Skilled trades job market is booming

Starting wage is $15 to $17

The growth of new home construction in southern Wisconsin can be seen in the demand for skilled trade workers graduating from Madison College.

“For the last three years our students, who were graduating in May, those who are ready to go to work, they all had jobs lined up before they left,” said John Stephany, a construction and remodeling instructor at Madison College.

Stephany has been involved in the construction industry for nearly 30 years.

“I’ve seen booms. I’ve seen busts,” Stephany said. “We’re in the middle of a huge boom without any doubt at all. The trades are desperate for people. Employers are calling us, emailing us almost on a daily basis looking for workers.”

Stephany said a misconception that trades jobs do not pay well steer some away from the industry.

“The sky is the limit. There is an excellent living to be had in the trades,” Stephany said. “The starting wages in the trades are $15 to $17 an hour, and after five years you can be making $25 an hour, and after seven to 10 years you can be at $30 an hour.”