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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan's more than half a million jobs in high-demand, high-wage industries highlighted as part of Professional Trades Month

May 5, 2021

Media Contact: Mike Murray, 517-275-1820

With nearly 530,000 Michigan jobs and 47,000 annual openings in the professional trades projected by the year 2028, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to proclaim May as Professional Trades Month to honor those in these fields, show the value of this work, and encourage others to explore educational opportunities and gain career awareness.

"Hard working Michiganders in the professional trades provide critical services to us all, from fixing cars to building new homes and much more," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "These highly-skilled workers help our communities thrive, and this month and beyond, we honor their contributions and encourage Michiganders to consider exploring rewarding professional trade career paths."

For the state's economy to continue to grow and become more competitive, we must continue to educate and employ individuals in professional trades careers.

Businesses across Michigan need highly skilled workers in industries such as agriculture, construction, energy, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and mobility. 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.

"Michigan offers several tools that support career awareness and exploration and can help propel residents towards taking the leap in pursuing a new and different professional opportunity," said LEO's Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. "Professional trades opportunities will continue to grow and we want Michiganders to be ready when those opportunities present themselves."

Professional trades careers in Michigan pay about 39% higher than the statewide median for all occupations, with a median salary of $57,000 with little to no student debt.

"These are by no means the traditional jobs of the past," Beckhorn added. "These are careers in high-tech, high-demand industries that will position our state as a leader in innovation."

Check out the Michigan Career and Education Pathfinder site to explore careers and identify educational opportunities throughout the state. Pathfinder helps users 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.