Survey: North Carolina ranks 37th for skilled trades professionals to work

Survey: North Carolina ranks 37th for skilled trades professionals to work

April 17th, 2023

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Business Economics, roughly 57% of business owners surveyed reported skilled labor shortages at their firms at the beginning of 2022.

Since a robust skilled trade workforce is an integral part of a successful economy, many states are looking for ways to incentivize people to learn and practice a skilled trade. 

With that in mind, took a closer look at the average pay for 10 jobs, their expected growth, and the places that are hot spots for skilled trade opportunities.

Here are some of the main findings:

  • North Carolina is the #37 state for skilled trade professionals to work.

  • All Home Service Jobs in North Carolina earn $50,094 on average. Relative to other cities, that is the #37-highest average pay for All Home Service Jobs.

  • North Carolina has an overall unemployment rate of 5.8% and 393,830 skilled trade job opportunities according to the most recent data.

  • Individuals seeking a skilled trade job in the home industry may want to consider the Pacific Northwest as a hot spot for job opportunities. 

  • Almost half of the top 10 states that rank well for skilled trade jobs are located in New England. 

    How Do the Jobs Stack Up For Pay?

    Average earnings for construction managers clock in at $108,210, nearly $40,000 higher than any other job in our study. Home inspectors and electricians are the two jobs with the next highest average pay figures nationally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the average home inspector earns upwards of $68,000, while the average electrician earns roughly $63,300 annually.

    Though average pay for construction workers is the highest, it has seen slower growth over the past several years relative to the other jobs in our study. Specifically, from 2016 to 2021, the average pay for construction workers grew by less than 9% relative to the more than 23% increase seen among landscaping workers.

    Two other jobs saw average pay increases of 16% or more over the five-year period: roofers and pest control workers. From 2016 to 2021, the average pay for roofers increased from $42,080 to $48,890. Meanwhile, pest control workers saw a more than $5,000 bump in average pay ($35,020 vs. $40,640).

    Predictions for Job Growth

    The two most popular home service jobs are construction workers and remodelers. BLS data shows that there were nearly 2.1 million construction workers in 2021, along with about 1.9 million remodelers. This contrasts with smaller skilled trade jobs in our study, which include home security installers and pest control workers. In 2021, fewer than 78,000 workers were employed as home security installers, and there were fewer than 86,000 pest control workers.

    Nine of the 10 skilled trade jobs in the home services industry are expected to grow in total employment over the next decade. This growth comes as no surprise as homeowners continue to prioritize their living spaces. Danny Lipford — the host of Today’s Homeowner TV and radio shows — says:

    “Homeowners today are more savvy than ever when it comes to making decisions about maintaining and improving their homes. They spend a lot of time researching — getting friend and family recommendations, viewing content and brand suggestions from their favorite influencers and reading product reviews from fellow consumers. All of this is beneficial — helping them feel more confident and informed in their choices.”

    In doing this research and investing in their homes, many jobs in the industry anticipate significant growth. Both the jobs of construction managers and electricians are expected to grow by more than 7% from 2021 to 2031. Additionally, four other jobs have growth projections that exceed 4%. They include pest control workers, landscapers, home security installers, and construction workers.

Best States for All Home Service Workers

Across the 10 skilled trade jobs we considered, Maine ranks best overall. Over the past five years, the average pay for skilled trade workers and employment has grown significantly. In 2021, the average skilled trade worker in home services earned roughly 20% more than in 2016. Similarly, the number of skilled trade workers rose by close to 15% over the same period.

The neighboring states of Minnesota and Wisconsin rank second and third. Both states rank particularly well for their affordable housing and high rates of employment. Median annual housing costs make up less than 23% of average wages for skilled trade workers in both places, and the unemployment rates stand at 4.9% and 3.5%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Southern states fall behind. According to Census Bureau geographic divisions, eight of the 10 states that rank worst across the 10 skilled trade jobs we considered are in the South. They include the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, West Virginia, and South Carolina. Across those states, the average earnings for skilled trade workers is $51,250, or nearly 50% lower than the national average across the 10 skilled trade jobs.

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