a fact that I’m not handy. When I need something done
at home, I use the proven service providers I found on
the list that bears my name.
grateful for the skilled professionals who use their
hands and their heads to solve our home maintenance and
improvement challenges. Where would we be without them?
we may be about to find out.
show, and anecdotal evidence from service companies
confirms, that we’re experiencing a shortage of
skilled trade workers. And with fewer workers entering
the workforce than are leaving, due to Baby Boomer-era
retirements and other factors, the problem is likely to
is especially true as the shortage corresponds with a
significant number of unskilled homeowners. A Harris
Poll we commissioned this year found that almost 40
percent of younger homeowners admitted they’ve delayed
home maintenance because they lack DIY ability.
team recently researched a report that reveals what the
shortage of skilled electricians means for consumers.
Last year we examined the issue involving skilled trades
as a whole, and found that service companies were having
trouble hiring qualified workers.
end result for consumers? Longer waits and higher prices
for quality work by qualified plumbers, electricians,
carpenters and other skilled tradesfolk.
may seem like a problem none of us can solve. But I
believe we can do more than we might initially assume.
of all, let’s agree not to take the trades for
granted. Some observers and service company owners
believe a general devaluing of skilled labor — a
societal stigma, even — is one reason for the
around where you live. Do vocational education
opportunities exist? Is that an issue you might get
involved in? Do you have a skill set you could pass on
to the next generation?
you can encourage a young person, or someone making a
career change, to consider the trades. Don’t assume
that working with one’s hands pays less, or is less
satisfying, than other work. According to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians can expect a
median pay of $49,840 per year — 43 percent higher
than the national median across all jobs — with only a
high school diploma required to become an apprentice.
homeowner told us that she’s willing to spend more for
higher quality work by a provider who pays extra to keep
good employees. "It’s worth paying to have
someone who knows what they’re doing, and can do it
right the first time. That saves you time, saves you
money," she said. "It saves your sanity."