WASHINGTON — Mike Rowe, the host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” has seen hundreds of filthy, messy occupations, but during his quest, he says he noticed a more telling trend in the job market.
Rowe says there are opportunities for employment in the jobs that exist today. While many of them may not seem glamorous, they could help people avoid unemployment, he says.
“To me, the more interesting story were the one or two million jobs that exist, that pay very well that nobody seems to want and very few people talk about,” Rowe said on WTOP Friday.
Rowe is one of the celebrities participating in the USA Science & Engineering Festival at the D.C. Convention Center April 26 and April 27. The expo serves as an education event where STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) organizations will present hands-on science and engineering activities for people of all ages, according to its website.
The expo may even spark interest in the burgeoning STEM occupations, Rowe says. As many schools eliminate their vocational programs, it can be even more important to get kids interested in STEM jobs, he adds.
Employers around the country are facing a challenge when it comes to finding people who are willing to learn a new skill or retrain and really work at it, he says.
“Dirty Jobs” visited every state and learned about occupations in almost every industry and during that time, Rowe says he saw plenty “help wanted” signs.
“I was lucky, I had a front row seat to what a lot of people call America’s skill gap,” he said.
Rowe says science, technology, engineering and math can be the foundation for high-demand and well-paying jobs. Rowe says some skilled trades, such as welding and pipe fitting, can pay six figures a year.
“There are different ways to get into these loftier careers that require a lot of intensive and expensive education that allows you to take a smaller bite and it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming or intimidating.”