’s far from where the demand ends. As the U.S. goes green, these skilled trade workers will be key hires for charging station and transmission line installations. Even homeowners will need electricians as they install solar panels and switch from gas to electric appliances. Maintenance brings massive demand in itself.

At Skinner, we’re also seeing ongoing demand for low-voltage technicians in Texas, driven by new fiber optic networks, alarm systems, rewiring projects, and other work.

It’s no wonder why the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the electrician job outlook to grow much faster than average through 2032. While electricians already make sizable wages at nearly $29 per hour (with over $9K in overtime), these conditions will definitely drive pay raises.

2. Pipefitters

The rapid growth of industrial developments is fueling demand for pipefitters—especially in Texas, where semiconductor businesses and automakers have quickly moved in. Companies need pipefitters to handle high-pressure and low-pressure pipe systems while bringing welding and power tool skills. Future resurgences of the oil and gas industry will boost demand even further.

We’re already seeing pipefitter salaries exceed what electricians make, and turnover and retirements will reliably increase job openings and pay in the U.S.

3. Industrial Machinery Mechanics

Industrial machinery mechanics aren’t just seeing skyrocketing job availability. They’re also in one of the highest-paying skilled trade jobs in demand, taking home an average of $70K per year. The growth of the industrial sector—which brings a huge need for heavy machinery—is keeping these specialized workers employed and companies scrambling to hire.

Industrial machinery mechanics will play a crucial role in boosting efficiency in warehouses. Demand for millwrights, who offer even more technical knowledge for installations and major repairs, is also expected to rise.

4. Ironworkers

When new infrastructure is needed, ironworkers will be called. These professionals—who often install structural and reinforcing steel and iron for roads and bridges—are expected to thrive in the coming years. Federal funding is driving the growth of transportation, bridge, and highway projects, and the strong multifamily housing market in Texas is further ramping up ironworker hiring.

In the Lone Star State, ironworkers are among the most difficult trades to hire for, indicating the need to strong incentives and high pay to attract these tradespeople.

5. Masonry Workers

You may have heard masonry is a dying trade, but demand for this traditional skill isn’t going away. Bricklayers, stonemasons, and other mason workers—who are crucial for building fences, walls, walkways, and more—are still in short supply as schools and companies struggle to build interest in the next generation. The aging workforce, as well as the growing number of masons switching careers, will keep the number of these skilled trade positions high.

According to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America, bricklayers and cement masons are the most difficult tradespeople to recruit in the South. Now, organizations like the Texas Masonry Council are hosting workshops across the state in hopes of closing the widening skills gap. Workers with the skills needed to fill mason positions now can find plenty of lucrative opportunities.

6. HVAC Technicians

Households across the U.S. are increasingly installing central AC, and climate control solutions have become a core part of any building construction. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are key to optimizing energy efficiency and maintaining systems for a comfortable atmosphere indoors.

The BLS reports the HVAC job outlook will grow faster than average at 6%. This promising position will continue to be in-demand as HVAC systems evolve, inspiring property owners to upgrade for long-term cost savings.

Are All Skilled Trades High in Demand?

The positions we listed—from millwrights to ironworkers—are among the most in-demand trade roles. But in truth, there’s a shortage of skilled trade workers across fields and roles. Companies that rely on tradespeople need to start stepping up their recruiting efforts and compensation packages. Workers can leverage the current market to elevate their careers.

Skinner can help with your hiring or job seeking needs. Our skilled trade staffing team is consistently growing our network of hard-to-find professionals—including low-voltage electricians, pipefitters, and HVACR technicians—and clients with open positions.

Ready to get connected to an employee or employer? Contact Skinner about your skilled trade staffing needs.