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Career Changers

The Trades Are Great for Those Wanting a New Chapter

Whether you are wanting to change careers, explore new opportunities, follow a passion, re-enter the workforce after time away, a veteran looking for a new career path after serving our country, or anything in between, the trades allow for people from all walks of life and educational backgrounds to have exciting career opportunities. While there are many labor-related jobs in the trades, there are also project managers, drone operators and several other career opportunities that do not involve manual labor. Plus, the opportunities to advance in your career path are endless. Take the time to explore potential career paths in the trades and follow your interests and skill sets, while also being open to learning new skills along the way through training opportunities.

the situation

For every 5 tradesmen who retire, only 1 apprentice is training to fill their position.

The demand for skilled workers in the construction industry has never been greater, with millions of job opportunities waiting to be filled nationwide. In Tennessee alone, the shortage of construction workers across all trades is estimated to be more than 315,000, creating a massive demand for skilled professionals.

If you’re ready to start a new career, the trades are the perfect place to begin. With many companies offering their own training programs and apprenticeships, you can gain practical experience while getting paid to work.

What’s more, the trades offer limitless growth potential, allowing you to start in an entry-level position and quickly progress to leadership roles within the company. Whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder or start your own successful business, the skills and experience you’ll gain in the trades will open doors to endless opportunities.


Skilled Tradesmen
Through 2026


Average Starting
after an apprenticeship


of Skilled Tradesmen
are Estimated to Retire
in the Next 15 Years


Debt Compared
to a Traditional
Four Year Education

7 out of 10 jobs

require less than a
four-year degree

Follow Your Passion

If you’re considering a career in the trades, it’s important to take the time to identify your interests and passions to discover the right career for you. We recommend using our Career Pathfinder tool to explore suggested career paths and gain insight into the diverse range of opportunities available in the trades industry.

Apply Your Current Skill Set

Your current skill set will likely apply to some aspects of a career in the trades. Talk with a company’s HR director and ask for their input and advice in job opportunities where your current experience might naturally translate. Ask to talk with current employees about their career path including what they enjoy about their job and what career path they took, etc.


Veterans are some of the most desired hires in the trades due to their experience in the military, dedication to the team and a strong work ethic. Many companies have programs specifically designed to help veterans re-enter the workforce after serving our country.


With more than 315,000 skilled workers needed in TN, there's never been a better time to skill up for a career in the trades — and it's never too late to start.

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