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Think you know everything about skilled trades?

Think again.

Today's skilled trades are the hot jobs that are growing and evolving. Advanced manufacturing. IT. Construction. Healthcare.

Did you know skilled trades:

  • Are some of the most in-demand jobs posted online? More than 8,300 skilled trade jobs are currently available in Michigan. A skilled trade can provide life-long job security.
  • Provide opportunities that will continue to grow? More than 6,700 job openings are expected every year, through 2022. For school years 2011 through 2013, the high school graduation rate for Michigan career and technical education students was 95%. Hourly pay ranges from $12 to $34! There is also plenty of room for more women and minorities, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. For example, about 76% of STEM jobs in the U.S. are held by men.
  • Don't necessarily require a four-year degree? Skilled trades jobs can be attained with varying levels of post-high school education and training, including certifications, two-year associated degrees and four-year degrees. About 50% of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs are open to workers with credentials less than a bachelor’s degree.

Parents and educators - your roles in your student's career choices are just as important as other support system influencers. Your knowledge and encouragement can go a long way in helping students find their way in today's workplace.

Michigan has many opportunities for students and workers to get involved in apprenticeships and work based learning opportunities. If you are interested in learning how apprenticeships and work based learning opportunities can influence one's skills and competencies, create on-the-job training opportunities, result in an occupational focused education and create the potential for career advancement be sure to visit the state of Michigan's website.


Skilled Trade Myths

  • There's No Demand For Skilled Trade Workers False! Skilled trade workers represent exactly the types of skills that employers are demanding.
  • Skilled Trades Are Low Paying False! Paying between $12 and $34 an hour, skilled trades provide an above average median wage.
  • Skilled Trades Are Low Skill False! On the contrary, skilled trades require rigorous classroom and on‐the‐job training as well as an understanding of mathematics and complex problem solving.
  • Skilled Trades Are Dirty and Dangerous False! With increased technology, manufacturing and construction jobs have become considerably safer and cleaner.

MAT2® Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program

Mat2 logoMAT– the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program is an innovative, industry-driven approach to education. This apprenticeship program was developed in conjunction with global industry technology leaders to combine theory, practice and work to train a globally competitive workforce. MAT² addresses two critical issues facing the manufacturing and technology industries: a widening skills gap and an aging workforce. This initiative functions similar to an apprenticeship program, where students alternate between classroom instruction and on-the-job training, gaining the necessary hands-on skills and real-world experiences for them to become a successful and productive member of the workforce.

Building a Child's Interest

An early childhood curiosity can turn into a lifelong career path. Creative play centered around building, demolition, sorting, measuring, weighing, digging, and other activities may lead to a skilled trade path.

How can you build your child's potential skilled trade interest?
Encourage hands-on, problem-solving play:

  • Trucks, bull dozers, dump truck toys
  • Tractors and other heavy-duty equipment toys
  • Erector® sets (robots)
  • Lincoln Logs®
  • Legos® Mindstorms® (robots)
  • Tinkertoys®
  • Microscopes
  • Cooking and baking
  • Blocks
  • Sandbox and beach toys
  • Plant a garden

Exploration Camps and Programs in Michigan:

Learning and Exploring Websites:

Watch Michigan's Skilled Trade Videos for K-5th Grade

Tom Daldin, the Emmy award-winning host of the PBS series “Under the Radar,” talks to children about their creative interests as he explains how these early curiosities can be transformed into potential skilled trades.

Manufacturing: Like to build, fix or take things apart? Maybe you can manufacture the next big thing.

Healthcare: Want to be a superhero? Help somebody heal their body or brain by studying health sciences.

Agriculture: Want to help take care of plants and animals while keeping the planet healthy? Dig into agriculture.

STEM: Asking why through science, technology and math can turn small ideas into gigantic discoveries.

Art: Make life prettier, more comfortable and a lot more interesting ― become an artist or designer.