Career Outlooks for Sheet Metal, Construction and Electrical Services Jobs

Sheet metal and HVAC. Construction. Electrical Services. Oh my! When it comes to finding a job in the trades, we know you have a lot of options – and a lot of questions. Whether you’re new to the working world, interested in switching careers, or somewhere in between, it can be challenging to figure out your next step.

A job in the trades offers a handful of benefits and there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure you find the best fit, such as:

  • Long-term industry growth
  • Salary potential
  • Diversity in career paths
  • Job satisfaction

Long-term Industry Growth

So you want a job in the trades, one that is an essential industry (a new, important terminology since COVID-19), offers an excellent wage, and provides for a comfortable retirement – all while offering a great work/life balance? And opportunities to pursue career growth as well? With a shortage of skilled trade workers, now is an ideal time to explore a career path in the trades and the sheet metal industry looks like one of the trades with the most potential.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides great insights on long-term industry growth and career outlooks in the trades, some of which include:

  • What is the sheet metal and HVAC worker job outlook? 4% industry job growth projected by 2029. In fact, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) reports that 34% of the workforce is set to retire by 2025, resulting in 14,000 jobs needing to be replaced.
  • What is the construction worker job outlook? 5% industry job growth projected by 2029
  • What is the electrician job outlook? 8% industry job growth projected by 2029

Salary Potential

Careers in the skilled trades provide well-respected and high-paying jobs for many men and women across the country. Signatory trade professionals, like those within sheet metal and HVAC, can earn lucrative salaries with a high school diploma, which means they don’t have to worry about college debt.

Union membership plays a major role in salary. Union members earn, on average, 25% more in wages than non-union workers. For example, sheet metal professionals associated with SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor’s National Association) and SMART (International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers) average over $72,000 for a median salary – well over that of non-signatory workers.

Below are some of the average base salaries in the signatory sheet metal industry:

Compare that to the 2020 median salaries for some of the most common non-signatory positions in trade industries.  

  • Electrician salary: $40,000 to $59,999
  • Sheet metal worker salary: $40,000 to $59,999
  • Construction laborer salary: $30,000 to $39,999

Diversity in Career Paths

With hands-on training, earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship programs and the opportunity to start immediately, skilled trades give you a chance to build your own career. Take a moment to think about what you want. What are your career goals? What are you passionate about? What are your skills? Chances are there is a job that fits exactly what you’re looking for. The sheet metal and HVAC industry, for example, offers endless career opportunities across architectural, industrial, commercial and residential sectors

Job Satisfaction

While the sheet metal, construction, and electrician job outlook is strong, a great career is more than just a salary. Research shows that people value multiple factors when it comes to job satisfaction:

  • Respectful culture and work environment
  • Compensation
  • Trust between employees and management
  • Job security
  • Opportunity to use skills and abilities in everyday work

A career in the skilled trades, such as the sheet metal and HVAC industry, offers all this and more. A rewarding career is right around the corner, and you’ll join the ranks of other sheet metal professionals who are proud of the work they do each day. From essential work managing airflow in hospitals, developing a building exterior to enhance a city’s skyline or perfecting the architecture of a national football stadium, sheet metal and HVAC professionals are responsible for important work that positively impacts communities across the country.

Interested in finding out more about the job outlook for electrical or construction work in the sheet metal trade? Learn about sheet metal worker salaries and see if a career in the sheet metal industry is right for you.

Want to learn more about the sheet metal industry? Check out our sheet metal 101 video below. You’ll see all the possibilities that lie ahead in the sheet metal and HVAC space!