Contracting is the future of Employment: Redefining A Tradesman

It’s time that we call into question today’s definition of what a Tradesman is.


Image courtesy of Flickr and Kevin Dooley

In the past generations, tradesman meant jobs like carpenter, plumber, electrician etc.

“What is a tradesman these days?”

I believe that in the near future we’re gonna see more subcontracting or consulting style relationships and less employment opportunities.

Companies are starting to see the benefit of having a set cost for a job done exactly as agreed upon. There’s no managing employees and all the costs associated with payroll and taxes and liabilities.

To sub out to smaller entities simplifies projects on so many levels.

Each sub contractor is held accountable for their one specific area of expertise. It’s not one big company managing multiple areas and skill sets.

What does this mean for the next generation who are seeking employment?

I believe there will be a higher emphasis on learning a skill set.  A skill set that is yours to keep.  That you can take with you and name your own price for the work that you do.

This is a great opportunity for those willing to invest their time into learning a skill set rather than just putting in hours at a job.

However, this could be bad news for anyone who wants to just show up and collect a paycheck.

My definition of a tradesman is continuously being shaped.

As of now, I would say, a tradesman is anyone who has a skill set.  Not just a certification or a job title.

Jobs in technology (software engineer, graphic designer, website builder) are quickly fitting the mold of what a tradesman is, just as much as the carpenter who repairs our houses.

Both have a skill that they put a value on and perform in exchange for pay.  Both bid on their slice of the big picture pie.

If you take the specific trade out of the conversation, and only look at the business models themselves…. Then that, I believe, is where we will find our new definition of tradesman.

Take knowing a skill set one step further and mix it with entrepreneurship, then now you have someone who isn’t fearing layoffs.

You have someone calling their own shots.

You have a tradesman.

I will be exploring this subject further with my project Smart Tradesmen.  I believe that a change is coming.  One that will be written about and future generations will study.

Its an employment revolution, and together we can grow into this new age ahead of the curve.

  • Daniel,
    You have some excellent insights on the changing face of construction. Your comparison of tradesman and technology is spot on! Looking forward to reading and learning more from you in the future.
    Warm Regards,
    Randal DeHart