Skilled Labor Jobs

Skilled labor jobs are more than they seem. They're not just laboring jobs. They include elements of trades and professions. They're often a stepping stone to higher careers. They're also an important part of the labor workforce, and can be excellent jobs in their own right.


Skilled labor is just that; labor with specialized training. This can include a range of work from forklift driving to earthmoving, concreting, bricklaying, and many jobs which are actually trades, but where the qualifications aren't at full trade certificate levels. These are essential jobs in their industries, and employers actively seek these skills.

Training usually begins at baseline employment levels, where construction workers, for example, will train new people. There are independent training courses and facilities, but it's more common that this training starts at the coal face. In some cases, qualifications and certificates are required for operation of machinery and are statutory requirements. Other instances are needs based, common sense training for workers.

Career environment

Skilled labor, having very portable skills, also tends to specialize over time. A person with skills in the construction industry will probably remain in that industry, with a raft of accumulated skills and qualifications. Warehousing, sub trade qualifications, and other experience create other opportunities, but the tendency is to remain in the area of skills and expertise, rather than move to other industries.

The career paths for skilled labor aren't well defined, but it's common for the career progression to run in a series of steps, from laborer to skilled laborer to foreman to site manager, and so on. Because of the combination of demands for skills and qualifications, skilled labor is often a transitional role before higher qualifications.

One thing skilled labor provides as a career path is a huge range of job options in that field. Experienced skilled laborers are always in demand. They're a major asset to employers, and provide a lot of added value in terms of their ability to train others, as well as their ability to deal with complex work. That understandable demand creates career opportunities. Hence, there's a natural tendency in skilled labor to upgrade skills to increase career options and opportunities.

Pay and conditions

The myth of laborer's pay really doesn't have much justification in the case of skilled labor jobs. In many cases, skilled laborers can easily earn as much as qualified white collar workers. With the right certificates and experience, allowances can often increase pay dramatically.

This is one of the basics of careers in skilled labor, having skills to get the jobs that provide the best returns. In some cases the career choices for skilled labor result in excellent jobs, with top level pay. Stevedores, for example, start off as laborers and build up to full stevedore status over time, with training and qualifications. They wind up with high paying jobs, and a constant demand for their services.

Skilled labor is rarely discussed as a career choice in the employment industry. That's ironic, because it can provide some of the best careers around. If you have the skills and know your industry, the jobs will come looking for you. Check it out, see what you think.