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10 Trades That Will Survive the Coronavirus

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is shrinking our economy. Not all is lost, however. Certain trades are thriving during the public health crisis while others are poised to make a quick comeback. Below, we’ll identify 10 of the trades likely to survive the public health crisis and provide some career information about each.

Electrician

Even during a recession, people to continue to rely on basic utilities such as electricity. While some cash-strapped homeowners may take a DIY-approach to various maintenance and handyman jobs, most people are wise enough not to attempt electrical repairs on their own. Therefore, the need for professional electricians will remain, despite the pandemic.

Though a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient for entry into the field, prospective electricians should expect to undergo an extensive apprenticeship program before they can practice the trade independently. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed a technical school program.

Electricians are generally well-compensated for their work. According to the most recent data from the BLS, these tradespeople make a median annual wage of over $56,000, and top-earning electricians made almost six figures in 2019.

Medical Assistant

One might expect careers in healthcare to be in demand during a public health crisis. Not only are health professionals needed to combat Covid-19 on the front lines, but they are also in continual demand to treat patients suffering from non-coronavirus conditions. This puts an overwhelming burden on the industry, which creates a crucial need for all types of healthcare workers.

Though most professional occupations in this sector require an academic degree, the job of a medical assistant is an exception to the rule. Still, most employers prefer those candidates who have completed a training program from a vocational school or community college.

In 2019, medical assistants earned a median annual wage of $34,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These healthcare workers can expect their pay to vary depending on factors like geographical area and years of experience in the field, though. Realistically, they should anticipate making anywhere from $25,000 to $48,000 per year.

EMT/Paramedic

Prior to the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job opportunities for EMTs and paramedics were growing faster than average. Since the public health crisis has overburdened medical facilities across the nation, there’s no reason to suspect this trend will slow. In fact, it may just result in an even greater need for these types of first responders. Not only will EMTs and paramedics be called on to assist homebound Covid-19 patients, but they may also be necessary to provide health services to people hesitant to go to the hospital for fear of infection. In addition, some of these frontline workers are being asked to assist with the coronavirus testing effort, due to their medical training.

While EMTs may be hired after completing a non-degree training program at a vocational school or community college, paramedics usually need an associate’s degree prior to entering the field. Both types of first responders will need CPR certification as well as a professional license.

The BLS reports pay for EMTs and paramedics to fall between $23,500 and $60,000 per year with a mean annual wage of $35,400.

General Maintenance and Repair Worker

In times of economic hardship, people are likely to save their money by repairing things they already own rather than purchasing new assets. This is why jobs for maintenance and repair workers usually soar during a recession.

There aren’t many prerequisite requirements for becoming a general maintenance/repair worker so this could be a good fit for individuals looking for a career change amid the pandemic. As long as you have a high school diploma and are ready to work, you can usually train while on the job.

General maintenance and repair workers make nearly $40,000 per year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Your wage could vary, however, depending on your employer and where you work, for instance.

Power Line Installer/Repairer

Employment of electric power line installers and repairers was growing faster than average before the coronavirus pandemic hit. This growth was dependent in part on the development of new housing complexes and shopping centers, though. Therefore, it could be somewhat stifled in the coming years, but the market should still remain relatively steady. After all, we still need lights and basic utilities, even during a public health crisis. In fact, without power and electricity, life-saving medical equipment like ventilators would be inoperable.

Though there is no academic preparation necessary for entry into the field, line workers with an associate’s degree from a community college or vocational school may have a leg up on the competition for available jobs.

Power line installers and repairers are generally well-paid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for these tradespeople to be just over $72,500. Top earners in this particular occupation can make over six figures per year.

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver

Truck drivers are a crucial part of the national supply chain. These professionals are responsible for transporting goods and services from corporate warehouses to local retail stores. While the coronavirus pandemic has caused consumers to buckle their belts in terms of nonessential spending, it has also caused a large portion of the population to begin stockpiling basic goods such as toilet paper, medical supplies, and non-perishable food items, for example. This has kept truck drivers rolling down highways, delivering essential items to communities across the nation.

Though a high school diploma or equivalent is usually sufficient for entry into the field, most truck drivers receive training from a commercial truck-driving school in order to learn how to properly operate these large vehicles.

The BLS reports that truck drivers in the U.S. earn a median annual wage of just over $45,000. Bonuses may be available for those drivers willing to work extra hours or drive longer routes.

Delivery Truck Driver

The Covid-19 crisis has prompted nationwide stay-at-home orders designed to mitigate the spread of the virus. Since individuals are unable to go out to get the essential items they need, they have increasingly relied upon delivery truck drivers to deliver these items to their homes.

No formal education requirements are necessary to work as a delivery truck driver, though some employers prefer a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, you will need a driver’s license and a good driving record in order to be hired.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), delivery truck drivers make a median annual wage of nearly $26,000, but there are opportunities to earn more. Top drivers made almost $50,000 in 2019.  

Childcare Worker

Like many other facilities, daycare centers and early childhood education institutes have faced mandatory closings amid the coronavirus pandemic. This sudden decrease in demand for childcare workers is just temporary, however. Efforts to restart the U.S. economy will drive more people back to work, and this includes parents who will need childcare services for their kids while they’re on the clock.

It’s possible to enter the childcare field with just a high school diploma or equivalent. However, many employers prefer applicants with some formal training such as the kind offered through associate’s degree programs in early childhood education. Experience teaching and caring for young children is also beneficial.

Childcare workers are typically paid by the hour. According to the BLS, these types of employees can expect to make between $8 and $17 hourly.

Plumber

Prior to the public health crisis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported employment opportunities for plumbers to be growing much faster than average. And prospects for these types of professions are likely to remain good.  Like electricians, plumbers have a highly specialized skillset that protects their jobs during economic downturns. While DIY-ers will likely do what they can to save money around the house during a recession, complex plumbing jobs don’t lend themselves well to this type of approach. They usually require a professional.

Plumbers don’t need academic training in order to enter the profession; a high school diploma or equivalent will suffice. Newly hired plumbers can expect to undergo a lengthy apprenticeship while on the job, though.

Plumbers are some of the highest paid tradespeople on our list. According to the BLS, these laborers can expect to make between roughly $32,000 to $97,000 per year. The mean annual wage for plumbers in 2019 was approximately $55,000.

Automotive Service Technician/Mechanic

As stay-at-home orders are lifted across the nation, more and more Americans will be getting back behind the wheel. Thus, the demand for trained automotive service technicians and mechanics will soon resume. Plus, since concerned consumers aren’t likely to be contemplating a new-car purchase, they’ll want to do everything they can to ensure their current vehicles continue to operate for the time being. This includes taking their cars and trucks to local auto shops for routine service, maintenance, and repair.

A vocational program is usually necessary for prospective automotive service technicians and mechanics. Associate’s degree programs in the field are also available and could help applicants enhance their job prospects.

Pay for these types of laborers can vary widely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that salaries for automotive service technicians and mechanics can range from around $24,000 to nearly $69,000 per year. The median annual wage was reported to be just over $42,000 in 2019.

A recession is never good news for the job market. If you look closely, though, you’ll find occupations that remain in demand. As our economy rebounds from the Covid-19 crisis, keep your eye on those jobs with steady employment opportunities. Soon enough, other sectors of the economy will catch up, and labor statistics will level out once again.

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