Job satisfaction is a key consideration when choosing a career path, but it's also important to understand the demand for jobs in the field you're considering. The good news is when it comes to trades there are plenty of jobs that are currently experiencing a skills shortage, as listed by the Australian Apprenticeships website.
Trades that have stood the test of time
This might come as expected but carpenters, stonemasons and bricklayers that have been needed for the construction of homes and buildings for thousands of years are still in high demand today. In fact, the Australian Government currently lists these age-old professions on the national, state and territory skill shortage page.
Over time, as buildings and structures became more permanent, jobs such as engineers and architects also became commonplace and are becoming more important in the modern day.
However, some trades that were once a part of everyday life are now rare, such as ice cutters and rat catchers (yes, there was a job just for catching rodents!).
Trades still offering a lot of opportunities
According to Seek.com.au, Trades & Services was still the third fastest growing industry in Australia over 2017.
Looking to the future, a study by NCVER shows that there are still future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation due to what they coin “replacement demand”, meaning the need to fill the gaps of the ageing workforce retiring. Service jobs such as checkout operators and food preparation assistants will have the highest level of replacement demand. Trades also have relative levels of demand and is still offering opportunities in the future.
In the same NCVER report, managers are seen to have the second highest number of job openings between 2017 and 2024, with Construction Management, Project Managers and Site Supervisors offering the greatest opportunities, followed by Farm Managers and Farmers.
Alternatively, perhaps new technologies are more for you? Lendlease talks about how the rise of robotics, drones and 3D printing could become more commonplace in the construction sector. As digital technology and artificial intelligence skills will be highly sought after in the future, the Robotics or Mechatronic Engineering university course you were looking at (quite a mouthful!) could be money well spent! Only time will tell...
Whatever occupation you decide to do, it’s important to know exactly what the job will entail, as well as the training required. Before you decide, consider speaking to a career counsellor or visit the Australian Government’s MySkills website which will allow you to search a range of courses available near you.