Grow your career on
Advanced Search

Working in the Skilled Trades: Why These Jobs are Essential

Working in the Skilled Trades: Why These Jobs are Essential
  • AuthorClara Boles
  • DateFebruary 16, 2024
  • MediumNewsletter Article
Explore the significance of essential jobs, especially in skilled trades, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how these roles contribute to society and offer job security and a sense of purpose. Find your fulfilling career in the skilled trades on

Many of us like to think that our jobs are essential. Meaning that it is “absolutely necessary or extremely important.” What kinds of jobs really are essential, though? I know we don’t like to go back in time but looking back to 2020 when the word “essential” meant more to us than it ever has, we learned what jobs are essential and what jobs are not essential.  


The essential jobs were the staff going into work even during dangerous times because their job impacted other people's well-being. If you are thinking back to pandemic times, I am sure your mind is immediately going to our health-care professionals, and of course, they are extremely essential, but what we might not be thinking of are our skilled trade workers, who had to go to work, because their job was also essential. The refrigerator technicians, truck drivers, electricians, mechanics, and welders, among many other skilled trades, kept the agricultural industry and our society going.  


Focusing on the agriculture and good industry, my dad, who has been a grain operator for years, was an essential worker during COVID, meaning he still had to physically go to work during the time of quarantine.  


So, why is this essential? 


In my dad’s scenario, he works for a company that takes corn from a farmer and makes it into a starch for food companies. If his company were to shut down during hard times, that would most certainly impact on our food supply.  


I know not every skilled trade job is like my dad’s, but most of the time, it will have the same effect; if they do not show up, our society will, in fact, be affected. Think about someone working in HVAC during a blizzard. I am sure they will be appreciated when they show up to fix your broken furnace.  


So, why does this matter? 


It really does matter looking at the bigger picture. Having an essential career: 


  • It gives you job security, meaning they need people in these roles if your job is essential. 
  • It gives you a sense of worth, meaning your job impacts people’s lives.  


So, why should you consider working in the skilled trades? 


I think back to when I was going to high school and the dialogue was very much after graduation your choices were: 


  • Go to college (very recommended upon our high school guidance counselor) 
  • Go back to your family farm (if they could afford it)  
  • Go into the military.  


The options and even the resources we had available in high school to go into the trades were almost nonexistent. The trades seemed like a backup option and were never really talked about. I was among many who heard this dialogue, as we see an enormous gap in our skilled trade workforce today.  


It is brought to light now, more than ever, that working in the trades really can be rewarding - and very successful! I hope you would consider this industry to be fulfilling.  


Find your essential, rewarding career today on 

Explore more about the Skilled Trades pathway in our career profiles.   

Ag jobs sent
right to your inbox.

Sign Up
Red Alert

Register for your free account to receive exclusive information and features.

Candidate | Employer