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Low Pay Isn’t Going to Cut it In Skilled Trades


Skilled trades workers are seriously talented. These people have spent time in school honing their craft, and in some fields, they’re professionally licensed. Achieving their level of expertise took a lot of hard work, so they — rightfully — expect to be compensated well.

If you’re not willing to pay industry-average rates, you’ll probably have a hard time attracting talent. Money isn’t the only thing that matters to someone who really enjoys their work, but it does dictate their standard of living. These professionals invested a lot of time, money, and energy to get to this point in their careers, so they’re not going to settle for subpar wages.

Average Skilled Labor Pay

Not sure if you’re paying your skilled trades professionals a competitive rate? Here’s a look at average wages across the U.S. for several professions in this category, according to May 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Masonry workers: $42,900 per year
  • Automotive service technicians and mechanics: $39,550
  • Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers: $47,080
  • Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters: $52,590
  • Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers: $40,240
  • Machinists: $42,600
  • Electricians: $54,110
  • Carpenters: $45,170
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers: $42,480

You Get What You Pay For

Cutting corners in business always backfires. It’ll be hard, but if you look long enough, you’ll probably be able to find skilled tradespeople willing to work for below-market rates. The thing is, even if you somehow manage to attract top talent, they won’t stick around for long.

Your company’s reputation is only as strong as the workers powering it. If you refuse to pay fair salaries, your turnover levels are going to be high and the quality of your company’s output will be low. Before long, this will catch up to you in the form of poor customer reviews. A tarnished standing in the business community is hard to shake, so this will have a negative impact on your bottom line. Prepare to lose good employees and customers to competitors willing to pay skilled tradesmen the salaries they deserve.

If you need to add skilled tradespeople to your team, MAC Incorporated has you covered. Contact us today to hire right every time.


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