Tradespeople: A Discussion on Careers, Job Security, Pay, and Advocacy

trades careers

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, it’s essential to recognise the valuable opportunities that careers in the trades offer. With over 16 years of experience working closely with tradespeople in Ireland, we have gained a unique perspective on the industry. We aim to share these insights and offer suggestions on why young people should seriously consider pursuing a trade, why pay for trade professions needs to be improved, and why there should be more advocacy groups set up for tradespeople.  This article is not intended to prescribe definitive solutions to these issues but rather to serve as a starting point for further dialogue and consideration:-

The Benefits of a Career in the Trades

  1. High Demand for Skilled Workers

Job Security

As more experienced tradespeople retire, there is a significant demand for new workers in fields such as heating and plumbing, electrical work and carpentry. This demand translates to job security for those entering the trades.

Diverse Opportunities

Trades offer a wide range of career paths, from construction and automotive repair to specialised fields like welding and renewable energy installation. This diversity allows individuals to find a niche that suits their interests and skills.

  1. Job Security in the Face of AI

Stability in a Changing Job Market

As artificial intelligence (AI) and automation continue to evolve, many office jobs are at risk of becoming obsolete. Tasks such as data entry, analysis, and even some decision-making processes are increasingly being handled by AI. However, trade professions remain more secure. The hands-on skills required for plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and other trades are not easily replicated by machines. This job security makes the trades a stable career choice in an uncertain job market influenced by technological advancements.

  1. Financial Advantages

Competitive Salaries

Contrary to common misconceptions, many trades offer competitive salaries that can rival or even exceed those of traditional office jobs. For instance, electricians, security specialists and plumbers often earn substantial incomes, especially with experience and specialisation.

Low Student Debt

Trade schools and apprenticeships typically cost significantly less than four-year universities, allowing students to enter the workforce with little to no debt. This financial advantage means young tradespeople can start saving and investing earlier in their careers.  More details on apprenticeship schemes can be found here

  1. Hands-On Work and Job Satisfaction

Immediate Impact

Tradespeople often see the direct results of their work, whether it’s fixing a critical issue, constructing a new building, or creating something tangible. This immediate impact can lead to high job satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Physical Activity

Many trades involve physical activity, which can be more appealing to those who prefer active, hands-on work over sedentary office jobs. This can lead to better physical health and reduced risk of lifestyle-related illnesses.

  1. Opportunities for Entrepreneurship

Own Your Business

Skilled tradespeople have the option to start their own businesses, offering services independently or hiring others. This entrepreneurial path can lead to higher earnings and greater control over one’s career.


Owning a trade business can provide flexibility in work hours and the ability to choose projects, contributing to a better work-life balance.

Trades Should Be Higher Paid

Recognising Value

Skilled trades are essential to our daily lives, from maintaining infrastructure to ensuring comfort and safety in our homes. Recognising and appropriately compensating these professionals reflects their critical role in society.

Encouraging Entry

Higher wages in the trades would attract more young people to these careers, helping to fill the skills gap and ensuring that essential services are maintained. Competitive pay can also improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates.

Investment in Training

Increased pay can fund better training programmes and apprenticeships, leading to a more skilled workforce. This investment benefits the economy by producing highly qualified professionals capable of handling complex tasks and innovations.

Advocacy for Tradespeople

Representation and Influence

To ensure the interests of tradespeople are adequately represented, there should be more advocacy groups dedicated to this workforce. Having multiple advocacy groups ensures diverse representation and specialised support for different trades, enhancing overall influence and effectiveness. It also fosters healthy competition and mitigates conflicts of interest, providing tradespeople with more options and better resources.

Further Education and Career Paths

Continuous Skill Development

Making career paths available through further education is crucial for the professional growth of tradespeople. Access to advanced training and certification programmes allows tradespeople to enhance their skills, stay updated with industry advancements, and specialise in high-demand areas. This continuous skill development not only improves their job prospects but also contributes to higher earning potential and job satisfaction.

Opportunities for Advancement

Further education can open doors to supervisory roles, project management positions, and even teaching opportunities within trade schools. By investing in ongoing education, tradespeople can advance their careers, take on more responsibility, and contribute to the training of the next generation of skilled workers.


Encouraging young people to consider careers in the trades offers numerous benefits, from job security and competitive salaries to personal satisfaction and entrepreneurial opportunities. By recognising the value of skilled trades and advocating for higher pay, we can ensure a robust, well-compensated workforce that meets the demands of our growing and evolving society. It’s time to shift perceptions and highlight the significant and rewarding careers available in the trades. Additionally, establishing multiple advocacy groups will help represent tradespeople’s diverse interests, influencing government policies to further support and enhance their profession. Providing access to further education and career advancement opportunities ensures that tradespeople can continue to grow and thrive in their careers, benefiting both themselves and the broader economy.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you are a tradesperson and would like to become a member of, you can do so here. If you are a customer and you would like to post a job, you can do so here.

Oliver Dempsey
18 May 2024

About Oliver Dempsey

Owner and Managing Director at and contributor to the Blog DISCLAIMER: All content provided in my articles is for informational purposes only. The information contained in these articles has been obtained from research carried out by myself through online and offline sources and through other writers and contributors who provide me with content. While I am responsible for the final editing of each article and I do my best to verify the information, I do not make representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. Therefore you must not rely on the information contained in any of these articles and always make sure to seek the advice of a suitably qualified expert before embarking on any project.
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