Professional Trades Month spotlights high-demand, high-wage career opportunities for Michiganders
May 06, 2022
LANSING, Mich.—Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to proclaim May as Professional Trades Month to honor the hard-working men and women in these fields and to encourage more Michiganders to explore educational and career opportunities in these high-demand, high-skilled and high-wage careers.
“The hardworking Michiganders in professional trades careers are designing and building our future and helping us grow Michigan’s economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “These Michiganders are in good-paying, high-skill, and in-demand jobs that empower them to provide for their families while helping the state rebuild infrastructure from schools to lead pipes to roads. We need to continue taking action to help more Michiganders get on paths to skilled trades jobs, which is why my administration has been committed to programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund, apprenticeships, and Michigan Reconnect. Together, these programs help businesses meet talent needs and ensure our neighbors, family, and friends can get the education, skills, or training they need to thrive.”
Many businesses require highly skilled workers to fill a multitude of trades jobs in the construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, mobility and service industries. With nearly 530,000 Michigan jobs and 47,000 annual openings in the professional trades projected by the year 2028, it has never been more important to spotlight these critical fields.
“In Michigan, professional trades careers pay about 30% higher than the statewide median for all occupations, with a median salary of nearly $59,000,” said LEO’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “In addition to providing economic security for Michigan workers, these good paying jobs also offer the opportunity to spend your career doing interesting and important work – and the personal fulfillment that comes with knowing your daily work matters.”
Many of these high-demand, high-wage careers do not require a four-year degree and have pathways that focus on credentials, certificates, on-the-job training, registered apprenticeships and other preparation elements.
An important tool in preparing Michiganders for professional trades careers is the Going PRO Talent Fund. The Talent Fund helps individuals secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages by providing training grants to Michigan businesses to support employees in high-demand, professional trades industries. Since its launch in 2014, more than 5,000 Michigan businesses have received Talent Fund awards, supporting training for more than 150,000 workers.
State Apprenticeship Expansion is another innovative approach to help prepare Michigan’s future workforce. Registered apprenticeships are career training programs in which apprentices gain paid work experience, related classroom instruction and a national industry-recognized credential upon program completion. Since 2019, LEO has awarded more than $26 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion funding to organizations throughout Michigan to help support the creation of more than 640 high quality pre-apprenticeship and nearly 5,000 new registered apprenticeship opportunities.
"To provide the high level of service our customers expect and deserve, we need a team of highly-skilled workers, and Registered Apprenticeship has played an important role in developing and growing our workforce," said Paul Myles, Sr. Manager of Government Workforce Development and Training at Magna International. "The apprentices who have completed training programs in Tool & Die, Mechatronics and Maintenance not only contribute to the success of our company, but they also secure their own economic futures without taking on student debt."
Michigan offers several tools that support career awareness and exploration for those interested in pursuing a new and different professional opportunity.
The Michigan Career and Education Pathfinder site allows users to explore careers and identify educational opportunities throughout the state. Pathfinder helps Michiganders make informed choices about educational and career options and plans to reach their goals. This free tool uses labor market information, wage data and other metrics to best match users and their skills with career paths and jobs.
Michiganders can also explore the Going PRO Day in the Life series to learn more about these careers firsthand from professionals in the trades.
Those ready to find their first, next or another job, should visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect, the state’s online platform for connecting job seekers and employers, to create a free account and connect with employers who have immediate needs.
Links to these resources and other career exploration tools are available at Michigan.gov/SkillsToWork.