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Automation and artificial intelligence is advancing and that is causing more businesses to re-examine processes and seek out increased efficiencies. True. Fact. But, not every position can become automated. Here are just 3 of the reasons why the skilled trades are robot-proof.

1. Robot grippers cannot grip or manipulate most of the types of tools and objects used in the trades. Grippers cannot register how soft, coarse, heavy or light an object is, so estimating an appropriate grip force is not possible. The human hand is “hands-down” better than robot grippers.

2. Robots cannot compete with human motion or deal with the unpredictable questions other humans ask. Think about it. Skilled trade professionals perform a wide range of physical motions, apply hand-eye coordination during tasks, and adapt to a variety of unpredictable technical challenges. A residential HVAC service call can often require going up and down stairs, moving from indoor to outdoor units to troubleshoot equipment, communicating with clients, and sourcing replacement parts. These dynamic roles would certainly be tough to replace with automation and machines.

3. Machines are not going away anytime soon. As long as we need machines to give us hot and cool air, running water, and the juice that turns on the electricity in our lives there will be a need for the skilled professionals who repair them. Take electricians as an example. As long as we rely on power as a means to conduct our lives, we’ll need people to install and maintain it (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

If you’re working in the skilled trades, or on track to enter them, then you’re already strategically investing in special skills that robots won’t be able to threaten anytime soon. 

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