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Defining the Skilled Trades

January 16, 2021

Defining the Skilled Trades

Everyone has a unique skill where they excel. For some, it’s medicine or law enforcement, and others are exceptional at welding, marketing, engineering, or construction. Today, skilled trade workers are some of the most sought-after employees in the U.S. We’ll be exploring some of these trades and the sectors they encompass.

The U.S. Needs Skilled Workers

According to Cerasis, a logistics company deeply connected with industries that employ and rely on skilled workers, there are more some 3 million unfilled trade jobs in the U.S. That adds up to a critical shortage of qualified people for these careers. With demand and an aging workforce, the need for skilled professionals is believed to be stronger than ever.

Defining Skilled Trades and their Sectors

While not every trade requires years of college, what they do require are special skills, know-how, and abilities — things you either already know, learned growing up, learn at a specialized school or college, or acquire on the job. Skilled trades include manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and a lot more. Throughout the U.S., those trades are broken down into four sectors: industrial trades, service trades, mechanical trades, and construction trades. Here are just some of the jobs for each of the sectors.

Industrial Trades


Line installer and repairer

Tool and die maker

Paving equipment operator

Cargo freight agent


Service Trades



Service tech


Respiratory therapist

Clinical laboratory technician

Dental assistant




Construction Trades


Heavy equipment operator


Insulation installer


Carpet installer





Mechanical Trades
Auto mechanic

HVAC mechanic



Mechanical drafter

Elevator mechanic


Like any career, skilled trade jobs and career options get continually updated with advents in technology.


Taking a Closer Look

We’ll be examining each of these sectors in future posts, covering some of the basics, including education requirements, pay ranges, and more.


Coastal Appreciates Every Worker

You’ll find all the workwear you need for your job, including fire-resistant shirts and pants, as well as gloves, boots, hats, and jackets to keep you comfortable in any weather and career. Plus, we carry modern scrubs from brands like Carhartt and WonderWink. Stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal today and head off to work with confidence.