New research shows skilled trades encourage happiness, sense of accomplishment

As people increasingly struggle to find satisfaction in so-called white-collar jobs, we’re discovering the skilled trades can offer a positive alternative.

A new report by called “Trading Up” highlights the power and potential of a career in the skilled trades. Based on a 2017 survey of the Canadian workforce, the report compares how people in the trades feel about their jobs and careers to the general working population.
The survey shows that 64% of tradespeople report having “really accomplished something worthwhile,” while only 47% of those not in the trades say the same. Workers in the skilled trades are also more likely to feel a sense of success and achievement (68% vs. 49%) and “getting a lot of satisfaction” out of their work (65% vs. 48%).

Tradespeople often feel satisfied and successful because of the practical contributions and impact their work has on everyday people and society, and this fosters self-esteem and self-actualization.  

Beyond this sense of pride and accomplishment, the “Trading Up” report also shows that tradespeople simply enjoy their jobs more on a day-to-day basis. They’re among the happiest workers in the country, reporting that their job makes them “truly happy” much more than the general population (51% vs. 41%).

Tradespeople also feel more alive, energized and stimulated while doing their jobs, thanks to constant opportunities for new learning and personal growth through mentorships and apprenticeships.

Taken together, the report’s insights into the working lives of tradespeople show that a career in the trades could be the answer young people are looking for when searching for a career that combines real-world contributions with personal accomplishment and happiness.  


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