working in construction

Is there Financial Stability in Industrial Work?

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With the shaky economy, many people are looking for any bit of extra work that will pay that rent, put food on the table and give them a little extra pocket change. For years, construction has proved to be a reliable source of work and income for tradesmen. However, with instability on the rise, and the danger of the work, it may be best to consider perfecting other skills and searching for a job in a different industry.

Despite the construction industry’s first growth in over a year, the annual skills report predicts that the industry will face another decade of “pain.” In 2012, nearly 60,000 jobs were lost and experts say that the overall outlook of jobs is grim. They say that the number of jobs will decrease every year until 2016, and even after that, job growth won’t be substantial. In addition to the precarious job state, workers must face deal with the hazardous conditions and health safety risks that are associated with the field.

The nature of industrial work is by no means safe. Those who work in construction and other manual labor jobs are more likely to suffer from physical injuries and illnesses. Being involved in an industrial accident can have life-altering affects on you and your family, and the financial burden of an accident can add up to much more than what an average industrial salary can cover.

As with most industries, an employee’s average annual income depends on his or her role. Data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office for National Statistics reveals that production managers and directors in construction who worked full time earned an average gross pay of £38,918. The national average was £26,500. However, those who are not in a management position, such as construction and building trade workers, had a medium gross income of £24,394. Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trade workers earned around £32,636; roofers, roof tilers and slaters around £22,133; and plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers around £27,866.

Experts predict that the industry won’t return to its former levels of productivity until the year 2022. Although an estimated 30,000 jobs will open up they will primarily be in Greater London and east of London and they will be spots opened up from workers who leave. Still, filling those vacancies comes with a great health and financial risk.

Those who work in the industrial field are at a greater risk for workplace accidents and injuries. Employees work around heavy and dangerous machinery, must work in precarious situations, can be exposed to hazardous substances and many other conditions that jeopardise their health and safety.

Those that don’t suffer from accidents can still see deterioration in their health and well-being over time. One of the most common causes for work related ill health is osteoarthritis in the knee (primarily in miners and carpet/floor fitters). According to the Health and Safety Executive there were 10,500 new industrial injuries disablement cases in 2011, the majority of which were osteoarthritis. Other common illness include carpal tunnel syndrome and asbestos related diseases. In addition to ill health, workers can suffer from work accidents such as falls from high platforms, the use of malfunctioning equipment and being impaled by objects. These accidents can cause an array of injuries that range from minor to severe, and can be fatal. The HSE statistics report for 2011/2012 also reveals that the construction industrial sector has one of the highest rates of fatal injuries to workers.

In most cases, employees who suffer from injuries can receive accident at work compensation. However, in many circumstances, a monetary award does not make up for the any loss of mobility or independence or the pain and suffering a victim and his or her family must endure.

With lower salaries, a grim outlook and the dangerous nature of industrial work, it may be best to consider other industries.

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2 Responses to Is there Financial Stability in Industrial Work?

  1. Jose says:

    There’s been a lot of articles and talk here in the U.S. about how blue collar jobs are rewarding in two area. First that there are a lot of opportunities for people that have training and experience, second that the pay for someone with a two year education from a community college is comparable to folks that have a four year degree (starting pay that is). I havent looked at it that closely but can see the logic in that. Especially when you consider that a two year degree from a community college is a lot less expensive than a four year degree from a higher institution.
    Jose recently posted..Investing in Stocks and Fundamental Analysis – An IntroductionMy Profile

    • You’re also gaining a skill that will never leave you. I have a trade qualification and it’s good to know I have something to fall back on should I ever need it, it also came in handy when renovating our home :-)

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