The Battle of the Trades!

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Traditional Trades vs Green Jobs!

Many exciting opportunities exist in the construction trade industry. Skilled construction workers are called upon to build exciting projects such as homes, offices, schools, roads, hospitals, factories and other structures. When considering a career in construction, it is helpful to know what type of jobs are available and what each job entails as well as the salary. With a huge shift and demand for more sustainable methods of construction, new “unknown” trades are emerging. In this week’s blog, we highlight the differences between the traditional and the more unknown “Retrofit” trades so stick around, because the unknown trades are BOOMING!

Construction careers attract ambitious, energetic people.

Skilled construction workers are needed like never before— and with the resource shortage across the globe, there is no better time to consider construction jobs. Construction trades can be very physically demanding but they are also incredibly rewarding as one of the highest paying sectors. As of 2021, the UK Construction industry had an average industry salary of £45,774 annually – around 15% higher than the average full-time UK salary of £38,600.

Here’s a roundup of 5x “typical” and traditional trades you’re likely to be familiar with and already considering for your next career move:

  1. Joiner – A joiner works with timber to create a variety of structures integral to many buildings. This can include staircases, windows, doors, furniture and more. As a joiner, you take the lead on making these structures to the highest quality possible and fitting them in a variety of locations within the property.
  2. Plasterer – Plasterers are skilled tradesmen who apply plaster to interior and exterior walls and ceilings. Applying plaster can give walls a protective layer that helps protect against effects from the atmosphere, like moisture. It can also provide decorative designs and artistic touches.
  3. Plumber – Plumbers make everyone’s lives easier. It seems that most people don’t really appreciate them until they’re left without water. When building or renovating a property, a plumber’s job is to develop plans for where pipes and fixtures will go as well working to install and connect the pipes to obtain water supply and ensure appliances such as showers, sinks and bathtubs are functioning properly.
  4. Electrician – “the sparky” – Electricians are responsible for designing lighting systems, making sure that all electrical work within a property is fit for purpose. Electricians can specialise in installing, maintaining, repairing, or designing electrical systems for residential or commercial buildings. It can be a dangerous job, so high quality training programmes are always required.
  5. Painter / Decorator – Painters and decorators bring everyday spaces to life. They prepare and apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to surfaces, inside and out. As a painter and decorator, you’re in high demand. They play a key role in transforming residential, commercial and industrial projects.

All of the construction careers listed above require unique skills obtained through training. Our team at RE:geon can assist with all areas of Construction training. From nailing the right qualifications to gaining more hands-on work experience, we’ve placed many candidates into traditional trades jobs.. Learn More.

But what’s our success rate for careers in “unknown” trades”? Well, you’d be surprised to know we’re killing it here too! But hold up… what even are “unknown” trades? We’ll explain more below:

“Unknown” trades refer to the newer trades appearing in Construction that typically people know less about – because they’re so new. As technology advances and more sustainable methods are created, the demand for an entirely new set of skills to carry out the work has emerged. Bringing with them an endless list of roles that many of us have never heard of before. Fear of the unknown some might say? Or excitement to discover some incredible opportunities, we shout back!!

So what trades are you likely to see in the “unknown” category? Well, you’ll have had us talk a lot recently about the concept of Retrofit, and this is really where the new era of construction trades has stemmed from. The process of Retrofitting a property (making planned changes to an existing building to make it more energy efficient) requires a specialist set of skills that are SO new only we at RE:geon Training have the knowledge and training tools for them in the North East! Yes, that’s right we’re currently the only training provider! A competitive edge for us perhaps, but an even more competitive edge for you as a candidate with skills many others haven’t even heard of yet!

Here’s the lowdown on 5x “unknown” Construction roles or “Green Jobs” that could be EXACTLY what you’ve been waiting for:

  1. Insulation Technician – Insulation installers are the heroes we rely on all year to keep us warm. They fit insulation materials into buildings, such as damp proofing, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Their work helps buildings to retain their heat and be more energy efficient. The role involves checking a property’s suitability for cavity-wall insulation and recommending the best type to use.
  2. Fire stop Technician – A fire stopper has an important role in ensuring buildings are insulated and structurally protected from fire risk. responsibilities include measuring, cutting and applying insulating materials to pipes or ductwork, or other mechanical systems in order to help control and maintain temperature.
  3. Solar Panel Installer – The Solar Installer is part of the team that is responsible for the safe and successful installation of various solar equipment to a property. The Solar Installer will utilise a wide variety of tools and machines to assemble and construct the solar equipment based on the scheduled work plans. Similarly, to a traditional Electrician, they must have a strong understanding of electrical systems.
  4. Dry liner – Dry lining is a form of cladding for internal walls, and sometimes ceilings, to prepare them for painting or covering (for example in wallpaper). Like plastering, but dry lining is both quicker and uses specialist materials that can save time and money, so it’s becoming a very popular choice. It requires less water than plastering, no surprise given the name 🙂
  5. Retrofit Installer – In this role you are responsible for installing all sorts from residential envelope air sealing to HVAC duct sealing, windows and doors, mechanical ventilation, and roofing upgrades! All these physical processes upcycle and improve an existing building. Some other great examples of the kind roles and what they might entail can be found with our employer partners and Building Integrity contractors Isoler and Fortify Solutions.

It’s fair to say that the construction industry is changing rapidly and the need for new skills is ever growing. By no means are traditional trades being replaced out by the more unknown, green jobs (just yet) … but if there was ever a lightbulb moment to consider skilling yourself in something new then this is your calling!! Traditional trades are a pretty crowded place so one of our biggest recommendations when job searching is to look further afield to see where you can develop a niche or specialism to stand out from the rest.Businesses all over the world are screaming out for employees with a real knowledge of “green” construction methods and Retrofit. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you fit the bill?

Especially as salaries for green jobs are typically higher than their traditional counterparts! (Cha-ching!)

We’re currently recruiting for a range of construction roles as part of our new Route 2 Retrofit training. If you’d like to find out more about how we can make your CV pop, then hint the link below to explore specific job specs and sign up!

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