Top Skilled Trade Jobs of 2011, What to Expect in 2012

December 22nd, 2011

According to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders, “Production of new single-family homes and apartments rose 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units in November, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department today. This marks the fastest pace of housing starts since October of 2008.” That’s great news for the thousands of skilled trade workers who are either out of work or on temporary unemployment at this time of year when things typically slow down.

Skilled trade jobs include those that require hands-on talent, such as electricians, plumbers, and HVAC maintenance techs, welders, manufacturing and construction workers. These hard working folks have very tangible skills that produce tangible results because they work primarily with their hands and materials, unlike other types of employment. Over the next twelve months, these jobs are expected to increase as the nation puts more emphasis on rebuilding the infrastructure that was severely damaged in our recession. In addition, home sales are expected to rise which will create more jobs in the skilled labor sector.

Most skilled jobs require at least some college education followed by special licensing for each skill set. This is the initiative for many technical colleges and universities to produce skilled workers who can handle the demands of this career path. There are some top jobs in skilled labor that pay well and have the best chance of growth to look out for in 2012. Here’s a quick rundown of the top 5.


The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects estimate a 12% increase of demand for electricians by 2018, totaling a workforce of 777,900 workers. Average earnings $58,518 USD per year.

HVAC Technicians

The BLS predicts a 28% increase by 2018, the number of in demand HVAC technicians could total 394,800. They earn on average $54,366 USD per year.

Plumbers and Pipefitters

BLS predicts by 2018, the total number of plumbers, pipe-fitters and steamfitters could reach 570,500. Average earnings are $51,369 USD annually.


According to the BLS, over 100 industry processes use welding, including manufacturing of automobiles, airplanes, ships and spacecraft. Expect to see a work force of 405,600 welders by 2018, earning on average $46.657 USD annually.


BLS expects 1.45 million carpenters to be employed by 2018, a 13% increase over the next ten years. Average earnings $41,727 USD.


Looking for skilled labor jobs, or to hire skilled laborers for 2012? Contact LC Staffing today for support!