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U.S. Is Severely Lacking in Trade Workers

Posted on: August 31, 2015

At Acosta Heating and Cooling, we take pride in the fact that the technicians on our team are highly skilled. However, workers like them are becoming harder and harder to find as more students opt to attend a four-year university instead of pursuing a trade, like heating and cooling repair. According to one report, only about 6% of students even consider learning a trade after high school.

This has created a problem not only for industries like ours, but also for some of the students who decide to go to college instead of learning a trade. Currently, approximately 66% of high school graduates will pursue higher education. However, in the future, only 33% of jobs will require a four-year degree. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be nearly 20 million jobs for skilled workers available, but the majority of them will remain unfilled.

Another consequence of this trend is that skilled workers are only getting older, while no one is able to replace them once they decide to retire. For example, in Boston, the average age of an electrician is 58. On a national level, the average age of a tradesperson is 56. As more of these workers near retirement, the cost for things like roofing, home remodeling, plumbing, HVAC repair, and other trades will continue to rise. Although we are concerned about this trend in the U.S., we still do everything we can to keep our rates affordable and competitive.

Trade Degrees in Charlotte, NC

If you have any ideas or suggestions to help us encourage more individuals to go into our field please reach out to us at or (704) 527-7401(704) 527-7401.

To learn more, contact these local community colleges that offer trade degrees.

  • Central Piedmont Community College is the closest option to downtown Charlotte. It offers certificate, diploma and associate’s degree programs in HVAC technology. Students enrolled at this school have the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular HVAC club.
  • Gaston College, about 24 miles from downtown Charlotte, has inexpensive tuition and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 students for every faculty member. Certificate and diploma programs are available, some with emphasis on heat pumps or cooling technology.

York Technical College offers several types of certificate programs, as well as a diploma program. Its HVAC program students can buy required tools through partnered tool suppliers at a discounted rate. York is about 25 miles from downtown Charlotte.