skilled labor defined

Unskilled, Semi-Skilled, and Skilled Labor Defined

Unskilled, Semi-Skilled, and Skilled Labor Defined

As the job market continues to change and evolve, it’s important to understand the demand for unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled labor. Specialized skills are becoming more and more sought after in our increasingly technical world, while the demand for unskilled labor continues to go down. So, what does this mean? While unskilled workers may have had plenty of job opportunities in America in the past, they are going to have to develop their skill set if they want to succeed in the new job market.

So, what exactly do these different types of labor refer to?

Unskilled Labor

Unskilled labor refers to workers who possess no particular skills and likely have no formal education. This type of work usually involves simple duties that don’t require judgment. In some cases, unskilled labor requires physical strength and exertion. Unfortunately, unskilled labor jobs are dwindling due to technological advancements leaving fewer and fewer jobs for these types of workers. A few examples of these types of jobs still around include grocery clerks, maids, fast food workers, janitors, and parking lot attendants. Due to the increased demand for skills, workers in these industries are going to need to advance their skill set.

The U.S. average salary for unskilled labor jobs was $17.14 as of May 2020.

Here are 20 examples of popular unskilled labor jobs:

  1. Janitor
  2. Warehouse worker
  3. Farmworker
  4. Food service worker
  5. Retail sales associate
  6. Dishwasher
  7. Groundskeeper
  8. Housekeeper
  9. Delivery driver
  10. Cashier
  11. Construction laborer
  12. Cleaner
  13. Security guard
  14. Material handler
  15. Landscaping laborer
  16. Factory worker
  17. Parking lot attendant
  18. Production worker
  19. Laundry worker
  20. Stock clerk

Semi-Skilled Labor

Semi-Skilled labor does not require advanced training or specialized skills, but it does require more skills than an unskilled labor job. People who perform semi-skilled labor usually have more than a high-school diploma, but less than a college degree. The types of skills necessary for this are not complex but usually include the ability to monitor and perform repetitive tasks. These types of skills are more likely to be transferable and useful in other jobs. A few examples of these types of jobs include truck drivers, retail salespersons, bartenders, flight attendants, taxi drivers, waiters, and equipment installers.

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Here is a list of 20 semi-skilled labor jobs:

  1. Truck driver
  2. Manufacturing assembler
  3. Customer service representative
  4. Warehouse supervisor
  5. Production operator
  6. Machine operator
  7. Carpenter’s assistant
  8. Electrician’s assistant
  9. HVAC installer
  10. Security system installer
  11. Solar panel installer
  12. Plumbing assistant
  13. Masonry helper
  14. Painter’s assistant
  15. Heavy equipment operator’s assistant
  16. Auto body repair technician’s assistant
  17. Welding assistant
  18. Landscaping supervisor
  19. Pest control technician
  20. Audio/visual equipment installer

Skilled Labor

Skilled labor refers to workers who have specialized training or skills. These laborers are capable of exercising judgment and have knowledge of the particular trade or industry they work. People who perform skilled labor will most likely have a college degree. A few examples of these types of jobs include law enforcement officers, financial technicians, nurses, sales representative, and electricians. The demand for skilled labor jobs continues to grow as the need for specialized skills becomes more and more necessary. Individuals who possess an even higher degree of skills, such as doctors, would be put into a separate category of professionals.

There are three categories of skills that professionals should possess:

Foundational skills: These skills are fundamental as they provide the basis and support for additional training, operations, and other skills.

Transferable skills: As a working professional, it is crucial to have skills that can be applied to different fields and environments.

Technical and vocational skills: These practical skills pertain to the ability to perform specific tasks.

The U.S. average salary for skilled labor jobs was $22.87 as of May 2020. However, most of the jobs offer many great benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, or retirement savings plans, which can have a significant impact on a worker’s overall compensation.

Here are 20 skilled labor jobs that are in high demand and can offer good career opportunities:

  1. Electrician
  2. Plumber
  3. HVAC technician
  4. Welder
  5. Carpenter
  6. Mason
  7. Painter
  8. Auto mechanic
  9. Heavy equipment operator
  10. Landscaper
  11. Roofer
  12. Bricklayer
  13. Machinist
  14. Glass installer
  15. Diesel mechanic
  16. Industrial maintenance technician
  17. Pipefitter
  18. Ironworker
  19. Sheet metal worker
  20. Construction worker

Now that you understand these different types of labor, it’s easier to understand why unskilled and semi-skilled jobs are dwindling. The world is drastically different than it was 50 years ago and menial jobs are no longer in surplus. Technology is changing the way things are done, and we need the skill-set to keep up! Invest in training and education so that you can market your skills and I guarantee the world will open up to you.

Contact us for an eSUB CLOUD demo and to learn more about how project management software developed for subcontractors can streamline your processes for more profits and less chaos.



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